5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending March 24

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Dell EMC for its stepped-up hiring in its channel operations. Following the EMC acquisition many observers expected personnel cutbacks, so the hiring blitz is a welcome surprise.

Also making the list are Accenture for its $900 million plan to retrain 200,000 employees in next-generation technologies, CafeX for embracing the channel to sell its flagship contact center software, Cisco for closing its $3.7 billion acquisition of AppDynamics, and Cisco partners for stepping up and helping customers deal with a WikiLeaks vulnerability in hundreds of Cisco products.

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.

Partners Praise Dell EMC Channel Hiring Blitz

Dell EMC plans to fill nearly 400 channel-related positions and partners are hopeful the hiring blitz is a sign that channel chief John Byrne will elevate the company's channel program as one of the industry's best.

Nearly 140 of the positions are in North America and include channel marketing, inside and outside account executives and managers, sales engineers, product marketers and sales managers, according to the Dell EMC jobs website.

The channel hiring surge comes as a surprise to some partners who assumed there would be cutbacks following Dell's $58 billion acquisition of EMC last September.

Accenture Investing $900 Million To Retrain 200,000 Employees In Next-Generation Technology

Businesses are often quick to part ways with employees whose skills and experience may not fit with a company's direction. Accenture wins kudos this week for its stated goal of spending a whopping $900 million to retrain all of its 200,000 technology-focused employees in emerging IT areas such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Accenture has already educated more than 70,000 workers on new IT architectures, intelligent platforms and automation, CEO Pierre Nanterme said this week during the company's earnings call. The plan is to have its remaining 130,000 technology employees trained on new IT within the next two years, he said.

The retraining effort underpins Accenture's focus on digital, cloud and security services, which accounted for 45 percent of its revenue between September and February.

CafeX Is Bringing Its Contact Center Software To The Channel

CafeX Communications has made expanding its channel strategy a priority for 2017 and the company is bringing its browser-based flagship software – which promises high margins – to a wider range of channel partners.

The company has also brought new channel executives on board as part of its new channel initiatives.

Until now CafeX's interaction with partners was somewhat limited to relationships with systems integrators such as Dimension Data and Carousel Industries.

CafeX's Supervisor Assist is a web-based application used by contact center supervisors to coach and manage agents during customer calls. The company is now actively seeking reseller partners throughout the U.S., Canada, EMEA and South America. Partners can now resell Supervisor Assist, generating recurring revenue and margins between 35 percent and 54 percent.

Cisco Closes $3.7 Billion AppDynamics Acquisition, Promises Infrastructure-To-User System Visibility

Cisco this week completed its $3.7 billion acquisition of cloud application and business monitoring system developer AppDynamics, a move the company said would make it the only vendor with technology that provides system visibility from the infrastructure level to the end user.

Cisco struck the deal to acquire AppDynamics in January just before AppDynamics was expected to make its IPO debut.

With AppDynamics, Cisco has said the company can offer system visibility and monitoring that covers infrastructure, networks, security and applications from the data center to the end user. That, according to the vendor, will help customers drive their digital transformation initiatives.

Cisco Partners Help Customers Remediate Wikileaks Switch Vulnerability

Cisco solution providers win applause this week for coming to their customers' rescue to help them deal with a critical security vulnerability affecting more than 300 Cisco routers and switches.

Cisco disclosed last week that it had discovered that hundreds of Cisco devices were vulnerable after WikiLeaks made public a set of CIA documents. Cisco's Catalyst switches were the most affected, including many of the 2960, 3560 and 3750 series, as well as Cisco's IE 2000 and 4000 Industrial Ethernet series of switches.

Cisco is currently working on a fix for the vulnerability. Until then, solution providers have been working with customers to avoid problems, such as by disabling the Telnet protocol as an allowed protocol for incoming connections.