5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending May 5

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Cisco, which struck a deal to acquire an SD-WAN technology developer that will help it expand its presence in that red-hot market.

Also making the list are D&H Distributing, which rolled out expanded credit lines for channel partners; Tech Data, which is expanding the range of cloud service training it offers partners; CompuCom, for a savvy hire of a top strategy executive; and Cloudflare, for developing technology that addresses the security shortcomings of IoT devices.

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.

Cisco Makes SD-WAN Move With Deal To Acquire Viptela

Cisco struck a deal this week to acquire Viptela, a developer of software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) technology, for $610 million. The acquisition, slated to close in the second half of the year, will boost Cisco's competitive position in the cloud SD-WAN market.

Cisco already offers its IWAN on-premise SD-WAN products and the Cisco Meraki cloud-based SD-WAN technology – the latter from Cisco's acquisition of Meraki in 2012.

Viptela offers a cloud-first approach to SD-WAN, according to Cisco executives, with cloud orchestration and branch network management capabilities. With the acquisition Cisco can offer customers more choice in their enterprise branch offices and WAN deployments, according to the company.

D&H Distributing Rolls Out Extended Credit Lines To Help Partners Succeed

D&H Distributing announced a plan this week to roll out $115 million in extended credit lines over the course of the year for resellers targeting SMB customers – part of a larger strategy for the coming year to make the company's channel partners more successful.

The distributor hopes the extended credit lines will help jump-start business for startup solution providers and fuel the growth of current D&H channel partners in fiscal 2018.

D&H said the credit increases would be available for more than 4,000 resellers, with some partners improving their credit lines by as much as 60 percent.

Tech Data Ramps Up Program To Help Partners Master Microsoft, AWS And IBM Cloud Systems

Distributor Tech Data wins kudos this week for its plans to acquaint newly acquired Avnet Technology Solutions partners with Microsoft Azure and Office 365, and its existing partners with Amazon Web Services and IBM SoftLayer and Bluemix.

Tech Data's $2.6 billion acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions gave TS partners access to Microsoft's cloud offerings and original Tech Data partners access to Amazon and IBM cloud services. Forecasting that the future of IT is hybrid environments, Tech Data is working to enable all of its partners around its expanded cloud service line card.

Tech Data also wins applause for a deal this week that gives the distributor access to Brocade's Ruckus wireless products, allowing it to bundle Ruckus indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi products with Brocade's ICX campus network switches.

CompuCom Hires Former Lenovo, Gartner Executive As Chief Strategy Officer

Solution provider CompuCom made a savvy hire this week, landing a leader deeply immersed in technology and strategy at Gartner and Lenovo to ensure the company stays ahead of the technology curve.

CompuCom named Hardik Shah to be its new chief strategy officer, who told CRN that he plans to accelerate the company's expertise around mobility, personalization and infrastructure management, with an emphasis on the retail, financial and health-care vertical industries. But his biggest area of focus will be enabling customers to leverage new and emerging technologies to gain competitive advantage.

Shah believes IT strategic service providers will play a critical role in creating the use cases and environments where end customers can get the most value out of their mobile devices.

Cloudflare Launches Tech For Securing IoT Devices

As demonstrated by several recent devastating Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, unsecured Internet of Things devices pose a significant security risk to the internet and the businesses that rely on it.

This week security company Cloudflare drew notice when it launched a new system for securing IoT devices that's aimed at the device manufacturers themselves.

Cloudflare's Orbit offers a new approach to security, allowing IoT manufacturers to configure their devices to connect with the Internet through Cloudflare's network. That will allow manufacturers to easily patch any vulnerabilities without having to "brick" or shut down devices.