5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Sept. 9

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Dell Technologies for expanding its commitment to the channel in the wake of the completion of its acquisition of EMC.

Also making the list is Hewlett Packard Enterprise for providing more opportunities for its channel partners in IT security through an alliance with Hexadite, Intel for its acquisition of computer vision technology Movidius, cloud service provider Intermedia for its savvy hire of a top Microsoft channel executive, and a significant name change for the solution provider previously known as PC Connection.

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 5 Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

Dell Commits To Partner-Led Commercial Account Strategy, New Rules Of Engagement

Dell finally wrapped up its blockbuster acquisition of storage technology giant EMC this week – and that's worth a round of applause right there. But Dell, now officially Dell Technologies, really wins kudos for the channel-focused steps it took even as the ink on the final paperwork was drying.

Dell said it is adjusting its rules of engagement to favor channel partners that have gained traction and loyalty within commercial accounts. Customers identified as buying through partners going back three years will become partner-led accounts indefinitely.

Dell also won channel applause by saying it will fast-track EMC partners into the Dell Partner Direct channel program at their current level. That gives them access to the pricing, discounts and market development funds that top Dell partners receive.

HPE Expands Security Opportunities For Partners Through Hexadite Distribution Alliance

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is forming a strategic reseller partnership with Hexadite, the fast-growing security startup HPE invested in earlier this year. And HPE's channel partners could be big beneficiaries of the alliance.

The new relationship enables HPE's channel partners to boost their security product portfolio by offering a more complete security solution, from threat detection to remediation, according to Hexadite CEO Eran Barak.

Solution providers can resell Hexadite's Automated Incident Response Solution (AIRS), either as a stand-alone product or combined with the real-time correlation, monitoring and threat-detection capabilities of HPE ArcSight.

HPE led an $8 million Series A round of funding for Hexadite in February. While most of Hexadite's sales are now direct, the company expects most of its revenue to come from indirect sales within the next few years.

Intel Aims To Boost RealSense Platform With Bid To Acquire Computer Vision Startup

Intel struck a deal to acquire Movidius, the giant chipmaker said this week, in a move to extend the capabilities of its RealSense perceptual technology platform.

Movidius develops machine vision technology that Intel said essentially gives humanlike sight to connected Internet of Things devices. Specifically, Movidius' flagship product is a low-power, high-performance, system-on-chip platform for accelerating computing vision applications.

Intel, which is making a big push into components for Internet of Things networks, said it would deploy Movidius' technology as part of its RealSense product offerings – especially in markets that need low-voltage systems.

Last month Intel acquired Nervana Systems and its machine learning platform.

Intermedia Snags Microsoft Channel Superstar For SVP Worldwide Sales Post

Intermedia, a fast-growing cloud services provider and one of Microsoft's largest cloud software partners, scored a major coup this week when it hired Eric Martorano (pictured), a key Microsoft channel executive, to be its new senior vice president of worldwide sales.

Martorano, who worked at Microsoft for eight years, was the software giant's U.S. partner sales general manager responsible for $17 billion in commercial sales. Among his achievements was launching the highly successful Cloud Champions program.

Martorano will start at Intermedia on Sept. 15. Solution providers told CRN that the move is a loss for the Microsoft channel community. But they said hiring the respected channel executive is a significant game-changer for Intermedia.

PC Connection Changes Name To Connection To Signify Its Advanced Technologies Capabilities

What's in a name? Quite a lot, according to PC Connection, which this week announced a plan to drop the "PC" from its longtime name and rebrand itself Connection.

PCs were once a big part of the solution provider's business and "PC" has been part of its name since its 1982 founding. But company executives told CRN that the Merrimack, N.H.-based company has expanded its capabilities and services to cover everything from data center and networking to software and security.

"We felt that our name should reflect the full scope of our capabilities, the promise of our future and the success of our past," President and CEO Tim McGrath told CRN.

Changing a company's name might seem like a relatively minor item. But branding today is important. (PC) Connection wins kudos – not necessarily for the name change itself, but for building up its business in such a way that the name change is the right thing to do.