5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending July 20

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Microsoft, which reported that its Azure and Dynamics 365 cloud products have gained significant market momentum.

Also making the list this week are Intel for staffing up for an anticipated push into the GPU market; IoT startup Seeq for its channel expansion plans; Salesforce for a savvy acquisition in the AI technology space; and Pax8 for its new program that helps MSPs and solution providers offer Azure services.

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 Reports Serious Momentum For Azure, Dynamics 365

Microsoft wrapped up its fiscal 2018 with strong sales growth for its key cloud computing products.

This week, the software giant reported that in its fourth fiscal quarter (ending June 30) sales of its Azure cloud platform grew 89 percent year over year while its Dynamics 365 set of ERP and CRM applications recorded 61 percent sales growth. Aside from the cloud, sales of the vendor's Surface devices increased 25 percent.

Channel chief Gavriella Schuster told CRN that Microsoft channel partners have been a key driver in the growth of Azure sales. Microsoft has been updating its partner programs over the last year, including its fast-growing Cloud Solution Provider program, and that has helped spur channel sales of the company's cloud products.

Microsoft broke the $100 billion revenue barrier in fiscal 2018, reporting total revenue of $110.36 billion, up more than 14 percent from $96.57 billion in fiscal 2017.

Intel’s AMD Talent Raid Raises Buzz Around GPU Plans

Intel appears to be readying a new push into the graphics processing technology arena with a new line of GPU processors and the chipmaker has been hiring senior talent from rival AMD and elsewhere in preparation.

Intel has made big hires in the last year that have boosted its GPU development efforts, including Raja Koduri, AMD's former chief GPU architect who is now leading Intel's Core and Visual Computing Group; former AMD chip design veteran Jim Keller; and most recently former AMD senior director of platform engineering Joseph Facca, who started working at Intel last week.

Intel has also brought back Tom Forsyth, who was a key architect in an earlier attempt at building a dedicated GPU and is now working with Koduri.

With Funding Infusion, IoT Analytics Startup Seeq Plans Channel Expansion

Seeq, a developer of analytical software for industrial Internet of Things applications, wins kudos for its plans to double its channel partner roster by next year after the company raised $23 million this week in a Series B funding round.

Seattle-based Seeq has recruited about 40 partners since launching its channel effort last year. This week the company's chief marketing officer, Michael Risse, told CRN that the company would like to double that number by 2019.

The company doesn't have a specific goal in terms of how much of Seeq's sales go through the channel. The intent is to leverage the channel to broaden the company's geographic and vertical industry coverage.

Salesforce Beefs Up AI Capabilities With Datorama Acquisition

Salesforce this week struck a deal to acquire Datorama, an Israeli-American startup that provides an artificial intelligence service to marketers that will be integrated into the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

The move adds momentum to Salesforce's recent aggressive push into AI with its Einstein platform. Dataorama's technology will expand Salesforce's ability to provide data integration, analytics and intelligent insights through its Marketing Cloud service.

Datorama already has more than 3,000 customers using its technology to optimize marketing campaigns, automate reports and accelerate decision-making processes.

Pax8 Initiative Helps MSPs Expand Their Azure Capabilities

Cloud distributor Pax8 this week unveiled a new program designed to give channel partners – especially managed service providers – assistance in working with Microsoft's popular Azure cloud platform.

The new Wingman Professional Services aids partners that are adopting Azure and could use some technical assistance. The program provides cloud architects and engineers who can help MSPs with planning, assessing, designing, migrating, customizing and optimizing Azure cloud solutions for their customers.

Solution providers and MSPs don't want to miss the opportunities created by the rapidly growing demand for Azure. But some may be hesitating, fearing they lack the skills and expertise needed to deliver Azure services. Pax8's new program offers a way to overcome that hurdle.