5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Sept. 30

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is SAP, which is placing a $2.2-billion bet on its IoT efforts.

Also making the list is hyper-converged system maker Nutanix for its successful IPO, security technology startup Arctic Wolf for launching its first channel program, NetApp for guaranteeing its partners exclusivity in SMB markets, and Fortinet for expanding its Security Fabric program in a way that offers partners new growth opportunities.

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.

SAP To Spend $2.2 Billion On IoT, Including Expanding Its Partner Ecosystem

SAP intends to be a major player in the IoT arena and this week the software giant took some bold steps to help make that happen.

The company said it would invest $2.2 billion over the next five years to accelerate its IoT product portfolio, increase sales and marketing efforts, and grow its ecosystem of channel partners and technology startups. That includes building IoT labs that will work with partners on IoT technology research, development and proof-of-concept modeling.

SAP also debuted several IoT software packages for system connectivity and operations, and announced plans to develop additional IoT applications for cities and for the agriculture and energy industries. And SAP acquired PLAT.ONE, an Italy-based company that has developed an IoT and machine-to-machine application platform.

Hyper-Converged Technology 'Unicorn' Nutanix Goes Public

Hyper-converged systems builder Nutanix finally went public this week, selling 14.87 million shares on the Nasdaq exchange. While the shares were initially priced at $16, trading quickly pushed the share prices Friday morning to $26.50.

Thursday night, before the start of trading, the company's value was placed at $2.18 billion, according to the New York Times.

While Nutanix had originally planned an IPO in January, the company held off due to unfavorable market conditions.

Arctic Wolf Launches Channel Program, Names New Top Sales Exec

Security technology startup Arctic Wolf wins kudos this week for focusing on the channel by launching its first partner program and hiring a new sales vice president with a history of growing channel sales.

Arctic Wolf, which develops a Security Operations Center-as-a-Service offering, hired Nick Schneider (pictured) as its first head of worldwide sales. Schneider came from Code42, where he was vice president of North American sales, and before that held channel and business leadership jobs at Compellent. He has launched numerous channel programs during his career.

The new Apex Partner Program, for both reseller and referral partners, offers a range of services and content, such as deal registration and co-branding and co-marketing opportunities – all designed to help partners drive recurring revenue business.

NetApp Offers Partners SMB Storage Sales Exclusivity

NetApp is in the process of rolling out a "hard deck" initiative and other changes to its channel program that are designed to help partners accelerate growth in the small and midsize business market.

Under the hard deck plan, NetApp will draw a line between its top 1,000 accounts and all other customers. While partners can and do play a sales role in working with those top-tier accounts, all business with customers below that line will be conducted exclusively through channel partners. The policy is effective Oct. 31.

Mid-size businesses are a big part of the storage market, and NetApp's decision to guarantee exclusivity for the channel in selling to them is a big win for NetApp and for its partners.

Fortinet Expands Security Fabric Partner Ecosystem

And while on the subject of improving business opportunities for channel partners, Fortinet wins applause this week for extending its Security Fabric ecosystem with the launch of a Fabric-Ready Partner program for third-party integration.

Under the initiative, the Security Fabric ecosystem will be opened up to validated third-party vendors with peer-to-peer integration and commitments to ongoing interoperability. That's expected to make it easier for solution providers to pair Fortinet's products with products from other vendors, increasing the strategic value of the solutions that partners can provide.

The first batch of partners in the new program include endpoint, cloud, SIEM, management and vulnerability technology vendors including Brocade, Carbon Black, Centrify, Nozomi Networks, Pallerra, Pulse Secure, Qualys, Tufin, UBlqube, VeriSign, WhiteHat Security and Ziften