TGIF indeed, VAR Guy readers. Here are some highlights from the week that we wish we had more time to cover in detail, but didn't.

Logicalis US Purchases The VIA Group: Logicalis announced its acquisition of Texas-based unified communications solutions provider The Via Group on Wednesday. The VIA Group was formerly owned by Datatec Ltd, Logitcalis' parent company, according to the announcement.

“The Via Group complements Logicalis US capabilities in delivering strong communications and collaboration solutions to important market segments including healthcare and education, areas where Logicalis already has a significant footprint in the United States,” said Vince DeLuca, CEO, Logicalis US, in a statement. “Both organizations also take a similar consultative approach to sales which will allow us together to help clients maximize their existing investments in communications technologies and deliver managed and professional services that ensure clients are able to maximize their communications and collaboration investments long term.”

Xirrus debutes enhanced Partner Program for MSPs: Wi-Fi network provider Xirrus has improved its MSP-centric partner program with the addition of CommandCenter, a control function designed to help partners offer Wi-Fi as a Service, or WaaS to customers. CommandCenter is included for free along with the Xirrus Management System for MSPs, according to the announcement.

“CommandCenter is the only solution designed specifically for the unique needs of MSPs – to deliver next generation Wi-Fi services with unprecedented speed, security and flexibility," said Jillian Mansolf, chief marketing officer and vice president of Channel Sales at Xirrus. "This ultimately enables them to increase revenue streams without the need to add significant resources.”

Extreme Networks Names Gordon Mackintosh as Channel Chief: Extreme Networks (EXTR) has appointed former Cisco exec Gordon Mackintosh as senior director of Worldwide Partner Program and Sales Business Development, where he will oversee the company's partner ecosystem and build new sales opportunities for resellers. He will work directly with Bob Gault, Extreme's executive vice president of Worldwide Sales, Services and Channels, according to an announcement made on Tuesday.

“Our commitment to partner profitability and product innovation is stronger than ever," said Mackintosh. "We will identify new initiatives that will prompt greater partner success and customer satisfaction by leveraging our latest wireless and cloud solutions.”

Pulse Secure Boosts Security for Hybrid IT Environments: Pulse Secure announced a series of secure access solutions this week during RSA Conference meant to help its enterprise customers secure their cloud delivered applications and hybrid IT environments. The new offerings include Cloud Secure as well as a planned integration effort to provide SAP Fiori Mobile developers with secure access for mobile apps, according to the announcement.

“It’s undeniable that the cloud is the future of enterprise IT, yet many have concerns regarding the migration from on premises to the cloud, securing devices containing sensitive data and protecting applications,” said David Goldschlag, senior vice president of Strategy at Pulse Secure.

Cisco announces acquisitions in cloud and networking: On Tuesday, Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) announced a $260 million deal to acquire CliQr Technologies, a startup that provides application management solutions for hybrid cloud environments. The two companies have already been working together, with CliQr’s solutions integrated with certain of Cisco’s data center switching and cloud solutions. The news is the latest in a string of M&A activity in the hybrid cloud arena, including IBM’s announcement last week of a new partnership with VMware designed to expand its hybrid cloud offerings.

“Customers today have to manage a massive number of complex and different applications across many clouds,” said Rob Salvagno, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development. “With CliQr, Cisco will be able to help our customers realize the promise of the cloud and easily manage the lifecycle of their applications on any hybrid cloud environment.”

Cisco followed the CliQr announcement by revealing Wednesday its intent to acquire Israeli chip designer Leaba Semiconductor for $320 million, a deal that was completed this morning. What exactly that price is netting for Cisco is unclear. Leaba’s website proclaims that it is “operating in stealth mode to provide innovative solutions for significant infrastructure challenges.” 

With the two acquisitions, Cisco both extends its reach into the cloud computing space and strengthens its hold in networking hardware. Fun fact: Leaba marks Cisco’s 196th acquisition.