Weekly Top 7: Verizon IoT, Windstream Bankruptcy Saga, Synnex-Facebook

IoT, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy. It's all here.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

May 17, 2019

4 Min Read
Surprised Businessman

This week’s channel news roundup is a solid mix.

As has become the tradition, we have a couple of bankruptcy stories for you. Our headline revealed one of the stories, but the other may be a surprise. Those go along with a carrier IoT announcement, a master agent hire and a distribution agreement. We also caught up with our industry’s latest mergers and acquisitions.

We’ve compiled the top seven traffic-generating articles from our website into one place. Scroll through the mini-stories below to see if you missed anything in the world of channel news this week.

7. Synnex Teams with Facebook, Rebrands Cloud and Mobility Business Unit

Although it’s a household name, we rarely hear about Facebook in connection with the channel.

Distributor Synnex signed an agreement to add Workplace by Facebook to its solution portfolio. Synnex partners can sell the collaboration tool, which features classic Facebook tropes like news feed and messages, and uses machine learning.

Synnex concurrently announced that it rebranded its cloud and mobility business unit to “Stellr.” Partners in the Stellr cloud community will be able to sell Workplace by Facebook starting May 20.

Lynn Haber penned an article about the agreement. Check it out.

6. Telarus Nabs Intelisys Alum

It seems like the master agencies are always hiring.

Utah-based Telarus announced a new director of sales operations and praised her deep skill set. Lesley Evans, a former employee of Intelisys and Net2Phone, will play an important role building the Telarus field sales team as the company expands. She also has spent more than a decade running a business consultancy. There’s more to Evans than that, but you’ll have to read the story.

Get details on why Evans fit well with Telarus.

5. Verizon Follows AT&T, T-Mobile, Launches Specialized IoT Network

Verizon matched its biggest rivals by adding a new component to its IoT strategy.

The newly launched Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network allows non-IP traffic to connect. It will allow for a new family of connected devices, including those that we would not categorize as “mobile.” These devices need a network that supports their slower data rates.

AT&T and T-Mobile already launched their own NB-IoT networks.

Learn more about Verizon’s announcement.

4. Fusion Connect Could Dodge Bankruptcy with Lender Lifeline

$15 million in bridge financing might save Fusion Connect from chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“First-lien lenders” offered the short-term financing to the cloud communications provider, Fusion may request another $5 million from them as it considers its strategic path forward.

The company had informed the SEC that it would consider bankruptcy if it couldn’t successfully negotiate with creditors. Fusion assured partners that no agent commissions would be nullified in the case of a bankruptcy.

Check out the story.

3. Big M&A: Avaya Rumors, Evolve IP, Private Equity Trend

The consolidation front was relatively quiet in the late spring, but the trends are fascinating.

Private equity accounted for a large portion of the deals that went down in March and April. Many companies in the channel saw marriage with investment firms as smart way to expand their operations.

Whispers persisted of an Avaya buyout or merger, but no deal has been announced.

I summarized the handful of updates in an image gallery.

2. CenturyLink Weighs Consumer Business Options, Not Ruling Out Sale or Spinoff

CEO Jeff Storey told investors earlier this week that nothing’s off the table – including a sale – when it comes to the company’s consumer business.

CenturyLink has hired advisers to help review the unit. Senior communications manager Courtney Morton said her company is happy with its performance in the consumer space but wants to get a fuller sense of all of its options.

According to Storey, “There’s nothing about …

… our operating performance that’s causing us to decide we want to sell it.”

Read about the decision CenturyLink is mulling.

1. Windstream Bankruptcy: The Channel Saga Unfolds

Windstream agents and employees continue to react to the company’s recent chapter 11 bankruptcy news updates.

Edward Gately has been following the events closely, from agent commission questions to executive bonuses to a new partner agreement. He compiled a gallery listing all of the highlights – and lowlights – of the news cycle.

The company said it was surprised it lost its court battle with a creditor, which forced it to enter an unexpected bankruptcy.

Check out the summation of Gately’s reporting.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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