5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Nov. 18

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Aruba Networks, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise subsidiary, for its aggressive plans to develop products for SMB customers that compete with rival Cisco Systems.

Also making the list is distributor Avnet for offering a managed security service for solution providers, Internet of Things startup Particle for snagging some critical venture capital that will help it gain a lead in the nascent IoT market, Cyberbit for launching its first North America channel program, and Splunk for a savvy hire in the cloud application marketing realm.

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.

HPE's Aruba Networks Readies SMB Networking Products, Eyes Software Acquisitions

Aruba Networks is developing a new line of low-end switching and wireless networking products that the company will use to challenge rival Cisco in SMB markets.

Aruba is a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Aruba CEO Dominic Orr (pictured) told CRN this week that Aruba intends to leverage HPE's vast SMB channel network to break into the SMB market early next year.

Aruba also intends to accelerate its acquisitions of software companies with technology that can be used to expand the capabilities of its platform architecture. In recent years Aruba has acquired software companies at a rate of one or two a year, such as its 2013 acquisition of Meridian, a provider of a platform for building custom mobile applications.

Avnet Launches Managed Security Offering For The Channel

Security solutions are in high demand these days, but not every solution provider has the capacity or expertise to handle IT security. Distributor Avnet wins kudos this week for launching a managed security service that will provide channel partners with the opportunity to offer comprehensive security solutions to their small and midsize customers in the health-care and retail industries.

Avnet said the new service, called Recon, will make it easier for solution providers to provide customers with intrusion detection, vulnerability assessment, and security incident and event management (SIEM) capabilities.

Recon is a good example of how a distributor can help even small solution providers offer complex IT solutions to their customers.

IoT Startup Particle Snags $10.4M In Funding, Looks To Expand Channel Program

Among developers of more mature technologies like security and big data, $10 million in venture funding is relatively small potatoes. But in the nascent Internet of Things arena, it's quite the boost for startup Particle and its efforts to market a platform for developing secure IoT software.

The $10.4 million in funding Particle disclosed this week will help the company continue building Particle Cloud, which is already being used by 90,000 developers and engineers.

CEO Zach Supalla told CRN that the funding also will help the San Francisco-based company "substantially" grow its channel program, recruiting solution providers with deep expertise in vertical markets and specific IoT use cases.

Cyberbit Launches First North American Partner Program

Security technology developer Cyberbit this week launched its first channel partner program as the company pursues a 100 percent partner-led business model in North America for its endpoint detection and response, critical infrastructure and high-value asset security products.

The channel initiative comes just eight months after the Austin, Texas-based company, a subsidiary of Ebit Systems of Israel, hired former Symantec Americas channel chief Stephen Thomas as vice president of North American sales.

Thomas told CRN that the new program is designed to be "highly profitable" for partners.

Splunk Hires Salesforce.com Executive As Its New CMO

On the strategic personnel front, Splunk scored big this week when it hired Brian Goldfarb (pictured), a senior vice president of cloud application marketing at Salesforce.com, to be the big data company's new chief marketing officer.

Splunk has experienced fast growth selling its operational and machine data management software. The company began offering a cloud version of its software in October 2013 and ramping up the cloud side of its business is a top priority. With his background in cloud application marketing, Goldfarb is a smart addition to Splunk's executive ranks.