5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Jan. 20

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Hewlett Packard Enterprise for its move to boost its position in the market for hyper-converged systems by acquiring SimpliVity.

Also making the list are FireEye for recommitting itself to the channel, Oracle's ambitious plans to be a public cloud services player, Intel's new Internet of Things platform for the retail industry, and Informatica's efforts to embrace the channel.

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 To Acqure SimpliVity In Hyper-Converged Blockbuster Deal

In a move that could remake the hyper-converged system market landscape, Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week struck a deal to acquire SimpliVity for $650 million – a relative bargain given that SimpliVity was valued at roughly $1 billion less than two years ago.

HPE partners said the acquisition could drive double-digit sales growth of hyper-converged systems, similar to the growth they experienced in network hardware sales following HPE's Aruba acquisition.

HPE expects the hyper-converged market opportunity to grow from $2 billion to $5 billion during the next three years. This week's move all but ensures that HPE will get a significant piece of that opportunity.

FireEye Looks To Recommit To Partners, Make Them A Priority In 2017

Security technology developer FireEye has had a rocky couple of years – and that includes its relationships with the channel. But this week company executives at FireEye's Momentum 2017 Sales Kick Off event in New Orleans said they plan to recommit to the channel in 2017.

Worldwide sales executive Bill Robbins went so far as to call this "the year of the channel" for FireEye, saying he plans to have more than 95 percent of deals run through partners. He promised strict rules of engagement to enforce that goal.

Robbins also said FireEye is making its new products more "partner-ready" by designing, pricing, packaging and positioning them to be best sold through the channel.

Oracle Outlines Ambitious Plan To Compete In The Public Cloud

Oracle intends to aggressively compete in the public cloud infrastructure arena, outlining this week ambitious plans to take on rivals like Amazon Web Services with new cloud data centers.

Speaking at the Oracle CloudWorld event in New York, co-CEO Mark Hurd (pictured) provided a timeline for the promised data center expansion that includes new facilities in London, Turkey and Reston, Va., which are scheduled to go online by mid-2017. Oracle also unveiled enhancements to its Oracle Cloud Platform, including the unique ability to provision bare metal servers.

Oracle also took a significant step to expand its API development technology offerings this week by striking a deal to acquire Apiary.

Intel Goes On Retail IoT Offensive With New Platform

Intel made significant moves this week to be a force in the Internet of Things retail arena, debuting a new IoT platform targeting retail applications and vowing to invest $100 million over the next five years in the connected retail industry.

Speaking at this week's National Retail Federation conference Monday, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich introduced the Responsive Retail Platform, which includes retail hardware, software, APIs and sensors to help retailers collect data from digital and physical environments for tracking and managing inventory, deploying employees, and other tasks.

Retail is one of the most promising vertical industries for the use of IoT technology and Intel has clearly signaled its intention to compete fiercely in this space.

Informatica Embraces A Channel Strategy

After focusing almost exclusively on direct sales since its 1993 founding, data integration technology developer Informatica is making a sharp pivot and adopting a channel sales model.

This week channel chief Rodney Foreman, speaking at a sales kick-off event in Las Vegas, unveiled plans for a new channel program launching Feb. 6 that includes new partner accreditations, financial incentives and partnerships with global distributors and systems integrators.

While Informatica previously worked with some partners, the new initiative marks the software company's first authorized partner program.

Informatica sees the channel as a way to gain an edge in the increasingly competitive data integration and development market. The goal is to ramp up channel sales, which today account for about 5 percent of Informatica's total revenue, to 40 percent within the next five years.