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Top 12 Stories in November: CenturyLink, Avaya, Windstream

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Some of the biggest movers and shakers in the channel broke out with big news in November.

Avaya drew much closer to emerging from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. AT&T changed its commission structure for partners. Leaders in hosted VoIP and UCaaS were announced — with some surprising results.

Those were just three of the stories taking the channel by storm before and after Thanksgiving. As usual, we tally our numbers from a combination of online page views and clicks in our weekly newsletter.

What was No. 1? Click through our gallery below to find out!

Looking for more top stories? Click here to see our most-read posts in October.

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Datapipe's Robb Allen
#12 — Windstream Channel Chief Q&A

In October, you were surprised to learn that Olen Scott, Windstream channel chief, was parting ways with the company. He had just taken the job in February after the Arkansas-based communications giant bought EarthLink, where Scott led that company's channel.

Then last month, you were eager to read our Q&A with Curt Allen, Scott's replacement. Allen came out of a semi-retirement to take the job; the channel knew him as president of X4 Solutions before it was acquired by Sandler Partners in 2016.
RapidScale's Louis Valentino
#11 — UCaaS Rankings

The researchers at Frost & Sullivan unveiled their latest hosted VoIP and UCaaS rankings, noting that this market should rack up double-digit growth through 2023, providing partners with a continued great opportunity.

8x8, Fonality and RingCentral were identified as market leaders, along with evolving providers AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast and more. Due to multiple acquisitions, Vonage has risen to second place in hosted VoIP revenue.

Learn about all of these top dogs here.
Dell EMC's Joyce Mullen
#10 — Ingram Micro's 2018 Predictions

Be disruptive. That was the message from Ingram Micro's Paul Bay on the first day of the distribution giant's IM One event in Dallas.

In his keynote, Bay laid out five predictions for 2018 and how partners can take advantage of them to improve their businesses.

What are they? Click here to find out.
Dell EMC's Joyce Mullen
#9 — Embracing Hosted VoIP

CenturyLink released results of a survey, conducted in partnership with Spiceworks, that provided a number of insights into hosted VoIP — most notably that it will play an increasingly critical role in strategies to improve business processes in the years to come.

“The ability to make your employee – and, in fact, the entire business in some cases – mobile, is a big driver,” said Eric Nowak, CenturyLink's director of product management.

Read about the other drivers here.

Intelisys' Thomas Legare
#8 — CallTower Hire

A longtime ShoreTel channel leader joined fellow UC provider CallTower. He's one of a handful of former ShoreTel employees finding new employment after Mitel's purchase of the company.

Peter Agricola is CallTower's new director of VAR development. He has worked in a variety of sales and channel roles for unified communications companies in the Boston area since 1988.

See what made this story such a popular read in November.
Intelisys' Thomas Legare
#7 — Reaction to VMware-VeloCloud

Software-defined networking technology is shaking up the channel. Combine that with a major acquisition in the space, and you've got yourself a popular topic.

SimpleWAN, a Phoenix-based company working to prove its unique position in the SD-WAN market, weighed in on VMware's acquisition of VeloCloud — you were interested in the company's take.

“So for Cisco to buy Viptela and then for VMware to buy VeloCloud — we were actually really shocked," SimpleWAN CEO Erik Knight told us.

Why? Read more to find out.
Tech Data's Kevin Kennedy
#6 — Channel People on the Move

The recurring monthly favorite cracked our top 12 for the umpteenth time in a row.

This version featured new hires and promotions at AT&T, Telarus and Vonage, just to name a few.
Tech Data's Kevin Kennedy
#5 — Verizon's SD-WAN for Government

Verizon unleashed a new opportunity for partners who sell to federal-government clients.

SD-WAN for Government is designed specifically for agencies that dynamically manage changes in internet traffic caused by the rapidly increasing demand for cloud technologies and mobile services.

Click here to learn more about how you can sell this new offering.
Ormuco's Maria Dinallo
#4 — M&A Roundup

Every month or two we update you on channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions — whether newly announced, recently closed, or if there are key developments in the process.

This version gave you the latest scoop on Telarus' purchase of CarrierSales, Mitel's ShoreTel buy and CenturyLink-Level 3.
Broadvoice's Alan Kaplan
#3 — AT&T Alliance Channel Changes

Many of our readers sell for AT&T, so when the company's Alliance Channel said it was changing commission options and simplifying its partner agreements, you sat up and took notice.

Kevin Leonard, AT&T’s vice president of alternate channels, told us the program enhancements simplify the process of joining, transacting with and getting paid by AT&T. He says a residual commission option gives partners more choice.

In all, the Alliance Channel made four changes you should be aware of. They're here.
Broadvoice's Alan Kaplan
#2 — Avaya Bankruptcy Ending

An article we posted on Oct. 24 had long-lasting impact on our readers, making it November's No. 2 story. Avaya announced nearing the end of chapter 11 bankruptcy protection which has dogged the communications provider throughout 2017.

The company's so-called Global Resolution garnered support from two-thirds of the company’s lien holders, something Avaya brass called a major milestone. Then in late November, a court approved Avaya's restructuring plan, making a chapter 11 exit appear to be imminent.
TPx personnel
#1 — CenturyLink Layoffs

As a perfect example of "if it bleeds, it leads," CenturyLink's layoff announcement was our most-read story in November.

While not a large number of job cuts when you consider the company as a whole, CenturyLink confirmed it would lay off more than 150 employees after the recent close of its $34 billion acquisition of Level 3 Communications.

“As a result of our acquisition of Level 3, our customers, from individual consumers to global enterprises, benefit from our expanded, innovative network solutions and our complementary managed services,” said CenturyLink spokesman Mark Molzen. “The combination of the two companies also has meant that we must eliminate redundant positions. As a result, we are eliminating IT positions in product development and technology.”

Read more here.

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