5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending March 3

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is AMD, which launched a new generation of Ryzen processors this week and put significant competitive and pricing pressure on rival Intel.

Also making the list are Tech Data for wrapping up its $2.6 billion acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions, Palo Alto Networks for its savvy acquisition of a developer of next-generation security technology, Aruba Networks for providing channel partners with a new financing option, and CenturyLink for debuting a new cloud application management system that creates opportunities for partners.

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.

New AMD Ryzen Processors Put Price, Performance Pressure On Intel

AMD unveiled three new processors in its Ryzen line this week that steps up the chipmaker's game against rival Intel, competing against Intel's seventh-generation Core products in both price and performance.

The three eight-core Ryzen 7 models are based on the new AMD Zen core microarchitecture and are targeted at PC gamers and enthusiasts. AMD said the Ryzen 5 bested Intel's Core i5 7600K processor in performance, saying the chip beat Intel's flagship product by more than 60 percent in multi-threaded CPU testing.

AMD also said its high-end 95W TDP Ryzen 7 1800X is priced at $499 while the Intel equivalent, the 140W TDP i7-6900K, costs $1,050. Intel responded by dropping its own product prices, including cutting the price of the six-core Intel Core i7-6850K on the Micro Center retail electronics website from $700 to $550.

Tech Data Completes Acquisition Of Avnet Technology Solutions

The IT distributor arena looks very different this week after Tech Data successfully wrapped up its $2.6 billion acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions on Monday.

The acquisition is expected boost Tech Data's sales – ATS has annual revenue of $9.65 billion – and supply the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor with a broad line card of IT products. The biggest impact is expected to come in Tech Data's sales of data center IT, increasing the share of the distributor's overall revenue coming from the data center from 29 percent to 45 percent.

The post-acquisition Tech Data serves some 115,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

Palo Alto Networks Acquires LightCyber For $105 Million

Palo Alto Networks acquired breach detection and remediation technology developer LightCyber this week in a move that adds advanced behavioral attack detection capabilities to Palo Alto Networks' security offerings.

Palo Alto Networks paid $105 million to acquire LightCyber.

LightCyber's sophisticated Active Breach Detection software uses behavioral analytics and anomaly detection to gain visibility into advanced and targeted attacks, insider threats and attacks that have circumvented traditional controls.

Palo Alto Networks plans to integrate LightCyber as a non-attached subscription to its security platform.

Aruba Networks Launches New Open Financing Option For Partners

Aruba Networks and its parent company, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, this week debuted a new way for solution providers to sell the Aruba Central cloud-based network management platform. Partners can now lease Aruba Central to the customer for a monthly fee bundled into a service.

Aruba Central manages and monitors Aruba's networking systems including access points, switches and branch gateways. The channel is seeing more customer demand for Opex options for acquiring IT equipment such as Aruba Central rather than making capital expense investments in IT.

HPE is providing the partner financing for the new initiative.

CenturyLink's New Cloud Application Manager Creates Revenue Opportunities For Partners

Telecommunications company CenturyLink wins kudos on both the technology and channel fronts this week with the unveiling of its new Cloud Application Manager, a platform for managing hybrid cloud systems.

Cloud Application Manager is an orchestration platform that uses cloud-agnostic application management technology that CenturyLink gained last year from its ElasticBox acquisition. Solution providers and business customers can use the platform to deploy and manage private and public cloud systems and co-location systems.

Cloud Application Manager is a potential boon for CenturyLink partners, who can wrap cloud application and workload management services around the new product to generate recurring revenue opportunities.