CenturyLink: Channel Beat 2013 Expectations

By Josh Long Comments
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Josh LongDENVER — The indirect sales channel exceeded CenturyLink’s expectations last year, a senior executive with the nation’s third-largest telecommunications company said Thursday during the AllianceEXPO 2014 hosted by CenturyLink Channel Alliance.

“We were able to deliver well above … the revenue we asked this combined ecosystem to deliver for us in 2013," said Kenny Wyatt, senior vice president of Business Solutions.

CenturyLink Channel Chief Blake Wetzel (right) on stage at the company's partner summit with Kenny Wyatt, SVP of business solutions.The Monroe, La.-based company has been gobbling companies in an effort to transform itself into a cloud and IT powerhouse that appeals to SMBs, government, large enterprises and global organizations. 

Wyatt was predictability bullish about being able to meet those diverse needs. “You’ve got the leading portfolio to meet any of our customers across all the segments," he declared in his morning address to channel partners at the Grand Hyatt in the Mile High City.  

Channel "Seeing Incredible Growth"

CenturyLink is beefing up its channel staff by 10 percent to meet growth in the channel, said Blake Wetzel, vice president of the CenturyLink Channel Alliance. CenturyLink hired most individuals last month, including service managers and sales engineers, he noted.  

“We are seeing incredible growth," Wetzel said in an interview with Channel Partners magazine.

Amid such growth (CenturyLink does not disclose its channel revenues), CenturyLink has been adding a variety of IT and cloud services thanks to a slew of acquisitions, including its November 2013 purchase of Tier 3, a public cloud services provider in Seattle.  

Tier 3, which was immediately rebranded CenturyLink Cloud, can be sold today through the indirect channel, Wetzel said. Although no deals have been closed through the channel, Wetzel identified some large opportunities. “They [channel partners] are actually promoting it very heavily," he said.

How CenturyLink Acquired Tier 3

Jared Wray, Tier 3’s founder and current CTO of CenturyLink Cloud, said his company had been growing like gangbusters before it was acquired by CenturyLink.  He explained how the deal first came up: over drinks in Seattle with a friend from Savvis and a CenturyLink executive, Bryan Taylor. Wray immediately discovered that Taylor (vice president of corporate development) was responsible for spearheading acquisitions.

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