5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Jan. 5

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Microsoft for its bid to acquire Avere Systems in a move to expand its hybrid cloud service capabilities.

Also making the list this week are McAfee for completing its acquisition of CASB technology developer Skyhigh Networks, rising security star AlgoSec for raising $36 million in its first bid for outside financing, Opaq Networks for its adoption of an all-channel sales model, and Cohesity for a key hire to boost its North America channel sales.

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.

Microsoft To Acquire Avere Systems In Hybrid Cloud Bid

Microsoft took a major step to strengthen its position in the hybrid cloud computing market this week, striking a deal to acquire Avere Systems, a developer of technology that provides fast access to file-based data on hybrid cloud systems.

The Avere OS system provides access to file-based data sitting in on-premises flash storage appliances and in hybrid cloud systems, while its FlashCloud software links public and private clouds. The company also offers its technology as a virtual appliance.

By adding Avere's technology to its cloud portfolio, Microsoft will allow customers in such industries as financial services, life sciences, and media and entertainment to run complex, data-intensive workloads on Microsoft Azure cloud systems.

That will boost Microsoft's ability to meet the needs of customers whose IT operations span the data center, the cloud, and hybrid combinations of the two.

McAfee Closes Skyhigh Networks Acquisition, Touts Cross-Sell Opportunities For Partners

While on the topic of acquisitions, McAfee expanded its presence in the fast-growing cloud cybersecurity market this week when it completed its acquisition of Skyhigh Networks, a provider of cloud access security broker services.

The acquisition is McAfee's first major acquisition since spinning off from Intel in April. McAfee executives have said the combination of the company's endpoint security technology and Skyhigh's CASB offering will create the cybersecurity architecture of the future.

The acquisition also wins applause because it's expected to generate new cross-sell opportunities for solution providers who work with both McAfee and Skyhigh Networks.

Rising Security Star AlgoSec Raises $36 Million In Financing

At 14 years old, AlgoSec is hardly a startup. But the security policy management software vendor, a rising star in the IT security sector, wins kudos this week for raising $36 million in financing in the company's first external funding in its history.

Until now the company, with its co-founders still serving as CEO and CTO, has bootstrapped its growth to its current 350 employees and 1,500 enterprise customers. But the company is ready for the next stage of its growth and the plan is to bring on directors and investors with experience in managing fast-growing companies.

AlgoSec already does the majority of its business through VARs, managed security service providers (MSSPs) and other channel partners. The company plans to use the new financing from private equity firm Claridge Israel to strengthen its partner ecosystem and expand the company's presence in Asia.

Opaq Networks Goes All In On Channel With Partner-Exclusive Sales Model

Opaq Networks plans to recruit between 25 and 30 regionally focused solution providers this year as the startup adopts a 100 percent channel sales model and looks to expand its midmarket presence.

The security technology company has already put a lot of work into a new partner portal that supports partner on-boarding, training, certification and deal registration while simplifying how solution providers quote out deal opportunities.

The decision to go all-channel is a radical departure from the direct sales approach taken by Bat Blue Networks and Drawbridge Networks, two companies Opaq acquired in 2017. While Opaq will continue to directly support existing Bat Blue and Drawbridge customers, channel partners will handle Opaq service deployment, provisioning, monitoring and management for all new customers.

Cohesity Nabs Former Nimble Exec To Lead Channel Offensive

Cohesity, a hot startup in the hyper-converged infrastructure and secondary storage arena, scored a savvy hire this week when it hired former Nimble Storage and NetApp sales leader Keith Macove to drive Cohesity's North America channel sales.

Cohesity tapped Macove to be the company's new senior director of North America channel sales. He is the latest of several top executives Cohesity has hired in the last 12 months as it ramps up sales and expands its channel presence.

Macove has more than 20 years of IT sales experience. He comes to Cohesity after a three-year stint as senior director of North America channel sales at Nimble Storage. Before that he worked for more than a decade at NetApp, with his last role as director of channel sales.