5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending June 22

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Hewlett Packard Enterprise for its expanded R&D efforts in edge computing, as well as a number of other breakthrough technology and channel announcements at its Discover and Global Partner Summit conferences this week.

Also making the list this week are cybersecurity startups CrowdStrike and Cylance for raising an impressive $200 million and $120 million, respectively, in venture financing. Microsoft is a winner for its savvy deal to acquire AI startup Bonsai, as is solution provider Blueprint Technologies for developing its own data interconnectivity commercial software. And Intel makes the list for the growing acceptance of its silicon-based security technology for AI and Blockchain applications.

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.

HPE Vows $4 Billion Investment In Edge Computing, Offers New Hybrid Cloud Service

Hewlett Packard Enterprise was demonstrating both its technology chops and its leading role in the channel this week with a series of announcements streaming from the company's Discover and Global Partner Summit conferences.

CEO Antonio Neri said HPE will spend $4 billion over the next four years to accelerate the company's R&D efforts to develop new intelligent edge products, services and consumption models across a range of technology domains including connectivity, security, edge computing, automation, machine learning and AI. To get things rolling the company announced the ability to run unmodified applications from vendors such as Microsoft and SAP on HPE Edgeline converged edge systems.

HPE also introduced GreenLake Hybrid Cloud, a new pay-per-use offering that combines on-premise private cloud with AWS, Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack services. And HPE's Aruba introduced an SD-WAN solution, SD Branch, that combines new branch gateways and headend gateways with existing Aruba technology to create an integrated SD-WAN, WLAN, LAN and security solution.

But it wasn't all about new technology. For partners HPE, at its Global Partner Summit that preceded Discover, debuted the GreenLake Flex Capacity channel compensation model that offers a pay-per-use compensation model to partners selling on-premise HPE infrastructure.

Security Startups CrowdStrike, Cylance Close Serious Rounds Of Financing

Cybersecurity tech developers CrowdStrike and Cylance both scored big this week with nine-figure Series E rounds of funding from investors.

CrowdStrike received $200 million in private equity funding and plans to use some of the financing for expanded sales and marketing efforts and for channel enablement. The latter includes helping partners conduct customer security assessments and demonstrate the value of CrowdStrike's technology.

CrowdStrike, which is contemplating an initial public offering, now has a valuation in excess of $3 billion.

Cylance landed $120 million in Series E funding, money the company plans to use to continue expanding its global sales and marketing operations and accelerate development of its product portfolio. The company has raised $297 million in total financing.

Microsoft To Acquire AI Training Startup Bonsai

Microsoft made a significant move in the artificial intelligence technology space this week when it announced a deal to acquire Bonsai, a startup focused on creating methods for training AI-driven autonomous systems.

Bonsai, based in Berkeley, Calif., offers a faster way to develop the "brains" needed for robotics and other autonomous systems. The company's novel approach uses machine teaching to abstract the low-level mechanics of machine learning. That makes it easier for subject matter experts to train autonomous systems to accomplish specific tasks, regardless of those experts' AI expertise.

The upshot is that Microsoft can now help partners and customers build machine-learning systems more quickly, particularly in vertical industries such as energy, manufacturing and supply chain management.

Solution Provider Blueprint Technologies Aims To Accelerate Big Data Transformation With Its First Product

Solution providers must develop more of their own intellectual property in the form of products and services in order to remain competitive. So Blueprint Technologies, a Bellevue, Wash.-based solution provider, wins kudos this week for debuting its own software product aimed at solving a major big data interconnection problem.

Blueprint, which focuses on digital transformation services and cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, recently launched its Conduit data transformation product.

Businesses and organizations often make big investments in data management platforms and business analytics software, only to find that the latter cannot easily access data in the former. Conduit provides the interconnectivity and data translation capabilities needed to bridge that gap, providing users with access to more data and creating more opportunities to derive insights and value from it.

With about 80 engineers and many more technically adept employees among its staff of 650, Blueprint is an example of how successful solution providers today are investing in the resources needed to innovate.

Intel Gets Buy-In For Its Hardware-Based Approach To Security For Blockchain and AI

Intel's promotion of silicon-based security to better protect blockchain and artificial intelligence workloads is winning backers.

This week Intel said Docker and other vendors are beginning to use silicon-based security for blockchain and AI applications. Silicon-based security uses Intel's Intel Software Guard Extensions or "SGX" technology, a set of CPU instruction codes that enable the execution of select code and data in protected areas called "enclaves."

This week Intel said SGX, originally designed for secure remote computation and digital rights management tasks, is catching on as a way to protect sensitive data handled by blockchain and AI workloads.

Docker is using SGX to improve the security of federated learning systems, a kind of distributed machine learning that involves a large number of client devices working on a shared prediction model. SAP is using the technology for a cross-border shipping blockchain application, while blockchain startup Enigma is using SGX for a privacy protocol for executing smart contracts on the Ethereum public ledger.