5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending May 12

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Cisco for its latest acquisition, an artificial intelligence/machine learning technology developer that will boost the capabilities of Cisco's Spark unified communications products.

Also making the list are Verizon for winning a battle with AT&T to buy Straight Path and its wireless spectrum, Dell EMC for its new competitive networking gear and channel program offerings, Ivanti for its newly revamped channel program, and RedLock for its new security technology and 100 percent commitment to the channel.

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 To Acquire MindMeld For $125M, Steps Up Competition With Microsoft

Cisco struck a deal this week to acquire MindMeld, a startup developer of advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, for $125 million. The technology is used to make voice and chat assistants more responsive, allowing businesses to create intelligent conversational interfaces for applications and devices.

Cisco plans to integrate the MindMeld technology into its Cisco Spark system, the company's flagship unified communications and collaboration product line.

Channel partners said the acquisition is aimed at making Cisco Spark more competitive against UC&C rival Microsoft.

Verizon Beats Out AT&T In Acquisition Battle Over Straight Path Communications

On the topic of savvy acquisitions, Verizon beat out competitor AT&T this week to acquire wireless spectrum holder Straight Path Communications for $3.1 billion following a month-long bidding war.

Verizon came out on top, easily topping AT&T's bid of $1.6 billion with its all-stock offer. By acquiring Straight Path, Verizon gains valuable – and hard to come by – millimeter wave spectrum licenses that cover the entire U.S., including within the top 40 markets.

The victory came at a high price – a more than 400 percent premium to Straight Path's closing stock price of $36.48 on April 7, the day before it entered into an initial merger deal with AT&T.

Dell EMC Takes Aim At Cisco With New Open Networking Push

Dell EMC unveiled new state-of-the-art networking products at the Dell EMC World conference this week, putting competitive pressure on networking powerhouse Cisco.

The company debuted the industry's first 25-Gigabit Ethernet top-of-rack platform enabled for open networking, as well as a new 10/100-Gigabit Ethernet open networking top-of-rack switch, 100-Gigabit Ethernet fabric uplinks, and a 10/100-Gigabit Ethernet switching platform for campus environments.

On the channel side, Dell EMC also wins kudos for adding a flexible consumption element to the Dell EMC Partner program's rebate system, and for arming partners with new market development fund resources through the company's Partner Marketing Institute turnkey site.

Ivanti Launches Revamped Channel Program To Better Align Partners

IT systems management company Ivanti wins applause this week for launching an improved partner program with higher margins, improved marketing resources and enhanced deal registration capabilities.

Ivanti created the new program to better align the company's various partners following a series of mergers and acquisitions in recent years. In January LANDesk and HEAT Software merged to form Ivanti, and before that LANDesk had bought a number of companies including Appsense, Wavelink and Shavlik.

Ivanti is combining what it said are the best elements of the partner programs of its predecessor companies to create a newly integrated channel program that partners can leverage to build Ivanti practices.

RedLock Raises $12M, Introduces New Cloud Security Technology To The Channel

Security developer RedLock said this week it is adopting a 100 percent channel strategy and debuted a cloud security system that provides visibility, monitoring and control over public cloud infrastructure.

RedLock also said it has raised $12 million in a Series A venture funding round led by Sierra Ventures and Storm Ventures.

So RedLock wins kudos on the channel, technology and venture financing fronts.