5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Oct. 27

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Extreme Networks, which this week debuted a new channel program that unites the partner communities from its multiple acquisitions and made it clear the company will aggressively compete with networking market leaders Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Also making the list are Cisco and Google for teaming up in a blockbuster cloud computing alliance, Tenable for its new partner initiative to help solution providers narrow gaps in their cybersecurity systems, HPE for its new artificial intelligence systems that help lower the cost barrier to AI, and Palo Alto Networks for its new cloud security specialization for partners.

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.

Extreme Networks Unleashes New Partner Program, Offers Expanded Product Lineup To Challenge Cisco, HPE

Extreme Networks, holding its annual Global Partner Summit in Orlando, Fla., this week, touted its No. 3 position in the competitive enterprise networking IT market and made it very clear it intends to challenge market leaders Cisco and HPE.

Extreme Networks has been building an expanded product portfolio over the last year by acquiring product lines from Zebra Technologies, Avaya and Brocade Communications. This week the company launched a new partner program to unify the disparate channel communities that came with those acquisitions. And it revealed plans to develop a program to help partners move into the nascent Internet of Things market.

The nuts-and-bolts announcements at this week's conference were certainly significant. But more noteworthy was the swagger showed by Extreme Networks' executives when discussing their intention to aggressively compete in the networking market and in the company's plans to work with the channel to make that happen.

Cisco, Google Team Up In Blockbuster Cloud Alliance

Industry heavyweights Cisco and Google formed a high-power alliance this week to deliver a next-generation cloud system that combines Google Cloud services with Cisco's on-premises networking, hyper-converged systems and security technology.

The Cisco and Google Cloud hybrid cloud offering, which also incorporates the Kubernetes container orchestration platform, will be available for select customers in the first half of 2018 with general availability slated for the second half of the year.

The alliance gives both companies a competitive boost in the fast-changing public cloud arena. But the deal especially benefits Cisco, giving the networking giant a competitive advantage as it extends its networking and security offerings into the enterprise public cloud market.

Tenable Launches Initiative To Help Customers Narrow Their 'Cyber Exposure' Gap

Networking security tech company Tenable this week unveiled a partner program to help customers secure the disparate security tools across their IT ecosystems and build more resilient cybersecurity systems.

The problem is that as IT rapidly develops with new technology such as cloud and containers, security tools can't keep pace, leaving businesses and organizations with gaps in their IT security.

Under Tenable's new Cyber Exposure partner ecosystem, part of the company's Assure partner program, the vendor is partnering with seven companies to integrate their various products in such a way that solution providers and their customers can assemble a better security system.

The seven companies are ServiceNow, Amazon Web Services, Splunk, McAfee, CyberArk, ForeScout and InfoBlox. The seven cover what Tenable calls the four phases of the cyber exposure life cycle: asset discovery, assess, analyze and fix.

HPE Launches All-Out AI Offensive, Promises 30 Percent To 50 Percent Savings Over Custom Appliances

HPE launched a massive artificial intelligence technology sales effort this week with ProLiant and Apollo hardware platforms that undercut AI appliance prices by as much as 30 pecent to 50 percent.

HPE also outlined plans for an AI offensive through the channel that includes leading solution providers like CDW and systems integrators.

At the core of the AI effort is the new HPE Platform for Rapid Deep Learning Application Development that's based on HPE ProLiant DL380 and HPE Apollo 6500 systems. The systems are integrated with Bright Computing's software for managing high-performance computing clusters and Nvidia's Tesla V100 GPUs.

Palo Alto Networks Expands NextWave Partner Program With New Public Cloud Specialization

Palo Alto Networks is doubling down with its partners when it comes to the public cloud, this week launching a pilot for a new Public Cloud Specialization as part of the company's NextWave Partner Program.

The specialization is designed to help partners address the accelerating market for public cloud services and help alleviate partner concerns about the cloud model and what it means for margins.

Enterprises are adopting cloud computing at an accelerating rate, but they often need a solution provider to understand the shared security model. Palo Alto Networks' new specialization will help its channel partners gain that expertise.