5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending April 28

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Riverbed Technology, which unveiled a strategy to further invest in partners selling end-to-end Riverbed solutions.

Also topping the list is application vendor Infor for striking a deal to acquire Birst, a developer of cloud-native data aggregation, business analytics and visualization software; Xerox for launching new channel-exclusive workflow apps to convert paper-based processes into automated digital workflows in vertical markets; Pivot3 for releasing a new software platform; and Amazon Web Services for reporting that its cloud business has grown by 43 percent year over year during its first-quarter earnings.

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.

Riverbed Redesigns Channel Strategy, Launches Services Attack

Riverbed Technology this week said it is investing more in the channel and outlined plans the company said would create more opportunities for partners to sell end-to-end Riverbed solutions.

Company executives, speaking at the Riverbed Partner Summit 2017, said they plan to devote more resources to partners the company now does most of its channel business with.

To boost revenue for these select partners, Riverbed unveiled new "paths to profitability" that revolve around cloud networking, end-to-end visibility and a new network-as-a-service delivery platform that will become available in a few months for partners to sell.

Partners said the initiatives, especially the new services push, would drive new sales opportunities and help them expand their Riverbed practices.

Infor Strikes Deal To Buy Birst

Application vendor Infor struck a deal this week to acquire Birst, a developer of cloud-native data aggregation, business analytics and visualization software.

Businesses today are looking for more ways to extract and analyze data from their operational systems, seeking ways to better understand their customers' needs and achieve any competitive advantage they can.

Application vendors like SAP and Salesforce.com have been putting increased focus on business analytics capabilities in recent years. Infor cited the potential opportunities of combining Birst's data aggregation and business analytics capabilities with its own applications and expertise in vertical industry business processes as a winning game plan.

AWS Cloud Business Grows 43 Percent

Amazon Web Services cloud business increased by 43 percent year over year, generating $3.66 billion in sales and netting Amazon $890 million in profit for the quarter ended March 31, a slight uptick in margins from the same quarter of the previous year. AWS is now on a nearly $15 billion annual revenue run rate.

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky, speaking during the company's first-quarter earnings call, said Amazon's cloud business continues to innovate and he is particularly proud of two new products launched in the quarter: Amazon Connect, a contact center solution; and Chime, a new collaboration service.

Amazon's first quarter was the first to fully absorb seven AWS price decreases that were implemented near the end of last year.

Pivot3 Releases Acuity New Software Platform

Austin, Texas-based hyper-converged infrastructure vendor Pivot3 Tuesday released a new software platform, Acuity.

The company said its new platform is designed to power a greater variety of enterprise applications on its hardware. According to Pivot3, Acuity implements support for a state-of-the-art flash storage protocol and adds advanced policy management features that can extend across hybrid cloud environments.

"This allows many more applications to run on our platform and run well on our platform," Pivot3 CEO Ron Nash told CRN.

Xerox Will Roll Out New Workflow Apps To Partners

Xerox will roll out new channel-exclusive workflow apps to convert paper-based processes into automated digital workflows for the education, health-care and finance verticals.

The Norwalk, Conn.-based company said its workflow apps, or Productivity Packs, will be targeted at solution providers who want to deepen their vertical expertise and capabilities. According to Xerox, the Productivity Packs will be available next month and can be deployed on any Xerox ConnectKey multifunction printer. They have a manufacturer suggested retail price of $200 per pack, and only one pack can be associated with each device.