CenturyLink Touts Shift to IT, Doles Out Awards

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our recent list of “Top Partners: The Best of the Best,” featuring channel partners recognized by numerous companies in the industry.**

CenturyLink is on its way to becoming an IT house encompassing cloud, colocation, network and managed services.

And as the company, which made its mark in the indirect channel as a telecom provider, has moved toward that goal, some longtime agents have feared they would be left behind in favor of VARs and MSPs. Blake Wetzel, vice president of CenturyLink Channel Alliance, exhorted traditional telecom partners to define their place in the more IT-centric sales environment.

Not to worry.

“Yes, they have to evolve the company but they want us all to come with them,” said Richard Murray, president of CarrierSales, a longtime CenturyLink master agent that has been making the shift to IT. “It’s not a, ‘Hey, we don’t care about you’ [situation]. There are going to be agencies that if they only do wireline, they probably will get left behind. But those of us that have evolved or are evolving, [CenturyLink is] going to help us evolve with them.”

Indeed, the idea of transformation underscored CenturyLink’s mid-January Channel Alliance event in Denver. Over three days, CCA executives talked to nearly 400 participants about how the provider is bringing together cloud and network services – not just on the technology side, but within the channel.

Blake Wetzel, channel chief of CenturyLink Channel Alliance, encouraged traditional telecom agents to find their place in the IT ecosystem.To that point, Blake Wetzel, vice president of CenturyLink Channel Alliance, exhorted traditional telecom partners to define their place in the more IT-centric sales environment, and previewed go-to-market programs aimed at helping legacy partners target their customers’ new technology challenges with IT platforms. Elements include making certain commitments in return for earning MDFs.

“I’m excited about it,” Murray said. “I think they’re doing good things, investing in the channel, and are committed to helping us evolve our business.”

Meantime, what would a gathering of channel partners be without awards? Here’s the list of companies CenturyLink honored during its CCA event:

(winners on next page)

Top Large Deal Partner                    

  • Intelisys Communications     
  • Spearhead Networks Inc.       
  • OneTel Holdings LLC 

Highest Sales Attainment   

  • Intelisys Communications
  • Spearhead Networks Inc.
  • OneTel Holdings

Top Non-Channel-Integrated Seller

  • Intelisys Communications
  • Lightstream Communications
  • TeleSource Communications

Top Greenfields Incentive Winner (new logo customer wins over a certain revenue amount)

  • Lightstream Communications           

Top Retention Partner         

  • Agent Alliance
  • Inc.
  • Enterprise Visions Inc.

Top Cloud Seller       

  • Agent Alliance
  • Telecom Efficient Inc.
  • OBJ Group

Top Hosting Sales    

  • Agent Alliance
  • Telecom Efficient Inc.
  • Spearhead Networks Inc.           

Highest Revenue Growth    

  • Intelisys Communications     
  • Spearhead Networks, Inc.      
  • Black Box Network Services              

$1 Million Bonus (for any agency that increases its business with CenturyLink by $2 million in monthly recurring revenue at any time between 2010 and the end of 2015)

  • Spearhead Networks Inc.

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