5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Sept. 22

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Amazon Web Services, which took the cloud price battle to a new level with plans to bill customers by the second for cloud services.

Also making the list are Oracle for its own plans to out-compete cloud service rivals, Internet of Things technology developer Itron for its deal to acquire IoT heavyweight Silver Spring Networks for $830 million, Ruckus Wireless for upgrading its partner program during a time of uncertainty for partners, and DevOps superstar HashiCorp for launching its first partner 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 5 Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

AWS To Bill By The Second For Virtual Linux Servers

Amazon Web Services upped the ante in the cloud price wars this week when it announced that it would become the first major public cloud service operator to bill customers by the second for virtual servers and storage.

While AWS currently offers per-hour metering, competitors Google and Microsoft have charged by the minute for their cloud platforms.

AWS will now measure usage down to the second on Linux machines for EC2 compute instances and Elastic Block Store volumes.

Oracle Details Two-Layer Cloud Strategy To Undercut AWS Prices

AWS wasn't the only cloud service provider playing hardball this week. Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison outlined a strategy to attack the public cloud market through services that deliver cost benefits and more flexible consumption plans.

Ellison described discrete strategies for the Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service layers of Oracle's cloud offerings, both designed to undercut the prices of rival cloud providers.

On IaaS Oracle will match AWS list prices for compute and storage, but deliver the services at faster speeds that reduce overall costs, he said. On PaaS, which includes Oracle database, analytics and middleware software, the vendor is pushing to develop advanced automation software that allows customers to slash labor costs associated with running database systems.

Itron To Acquire IoT Heavyweight Silver Spring Networks In $830 Million Deal

Itron, a developer of technology and software for connecting and analyzing data at the edge of utility networks, struck a deal this week to acquire Internet of Things networking company Silver Spring Networks for $830 million.

Silver Spring develops products for creating IoT networks, including smart streetlight and smart energy grid systems.

Vendors have been aggressively building up their IoT portfolios by acquiring startups with IoT analytical, connectivity and operational technologies. Itron's savvy acquisition of Silver Spring Networks will boost the company's position in the nascent IoT arena.

Ruckus Unveils Revamped Channel Program With Higher Margins, New Specializations

Ruckus partners have been through a tough stretch of uncertainty and disruption in the last year as the company was acquired by Brocade Communications, which now plans to sell Ruckus to Arris when Brocade is acquired by Broadcom later this year.

This week Ruckus gave its channel ecosystem a shot in the arm when it launched a revamped partner program with improved margins, new incentives and rewards, and new specializations designed to drive Internet of Things sales.

Raelyn Kritzer (pictured) a longtime Brocade channel manager who was just named Ruckus Wireless' new channel chief, is leading the initiative. In an interview with CRN she vowed that once all the corporate shifts are complete Ruckus and its partners will come through stronger than ever.

DevOps Superstar HashiCorp Launches First Partner Program

HashiCorp, a rising star in the DevOps tools arena, wins kudos this week for launching its first channel program with the goal of cementing its enterprise relationships and building new ones.

HashiCorp, whose technology was born in a dorm room, has been steadily building up its enterprise customer base. While the company has had informal relationships with systems integrators that implemented the startup's tools for provisioning, securing and running a distributed application infrastructure, company executives said it became clear a formal program was needed to better serve enterprise customers.

The new HashiCorp Partner Network will serve both resellers and systems integrators.