5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Sept. 8

Leading off this week's roundup of companies is HPE, which saw CEO Meg Whitman publicly emphasize her long-term commitment to the company and its channel partners in the wake of reported discussions with Uber about its CEO job.

Also making the list are Cisco, for the many tools and incentives established around its retooled hybrid cloud strategy, and Avast, which unveiled a new business portfolio and partner program that better integrates the company, its offerings and its channel forces with its AVG acquisition.

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 Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

HPE CEO Whitman Vows "Long-Term Commitment" To Company, Channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman reaffirmed her dedication to the future of HPE, its partners and "the mission that we are on" in a conversation with CRN this week.

"I would like to underscore to partners that I have a long-term commitment to HPE and to the partners and to the mission that we are on," Whitman said.

Whitman, who was reportedly a top candidate to fill the vacant Uber CEO job, spoke to the rideshare company's board over the weekend of Aug. 26 after former GE CEO Jeff Immelt took himself out of contention for the position – one ultimately accepted by Expedia CEO Dana Khosrowshahi.

Whitman's pledge followed strong performance by HPE during its third fiscal quarter ended July 31, in which the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company saw its core server sales rise by 13 percent. HPE also reported 200 percent growth in SimpliVity hyper-converged sales, 30 percent growth in all-flash sales and 30 percent growth in the Aruba wireless LAN business. Whitman said the channel "deserves a lot of credit" for those results.

'Clarity' Comes To Cisco's Cloud Strategy With New Hybrid Cloud Blueprint For Partners

Cisco announced a revamped go-to-market hybrid cloud strategy, Hybrid Cloud Sales Play, designed to better guide the channel's sales efforts with new tools, incentives and product bundles.

The networking giant's five-step approach includes training, enablement and demand-gen tools, such as free access to Cisco's Business Cloud Advisor as well as Cloud Automation Strategy Workshops; incentives and rebates intended to push service revenues and profits, such as a $10,000 create-your-own-vacation sales contest; and bundles for Cisco's cloud-centric offerings, such as wrapping the app-focused CloudCenter management solution around converged and hyperconverged infrastructure products.

Partners that spoke with CRN applauded the overhauled Cisco cloud strategy, saying that it provides a much-needed blueprint for the channel to fuel cloud adoption and profitability.

Dell EMC Growing Sales, Channel Teams In Bid To Boost Storage Business

Dell EMC plans to hire "several hundred" storage specialists across its go-to-market segments, global specialty teams and channel teams, the company said during its second fiscal quarter earnings call this week.

The Round Rock, Texas-based behemoth's storage push, which will also feature a revised incentives program meant to better align the company with channel sales teams, comes amid a mid-single digit decline in Dell EMC's storage orders for the most recent quarter. Storage revenue results were flat on a quarter-over-quarter basis, as well.

As the storage market continues to experience swift change, with Dell EMC noting a widespread decline around midmarket systems amid shifts toward all-flash and hyperconverged solutions, Dell EMC underscored its focus on fixing and improving its storage approach.

Avast Relaunches Business Portfolio And Partner Program, Joining Channel Forces With AVG

Avast is making a concerted effort to integrate its business portfolio with AVG, an acquisition the company completed a year ago, with the unveiling of Avast Business. The new portfolio features a three-tiered antivirus offering and three new management offerings, all tailored toward the small-to-midsized business market.

In addition, Avast has announced a new partner program that will consolidate roughly 15,000 global Avast and AVG partners under one umbrella. Avast said its initial efforts will primarily target education, both around the combined company's new brand and its offerings, as well as lead generation for partners.

Avast's focus on the SMB market comes as a recent wave of sophisticated cybersecurity attacks have affected those businesses, many of which are beginning to show increased security-related concerns.

"We are finding that even more and more these days that the smaller companies are concerned about security … We are seeing a lot of our customers, especially the smaller ones, start to ask about security," Eric Gorman, executive vice president and COO of Integrated Enterprise Solutions, told CRN.

Florida Solution Providers Working To Protect Customers Ahead Of Hurricane Irma

Several Sunshine State-based solution providers are working to help clients secure their businesses as Hurricane Irma, a massive Category 4 storm, threatens to make landfall in Florida this weekend.

United Data Technologies, LAN Infotech, Focal Point Solutions Group and Champion Solutions Group are among the companies ensuring its clients have the proper support and business continuity measures in place ahead of the storm – especially smaller clients that may possess limited resources.

Planning disaster recovery switch-overs ahead of time, shutting down potentially vulnerable IT assets in an orderly fashion and maintaining communication with customers were among the things they've been emphasizing as Irma approaches the Southeastern U.S.