5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending March 3, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Wiz, Cisco Systems, NTT, Island and ClickUp.


The Week Ending March 3

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Hewlett Packard Enterprise for a blockbuster acquisition in the SASE space.

Also making this week’s list is cloud security startup Wiz for both an impressive funding round and for launching its first partner program. Cisco Systems and NTT make the list for teaming up to help bring private 5G to vertical industry customers. Secure browser developer Island is here for stepping up its own channel efforts with a savvy channel executive hire. And project management application provider ClickUp wins applause this week for also launching a new channel program.

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HPE Acquires Cloud Security Provider Axis Security

Hewlett Packard Enterprise made a bold acquisition in the security space this week when it bought cloud security software developer Axis Security, a move that HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri said gives HPE a competitive edge in the hot secure access services edge (SASE) market.

Neri said the combination of the Axis Atmos platform and HPE’s Aruba networking portfolio creates the “most comprehensive edge portfolio in the industry” with SASE, zero trust network access, cloud access security broker and secure web gateway technology. Those capabilities will provide a comprehensive security framework for the Aruba Wi-Fi, LAN, SD-WAN and private 5G connectivity offerings.

With Axis Atmos, HPE can offer a platform that secures applications at the edge and provides secure access to corporate and public cloud resources.

The Axis portfolio, along with HPE’s acquisition last month of private 5G provider Athonet, will be fully integrated with the HPE GreenLake on-premises pay-per-use platform.

Security Startup Wiz Raises $300M, Launches First Partner Program

Fast-growing cloud security tech developer Wiz raised $300 million in new funding this week, a financing round that boosted its valuation to $10 billion and made the startup the top-valued privately held cybersecurity vendor.

Founded in 2020, the company said in August 2022 that it had surpassed the $100 million in annual recurring revenue milestone.

While such an impressive funding round is usually more than enough to make the weekly 5 Came to Win list, Wiz makes this week’s list on two counts as this week the company also launched the Wiz Partner Program, its first formal channel program, with the goal of accelerating its channel sales.

VAR partners are already involved in 75 percent of the company’s sales deals.

Cisco, NTT Teaming Up On Private 5G As Enterprise Usage Grows

Cisco and longtime partner global IT solution provider NTT are collaborating to further private 5G adoption among enterprise customers and help bridge the gap between operation technology and IT environments.

Interest in private 5G is high, especially among large enterprises and in the public sector. But Cisco executives said there’s work to be done to smooth the adoption of private 5G in such verticals as manufacturing, logistics and transportation.

The new collaboration between the two companies will bring together Cisco’s private 5G technology with NTT’s managed services so that enterprises can integrate private cellular into their existing LAN and WAN infrastructure without compromising security.

Cisco will bring its Private 5G service that simplifies 5G and IoT operations to the table, while NTT will provide network infrastructure design, deployment, run operations, use case development, device sourcing, compatibility and end-to-end testing services.

The two companies said they will accelerate edge connectivity through NTT’s Managed Private 5G offering, combined with Intel hardware, so that Cisco and NTT customers can seamlessly integrate private 5G into their pre-existing LAN, WAN and cloud infrastructure.

Secure Browser Startup Island Hires Industry Vet As First Channel Chief

Staying on the topic of security startups and the channel, Island, the fast-growing developer of a security-focused web browser for businesses, this week hired a well-known industry and channel veteran as its first channel chief.

Dallas-based Island hired Keith Weatherford, most recently the global channel chief at cybersecurity company Forescout, as its vice president of worldwide channel sales.

Weatherford, whose background also includes top channel roles at Symantec and McAfee, told CRN that he sees a massive opportunity to help Island connect with the channel around bringing its secure browser to a wider number of businesses.

Island, which just exited stealth a year ago, has already done a number of customer deals through channel partners. With Weatherford now heading its channel efforts, Island is expecting to accelerate that work while also developing its first partner program, expected to launch prior to 2024.

Project Management Tools Vendor ClickUp Launches Partner Program

ClickUp, a developer of productivity and project management software, wins applause this week for launching the Alliances and Channel Ecosystem (ACE) program to serve the company’s channel partners, including resellers, ISVs, consultancies, systems integrators, service providers and others.

The San Diego-based vendor views channel partners as a way to reach more customers in the midmarket and enterprise, Marshall Tyler, ClickUp’s chief strategy officer, told CRN. Plus, partners give customers a better services experience, he said.

ClickUp has trained its sales representatives to work with partners on engagements and deals, Tyler said. Through the ACE program partners have access to a partner portal, training and other resources to help customers.