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Windstream has formed a new master-agent partnership in conjunction with a new initiative to reach SMB customers.
PlanetOne Communications added the business-communications giant as a preferred provider and will bolster its portfolio with Windstream’s voice, cloud, collaboration, networking and data-center offerings.
Windstream says the agreement fits with its recent decision to rebrand its enterprise and wholesale units. Windstream Enterprise is undergoing a “multi-year transformation strategy to deliver cloud-based and connectivity solutions to small and midsize businesses and enterprises” and calls PlanetOne the “preferred business provider” for helping partners bring technologies and managed services to end users.
“I look forward to working with PlanetOne, [which] has established one of the most productive partner communities in the space. This is the new Windstream Enterprise, transformed on all fronts. We are thrilled to have this level of engagement with PlanetOne and look forward to re-engaging with their longtime partners, as well as increasing sales across our product portfolio and welcoming new channel partners into the Windstream Enterprise program,” said Curt Allen, Windstream Enterprise’s senior vice president of channel.
Windstream labelled the Arizona-based master agency as a key industry influencer. PlanetOne reported 22 percent year-over-year revenue growth at its latest partner conference.
PlanetOne CEO Ted Schuman said IT leaders are demanding technologies such as SD-WAN and UCaaS. Windstream has highlighted those offerings, saying that 30-40 percent of its sales come from SD-WAN and UCaaS. Windstream’s chief financial officer said last week that he hopes for the number to reach 50 percent in 2018.
Schuman also praised Curt Allen, who assumed the role of Windstream’s channel chief last November.
“Under Curt’s leadership, Windstream is working fast to educate and empower its channel partners to address the connectivity services gap created by enterprise-focused carriers and smaller cable companies,” Schuman said. “It’s a huge opportunity, and the channel is hands-down the best direct sales force for Windstream to tap into. It’s an exciting time to expand our relationship and welcome Windstream Enterprise to our Preferred Provider portfolio.”