5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending July 14

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Microsoft, which made some channel-friendly moves at its Inspire partner conference this week, including launching an online marketplace for ISV partner applications.

Also making the list are Intel, for its new Xeon line of processors aimed at boosting its competitive stance in the server arena; security vendors Gemalto and EventTracker, for launching new channel partner programs; Symantec, for its planned acquisition of a mobile security software developer; and Cisco, for its acquisition of a cloud security software developer.

Not everyone in the IT industry made 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 Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

Microsoft Launches SaaS Marketplace, Boosts CSP Program

Microsoft held its Inspire partner conference this week and making a number of channel-friendly moves was on the agenda. Topping the list was the launch of a B2B online marketplace through which channel partners can directly provision cloud applications from Microsoft's ISV partners.

The new platform, called Third Party Offers, has the potential to upend the current software distribution model across Microsoft's ecosystem by making it easier for solution providers to bundle third-party products with Microsoft software such as Office 365.

Partners also applauded steps Microsoft announced at Inspire to reduce potential channel conflict for cloud software sales. Microsoft, for example, will now provide its sales representatives with incentives to promote partners in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, channel chief Gavriella Schuster said in a keynote Wednesday.

Security Vendors Gemalto, EventTracker Launch Channel Programs

Two security technology companies win kudos this week for launching partner programs.

EventTracker, which historically focused on direct sales, is looking to pivot toward the channel with this week's launch of its EventTracker Partner Program. The three-tiered program, designed to provide a quick time-to-value for partners, will cover all products offered by the vendor.

Gemalto, meanwhile, unveiled a revamped partner program that marks the final piece in its partner evolution over the past year. The new Gemalto Cipher Partner Program, which goes live in February 2018, has four tiers and focuses on rewarding partners for net-new activities and providing them with enablement tools and a variety of procurement options.

Also taking deeper steps into the channel this week was Nimble CRM, a startup software developer, which launched a channel program to work more closely with solution providers in the Microsoft and Google channels.

Intel Targets Data Center Applications With New Skylake Purley Xeon Scalable Platform

Intel has been feeling some competitive heat lately from rival AMD in the market for data center server processors. This week Intel fired back with its new Skylake family of server processors aimed specifically at data center applications.

The new line, the Intel Xeon Scalable Platform, is based on the new mesh-based Purley architecture that's designed to reduce latency at high core counts. The processors are expected to help customers and partners find new ways to transform data centers to meet the requirements of new cloud, network and artificial intelligence systems.

Symantec To Boost Mobile Security Capabilities With Skycure Acquisition

Securing mobile devices is one of the biggest security-related challenges many IT managers face. So Symantec made a savvy move this week when it struck a deal to acquire Skycure, an Israeli company that develops agent-based security software for iOS and Android devices.

Skycure's software and cloud security service provides intrusion detection and prevention capabilities for employees' mobile devices. The technology uses behavioral analysis to detect threats.

The acquisition will boost Symantec's capabilities around mobile device security for both consumer and enterprise customers.

Cisco Moves To Acquire Observable Networks To Bolster Stealthwatch, Cloud Security Capabilities

Sticking with the topic of well-played acquisitions, Cisco Systems this week disclosed a deal to buy forensics security software startup Observable Networks in a bid to extend the reach of Stealthwatch, Cisco's network visibility platform, into the cloud.

Observable Networks developed network security-as-a-service technology that provides businesses with real-time visibility into network traffic, including user activity and endpoint devices, both in the data center and in the cloud.

Cisco plans to combine Observable Networks' cloud-native, machine-learning technology with its Stealthwatch system to boost network visibility, and response time, across a customer's entire IT landscape.