5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending June 17

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Microsoft, for its big-bet acquisition of business social media site LinkedIn and its plans to integrate it with its Office 365 and Dynamics CRM applications.

Also making the list were Symantec's $4.65 billion acquisition of Blue Coat; code-sharing company GitHub, for its new channel program plans; Cisco, for its new data center analytics appliance offering; and Scale Computing, for its new hyper-converged system targeting SMBs.

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.

Microsoft Strikes Deal To Acquire LinkedIn For $26.2 Billion

It's a bold move and the biggest acquisition in Microsoft's history: This week, the software giant announced a deal to acquire business social media company LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.

The vision is that Microsoft will integrate LinkedIn with its Office 365 cloud application set, now used by more than 70 million businesses, and its Dynamics CRM applications. With LinkedIn's 433 million members, such a pairing will provide Microsoft application users with a rich source of business contact data.

Microsoft, however, doesn't have a great track record of making big acquisitions work: Just look at the failed Nokia and aQuantive acquisitions. And some partners worried that the deal was another sign that Microsoft is doing an end-run around the channel with software licensing sales. So unless executed properly, this acquisition could still turn into a future item for our "Rough Week" roundup.

Symantec To Acquire Blue Coat For $4.65 Billion, Gets New CEO

Microsoft wasn't the only vendor with a shopping list this week. Security software developer Symantec, fulfilling a promise it made earlier this year when it split from Veritas to make acquisitions, struck a deal to acquire Blue Coat Systems for $4.65 billion.

The acquisition will add a wide range of cloud and web security software to Symantec's product lineup, particularly in the area of threat protection.

But perhaps just as important, Blue Coat CEO Greg Clark (pictured) will take the CEO job at Symantec, filling the post that Mike Brown is stepping down from. Partners have said they would like to see Symantec led by someone who can take the company to the next level of growth, and they're optimistic Clark is the right man for the job.

Code-Sharing Company GitHub Launches Channel Program For Services-Savvy Partners

Channel program launches and expansions always win applause from CRN. So kudos go out this week to GitHub, the company behind the popular socially networked code repository that goes by the same name, for casting a net for enterprise partners by launching a channel program.

Large businesses with advanced software development operations are increasingly using GitHub: The site has 15 million users and 38 million repositories. Now GitHub is looking to partners to further fuel its growth.

GitHub is partnering with large systems integrators and small boutique firms that provide services to companies moving to the GitHub platform. The new channel program is designed to reward partners that bring in new customers, as well as provide traditional channel benefits including license price discounts, deal registration and market development funds.

Cisco Steps Up Technology Game With New Appliance, Elastifile Investment

Cisco made some key moves on the technology front this week that will help the networking giant's product portfolio stay on the leading edge.

On Wednesday, the company debuted the Cisco Tetration Analytics platform, a data center analytics appliance that gives businesses visibility across everything in a data center in real time for better managing critical data center operations. Cisco said the product would help partners accelerate customer adoption of newer technologies such as software-defined networking.

Cisco this week also disclosed an investment in Israel-based Elastifile, a developer of software-defined storage technology that allows commodity server hardware to be configured as an all-flash storage array. The investment shows that Cisco hasn't given up on the all-flash storage space, despite closing its own all-flash storage venture last year.

Scale Computing Targets Competitors With New SMB Hyper-Converged System

Speaking of going on the technology offensive, hyper-converged infrastructure technology developer Scale Computing this week introduced a new hybrid flash version of its appliances with a sub-$25,000 price tag.

The new HC1150 targets small and midsize customers and is designed to beat competing products from rival Nutanix on price and high-availability capabilities.