5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Oct. 21

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Dell EMC, which this week unveiled aspects of its new partner program and vowed to strictly enforce deal registration rules to prevent channel conflict.

Also making the list is Wipro for its deal to acquire cloud application services provider Appirio; container technology startup Rancher, for launching its first partner program; Hewlett Packard Enterprise, for going on the competitive offensive in the hyper-converged system arena; and WatchGuard Technologies for doing likewise in the secure W-Fi market.

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.

Dell EMC Rolls Out New Partner Program, Pledges Zero Tolerance For Channel Conflict

Continuing to show its allegiance to the channel following Dell's $58 billion acquisition of EMC, Dell EMC channel chief John Byrne (pictured) pledged this week to strictly enforce the company's deal registration rules to protect partners from channel conflict with the vendor's corporate account managers.

"We will have zero tolerance – zero – for anyone that violates deal registration," Byrne told CRN. "Partner is part of my strategy to attack the market. Partner is part of my sales team. I'm going to protect them."

Other details about the new partner program, including revenue thresholds for its four tiers, are still under development. But it's clear the company is listening to its partners on such issues as market development funding and rebates.

Wipro To Buy Salesforce Superstar Appirio For $500 Million

IT services giant Wipro struck a deal this week to acquire cloud consulting services firm Appirio for $500 million, a move that will strengthen its cloud service offerings and particularly boost its market position around Salesforce.com and Workday applications.

Wipro said bringing Appirio's 1,250 global employees on board will create one of the world's largest cloud transformation service companies and will be the solution provider of choice for businesses looking to modernize their business processes around next-generation cloud applications.

The acquisition is reminiscent of IBM's acquisition of Salesforce superstar and cloud application solution provider Blue Wolf in May – reportedly for more than $200 million.

Rancher Labs Launches Partner Program Around Open-Source Container Management

Rancher Labs, an emerging vendor in the world of container technology, launched a formal channel program this week in response to rapid -- and somewhat unexpected -- adoption of its technology by solution providers.

When the company released the 1.0 edition of its software in March, the startup thought the need for a channel program was still a couple of years away. But by the end of the summer, third-party implementation partners were undertaking about 50 percent of Rancher deployment projects, according to the company. And many of those partners were asking for a structured partner program.

Rancher's experience is more evidence that early engagement with the channel can pay off for startups, and that the traditional approach of starting a partner program later in a company's development no longer holds true.

HPE Takes Aim At Nutanix With More Capable, Lower Cost Hyper-Converged System

Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week took the wraps off its latest hyper-converged system offering that goes toe-to-toe against systems from market leader Nutanix in both functionality and cost, according to HPE.

While HPE executives admit they were a bit slow in getting into the hyper-converged system game, they say they're now the fast-growing competitor in the red hot market.

HPE said the latest software release that powers its hyper-converged products provides more capabilities and better scalability and availability than Nutanix systems – and with a price tag that's 25 to 30 percent lower.

WatchGuard Technologies Takes On Cisco Meraki With New Wi-Fi Cloud System

Speaking of going on the competitive offensive, WatchGuard Technologies took aim at big-name cloud Wi-Fi competitors Cisco Meraki, Fortinet and others this week by expanding its line of secure Wi-Fi services with the new WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud.

The WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud portfolio includes cloud-ready access points, a management platform, built-in wireless security, analytics and engagement tools.

The new Wi-Fi lineup is a significant step in WatchGuard's strategy to develop a total security platform that covers wired and wireless networks that can be sold around the company's Unified Threat Management system.