5 Companies That Came To Win This Week
For the week ending Nov. 17, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel, including Microsoft, SonicWall, Securonix, Google and Nvidia.
The Week Ending Nov. 17
Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Microsoft for the wave of new innovations in AI, analytics and other technologies the company showed off at this week’s Ignite 2023 event.
Also making the list are SonicWall for a savvy acquisition that will expand its presence among MSPs, Securonix for its ambitious channel expansion plans, Google for its reported plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in AI chatbot tech developer Character.AI, and Nvidia for providing a sneak peek at the next generation of its data center GPUs.
Microsoft Shows Off AI, Copilot Capabilities At Ignite
Microsoft’s strengths as an innovator—and its latest innovations in AI, cybersecurity and more—were on full display this week at the software giant’s Ignite 2023 conference for developers and IT professionals.
Not surprisingly Microsoft Copilot was center stage at the event, where attendees saw a wave of announcements around new and updated copilot-related technologies.
Marquee announcements included the new Microsoft Copilot Studio, a low-code service for connecting copilots to other data with prebuilt or custom plugins and generative pretrained transformers; and the new Copilot for Service and Copilot for Sales to bring AI assistance to frontline employees and sales professionals. Also on deck are new Copilot functionality for Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 and Security Copilot embedded across the Microsoft Security portfolio.
Other news included the general availability of the Microsoft Fabric data analytics platform and Azure Boost to speed up cloud storage and networking. The event also featured early looks at upcoming products such as the Microsoft Mesh 3-D immersive experience, a unified security operations platform and Microsoft-designed accelerator chips.
SonicWall To Boost MDR, SOC Services With Acquisition Of MSP Security Star Solutions Granted
Cybersecurity tech developer SonicWall has acquired Solutions Granted, a leading managed security service provider, in a move that boosts the company’s managed detection and response (MDR) portfolio and overall managed services business targeting MSPs.
SonicWall’s strategy is to provide Solutions Granted’s services portfolio to its own MSSP and MSP channel base, along with enhancing its MDR technology offerings and Security Operations Center (SOC) services.
SonicWall partners need highly automated solutions to quickly identify and respond to threats across customer environments such as endpoints, servers and cloud computing, according to the company. By acquiring Solutions Granted, partners can leverage the latest in AI to provide differentiated services.
Securonix Aims To Ramp Up Partner Efforts Under New Channel Chief
Securonix wins applause for its plans to scale up its partner program as the cybersecurity unicorn seeks to accelerate its growth in the market for next-generation SIEM, the company’s CEO and recently appointed channel chief told CRN this week.
CEO Nayaki Nayyar and Mark Stevens (pictured), who joined Securonix in early October as channel chief, said in the first interviews since Stevens’ appointment that channel partners will be increasingly central to the company’s growth strategy going forward.
The company raised $1 billion in funding in early 2022 to fund its expansion in next-generation SIEM (security information and event management). Nayyar, who formerly served as president at cybersecurity vendor Ivanti, joined Securonix as CEO in December 2022.
Nayyar said her top priority in her first year was to solidify the company’s product offerings, which led to the release of the Securonix Unified Defense SIEM earlier this year.
Now, Nayyar and Stevens said the timing is ideal for Securonix to ramp up its work with partners.
“This is absolutely a growth area for us,” said Stevens, who previously worked with Nayyar at Ivanti. “Being partner-friendly and channel- centric—there’s a lot of different ways that we can support that effort.”
Securonix currently has “over 100” channel partners and plans to significantly add to that number, Stevens said. In addition, Securonix said it intends to begin working with distributors for the first time.
Google To Invest Millions In AI Chatbot Star Character.AI
As the competitive battle between Microsoft, Amazon and Google in the generative AI space continues to heat up, Google is making a move with reported plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in AI chatbot standout Character.AI.
Google is in talks to invest a large amount of money into the AI chatbot startup in order to form a deeper relationship with Character.AI, according to a Reuters report. The AI startup was founded by former Google employees Daniel De Freitas and Noam Shazeer.
Character.AI provides chatbot services based on large language models that generate responses and open-ended conversations with users. The service became available in September 2022, followed by a $150 million funding round in March led by Andreessen Horowitz that valued the startup at $1 billion.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup currently leverages Google Cloud’s infrastructure and Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) to train its AI models.
Microsoft, of course, has reportedly invested $13 billion in OpenAI, the developer of Chat GPT, while Amazon has committed to invest up to $4 billion in AI startup Anthropic. Google is also reportedly considering investing up to $2 billion in Anthropic.
Nvidia’s H200 GPU To One-Up H100 With 141 GB Of HBM3e As Memory Race Heats Up
Speaking of demonstrating technological prowess, Nvidia this week said it plans to release a successor to its powerful and popular H100 data center GPU next year with a significant upgrade to memory capacity and bandwidth, giving it the ability to handle massive generative AI and high-performance computing applications faster and more effectively.
At the Supercomputing 2023 conference Monday, Nvidia said that the H200 GPU will feature 141 GB of HBM3e high-bandwidth memory and a 4.8-TBps memory bandwidth. This is a substantial step up from the H100’s 80 GB of HBM3 and 3.5 TBps in memory capabilities.
The integration of faster and more extensive memory will dramatically improve and accelerate HPC and AI applications, said Dion Harris, director of product go-to-market for accelerated data center solutions at Nvidia.
Nvidia said the H200 will become available in systems and cloud instances starting in the second quarter of next year through HGX H200 server boards in four-GPU and eight-GPU configurations.