5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending March 28

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include Cisco's ambitious plans to become a cloud service provider, Hewlett-Packard's latest additions to its PartnerOne program, some big venture capital wins by a pair of young companies, aggressive cloud service price cuts by Google, and an interesting Dell acquisition that moves that company squarely into the business analytics arena.

Cisco Aims To Disrupt Tech Industry With Public Cloud Offensive

Cisco this week unveiled ambitious plans to offer public, private and hybrid cloud services hosted within a network of Cisco and partner-owned data centers around the world. The plans, launched at the company's annual partner conference in Las Vegas, take direct aim at cloud competitors such as Amazon Web Services, Hewlett-Packard, Google and IBM.

Cisco executives touted the plan as the company's return to the role of industry disrupter. Executives also promised that the cloud offerings would provide partners with greater opportunities and richer profitability models than those offered by competitors.

HP Bulks Up Channel Program With Marketing Initiatives, Cloud Specializations

Hewlett-Packard also held its channel partner program in Las Vegas this week where it unveiled a number of initiatives and incentives that add to its recently revamped PartnerOne channel program. The conference also provided the backdrop to CEO Meg Whitman's (pictured) declaration that now is the time for solution providers to pick HP as their primary IT vendor.

To back Whitman's call, HP is setting up a new demand-generation system that will streamline the hand-off of sales leads to partners and building an online "co-marketing zone" with marketing materials for solution providers. The vendor is also adding cloud computing specializations to PartnerOne with new training, incentives and rebates.

Hortonworks And Actifio Raise $100M In Financing -- Each!

Any company that raises $100 million in venture capital is likely to make our "Came to Win" list. Not one, but two companies managed to hit that lofty financing goal this week.

Hortonworks, a supplier of Hadoop big data software, raised $100 million from BlackRock, Passport Capital and others, bringing its total to $198 million in venture funding since its 2011 launch. The company will use the money to expand its global operations and partner ecosystem.

Actifio, a developer of technology that businesses use to manage all copies of their data, raised $100 million from Tiger Global Management and other investors, bringing its total funding to about $207 million. It plans to use the money to expand its go-to-market efforts.

Dell Dives Into Predictive Analytics With StatSoft Acquisition

Dell has aggressively expanded its lineup of IT infrastructure and management offerings through such acquisitions as Quest, SonicWall, Force10 and EqualLogic. This week the company took a big step into the realm of big data when it acquired StatSoft, a developer of predictive analytics software, for an undisclosed sum.

The move puts Dell on a more level playing field with IBM and its SPSS software (acquired in 2009), SAP and its recently acquired KXEN, and Oracle Data Mining, among others. It's also the best evidence yet that Dell intends to expand its software offerings beyond core data center operations.

Google Challenges Amazon With Cloud Service Price Cuts

Google slashed prices for many of its cloud services this week and debuted a program that gives customers volume discounts without having to predict beforehand how much capacity they need. The aggressive price cuts, which ranged from 32 percent to as much as 85 percent, were clearly aimed at cloud rival Amazon Web Services.

Google executives said the cost of computing hardware and other cloud infrastructure components has fallen between 20 percent and 30 percent over the past five years and Google was simply passing those savings along to customers. One day later AWS announced price cuts ranging between 10 percent and 40 percent for its Elastic Compute Cloud services and up to 65 percent for its Simple Storage Service.