Top 7 Stories: New CenturyLink Solution, AT&T Layoffs, Charter-Windstream Conflict

New products, court controversy and layoffs. 2020 has arrived.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

January 10, 2020

4 Min Read
Cloud 7

CenturyLink and Avaya made major cloud communications announcements this week.

The business technology world wasted no time plunging back into its routine after the holiday break. CenturyLink and Avaya hit the newswires with information about new products, while a large vendor brushed off a negative ruling from a bankruptcy judge. And our most-viewed story of the last five days featured a big telco contemplating layoffs.

We like to post a weekly review of our favorite articles every Friday. Scroll through the seven stories below to see the biggest updates in the world of channel. And check out the recap of holiday prediction pieces you may have missed.

7. 8×8, AWS, Vonage Fire Up Partner Program Expansions

Companies expanded their geographical footprints and widened their partner bases in December.

Those two key trends emerged in our monthly recap of new and changing channel programs. Vonage moved its channel into the U.K., and a Dutch vendor formalized U.S. partner operations. And for many companies, the change was opening up new support for resellers or other types of partners.

Check out the gallery I assembled.

6. 2019’s Top Digital Stories

Bankruptcy. Master agent M&A. Hybrid and multicloud.

Those were just a few of 2019’s big trends. The editorial staff at Channel Partners and Channel Futures compiled a list of stories that summarize the past year in our industry. The 11-page PDF is available to anyone with a Channel Partners website account.

View the digital issue.

5. Top Gun 51 Profile: CenturyLink’s Garrett Gee

Garrett Gee has led CenturyLink‘s channel program through a complex integration with Level 3 Communications.

We recognized Gee last year as a member of the Top Gun 51, an elite group of channel chiefs selected by a panel of analysts and master agents. Edward Gately caught up with Gee to ask him questions about CenturyLink, its channel and his career.

Take a look at the Q&A.

4. CenturyLink Targets SMBs with Cloud Communications Solution

CenturyLink had a two-fer this week.

The service provider launched CenturyLink Engage, which provides a softphone application and more than 80 features. Executives said the solution integrates the CenturyLink network with a cloud voice offering.

“Engage will offer partners the ability to quickly deploy new services backed by the network – limiting the need to design a service for each location and improved response if issues do occur,”  CenturyLink’s senior director of product management said.

Edward Gately has the scoop.

3. Charter Fights Ruling It Engaged in Windstream Customer Poaching

A New York Bankruptcy judge ruled that Charter Communications used false advertising to sway WIndstream customers.

If the allegations are true, Charter violated the Lanham Act by communicating that Windstream customers might lose their services as a result of Windstream going through chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter filed an appeal, arguing that Windstream hasn’t proven evidence of…… harm.

Learn about the controversy.

2. Avaya Kicks Cloud UC Into High Gear, Ending Sales of Powered by Avaya IP Office

Avaya will no longer sell its Powered by Avaya IP Office UCaaS solution.

The vendor will honor existing contracts for its “flagship midmarket premises platform,” but renewals will become unavailable when Avaya Cloud Office comes out this quarter. RingCentral helped build Cloud Office as a result of its strategic partnership with Avaya.

Read more about Avaya.

1. New Year Means More Layoffs at AT&T as ‘No Place Is Safe’ in Cost Cutting

Axios reported that AT&T will be cutting its workforce in 2020 – and the number is in the thousands.

AT&T’s chief operating officer told investors that leadership is “looking across the entire business” to find areas where they can decrease labor costs. Other reports say that Ma Bell has signed multiple outsourcing deals that could lead to jobs going oversees.

Read about the layoffs.

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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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