7 Stories: Coronavirus Fallout, CCaaS Market Leaders, Windstream Channel Post-Bankruptcy

Partners are behind the curve in implementing video conferencing solutions, one expert says.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 13, 2020

4 Min Read
Top Stories, top 20 stories
Yury Zap/Shutterstock

A UCaaS provider is merging with a CCaaS provider, and the channel partner community is grappling with an increasingly remote workforce.

It’s a wild time to be working in the channel. Just when we thought unified communications was a hot technology, a global pandemic may further increase demand for video conferencing.

And that’s not all the coronavirus is doing to our industry.  Event cancellations swept over the country during a week where we had hoped to be in Las Vegas for the Channel Partners Conference & Expo. (Stay tuned to Channel Partners Online for an announcement regarding rescheduling.) No one is exempt from the impact.

But although COVID-19 dominates the headlines, our industry is working through other trends. SD-WAN and contact center featured prominently in our latest weekly roundup. Scroll through the seven mini-stories below to see the highlights.

7. Windstream Channel Chief: Partners Eager for New, Post-Bankruptcy Chapter

Windstream just rolled out a new partner portal, among multiple channel-related plans.

That’s according to Matt Milliron, Windstream’s channel chief and head of strategic channels. He replaced Curt Allen last fall and will be leading Windstream’s channel operations as the company exits chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Milliron explained in a Q&A what partners should expect for the post-bankruptcy process.

Edward Gately has the scoop.

6. Lifesize, Serenova Merge to Address UCaaS-CCaaS Convergence

Video conferencing and contact center capabilities are coming together in a fascinating merger.

An investment firm is coordinating the transaction between Lifesize and Serenova. Lifesize’s CEO will function as CEO in the combined company, although its branding is yet to be determined. Executives said partner-impact details will appear at a later date.

Read more about the merger.

5. Coronavirus Threat: Big Opportunities for Video Conferencing in the Channel

It’s the elephant in the room — the unavoidable question that businesses and their technology partners must answer.

And according to Janet Schijns, the majority of the channel is behind the curve when it comes to preparing their customers for telecommuting. Schijns’ company, JS Group, found that 59% of traditional channel partners have yet to implement digital transformation in their own business.

So, for many partners, they themselves are not prepared for the impact of coronavirus.

“If you had actually prepared for what the market realities already were, which was the digital normal,” Schijns told Edward Gately. “… a virus shouldn’t make you have to prepare like this. However, because almost 60% of the channel – their own businesses is ill-prepared – it reflects in the fact that their customers also don’t have video conferencing.”

Schijns and other experts spoke with Gately about video conferencing opportunities.

4. Telarus Hires Intelisys, Seranova Alumna, Signs Sonic

It was a busy week for the Utah-based master agent.

First, Telarus landed a new senior partner development manager. Taylor Klevins brings experience from Serenova and Intelisys, just like Brandon Knight, who now leads the contact center business development for Telarus.

Telarus also signed a supplier agreement with a fiber-optic telecommunications provider and named one of its partners the exclusive distributor of a drone services company.

Learn about the personnel appointment.

3. CenturyLink’s Miller: Partners Can Meet All Customer IP Needs

CenturyLink is educating partners about its SMB-focused cloud communications solution.

The internet services provider meant to use a roadshow – now in question due to coronavirus – to highlight the CenturyLlnk Engage platform. Lisa Miller, CenturyLink’s president of wholesale, indirect and SME, said she’s also eager for partners to embrace the company’s new…… Rapid Threat Defense offering.

Miller participated in a Q&A with Channel Partners, detailing how new CenturyLink products impact partners.

Read more about CenturyLink’s channel strategy.

2. Telia Carrier Launches New SD-WAN Service Amid Growing Cisco Partnership

We covered another Cisco Viptela SD-WAN partnership.

This time it’s the Swedish company Telia Carrier, which is offering an SD-WAN service that’s available in fully managed or co-managed form. The solution allows businesses to balance MPLS with internet and other connectivity sources.

Get details on the offering.

1. Avaya, Five9, Mitel Among Major Players in Booming Contact Center Software Market

The contact center software market totals $18 billion, according to a new projection.

Grand View Research unveiled its new report, which projects the market to grow to $72 billion by 2027. A key part of the market will be the interactive voice response (IVR) software segment, according to Grand View.

See the other insights the study revealed.

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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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