5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending July 8

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is EMC, whose proposed acquisition by Dell was endorsed by an independent financial advisory firm.

Also making the list were Microsoft, for its bold move to combine CRM and ERP applications into a single cloud offering; Avast, for its planned acquisition of AVG Technologies that will help it compete against the big boys in the IT security arena; Concur, for launching a new channel program to boost SMB sales; and Samsung, for its strong Q2 financial performance.

Not everyone in the IT industry made 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.

Financial Advisory Firm Gives Thumbs Up For Dell-EMC Merger

Independent proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis this week said Dell's proposed acquisition of storage systems giant EMC is a good deal for EMC shareholders and the firm encouraged shareholders to approve the deal.

Glass Lewis said the deal, valued at more than $62 billion, is "financially and strategically reasonable from the perspective of EMC and its shareholders," and offers "an attractive premium."

That validation of the deal's value comes at a critical time: EMC shareholders are set to vote on the acquisition offer July 19. And EMC CEO Joe Tucci issued a statement touting the Glass Lewis conclusion that the Dell-EMC merger "is the best strategic option for all stakeholders."

Microsoft Combines CRM, ERP In One Cloud Offering

Microsoft this week unveiled Dynamics 365, new cloud software that combines the software giant's Dynamics CRM and ERP products while offering deep integration with the vendor's popular Office 365 cloud productivity applications.

It's a bold move and a creative one as Microsoft seeks to compete in cloud applications against the like of SAP, NetSuite and Salesforce. The battle between Microsoft and Salesforce in the CRM arena has been especially intense and Microsoft's move could give it a competitive edge.

Microsoft's channel partners are also potential winners here with the Dynamics 365 software creating an opportunity for solution providers to expand their Microsoft practices into new territory.

AVG Acquisition Gives Avast Heavyweight Status In PC, Mobile Device Security

Antivirus software developer Avast Software struck a deal this week to acquire AVG Technologies for $1.3 billion in a move that will provide the company with scale, geographic reach and a security software portfolio to compete against major vendors like Symantec.

Avast will buy AVG, a rival in the market for PC and mobile device security software, for $25 per share. The companies expect to complete the acquisition between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.

Concur Launches Channel Program To Expand SMB Sales

Concur, the SAP-owned developer of cloud travel and expense management applications, wants to grow its sales to small and mid-size businesses. And the company knows the channel is the best way to do that.

This week, Concur launched its first formal partner program to recruit solution provider partners that can reach more SMB customer prospects. While SMBs are already the fastest growing part of Concur's business, the company recognizes that it can multiply those efforts through the channel.

Concur is specifically seeking VARs with cloud experience that can bring in new customers on a referral basis, with Concur promising partners a generous share of the revenue from the first two years of a customer contract.

Samsung Gives Strong Earnings Guidance For Q2

Samsung this week said its upcoming Q2 earnings report is expected to exceed analysts' expectations, a sign that the electronics giant is having some success against rival Apple in the competitive smartphone market.

The company said it expects operating profits in the area of 8.1 trillion Korean Won – about $7.01 billion – up 17.3 percent from the same period a year earlier. That would make the second quarter the most profitable for Samsung in more than two years.

Although Samsung didn't say why its financial performance is up, analysts report that sales of the company's Galaxy S7 smartphone have been strong.

Samsung had a disappointing 2015, financially, and in early 2016 warned that this year might bring more of the same. So a strong Q2 would come as a pleasant surprise.