5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending April 22

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is solution provider Perficient for its bold move into the digital agency services arena.

Also making the list were Unisys for its decision to expand its efforts in security technology and services, BlackStratus for its enterprise-grade SIEM technology for SMBs, Microsoft for growing its FastTrack program that helps partners and customers move to the cloud, and ZyXel for upgrading its channel program to give partners more growth opportunities.

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.

Perficient Unveils $40M Dedicated Digital Agency Unit

As solution providers transform themselves into strategic service providers, digital agency services are fast becoming the leading edge of that evolution. So kudos to St. Louis-based Perficient, which this week launched a full-service, 200-person digital agency division focused on meeting the growing technology needs of chief marketing officers.

Digital agencies deliver both technical and creative services that help customers develop Internet-based strategies and products – everything from websites and mobile applications, to search engine optimization, to email and social media marketing campaigns.

Forward-thinking solution providers like Perficient are increasingly working with CMOs. Perficient already derives about $40 million in revenue – nearly 9 percent of annual sales – from digital agency work. The new unit will provide front-end support services around creative design, branding and search engine optimization and back-end support for ecommerce and transactions.

Unisys Doubles Down On Its Security Technology And Services

The news from Unisys hasn't been very good for the pst couple of years. So the big solution provider wins applause this week for its plans to globally expand the availability of its security technology and bolster its security-related services.

This week Unisys CEO Peter Altabef (pictured) outlined plans to take the company's Stealth cybersecurity software to vertical practices around the world. Also in the works are plans to expand the company's capabilities around its security consulting and managed service offerings in both cloud and application spaces, as well as its identity management work in business process outsourcing.

And for a company that has bled a lot of red ink lately, the company's report of $5.4 million (non-GAAP) first-quarter net income this week was also welcome news.

BlackStratus Brings Enterprise-Class SIEM Security To SMBs And The Channel

BlackStratus, known for its enterprise security incident and event management technology, this week debuted its CyberShark SIEM-as-a-Service that brings enterprise-grade SIEM capabilities to partners serving small to midsize customers.

CEO Dale Cline told CRN that SMBs are "woefully unprepared for what's happening in the world around cybersecurity" compared to large businesses. With its new SIEM-as-a-Service offering, BlackStratus is filling a largely unmet need and providing opportunities for its channel partners.

CyberShark has the same SIEM capabilities as BlackStratus' enterprise product, leveraging the cloud and multitenancy to bring the ability to flag, analyze, provide intelligence and report on billions of security events at a price point SMBs can afford.

Microsoft Upgrades FastTrack Program To Accelerate Cloud Adoption By Partners, Customers

Microsoft unveiled plans this week to enhance its FastTrack program that helps customers move to cloud services like Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite, and helps partners align their competencies with customers' cloud-first, mobile-first needs.

Microsoft is now offering partners more guidance, content and best-practice materials to speed up customer adoption of Office 365. It also offers more guidance in "success plan" creation and workload scenarios that partners use to help customers identify which business processes should move to the cloud.

ZyXel Upgrades Partner Program, Cuts Out Gray Market

Speaking of partner program enhancements, networking technology vendor ZyXel Communications this week rolled out its new partner program with content and services the company said will help its resellers increase their profit margins and grow faster. The company also said it has worked to eliminate channel conflict between VARs and gray market competitors.

The vendor is touting its new ZyXel Freedom program as easier for partners to navigate – both for its 3,000 North American partners and for new partner recruits – especially managed service providers and VARs with expertise in network installations.

Key elements of the program include lifetime limited warranties on multiple products, free technical training and product webinars, 24/7 technical support, meet-or-beat competitive pricing, lead referrals, sales engineer access, and advanced return merchandise authorization replacement. And the Freedom Margin Booster gives partners a discount at distribution.