For the week ending Jan. 6, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including IBM, Integris, Netskope, Cloud Software Group and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
The Week Ending Jan. 6
Topping this week’s Came to Win list is IBM for launching a new partner program and promising to steer more sales accounts to the channel.
Also making this first Came to Win list of 2023 is MSP Integris for an acquisition that will allow it to continue its growth trajectory. Cloud security tech developer Netskope is here for a successful financing effort that raised more than $400 million, as is Hewlett Packard Enterprise for its plan to sell a stake in a China subsidiary – a move that could raise a significant amount of cash.
And Cloud Software Group, the parent company of Citrix and Tibco, wins applause for naming a new channel chief and assembling a new channel program for its partners.
IBM Unveils Redesigned Partner Program, Plans Fewer Direct Sales
IBM wins kudos for debuting a redesigned partner program this week and promising to push more customer accounts to the channel.
The new Partner Plus program, which will be phased in over the next six months and replaces the older PartnerWorld, is “simple, transparent and predictable,” channel chief Kate Woolley said.
The three-tier Partner Plus includes an accelerator program for partners, a new incentives stack (launching in April) and new co-marketing and demand-generation programs (available in July). The company has also revamped its partner portal that allows partners to communicate with IBM employees, monitor their progress through the badging and education processes, and track deals and sales.
Woolley said IBM is also promising to reduce the number of direct sales accounts and move more sales to the channel. That move is accompanied by what she described as “a big shift in resources” this year from supporting direct accounts to supporting the channel.
MSP Integris Gets Community Bank Expertise With CalTech Acquisition
Integris, a private-equity-backed MSP focused on building a national services business, said this week that it had acquired CalTech, a community bank managed services specialist.
Integris is a platform MSP – a vehicle for acquiring other MSPs to build a larger services business. CalTech is Integris’ ninth MSP acquisition. And some of those acquired MSPs have made their own acquisitions, increasing the total number of MSPs under the Integris name.
CalTech provides managed services – including IT and security – for community banks, primarily in Texas and surrounding states. The acquisition provides Integris with entry into a vertical market that previously wasn’t a specialization for the company.
Integris plans to make additional acquisitions this year with a focus on MSPs that provide professional and financial services.
Netskope Raises $401 Million To Boost Product Development, Go-To-Market Efforts
Netskope filled its financial war chest this week by raising $401 million through convertible notes – financing that the cloud security provider will use to further develop its SASE products and build its channel-centric go-to-market strategy.
The short-term debt financing was led by investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Tactical Value with participation from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and CPP Investments.
(Convertible notes are structured as loans with outstanding balances that automatically convert to equity at designated points.) Netskope was valued at $7.5 billion after a $300 million Series H funding round in 2021.
The company said it plans to use the latest funding to “extend its technology and platform advantages.” The firm, which conducts nearly all of its sales through its channel ecosystem, will also leverage some of the financing for an “expansion of strategic go-to-market activities.”
HPE Sale Of H3C China Subsidiary Stake Could Generate Cash Windfall
Hewlett Packard Enterprise disclosed this week a plan to sell its 49 percent stake in its H3C Chinese enterprise IT joint venture. H3C is the exclusive provider of HPE servers, storage and associated IT technical services in China.
HPE owns 49 percent of H3C while Chinese company Unisplendour Corp. owns 51 percent. The disclosure of HPE’s plans was made in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The H3C sale could provide a financial windfall for HPE that could be used for acquisitions or other activities. Financial advisory firm UBS estimated the value of HPE’s stake to be $3.5 billion to $4 billion.
Citrix Parent Names New Channel Chief, Promises New Channel Program
Cloud Software Group, the entity created through the $16.5 billion merger of Citrix and Tibco in 2022, stepped up its channel game this week when it named Ethan Fitzsimons to be the company’s new channel chief.
Fitzsimons, a three-year Citrix employee, has the formal title of global head of channels for CSG. He was previously chief operating officer for worldwide partner sales and ecosystems.
CSG is also in the process of developing a new partner program that Fitzsimons promises will be simpler, more predictable and more profitable for partners. That program will go live for Citrix partners on March 6 with Tibco partners joining the program at a later date.
Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at [email protected].