5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending July 21

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Microsoft, which provided a view of its Internet of Things strategy this week through a partnership with Johnson Controls.

Also making the list are Synnex subsidiary Concentrix for its digital services acquisition, distributor Ingram Micro and security company ForeScout for some savvy executive hires, and endpoint security technology vendor ESET for expanding its channel program.

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.

Microsoft Takes Significant Step Into IoT Via Connected Thermostat Partnership With Johnson Controls

Microsoft gave some signs of its Internet of Things strategy this week when it unveiled a partnership with Johnson Controls to develop a connected thermostat.

The GLAS thermostat, which will be manufactured by HVAC vendor Johnson Controls, will be integrated with Microsoft's Cortana intelligent personal assistant technology and run on the Windows 10 IoT operating system.

The GLAS thermostat is significant because it signals Microsoft's direction in IoT, the first manifestation of its strategy to provide the technology building blocks that partners and other companies will use to build industry-specific IoT systems.

Last year, Microsoft said it would develop Cortana for use in household appliances. And Windows 10 Creator was updated in March to allow any smart appliance with a screen to run Cortana.

Concentrix To Acquire Digital Services Powerhouse To Boost Mobility, Business Intelligence Skillset

Synnex subsidiary Concentrix is buying a 300-person digital products and strategy firm in a move to gain a competitive edge around enterprise mobility and business intelligence.

With the acquisition of Sydney, Australia-based Tigerspike, Concentrix gains a range of digital competencies ranging from strategy, to systems design and systems integration, to platform and mobile application development services.

Tigerspike's forte is blending technology and human expertise with the use of data and digital to maximize value for customers.

Ingram Micro Accelerates Cloud Charge With Savvy Hires

Ingram Micro has recruited a pair of key executives in a move that's expected to give the distributor's cloud solutions business a boost.

This week Ingram Micro said it had hired Richard Duffy, the top sales executive at cloud platform company AppDirect, to serve as senior vice president of Ingram Micro's Global Cloud Platform Group where he will oversee the distributor's Odin, Ensim, APS Connect, Federation and Concerto Cloud Orchestration portfolio.

Duffy grew sales at AppDirect from $1 million to $100 million in four and a half years and helped the company achieve a $1 billion valuation.

Ingram Micro also hired Tim Fitzgerald as vice president of North American cloud channel sales, where he will be in charge of growing and developing the distributor's cloud platforms, marketplaces and services in the U.S. and Canada. Fitzgerald joins Ingram Micro from distributor Avnet, where he was the chief strategist for the distributor's Cloud Solution division.

ForeScout Snags New Executives From FireEye, Fortinet To Build Up "Powerhouse" IoT Team

Speaking of critical hires, security technology developer ForeScout this week disclosed that it recruited three security industry veterans as the company looks to build up its Internet of Things security practice.

Topping the list of hires was Ryan Brichant, previously chief technology officer of IoT and critical infrastructure at FireEye. As ForeScout's vice president and CTO of global critical infrastructure, Brichant will be responsible for developing ForeScout's industrial control system and operational security business.

Also hired away from FireEye was Julie Cullivan. At ForeScout, she will lead the company's cross-functional operational initiatives and CIO and senior vice president of business operations.

And former Fortinet executive Michelle Spolver is now ForeScout's senior vice president and chief communications officer, overseeing internal and external communications and generating global market awareness for the company.

ESET Boosts Channel Resources After Seeing Strong Growth With Partners

Endpoint security technology developer ESET wins kudos this week after the company said it's enhancing its partner program as it sees strong growth around the channel.

ESET is launching its first Partner Advisory Council to represent partners in North America. The vendor is also beefing up its channel program offerings with more marketing materials and MDF, and has revamped its sales and technical certification offerings with online and in-person training.

ESET has also added a Cybersecurity Awareness Training program through which partners can offer their business customers a free session to educate employees on best security practices.