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7 Stories: Coronavirus Fallout, CCaaS Market Leaders, Windstream Channel Post-Bankruptcy

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A UCaaS provider is merging with a CCaaS provider, and the channel partner community is grappling with an increasingly remote workforce.

It’s a wild time to be working in the channel. Just when we thought unified communications was a hot technology, a global pandemic may further increase demand for video conferencing.

And that’s not all the coronavirus is doing to our industry.  Event cancellations swept over the country during a week where we had hoped to be in Las Vegas for the Channel Partners Conference & Expo. (Stay tuned to Channel Partners Online for an announcement regarding rescheduling.) No one is exempt from the impact.

But although COVID-19 dominates the headlines, our industry is working through other trends. SD-WAN and contact center featured prominently in our latest weekly roundup. Scroll through the seven mini-stories below to see the highlights.

7. Windstream Channel Chief: Partners Eager for New, Post-Bankruptcy Chapter

Windstream just rolled out a new partner portal, among multiple channel-related plans.

That’s according to Matt Milliron, Windstream’s channel chief and head of strategic channels. He replaced Curt Allen last fall and will be leading Windstream’s channel operations as the company exits chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Milliron explained in a Q&A what partners should expect for the post-bankruptcy process.

Edward Gately has the scoop.

6. Lifesize, Serenova Merge to Address UCaaS-CCaaS Convergence

Video conferencing and contact center capabilities are coming together in a fascinating merger.

An investment firm is coordinating the transaction between Lifesize and Serenova. Lifesize’s CEO will function as CEO in the combined company, although its branding is yet to be determined. Executives said partner-impact details will appear at a later date.

Read more about the merger.

5. Coronavirus Threat: Big Opportunities for Video Conferencing in the Channel

It’s the elephant in the room — the unavoidable question that businesses and their technology partners must answer.

And according to Janet Schijns, the majority of the channel is behind the curve when it comes to preparing their customers for telecommuting. Schijns’ company, JS Group, found that 59% of traditional channel partners have yet to implement digital transformation in their own business.

So, for many partners, they themselves are not prepared for the impact of coronavirus.

“If you had actually prepared for what the market realities already were, which was the digital normal,” Schijns told Edward Gately. “… a virus shouldn’t make you have to prepare like this. However, because almost 60% of the channel – their own businesses is ill-prepared – it reflects in the fact that their customers also don’t have video conferencing.”

Schijns and other experts spoke with Gately about video conferencing opportunities.

4. Telarus Hires Intelisys, Seranova Alumna, Signs Sonic

It was a busy week for the Utah-based master agent.

First, Telarus landed a new senior partner development manager. Taylor Klevins brings experience from Serenova and Intelisys, just like Brandon Knight, who now leads the contact center business development for Telarus.

Telarus also signed a supplier agreement with a fiber-optic telecommunications provider and named one of its partners the exclusive distributor of a drone services company.

Learn about the personnel appointment.

3. CenturyLink’s Miller: Partners Can Meet All Customer IP Needs

CenturyLink is educating partners about its SMB-focused cloud communications solution.

The internet services provider meant to use a roadshow – now in question due to coronavirus – to highlight the CenturyLlnk Engage platform. Lisa Miller, CenturyLink’s president of wholesale, indirect and SME, said she’s also eager for partners to embrace the company’s new…

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