5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending May 13

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Lenovo, for its initiative to help channel partners sell Lenovo services under their own brands.

Also making the list were Evolve IP, for its growth prospects after a significant private equity investment; Sophos and APC, for launching new MSP partner programs; Accenture, for a savvy acquisition that broadens the system integrator's business analytics expertise; and BlackBerry, for its revamped enterprise partner program that focuses on secure mobile solutions.

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.

Lenovo Doubles Down On The Channel

Lenovo this week launched a channel program that pays partners upfront to sell and deliver Lenovo services under their own brand. Lenovo executives, unveiling the Partner Sold Partner Delivered initiative at the company's Accelerate partner conference in Orlando, Fla., this week, portrayed the move as part of Lenovo's effort to transform itself from a traditional hardware vendor into a solutions company.

Under the program, services such as maintenance or extended warranty are sold on the partners' paper. The program will start in Lenovo's server business and eventually be expanded to its PC business.

The company also boosted incentives for partners that sell services from 1.5 percent of services deal revenue to 5 percent.

Evolve IP Scores Significant Private Equity Investment

Cloud service provider Evolve IP is set for growth, including an expansion of its channel presence, after private equity firm Great Hill Partners purchased a majority equity stake in the company this week.

The investment will give Wayne, Pa.-based Evolve IP the capital to increase its head count, build on its products and services offerings, and boost its investment in the channel, Evolve IP said in a letter to partners.

Evolve IP offers virtual desktops, disaster recovery, unified communications and contact center-as-a-service solutions to midmarket customers. The provider also has a robust channel program that includes VARs, telecom agents and master agent partners.

Sophos, APC Launch Managed Service Provider Programs

Security technology developer Sophos and power management system builder APC by Schneider Electric both win kudos this week for starting programs aimed at helping managed service providers expand their recurring revenue opportunities.

Sophos' new MSP Connect program, operating alongside the traditional Sophos partner program, transitions the majority of the Sophos portfolio into a managed services pricing and billing model, as well as creating a simplified custom management platform and links to leading professional services automation vendors, including ConnectWise.

APC's new program includes a managed service certification, market development funds and an 8 percent discount for bundling the APC Smart-UPS power management and monitoring service, network card and extended warranties. The program also integrates the APC Smart-UPS service with managed service platforms from ConnectWise, N-Able, Kaseya and AVG -- making it easier for MSP partners to monitor an installed base of as many as 3 million APC Smart-UPS devices.

Accenture Moves To Acquire Data Analytics Consultancy

Systems Integration giant Accenture took a significant step to expand its big data analytics capabilities this week when it announced a deal to buy OPS Rules, a boutique analytics consultancy that uses data science to solve complex business problems in retail, life sciences, high-tech and industrial industries.

Big data analytics is a hot area for IT vendors and solution providers: Businesses are looking for expertise in deriving value from the increasingly huge volumes of data they are collecting and analyzing in order to improve operational efficiencies and gain competitive advantages.

Accenture expects to apply OPS Rules' machine learning capabilities to supply chain optimization, procurement risk management and dynamic pricing efforts. The acquisition is also expected to provide Accenture with an opportunity to bring machine learning to Internet of Things applications.

BlackBerry Revamps Enterprise Partner Program

Blackberry unveiled a reinvented Enterprise Partner program this week that is expected to create more opportunities for partners to develop and sell secure mobile business solutions.

Additions to the program, including training, accreditations and competencies, as well as partner branding and deal registration, are meant to help partners incorporate BlackBerry's unified Secure Enterprise Software into their product and service offerings. That software is aimed at providing partners with more market opportunities than they can generate with plain-vanilla mobile device management products.