The Weekly Wrap: Top SD-WAN Providers, Frontier Chapter 11, CenturyLink

Readers can't get enough of our latest CP List.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 22, 2020

5 Min Read

Readers this week were buzzing over our latest list of top SD-WAN providers, the timeline leading up to Frontier Communications‘ chapter 11 bankruptcy and Fusion Connect’s new CEO.

Our latest weekly roundup also includes CenturyLink’s plans for further fiber network infrastructure expansion, TBI adding channel managers from BullsEye Telecom and Masergy, and Windstream’s latest SD-WAN launch. View the seven mini-stories below to see what you missed this week.

7. Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report: Money is Top Motivator

It’s money that matters most to cybercriminals, according to the latest Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).

The 13th annual report analyzed 32,002 security incidents. Of those, the carrier confirmed 3,950 were breaches. Verizon analyzed just half that many – 2,013 – in last year’s report.

Money motivated criminals in nearly nine of the 10 breaches. In addition, external actors continue to cause the vast majority of breaches. Organized crime accounts for 55% of these.

“As remote working surges in the face of the global pandemic, end-to-end security from the cloud to employee laptop becomes paramount,” said Tami Erwin, Verizon Business‘ CEO. “In addition to protecting their systems from attack, we urge all businesses to continue employee education as phishing schemes become increasingly sophisticated and malicious.”

Our report dives deeper into the findings.

6. Kinetic Business by Windstream Launches SD-WAN for SMBs

Kinetic Business by Windstream is out with a new SD-WAN offer to help SMBs manage how much broadband they use.

The solution is built on VMware‘s VeloCloud technology. The partnership between Kinetic and VMware delivers to SMBs the same “control and confidence” as major corporations, the companies said. And it’s accessible through a management portal.

Joe Johnson is the vice president of Kinetic product development and management. He says Kinetic Business SD-WAN gives partners an offer that includes features not generally available at this price.

Our report includes more details.

5. TBI Beefs Up Channel Management with BullsEye, Masergy Vets

Master agent TBI has expanded its channel management team with new channel managers previously with Aavex, BullsEye Telecom and Masergy.

TBI said the additions will strengthen and expand partner support.

Brett Sippel joins the master agent as channel manager of strategic accounts. In this role, he will support TBI’s enterprise partners, resellers and distributors.

TBI also has added John Rozinsky and Kim Gordon as channel managers. Rozinsky will support Midwest partners in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. Gordon will fill a similar role for Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Find out more about their plans in our report.

CenturyLink is expanding its fiber network infrastructure in many parts of the United States, benefiting small businesses, enterprises and residents.

The company plans to bring gigabit speeds to about 400,000 more small businesses and homes via fiber. Those are in certain areas of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

CenturyLink also will expand its network infrastructure in 20 more cities this year. That will help national and regional enterprises meet growing demand for high-speed connectivity.

Garrett Gee is CenturyLink’s channel chief. He tells us fiber network infrastructure will provide new opportunities for CenturyLink’s partners.

“These fiber expansions give our channel partners even more opportunity to connect their customers with the high-speed networking and business solutions they need,” he said. “As CenturyLink’s multitenant unit building footprint expands, the opportunity for our partners increases. CenturyLink is focused on helping our channel partner community succeed with our growing network reach, comprehensive portfolio of technology solutions and unparalleled support.”

Find out more in our report.

3. Windstream, Sungard AS Vet Named Fusion Connect CEO

Longtime channel vet …

… Brian Crotty is taking the reins as Fusion Connect CEO, just a few months after the company emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Crotty most recently was chief commercial officer for Sungard AS. He succeeds Kevin Brand, Fusion’s interim CEO since last October. Crotty has nearly 30 years of experience leading major organizations in the communications industry.

Fusion filed chapter 11 bankruptcy last summer after its acquisitions of MegaPath and Birch Communications’ cloud and business-services business failed to meet performance projections. It eliminated about $400 million of its long-term debt in the reorganization.

Find out more details in our report.

2. Frontier Bankruptcy: Here’s How It Unfolded

After months of speculation, Frontier Communications finally filed chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. But how did it get there?

Frontier’s bankruptcy filing joins similar moves by Windstream, Sungard AS, Fusion Connect and other big channel players — in just the past year. Its financial struggles were widely known, as were customer complaints about its service, maintenance and lack of planning for rural broadband expansion.

We compiled a timeline of events, beginning last December, which outline how the Frontier bankruptcy unfolded. And stay tuned to Channel Partners for continuing coverage of the company’s recovery.

1. 20 Top SD-WAN Providers for 2020: The CP List Version 3

Our readers can’t get enough of this particular CP List.

Last May, our second CP List focused on top SD-WAN providers with analysts, members of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board and other industry experts. They shared their views on what it takes to succeed in SD-WAN. We’re back with an updated list and fresh perspectives on changes in this competitive technology during the past year.

Matthew Toth is founder and president of Collaborative Communications Consulting (C3). He tells us SD-WAN’s definition hasn’t changed over the past year. But people talk about the technology as part of a wider product set called secure access service edge (SASE), he said.

“SASE includes SD-WAN, remote access, security and direct peering with major cloud providers,” he said. “Vendors should have less SD-WAN conversations and more SASE conversations.”

So who made the list? Find out here.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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