5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending April 27

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Amazon's AWS cloud services, which this week reported astonishing 49 percent year-over-year growth in its first quarter.

Also making the list this week are Puppet, which is making smart moves to leverage its core configuration management tool product into broader Op/Dev and IT management markets; Qlik, which expanded its partner program with a new MSP track with an eye toward business analytics-as-a-service; startup OpsRamp, which hired a chief revenue officer who gets the channel; and UCaaS powerhouse RingCentral, which now works with all 17 North American master agents.

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.

AWS Stuns Wall Street With 49 Percent Q1 Sales Growth

If there was ever any doubt about who leads the cloud services race, it ended this week when Amazon reported that its Amazon Web Services generated $5.44 billion in revenue in the first quarter -- growing 49 percent year-over-year and blowing past analysts' expectations by $190 million.

Equally impressive was the fact that AWS, with its sky-high profit margin, generated $1.4 billion in income for Amazon, accounting for about 73 percent of the company's overall profits.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos touted the company's head start over its rivals in cloud computing and said AWS has "never slowed down" since the cloud business was launched.

Generally, as companies get bigger, their pace of growth -- percentage-wise -- tends to slow. But AWS' growth has been speeding up: The cloud computing division reported 45 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2017.

"We are accelerating. We have accelerated the last two quarters," Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said of the cloud business on a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

Puppet Goes Deeper On DevOps With New Products, Expands Cisco And Microsoft Alliances

IT infrastructure automation technology supplier Puppet unveiled a wave of new and updated products this week, including new software designed to bolster the DevOps capabilities of its product portfolio.

The announcements highlight Puppet's growing stature from a company with a single product into a developer of a broad-based platform that creates far bigger opportunities for channel partners.

Puppet's flagship software, Puppet Enterprise, provides a common code base for defining applications and infrastructure -- creating a standard way to manage private and public clouds, containers, storage systems and networks. The company has shrewdly leveraged the popularity of that product to expand into new areas of IT management and DevOps.

This week Puppet debuted Continuous Delivery for Puppet Enterprise, bringing the development and operations sides of IT closer together with a "continuous integration/continuous delivery" system that helps development and operations teams share the same tools and interface. Puppet Discovery, now generally available, helps IT managers uncover assets across hybrid IT environments -- including on-premise, public cloud, container-based or virtual infrastructure.

In another sign of its growing industry influence, Puppet this week struck an alliance with Cisco to allow Puppet software to better manage Cisco devices, and delivered product updates that improve discovery and management of Microsoft Azure and Windows infrastructure. Partnerships with Nutanix and Barracuda were also announced.

Qlik Launches Partner Program For MSPs, Looks To Promote Analytics-As-A-Service Opportunities For Partners

Business analytics software developer Qlik this week launched a track within its Qlik Partner Program specifically for managed service providers who can offer the company's data analytics software as a cloud service.

The new MSP initiative is in response to growing demand from customers who want to use Qlik's business analytics and data visualization software on a service/subscription basis, according to channel chief Chris Moore.

The company unveiled other channel-focused initiatives, including plans to take a partner-led strategy for about 90 percent of its potential market, streamlining the structure of its partner program and simplifying partner revenue requirements.

IT Operations Management Startup OpsRamp Hires Chief Revenue Officer With Channel-Building Knowhow

OpsRamp, a startup challenging some big names in the IT operations management arena, has hired a new chief revenue officer who's ready to expand the company's go-to-market strategy by opening it up to a broader channel.

Mike Munoz joins OpsRamp with more than 25 years of experience leading sales teams at successful startups and big-name technology vendors. His background includes working closely with channel partners to help scale those startup businesses.

OpsRamp has been working with managed service providers who made use of the company's toolset for discovering, managing and monitoring IT assets across hybrid cloud environments. But Munoz intends to recruit resellers and systems integrators to add OpsRamp's Software-as-a-Service products to their technology portfolios.

RingCentral Adds MicroCorp To Program Roster In Bid To Capitalize On Channel Momentum

With the inclusion of MicroCorp in its partner program, Unified Communications as-a-Service powerhouse RingCentral is putting more power behind its momentum in the channel while setting its sights on a busy year for partner recruitment.

Bringing MicroCorp into the fold means RingCentral now works with all 17 master agents that do business in North America. Working with all 17 master agents means RingCentral can give subagents quick access to master agents.

The UCaaS market is growing at a nearly 30 percent annual clip, according to Synergy Research Group, and RingCentral commands nearly 20 percent of the market.