5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Aug. 11

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Samsung, which rolled out its first certification program as well as improved training for its U.S. partners.

Also topping the list is security company RedLock, which launched a partner program for its cloud security technology; Avaya for appointing a new CEO to help the company prepare to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this fall; Tableau Software for acquiring natural language development startup ClearGraph; and CRSA for being awarded a $498 million contract to provide the Department of Defense with private cloud infrastructure.

Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week. 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 Rolls Out Certification, Improved Training For Partners

Samsung Thursday launched a certification program for its U.S. partners, as well as updated training within the Samsung partner portal.

The company said these new certifications are part of an overall push to boost sales in enterprise mobility. The certifications will be free and will be offered in the categories of mobility sales specialist, and professional display and SSD sales specialist. Samsung also enhanced other parts of its channel program, including an expansion of personalized marketing support to all partners beyond those in the Platinum and Gold tiers, and the launch of a new channel program focused on mobility.

RedLock Launches New Partner Program

Security company RedLock Tuesday unveiled its first official partner program, the CloudView Channel Program. The company, which offers a platform for enterprises to see what is inside their cloud infrastructure, said its new program offers "generous margins," marketing programs, training and enablement for partners.

Founder and CEO Varun Badhwar told CRN recently that the company has seen "amazing" growth with the channel since it first publicly unveiled its technology in May, with a focus on regional security solution providers and MSSPs.

Avaya Announces New CEO As Company Prepares To Exit Bankruptcy

Avaya announced the appointment of a new CEO Tuesday as the company prepares to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this fall. The new CEO, Jim Chirico (pictured), has been the company's chief operating officer and global sales leader, and will replace current CEO Kevin Kennedy. Avaya said Kennedy is retiring and will officially step down from his CEO and board member role on Oct. 1. He will remain an adviser to the company.

Partners, many whom have been struggling with a sales slowdown since the vendor filed for Chapter 11, cheered the reorganization and restructuring at the company and the moves' potential to turn around the company.

Tableau Software Acquires Natural Language Startup ClearGraph

Tableau Software Wednesday said it has acquired ClearGraph, a startup developer of natural language query technology used in data discovery and analysis applications. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Tableau said it will integrate the startup's technology into its software – making it easier for users to interact with information through using conversational-style search for asking questions about data.

"We're excited about this acquisition as the ClearGraph team shares our mission and is aligned with our innovation perspectives on conversational analytics," said Tableau's chief product officer, Francois Ajenstat, in a statement.

CRSA Awarded $498 Million Department of Defense Contract

Solution provider CRSA Wednesday said it was awarded a $498 million, eight-year contract with the Department of Defense to help provide the department with a robust private cloud infrastructure for highly protected workloads.

CEO Larry Prior said CSRA's private cloud platform will streamline the on-boarding of Defense Department customers – leading to reduced costs, better efficiency and improved overall security.

"We're now positioned as the industry leader for cloud and military IT," Prior told Wall Street analysts Wednesday. "With stringent security concerns, the Defense Department has lagged a bit behind other government organizations in the movement to the cloud. Now, the department is ready to take the next step in IT transformation."