7 Hot Stories: New AT&T Alliance Channel Leader, Top SD-WAN Service Providers, Layoffs Recap

What you might have missed while you were social distancing.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 20, 2020

4 Min Read
Flaming 7

A prominent AT&T channel leader is retiring, and the channel is scrambling to support increased remote work.

Our latest weekly roundup has all the usual suspects: personnel appointments, industry honors, new products and a COVID-19 story. View the seven mini-stories below to see what you missed this week.

7. Comcast, Spectrum Among Service Providers Earning MEF SD-WAN Certification

Comcast Business, PCCW Global, Spectrum Enterprise and Telia Company earned accolades from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) this week.

The industry consortium declared the four service providers to be the first of their kind to meet its SD-WAN Attributes and Service Standard (MEF 70). They completed a certification program, which was in a pilot phase at the time.

The news came just two months after the MEF honored three technology vendors for meeting the standards.

I covered the MEF announcement.

6. Vonage Offers Remote Environment Solutions for Coronavirus Response

Vonage aims to improve telehealth with some new offerings.

The company is making multiple solutions free to access for 90 days, including a stand-alone video conferencing solution. Health care providers, educational institutions and nonprofits can freely use the Vonage Business Cloud communications suite for 90 days.


Vonage’s Alan Masarek

“We know how important it is to avoid disruptions in communications for those working to support public services through this crisis,” Vonage CEO Alan Masarek said. “We feel it’s important to do our part to help vital services and support professionals communicate smoothly through this challenge.”

Edward Gately has the scoop.

5. Fast Chat: Comcast Business SD-WAN Opens Up Huge Partner Opportunity

The cableco is working to make sure its partners are properly trained to deliver SD-WAN.


Comcast’s Bill Steen

Bill Steen, director of indirect channels and alliance partner marketing, explained the training and marketing resources that are available to channel partners. Steen spoke about partner support and the Comcast ActiveCore SDN platform in an interview with Craig Galbraith.

View the video.

4. Granite Telecommunications Adds Frontier, Windstream Vets to Channel Team

Granite upped its regional channel manager count to 14.

The company’s latest appointments will serve the Northwest, Southern California and software VARs, respectively. Four national channel managers work in conjunction with the regional channel managers.

Granite announced that it will add a partner sales development team to ensure that channel partners stay updated with the activities of Granite’s internal teams.

“We want our partners to have visibility and clarity on their activity and revenues with Granite,” an executive said.

Learn more about the hires.

3. AT&T Alliance Channel Gets New Leader as Leonard Retires

AT&T Partner Solutions is saying goodbye to one of its most well-known faces.


AT&T’s Kevin Leonard

Kevin Leonard, who steered the Alliance Channel for more than 10 years, will be retiring on March 31. His total AT&T tenure numbered three decades. Will Harvey, known for his network integration leadership, will replace Leonard.

Read more about Leonard’s legacy.

2. Coronavirus Threat: Big Wake-Up Call for the Channel

Telecommunications and voice experts shared insights on how channel partners can adjust to the “new normal.”

JS Group CEO Janet Schijns argued in…


JS Group’s Janet Schijns

…an interview with Edward Gately that the pandemic is indicator of how the times have changed. In other words, the need to support increased telecommuting and video conferencing will go away when Coronavirus goes away.

Schijns urged vendors to educate their partners on social selling and develop other resources for this tumultuous era.

“If you’re a vendor … shame on you if you’re not coming up with something in your MDF program right now to support your partners’ transition,” she said.

Check out the second part of Gately’s coronavirus series.

1. Telecom-IT Layoff Tracker: AT&T, CenturyLink, VMware, Cisco

Google Cloud plans to cut 50 jobs. CenturyLink will remove 300 employees before May’s end.

Edward Gately summarized 12 instances of prominent IT/telecom companies trimming their workforces in early 2020. While one study estimates that 33,500 new tech jobs came into being in January and February, consolidation and COVID-19 have employees worried.

Take a look at the gallery.

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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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