Top Stories in May: Verizon Strike, Windstream's Concerns, CenturyLink's Wetzel

Hot topics in May included the Verizon wireline workers strike, Windstream's challenge to Verizon's acquisition of XO's fiber assets, Blake Wetzel's resignation at CenturyLink and the building fervor over the Internet of Things.

Channel Partners

June 2, 2016

  • Top Stories in May: Verizon Strike, Windstream’s Concerns, CenturyLink’s Wetzel

    Since we’re a bunch of rebels here at Channel Partners, we’re making a (not so) radical change to our monthly top 10 list. It’s now a top 12 list!

    Sure, 10 is a nice, round number (well, the zero is anyway), but May was a big month for traffic on our site, so it seemed like a good time to expand our list to include more of the topics at the forefront of channel discussions.

    One thing hasn’t changed: Our top stories are determined by a combination of online page views and interest from our weekly newsletter audience.

    In May, you couldn’t get enough news about the Verizon wireline workers strike. Also of interest: Windstream’s challenge to Verizon’s acquisition of XO’s fiber assets. What else? Blake Wetzel’s resignation at CenturyLink and the building fervor over the Internet of Things caught your eye.

    Click through or download our slide show to see which story was No. 1.

    Missed April’s top 10 stories? Click here to see our most-read posts in April.

    Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.

  • Top Stories in May: #12 — UCaaS Rankings


    For the third straight year, 8×8 took the top spot on the IHS scorecard that identifies leadership in unified communications as a service (UCaaS).

    The research firm’s “UC as a Service (UCaaS) Scorecard: North America” ratings are based on installed seats, financial stability, market strategy, service capabilities and support options.

    8×8 was followed in order by Vonage, West Corp., RingCentral, Mitel, Verizon, Star2Star, Broadview Networks, Fuze and Nextiva.

    Read the full story here.

  • Top Stories in May: #11 — Juniper Channel Chief Q&A


    Matt Hurley, Juniper Networks’ channel chief, chatted with Channel Partners as part of a question-and-answer session.

    “We’re very proud of where we are right now,” he told us. “We’re winning awards, non-pay-to-play type awards, and we’re really excited about that. And our partners, most importantly, are giving us great feedback: ‘We understand now how we interact with you. We know where to go. There [are fewer] programs, but we actually have a voice into those programs that are being developed.’”

    Hurley discusses software-defined secure networks and the partner opportunity in this Q&A.

  • Top Stories in May: #10 — Windstream Fights Verizon-XO Merger


    Verizon’s $1.8 billion acquisition of XO’s fiber-optic network business got resistance from Windstream in the form of an FCC filing.

    Windstream urged the Commission to impose certain conditions on the merger, including requiring Verizon to offer unbundled DS1 and DS3 capacity over copper and fiber at regulated rates even after Verizon migrates to IP-based infrastructure. XO and Verizon have failed to establish the merger is in the public interest, according to Windstream’s FCC May 12 filing.

    “… Without substantial conditions to ensure competition from other providers sustainably and immediately can replace the competition that XO brings to the market, this transaction likely will substantially reduce competition, not only in areas where Verizon is a dominant incumbent local exchange carrier (‘ILEC’), but also in areas where other ILECs are the largest providers of business data services,” Windstream declared.

    Read more about this controversy here, as well as Verizon’s response, here.

  • Top Stories in May: #9 — CenturyLink Preps for Post-Wetzel Future


    Blake Wetzel’s (pictured above, right) exodus from CenturyLink took many in the channel by surprise. The telco giant’s former channel chief takes over in a similar position at Rackspace on June 6.

    CenturyLink hired Bill Corbin (pictured above, left), formerly of Westcon, as its new senior VP of strategic partnerships and channel operations. One of his first tasks will be to find a replacement for Wetzel.

    In this Q&A, Corbin talked with Channel Partners about his goals for the CenturyLink Channel Alliance and the immediate future post-Wetzel.

  • Top Stories in May: #8 — Biggest M&A of March-April


    Our bimonthly showcase of big mergers in telecom and IT focused on Mitel’s pending acquisition of Polycom, concerns with Verizon’s XO fiber business buy, and the final touches put on Frontier’s big Verizon wireline acquisitions in California, Texas and Florida.

  • Top Stories in May: #7 — Nutanix’s Partner-Powered Hyperconvergence


    Hyperconvergence is a hot topic in the channel — and a story we posted on Nutanix‘s Xpress cloud platform caught your eye.

    It’s built and priced for small and midsize businesses, the company said.

    Nutanix Xpress is a preassembled private cloud stack, available only through the channel, that bundles storage, compute and a hypervisor along with management software. Prebuilt Cloud Connect integrations allow for data backup to public cloud services, including AWS and Microsoft Azure.

    Nikita Maheshwari, senior product marketing manager at Nutanix, told Channel Partners that Xpress is tailored specifically for SMBs — it’s not a scaled-down version of the company’s Xtreme Computing Platform, even though the core technology principles are the same.

  • Top Stories in May: #6 — Master Agent Image Galleries


    Three of the biggest master agents in the business – Intelisys, WTG and TBI – held springtime events in May, and you wanted to see the highlights.

    We published a trio of image galleries: Intelisys’ New England Mindshare (pictured above), WTG’s Tee & Sea, and TBI’s BIG event.

  • Top Stories in May: #5 — ‘Steady Pace’ of Frontier Complaints


    May was a tough month for Frontier Communications.

    It was revealed that business and residential customers in California, Florida and Texas have filed more than 1,100 complaints against since the company took over Verizon’s wireline operations in those states on April 1.

    With the acquisition, Frontier doubled in size as the nation’s largest rural phone company. It issued the following statement regarding the complaints:

    “We are continuing to resolve customer issues as they come to us. We transitioned more than 3 million customers in California, Texas and Florida to Frontier-provided services. Our command center is monitoring the network 24/7, tracking every customer escalation, and approximately 1,000 highly trained, experienced technicians are working extended hours and weekends to resolve every customer request. At the same time, we’re operating and maintaining the network, taking care of business-as-usual issues, and clearing up the backlog of customer issues/orders that transitioned to us from Verizon as of April 1. We are working hard to address all customer questions and concerns.”

    Read the full story here.

  • Top Stories in May: #4 — Top Cloud Certifications


    Originally published in April, a guest column by Jo Peterson of Clarify360 and Michael Goodenough of BCM One had a nice surge last month.

    The pair outlined 10 cloud certifications for partners that they said can bridge the vocabulary and general knowledge gap. Among the list are vendor-specific and vendor-independent certifications that will equip you with the tools to help customers succeed.

  • Top Stories in May: #3 — IoT World News From HPE, SAP


    Partners might not be fully on the Internet of Things bandwagon just yet, but they’re at least hanging onto the side of it.

    story we posted on Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and SAP unveiling significant new services at IoT World 2016 drew a lot of interest.

    HPE announced availability of the HPE Universal IoT Platform, which enables the ability to add new functionality and benefits to users. Also at the conference, SAP unveiled new services for customers and partners on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform for IoT.

  • Top Stories in May: #2 — Channel People on the Move


    Don’t expect our monthly Channel People on the Move gallery to disappear from this list anytime soon.

    The May edition (featuring movers and shakers from April) featured hires, promotions and other moves at MegaPath, Level 3 and Telecom Brokers, just to name a few.

  • Top Stories in May: #1 — Verizon Strike


    One topic, more than any other by a landslide, caught the attention of Channel Partners readers last month — the seven-week-long strike of Verizon wireline workers on the East Coast.

    The most-read of our posts, published May 25, took you inside the mind of a labor negotiator who offered insight as to what might be happening between Verizon and the unions behind closed doors.

    An analyst that day noted that the strike would “end relatively soon.” An announcement that it was over came just two days later.

    Late in May, we posted this timeline of events from the beginning of the dispute to the (near) end.

  • Top Stories in May: Verizon Strike, Windstream’s Concerns, CenturyLink’s Wetzel

    Please click here for more Channel Partners galleries.

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