5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending March 31

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Samsung for its debut of the impressive Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones, a move the company hopes will move it beyond last year's Galaxy Note 7 debacle.

Also making the list are Xerox for introducing a wave of new and innovative printer products, Extreme Networks for its deal to acquire Brocade Communications' data center networking business, Turbonomic for hiring a veteran Microsoft executive as its new channel chief, and big data platform developer Looker for raising a whopping $81.5 million in venture financing.

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.

Samsung Moves To Recover Its Smartphone Market Momentum With Galaxy S8 and S8+

Samsung wins kudos this week for debuting the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, the vendor's new smartphones that not only sport novel features, but in some ways even one-up rival Apple and its current generation iPhone 7.

The new phones are a strong effort by Samsung to recover from last year's Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Samsung took a huge hit to its reputation and suffered big financial losses when it was forced to recall – and eventually discontinue – the Galaxy Note 7 because the devices overheated and sometimes caught fire.

The new Samsung phones are winning applause for their larger screens, lightness and thin profile, faster processor, 25 percent reduction in power consumption, advanced biometrics authentication, Bixby virtual assistant, DeX feature for powering a desktop experience, and Knox Configure bulk over-the-air device configuration capability.

Xerox Debuts 29 New Printers In Largest-Ever Product Launch

Samsung wasn't the only company holding a splashy product launch this week. Xerox, which just split off its business process services unit at the beginning of this year, reminded everyone that it remains an innovative company by debuting 29 new printers and multifunction devices – the largest product launch in the company's 110-year history.

The new additions to Xerox's product portfolio included 17 larger freestanding A3 printers and 12 smaller tabletop A4 printers – targeting small-, midsize- and large-business customers.

Partners applauded the new product rollout, especially praising Xerox's move to put the company's ConnectKey smart workplace assistant technology (which simplifies business processes) on all of the new products – a move they said would make the portfolio more appealing to customers.

Turbonomic Names Former Microsoft Exec Its New Channel Chief

Turbonomic, the autonomic cloud application management platform developer, scored a hiring coup this week when it named former Microsoft executive Jennifer Heard to be its senior vice president, global strategic partners.

Heard spent 22 years working at Microsoft, most recently as vice president of worldwide sales and marketing strategy. Before that she held the post of worldwide corporate account and partner sales: She started at the company in 1995 as a systems engineer.

Extreme Networks Strikes Deal To Acquire Brocade Communications' Data Center Networking Business

Extreme Networks this week inked a deal to acquire Brocade Communications Systems' data center networking business from Broadcom, the company that is in the process of acquiring Brocade.

The move, combined with other recent and pending acquisitions, is another step by Extreme to make itself a more formidable competitor against Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and other networking industry heavyweights.

In early March Extreme made a $100 million bid to buy the network business of Avaya, which is currently seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Last October Extreme acquired Zebra Technology's wireless LAN business, becoming one of the world's top three WLAN enterprise campus providers.

Looker Collects An Impressive $81.5 Million In Venture Financing

Looker, the fast-growing developer of a big data analytics platform, this week closed on an $81.5 million Series D round of funding – an amount that stood out even in the big data industry, which has attracted a lot of venture capital in recent years.

CapitalG, Google parent Alphabet's growth equity investment fund, led the funding round along with other new investors Geodesic Capital and Goldman Sachs. Also participating were previous investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Meritech Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Sapphire Ventures.

The round brings Looker's total funding to $177.5 million. CEO Frank Bien told CRN that the company would use the new funding to continue development of its big data analytics platform, extend its sales and marketing efforts, and continue its international expansion – especially in the Asia-Pacific region.