5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending June 1

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is big data software developer Reltio for raising an impressive $45 million in venture financing.

Also making the list this week is Cisco for pushing the technology envelope with a new "high-density" UCS rack server node; Extreme Networks for expanding the solution-selling training opportunities for partners; Fortinet for making its MSSP program available to a wider audience of channel partners; and FireMon for a savvy acquisition that will expand partner opportunities.

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 Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

Big Data Software Developer Reltio Raises $45M In Venture Financing

The big data arena is a pretty crowded place with lots of companies competing for attention with their business analytics and data management software.

This week big data software developer Reltio definitely caught people's attention when it raised $45 million in a Series D round of financing.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company plans to use the money to accelerate its research and development efforts, fuel its international expansion and ramp up support for global enterprise customers.

The new round brings Reltio's total financing to $117 million.

Reltio, founded in 2011, markets the Reltio Cloud Self-Learning Data Platform, a platform-as-a-service system that was originally built for master data management and data quality tasks. But more recently the vendor has been expanding into new areas such as data-driven applications, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Cisco Launches 'Highest Density' UCS System Using AMD Processors

Networking giant Cisco showed off its technical prowess this week when it debuted a new UCS rack server chassis and nodes that the company said is designed to handle compute-intensive, scale-out workload environments.

The new C125 M5 Rack Server Node boasts up to 128 percent higher processor core density compared to a 42RU standard rack of UCS servers. The C125 utilizes two AMD EPYC 7000 CPU processors - a significant change for Cisco, which until now used only Intel processors to power its UCS systems.

Cisco executives said the new system provides channel partners with the technology they need to pursue new opportunities in such areas as industrial high-performance computing environments, cloud-based network function virtualization (NFV) infrastructure and public cloud services.

Extreme Networks Brings Solution Selling Track To 'Sales Dojo' Partner Training Program

Extreme Networks has been encouraging its channel partners to take a solution-selling approach to working with the vendor's expanded product portfolio. This week the company wins kudos by helping partners do just that by adding a new element to its martial arts-themed training program.

Extreme is now offering a solution selling "belt" to partners who take part in the free Sales Dojo training program beginning in mid-June.

The solution selling belt joins others in the Sales Dojo program, including those awarded for foundational knowledge and commercial knowledge. The new training course track is intended to get partners in line with Extreme's drive to adopt a software-focused, end-to-end sales strategy, said Bob Gault (pictured), Extreme's chief revenue and services officer, in an interview with CRN.

Extreme has been integrating technology from its multiple acquisitions last year, including Zebra Networks, Avaya's networking business and Brocade's data center business. The goal now is to help channel partners sell the integrated portfolio as complete solutions.

Fortinet Makes Managed Security More Accessible To Small Partners With New Tier Pricing

Fortinet has added metered, consumption-based licensing and an entry-level tier to its MSSP program in a move that makes it easier for product-centric VARs to establish their own managed security services.

The security vendor said this week that adding the third "Silver" tier to its managed security service provider program will make it possible for channel partners with as little as $150,000 of Fortinet-related revenue, two certified FortiGate network security professionals and one certified FortiGate network security management and analysis worker, to take advantage of the MSSP program's tools and support.

Previously channel partners needed $500,000 of Fortinet-related sales and additional certified professionals to get into the two higher tiers.

The new tier and its lower requirements should allow Fortinet to bring 200 to 300 more North American partners into the MSSP program, expanding beyond the current 220 Platinum and Gold partners.

Fortinet executives said the move will help product-centric VARs who are suffering from margin erosion in their legacy businesses to more easily move into security services. That's a big deal considering the average margin for managed security services is 50 points, according to the vendor, compared to just 14 points for traditional resale activity.

FireMon Steps Up Monitoring Game With Proposed Buy Of Network Visibility Provider Lumeta

FireMon struck a deal this week to acquire cyber situation awareness provider Lumeta in a move that will expand its security tech portfolio with real-time network monitoring capabilities.

Lumeta's software is used by security teams to identify all assets on a network, including new devices, routers and cloud connections, that can create new areas of security exposure. Adding Lumeta's technology to its product lineup will help FireMon enterprise and government agency customers discover, map and analyze their on-premise and cloud connections.

The addition of the Lumeta technology should greatly expand the potential market for channel partners of both companies. FireMon intends to quickly assemble a joint FireMon-Lumeta package that solution providers can sell.