5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending March 23

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Dell EMC, which launched a new offensive against Cisco Systems in the red-hot SD-WAN space with a new virtual networking platform.

Also making the list this week are Salesforce for its $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft, solution provider World Wide Technology for getting in on the ground floor of leading-edge technology through an alliance with a venture fund company, Samsung for launching the Galaxy Tab Active2 tablet that's sold exclusively through the channel, and communications services vendor Vonage for launching its first channel 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.

Dell EMC Seeks To Outflank Cisco With New 'Open' Virtual Networking Platform

Dell EMC is doubling down on its commitment to open networking and intensifying its battle with Cisco Systems with this week's launch of a platform designed to work with SD-WAN systems from not only VMware's VeloCloud, but also technology from market powers Silver Peak and Versa Networks.

The Dell EMC Virtual Edge Platform (VEP) is an x86-based, universal virtual networking CPE (customer premise equipment) system that Dell EMC executives say can be sold to enterprises adopting SD-WAN, pitching the product as a clear alternative to buying more expensive, proprietary Cisco routers.

Dell Technologies and Cisco have been on an SD-WAN collision course since Cisco acquired Viptela just over six months ago and Dell Technologies' VMware business bought SD-WAN market leader VeloCloud in December.

Salesforce To Buy Cloud Application Integration Company MuleSoft For $6.5 Billion

Cloud application giant Salesforce struck a deal this week to acquire MuleSoft, a developer of cloud application integration and API management technology, for a whopping $6.5 billion.

MuleSoft's technology makes it possible to natively connect applications built on the Salesforce platform with cloud and on-premises applications from other vendors. The MuleSoft Anypoint Platform supports service-oriented architecture, Software-as-a-Service integration, and API management to enable customers to secure the flow of data between all applications in an enterprise.

The acquisition is a win for Salesforce and for its technology partners. Making it easier for partners who develop apps on the Salesforce platform to connect to outside applications could attract more customers to the Salesforce ecosystem.

WWT Partners With Venture Fund Company SixThirty To Get Early Access To Financial Tech Startups

Solution providers can use any competitive advantage that comes their way. So solution provider World Wide Technology wins applause this week for making the savvy move of partnering with a venture fund company to invest in young financial technology developers with an eye toward gaining early access to new products that might be of interest to customers.

WWT expects the new partnership will help the solution provider discover new technologies that it can bring to its customers’ digital transformation projects.

WWT’s partnership with SixThirty is also a win for startups, providing them with access to WWT’s extensive Advanced Technology Centers, which are designed to run hundreds of demonstrations of new products from multiple vendors simultaneously.

St. Louis-based SixThirty provides seed funding to between eight and 14 financial technology startups each year, and provides training, mentoring and networking opportunities. SixThirty also invests in cybersecurity startups.

Samsung Launches Galaxy Tab Active2, Sold Exclusively Through the Channel

Samsung this week debuted the Galaxy Tab Active2, a new tablet designed for business users with a range of rugged features and special capabilities for a number of vertical industries.

As impressive as the Galaxy Tab Active2 is from a technical standpoint, Samsung especially wins kudos because the tablet computer will be sold only by IT channel partners, the first LTE-enabled tablet from the giant company that's exclusive to the channel.

The launch is "a huge testament to the strength and the potential of our B2B push into the channel," Samsung mobile channel chief Mike Coleman told CRN. "We're starting to build B2B-specific devices that solve real business problems and that partners can make money on."

Vonage Launches Its First Channel Program To Boost Cloud Communications Sales

Cloud communications provider Vonage this week launched its first channel program with the goal of increasing sales of its Unified Communications-as-a-Service and integrated voice services through the channel.

Vonage has worked informally with master agents to sell its consumer and business communications services. But the Holmdel, N.J.-based company concluded that it needed to give partners a consistent, reliable experience and build stronger relationships with more solution providers.

Bob Crissman, who joined Vonage as the company's channel chief in September, has been the force behind the development of the new Vonage Partner Network program. He was tasked with building a strong channel program to encourage more solution providers to build out their own Vonage practices and sell Vonage UCaaS and integrated voice services into their customers' existing business processes and applications.