5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending March 30

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Plantronics, which made a big play for leadership in the unified communications and collaboration space this week with its deal to acquire Polycom for $2 billion.

Also making the list this week are Sanity Solutions, which is saving its customers millions by migrating them from public clouds to a hybrid computing model; Cisco, Intel and Samsung, which, according to a report, are the innovation leaders in the Internet of Things; security startup Opaq Networks for its savvy acquisition of FourV Systems; and Pure Storage and Nvidia for developing a channel-only system for AI tasks.

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.

Plantronics To Buy Polycom In $2B Unified Communications Blockbuster

Communications equipment giant Plantronics shook up the unified communications arena this week when it struck a $2 billion deal to acquire UC and videoconferencing giant Polycom.

The combination of the two companies will give Plantronics some serious momentum to conquer the crowded UC and collaboration technology market. The new company will offer one of the broadest portfolios of communications and collaboration products in the $40 billion UCC market and be better positioned to compete against Cisco and Microsoft.

Company executives also said the new entity would offer a stronger business proposition for channel partners by removing the costs of managing complexity.

Sanity Solutions Is Saving Customers Millions By Switching From AWS To Hybrid Cloud

Sanity Solutions, a fast-growing strategic service provider and Dell EMC Titanium partner, has found a winning formula for market success: Helping its customers save millions of dollars by transitioning them from public cloud systems toward a hybrid cloud strategy.

Despite the hype surrounding cloud computing, executives at Sanity Solutions, one of CRN's 2018 Tech Elite 250, say that businesses that rely heavily on Amazon Web Services and other public cloud systems often don't know how much they're spending on cloud services.

Sanity recently conducted a total-cost-of-ownership analysis of one customer's AWS spending, about $2.5 million per year, and demonstrated that a hybrid approach would save the customer $4.5 million over five years.

Sanity's pitch is that a hybrid computing strategy can be more cost-effective when a business is running a lot of predictable processing workloads month after month.

Cisco, Intel And Samsung Lead The Industry In IoT Patent Filings

The Internet of Things arena is wide open with most of the IT industry's heavyweight vendors maneuvering to out-innovate their competitors and gain a competitive advantage in this nascent market. So who's winning?

A new VDC Research report this week gives a hint with the finding that Cisco Systems, Intel and Samsung have filed the most IoT-related patent applications in the U.S. over the last nine years. Cisco led the way with 200 IoT-related patent applications while Samsung had 151 and Intel had 136.

Trailing those three were Qualcomm with 96 IoT-related patent applications, AT&T with 84, and IBM with 72. Microsoft, Amazon and Google each had 30 or fewer applications.

Chris Rommel, one of the report's authors, said patents and patent applications are a good indicator of innovation.

As for the number of patents actually awarded in the IoT space, Samsung was the winner in 2017 with 133, followed by Intel with 109 and Cisco with 91.

Opaq Networks Beefs Up Its Risk And Compliance Reporting With FourV Systems Acquisition

Security startup Opaq Networks made a savvy acquisition this week when it struck a deal to buy FourV Systems, a developer of software that delivers reporting and continuous risk management data to businesses and organizations.

Managed security service providers face the challenge of documenting the value they provide to customers when they monitor their IT systems. The FourV GreySpark technology provides a way to automate the capture of information about neutralized security threats, streamlining the assessment of customers' security systems and improving regulatory compliance efforts.

Opaq Networks can now offer MSSPs a more effective and efficient system to provide their clients with security assessment snapshots and continuous risk monitoring and enforcement.

Pure Storage, Nvidia Jointly Develop Channel-Only, AI-Ready System

All-flash storage manufacturer Pure Storage and high-performance processor maker Nvidia win kudos this week for developing a purpose-built artificial intelligence-ready system that is being sold exclusively through the channel.

The new AIRI system combines Pure Storage's FlashBlade all-flash storage array for unstructured data, Nvidia's DGX-1 GPU-based system for AI, and new Pure Storage software for scaling the system up to four nodes.

AIRI, for Artificial Intelligence Ready Infrastructure, is architected for modern analytical and AI tasks and is targeted at ensuring that data scientists have the data they need to be productive, according to Pure Storage and Nvidia.