Best of the Week: Windstream Earnings, Enterprise Connect Shenanigans

It was a busy week for UCaaS.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 22, 2019

3 Min Read
Days of the week, calendar

The business technology world kept its eyes on Orlando this week.

A host of IT and telecommunications companies made the Enterprise Connect conference their home March 18-20. Unified communications providers stayed particularly busy. Masergy announced a new partnership and tool, and Plantronics renamed itself. Those stories made it into our top 7 list, dwarfed of course by news of a carrier flirting with financial trouble.

We’ve prepped a recap of our top traffic-generating stories to help kick off your weekend.

7. Plantronics Rebrands to (Partially) Familiar Name

Plantronics bought Polycom last year but is keeping that company alive in both name and spirit.

Plantronics announced that it will go as Poly in a nod to Polycom. The goal is to take the best of both businesses and utilize their combined expertise in video and audio.

Poly officials hope to unify the product set just as it they are unifying the marketing message. The senior director of product marketing told us that partners were conflicted about representing two brands at the same time.

Read more about what the combined company is doing.

6. Cisco, VeloCloud, Aryaka Headline SD-WAN Leaders in New Study

Another SD-WAN study reminded us that customers like their SD-WAN managed.

We covered a MarketsandMarkets report that focused mainly on the growth of the SD-WAN space. The study projects the industry to go from $1 billion now to billion in 2023. MarketsandMarkets also touched on a prevailing trend: carriers partnering with pure-play vendors to create an SD-WAN platform of their own.

Check out the little ditty I wrote about the study.

5. TBI Announces Lengthy List of New SVPs, Promotions

It’s promotion-city in TBI’s Chicago office.

The master agent announced six recent appointments. Multiple employees earned that coveted “senior” prefix attached to their vice president title. Mike Onystok, for example, is TBI’s new senior vice president of operations.

Take a look at our story to see the other five promotees.

4. Masergy, Avaya, Vonage, Others Tout Innovations at Enterprise Connect

We read about Masergy multiple times in connection with the big conference happening in Orlando, Florida.

Masergy announced an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual agent that will power different features of its UCaaS platform. The company said the virtual agent will help users be more productive and serve their customers more quickly.

Cisco on another front picked Masergy to be it’s premier partner for something called a “Customer Journey Platform.” Pretty neat week, huh?

We wrote about other UCaaS providers in our day one roundup from Orlando.

3. Fuze, Samsung Aim to Capitalize on 5G, IoT Together

The 5G stories are piling up this year.

Fuze and Samsung Electronics America announced that they’ll be building compatibility between their respective software and hardware. The companies announced their partnership at Enterprise Connect. They presented their recent work hooking up 15,000-plus Waste Management trucks with mobile technology.

Read about the news and the trend of vendors partnering around 5G.

2. Windstream Reports Quarterly Loss Amid Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The fourth quarter of 2018 wasn’t kind to Windstream.

The company lost $549 million in the quarter and earned $100 million less than it did in 2017 Q4. The news came not long after…… Windstream filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

CEO Tony Thomas noted positively that Windstream’s financial statement that his company has seen its broadband subscribers grow for 12 months straight.

Read more about Windstream’s latest financial adventures.

1. Channel Conflict, Controversy: Windstream Bankruptcy, Mitel Rumors, RingCentral Trash Talk

We packed the craziest stories of the last half-year into one juicy gallery.

Edward Gately aggregated news clippings whose dramatic nature drew the channel’s eyeballs. AT&T laying off employees; CenturyLink’s stock dropping big-time; Symantec’s chief operating officer resigning out of blue. You name it.

The previous controversies gallery ran last August, so we were more than due for an update.

Take a look at Gately’s masterpiece.

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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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