5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending May 6

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win are Dell and EMC, for their aggressive competitive stance at this week's EMC World conference.

Also making the list were SAP and Apple, for their alliance to build iOS applications that tie into SAP's business applications; Microsoft, for the positive reviews of its upcoming SQL Server 2016 database; solution providers New Signature and Net@Work, for some savvy acquisitions; and Cirrity, for a new cloud services pricing model to boost channel partner margins.

Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

Dell, EMC Step Up Game As Acquisition Finality Draws Near

This week, EMC held its annual EMC World conference in Las Vegas, but it might as well have been called Dell-EMC World, with its focus on Dell's pending $60 billion acquisition of the storage system manufacturer.

Dell CEO Michael Dell used his keynote address Monday to do a little competitive trash talking, specifically targeting rival Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Dell said his company is capturing market share from HPE, a competitor that he said is producing less revenue and investing less in research and development and less in innovation.

But EMC executives also used the show for some more practical purposes. David Goulden, CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure, for example, outlined EMC's private, public and hybrid cloud strategy.

And EMC channel chief Gregg Ambulos said Dell, post-acquisition, would establish a single channel program in 2017 for Dell and EMC solution provider partners -- organized very much as EMC's current program is set up, he said.

SAP-Apple Alliance Creates Opportunities For SAP Partners

SAP and Apple teamed up in a partnership that will help Apple expand use of its mobile devices within corporate computing environments. And SAP partners will have expanded opportunities to work with Apple products and sell to small and midsize businesses as a result.

Under the alliance unveiled Thursday, SAP will work with Apple to develop native iOS applications that connect to SAP's HANA-based business applications. It will also provide a HANA cloud platform software development kit for iOS that partners can tap into.

The alliance is similar to deals Apple struck recently with IBM and Cisco that help it gain entrance to corporate computing environments. This latest alliance looks like a good move for Apple, SAP and channel partners that work with both companies.

Microsoft's SQL Server 2016 Looks Like A Winner

Microsoft this week said SQL Server 2016, the next major release of its flagship database product, is slated for general availability June 1. And it's already winning applause from Microsoft partners.

Solution providers said the database software provides impressive advances in built-in analytics capabilities and security technology, as well as improvements to the software's overall performance.

Integrated support for the R programming language for building predictive analytical applications is expected to be especially popular, as will the newly added business intelligence technology from Microsoft's DataZen acquisition last year.

New Signature, Net@Work Make Key Acquisitions

Kudos go to two leading solution providers that revealed acquisitions this week aimed at helping them maintain their already impressive growth rates.

New Signature, the up-and-coming solution provider that Microsoft named partner of the year in 2014 and 2015, acquired Dot Net Solutions this week in a move that should bolster New Signature's service offerings in such areas as Azure migration and application development. London-based Dot Net Solutions is also a Microsoft partner award winner.

Net@Work, a New York-based solution provider closely allied with business applications developer Sage, this week bought Dresser & Associates, a leading reseller of Sage human resource management applications and provider of related services. The move is the latest in a string of acquisitions, many related to Sage, aimed toward boosting Net@Work's product and service offerings.

Cirrity's New Cloud Pricing Initiative

Cloud service provider Cirrity is changing the way channel partners buy and resell cloud services with a new pricing model that has the potential to double solution providers' margins.

Under Cirrity's plan, unveiled this week, partners can buy Cirrity's Cisco-powered cloud infrastructure services in bulk and while label them for sales to their own end customers. Cirrity has been piloting the pricing plan with managed services provider partner OnePath, which has decreased its monthly cloud costs and increased its profitability.

The new model is focused on MSPs and strategic service providers. Combined with Cirrity's channel-only go-to-market philosophy, the new pricing plan looks like a significant win for the company and its partners.