5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Oct. 14

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Dell EMC for debuting an all-flash storage system with a sub-$100,000 price tag aimed at midmarket customers.

Also making the list is Perficient, for its acquisition of digital services and mobility consulting firm Bluetube; Connection (formerly PC Connection), for its acquisition of IT service management provider GlobalServe; Facebook, for launching its first channel program to help launch its first enterprise offering; and Mist Systems, for its impressive venture capital funding round.

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 Launches First Midmarket-Focused VMAX System At Sub-$100K Price

With Dell Technologies having just wrapped up the EMC acquisition, observers have been watching for signs of the company's technology direction. This week Dell indicated that it's serious about serving midmarket customers when it debuted the VMAX 250 F, the first Dell EMC branded system in the flagship VMAX all-flash storage line.

The VMAX 250 F has a sub-$100,000 price tag aimed at midmarket customers looking for lower costs and improved scalability.

Partners have been enthusiastic about the potential opportunities the VMAX line presents, and the focus on a low-priced system for the midmarket bodes well for the channel.

Perficient Buys $7M Digital Consultancy With Mobile App Expertise

Perficient has moved aggressively into the digital consulting realm this year. This week, the St. Louis-based solution provider took another step in that direction when it acquired Bluetube, a $7 million digital and mobile consulting firm that will enhance Perficient's expertise around enterprise mobile applications, creative services, marketing and strategy.

Atlanta-based Bluetube lists Home Depot, the New York Philharmonic and Turner Broadcasting among its clients.

The acquisition also will strengthen Perficient's Microsoft-related services and bring with it an Elite-level partnership around Xamarin, the technology developers use to write native applications and share code across multiple platforms. It also expands Perficient's presence in the southeastern U.S.

Solution Provider Giant Connection Buys IT Service Management Firm

Connection – No. 21 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500 -- said that it acquired GlobalServe, a global IT service management company, in a deal that Connection executives say will make it easier for U.S.-based multinational firms to support the technology needs of their offshore divisions.

Connection, based in Merrimack, N.H., and formerly known as PC Connection, said business clients would be able to use GlobalServe's procurement system to work with a roster of 500 solution providers with a combined 25,000 employees across 174 countries.

GlobalServe is based in Englewood, N.J. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Facebook Dives Into The Channel With New Enterprise Offering

For the first time in its 12-year history, Facebook is turning to the channel after launching its new Workplace enterprise product.

The popular social network, with more than 1 billion users, has tapped about a dozen channel partners to sell Workplace, a collaboration, messaging and social networking solution aimed at the enterprise.

One of the partners is cloud services superstar SADA Systems, Los Angeles, which helped Google become the dominant force for several years in the cloud-based productivity suite market.

"This is just like [Google] Apps in 2007," SADA founder and CEO Tony Safoian said. "They're learning from scratch, going to market with a limited set of partners. They don't have a resale model out of the gate, but they will soon."

Mist Snags $28M In Funding Round, Vows To Build Channel Operation

Networking technology startup Mist Systems closed an impressive $28 million Series B round of funding this week. Even better are the company's plans to use some of that money to build a comprehensive partner program and drive sales for MSP partners.

Mist, founded by former Cisco executives, vowed to use some of the financing for market development funds, spifs and other components of a partner program the company plans to launch in 2017, its leaders told CRN.

The company expects to have around 50 MSP partners by the end of this year and hopes to quadruple that number in 2017.