5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Feb. 24

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Arris International, which is taking a bold step to expand into the enterprise Wi-Fi arena with its planned acquisition of Ruckus Wireless and other assets from Brocade Communications.

Also making the list are Eaton, with its breakthrough lithium-ion-based UPS systems, IGEL's new cloud gateway product that's set to disrupt the VPN market, Ixia's commitment to direct 100 percent of its enterprise sales through the channel, and CenturyLink, for its greatly expanded channel program and plans to provide partners with products from leading IT vendors.

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.

Arris Buying Brocade's Networking Assets, Including Channel Favorite Ruckus

Telecommunications equipment maker Arris International struck a deal this week to acquire Brocade Communications Systems' Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch product line for $800 million.

Ruckus, acquired by Brocade in May, and its channel partners have been in limbo since Broadcom announced in November that it would divest itself of the Ruckus business when it completes its $5.9 billion acquisition of Brocade.

The acquisition is a smart move by Arris, which largely sells networking gear to service providers for consumer use. Ruckus is a major supplier of Wi-Fi gear for large businesses, public venues like sports arenas, hotels and other hospitality sites, and smart cities.

Buying Ruckus provides Arris with a way to significantly expand beyond its current service provider/consumer markets. It also provides some peace of mind to Ruckus channel partners.

Eaton Set To Launch Breakthrough Lithium-Ion-Based UPS Systems

Eaton is ready to shake up the commercial Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) market with what the company is calling a breakthrough lithium-ion battery-based product that's slated to begin shipping in the third quarter.

The new line of lithium-ion Eaton 1500VA UPS packs twice the battery life of a standard UPS, according to the company. Doubling the life of a standard UPS battery will result in huge cost savings for customers that, until now, have had to replace UPS batteries every few years.

It should also result in a huge competitive advantage for Eaton.

IGEL Unleashes Cloud Gateway, Steps Up Channel-Led Endpoint Management Software Offensive

Staying on the topic of leading-edge technology, IGEL stepped full force into the endpoint management software market this week with the release of a breakthrough cloud gateway product that establishes a new price performance mark for x86 device management.

The new IGEL Cloud Gateway tears apart the high-priced VPN market with a simple and secure cloud-based gateway for businesses and organizations with thousands of devices in remote offices and branch locations.

The product, priced starting at a price of $49 per user, per year in the U.S., is a market game-changer because it replaces VPN-based systems that have traditionally cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Ixia Moves To 100 Percent Channel Model For Enterprise Sales

Ixia is moving all of its application visibility and security software to the channel, announcing a new strategy this week to push all its enterprise sales through partners.

While Ixia previously leveraged partners for some sales, the company is now going all-channel for enterprise sales. Channel executive Lori Cornmesser (pictured) said the move is in response to customers who, driven by shifts in SDN, NFV and the cloud, are increasingly turning to solution providers for security technology.

The move signifies Ixia's full commitment to the channel. The vendor, in return, will seek deeper and broader engagement with customers through its partners.

CenturyLink Rolls Out First Multi-Tiered Channel Program

Communications services provider CenturyLink took big steps this week to expand its presence in the channel by launching its first multi-tiered channel program and detailing plans to make a wide range of products and services from strategic vendors available to its channel partners.

While the company has had a single-tier channel program for years, this week's announcement marks a significant expansion of the company's channel efforts – including rewarding partners that stand out in both sales volumes and commitment to CenturyLink.

The plans to make products from such vendors as Cisco, NetApp, VMware and Microsoft available to partners via the CenturyLink Ascend Metals program is a savvy move to help partners bring additional value to CenturyLink services.