5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Oct. 13

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Dell Technologies, which unveiled ambitious plans to launch an Internet of Things Division to develop new IoT products and services, and a new channel program to help solution providers get into the fast-growing IoT market.

Also making the list are Extreme Networks for a significant upgrade of its channel program, TekLinks for expanding its presence in the IT security arena with a new cybersecurity practice,VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger's defense of virtualization versus containers at the Best of Breed Conference, and Puppet for debuting a raft of new products that bring its software automation expertise to the application development and DevOps realm.

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 Technologies Commits To Investing $1B In New IoT Division, Partner Program

Dell Technologies is getting into the Internet of Things business in a big way, unveiling this week a new division focused on developing IoT products and a new partner program to help solution providers expand into the IoT market. And CEO Michael Dell said the company will invest $1 billion in the IoT effort over the next three years.

Dell Technologies officially launched the IoT initiatives Tuesday at an event in New York. But Michael Dell (pictured) gave a preview of the plans a day earlier at The Channel Company's 2017 Best of Breed conference.

"We are bringing together all our capabilities across Pivotal, VMware, Isilon, Dell EMC. We are building gateways for edge computing," Michael Dell said at the 2017 Best of Breed conference in Atlanta. "We think there is going to be a great boom here."

The new IoT Division is headed by VMware CTO Ray O'Farrell and builds on work Dell has already done in IoT, including developing IoT gateways and enhancing Dell EMC PowerEdge C-Series servers for IoT applications. Tuesday the company added to that, announcing Project Nautilus to develop software that can ingest and query real-time data from IoT gateways; Project Fire, a hyper-converged offering from VMware for faster rollout of IoT applications; and Project IRIS, an edge-security analytics system from RSA.

Extreme Networks Readies Revamped Channel Program

Dell wasn't the only company making news at this week's Best of Breed conference. Extreme Networks wins kudos for its plans, outlined at the Best of Breed event, to launch in January 2018 an improved channel program.

That initiative incorporates partner program elements from past Extreme acquisitions, including Enterasys and Avaya's networking business, and the in-the-works acquisition of Brocade's data center networking business.

Bob Gault, Extreme's chief revenue and services officer, said the new program would offer back-end rebates of 19.5 percent for partners. The remodeled program will be aligned around selling solutions, new logos and wireless software, the executive said.

TekLinks Expands Into Security With Launch Of Dedicated Cybersecurity Consulting Group

TekLinks, a leading solution provider in cloud and managed services, made a bold move into the hot security arena this week when it launched a dedicated cybersecurity practice.

TekLinks, based in Birmingham, Ala., began developing the practice about eight months ago after it became clear the company needed to have more strategic conversations with customers around security, President Don Monistere told CRN. The company recognized an opportunity to help customers mitigate their security risks with a new consulting offering.

The practice includes advanced security services to help customers identify gaps in their security postures, including developing a security program, assessing program maturity, and providing services like penetration testing and vulnerability assessments.

TekLinks has offered security solutions for customers for some time, but the focus was on threat detection, managed firewalls and security product resale. With the new practice, TekLinks plans to take its security business to a whole new level.

VMware CEO Gelsinger Says Container Technology Not A Competitive Threat To Virtualization

Some industry pundits have declared that container technology makes virtualization technology unnecessary. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, speaking at the Best of Breed conference this week, gave a spirited defense of virtualization and said containers are far from a competitive threat.

"Ultimately, the VM is the best way to deliver a container," Gelsinger said. Virtual machines solve infrastructure and security management problems; containers solve application life-cycle management problems. "Our strategy is to bring these two things together," he said.

VMware has been doing just that with PKS, a managed Kubernetes service VMware created in partnership with Google and Pivotal.

Puppet Launches Barrage Of Products To Enable A 'New Age' Of Software Automation, DevOps

Puppet, a leader in the IT infrastructure automation space with its software configuration management tools, this week debuted an array of new products that expands the company into automation capabilities for application developers. The move aims to make Puppet – and its channel partners – into more prominent players in the all-important DevOps space.

Several of the new products, which provide application automation and container deployment, are based on software Puppet acquired when it bought continuous delivery firm Distelli a few weeks ago. Puppet also unveiled Puppet Discovery, a hybrid infrastructure management tool it developed in-house, and an update to its flagship Puppet Enterprise system.

Because of its automation capabilities, Puppet's software is already a central component of many companies' DevOps initiatives. The additions to the company's product portfolio move the company more squarely into software configuration in application development processes.