Windstream Brands Enterprise, Wholesale Units, Stops Short of Renaming Company

Building a brand

Windstream on Wednesday unveiled new brands for its enterprise and wholesale businesses after deciding not to change the name of the company.

The two businesses are – no surprise – Windstream Enterprise and Windstream Wholesale. Joseph Harding, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the two businesses, tells Channel Partners it’s time to “tell a different story than our former brand positioning offered.”

Windstream's Joe Harding

Windstream’s Joe Harding

“Beyond the technology, we’re hearing from customers that they’re looking for service providers that offer a much greater degree of agility in understanding their specific needs and then of course in how they respond to delivering solutions to meet those needs,” he said. “And if you look at everything that’s happening in the market, with all the consolidation of all the service providers … there’s less and less focus on those individual customers, particularly in the mid-enterprise space, that we think we’ve got a unique opportunity to carve out a patch for ourselves and differentiate ourselves as well.”

Harding said changing the name of the company was “actually actively considered, but there [are] a handful of reasons we decided not to — cost was one.”

Layne Levine, president of Windstream Enterprise and Wholesale, said the rebranding has been a work in progress for nearly three years in terms of investing in the company’s network and technology, acquisitions and products, “and changing this entire look and feel of who Windstream is going forward.”

Windstream's Layne Levine

Windstream’s Layne Levine

“We think that the timing is absolutely perfect because there is a technology migration, it’s happening and it’s real,” he said. “Everybody, they may not necessarily want to change, but they definitely want to talk to you about SD-WAN, SDN, security, UCaaS, everything that’s being driven to the cloud. Now folks have to take a look at how they handle the network and their applications. So it’s a natural migration that they need to have someone to help guide them.”

In terms of partner benefit, Levine said Windstream wants to become partners’ “trusted adviser” to help them help lead their clients through this technology migration “so that they know that they can be the subject-matter expert in the eyes of that customer and we’re there to back them up.”

Windstream Enterprise logo“And again, the conversations are happening within every IT department out there, and this is an opportunity for the partner to really set themselves apart from the competition in terms of how they provide solutions and services to their end user,” he said.

Windstream acquired both EarthLink and Broadview Networks last year, and last month announced it is buying Mass Communications (MassComm).

Harding said partners are seeing the “momentum turning in the right direction and they’re increasingly confident that they can lean on us.”

“Where we’re given the opportunity, we’re very confident we’re going to deliver value for both the partner and their end customer,” he said.

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