5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Aug. 25

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Cisco Systems, which took a big step this week to strengthen its competitive hand in the hyper-converged infrastructure arena with its $320 million acquisition of Springpath.

Also making the list are Samsung for thel launch of the Galaxy Note8 smartphone, big data startup Databricks for raising a stunning $140 million in financing, startups Kentik and Fluency for launching their first partner programs, and ClearCenter for its plans to invest up to $50 million in its partner ecosystem.

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.

Cisco To Acquire Hyper-Converged Technology Partner Springpath For $320 Million

Cisco took a big step this week to strengthen its position in the red-hot, highly competitive hyper-converged system market when it struck a deal to acquire hyper-converged software developer Springpath for $320 million.

Cisco and Springpath have been partners since early 2016 when the companies jointly launched HyperFlex, a hyper-converged infrastructure system that competes with Hewlett Packard Enterprise's HPE SimpliVity.

Cisco said the acquisition of Springpath would expand its next-generation data center offerings and accelerate the growth of its software-defined infrastructure sales.

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note8, Puts Note7 Disaster Behind It

Samsung launched its newest phone, the Galaxy Note8, this week to positive reviews with the device's larger display, enhanced security features and improved S-Pen.

The launch is particularly significant for Samsung, which is making a comeback from last year's disastrous Galaxy Note7. A number of those smartphones caught fire due to a manufacturing glitch with the device's batteries, leading to a recall and eventual discontinuation of the product. Some observers questioned whether the company could ever regain its momentum in the mobile phone market.

Samsung also wins applause for its plans to rely heavily on its channel partners to grow sales of the Galaxy Note8 to the vendor's enterprise business customer base.

Big Data Analytics Startup Databricks Raises $140 Million In Funding

Big data is one segment of the IT industry that has seen some pretty big investments from venture capitalists in recent years. But this week startup Databricks scored big time when it raised $140 million in Series D funding.

The blockbuster round of funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz, brought the company's total financing to $247 million.

Databricks develops the Unified Analytics Platform, a system based on the Apache Spark open-source data processing engine that's become a core component of many big data systems.

Startups Kentik And Fluency Launch First Partner Programs

Two startup companies, network traffic intelligence technology provider Kentik and security automation software developer Fluency, win kudos this week for launching their first channel programs.

Kentik created the Kentik Global Partner program in a bid to recruit channel partners to sell the company's Detect Software-as-a-Service offering that leverages big data and real-time analytics to provide network visibility, performance monitoring and DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attack protection.

With the new channel program Kentik partners have the opportunity to resell the Kentik network analysis software and develop services around it, including implementation, security consulting and assessment, and security monitoring.

Fluency launched its first channel program in a bid to expand its presence in the security automation, orchestration and analytics market. The two-tier Fluency Channel Partner Program offers deal registration, sales playbooks, partner education and access to the company's subscription products.

ClearCenter To Invest Up To $50 Million In Partner Ecosystem

ClearCenter, in a move to shake up the IT market with its Linux-based ClearOS operating system, is prepared to invest some serious money into its channel program, the company said this week.

This week the Orem, Utah-based company said it will invest between $40 million and $50 million around partner training and certification, marketing programs and incentive offerings over the next several years in a bid to accelerate channel sales.

The move comes just a month after the company hired Blaine Raddon, an industry and channel veteran with experience at IBM, Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, as senior vice president of sales.