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The Weekly Wrap: Top Channel Executives, Business Wireline Providers Honored

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The tech industry’s top channel executives earned major recognition this week.

Channel Partners and Channel Futures on Wednesday unveiled our Top Gun 51, which honors the movers and shakers in our industry. Channel chiefs from IT and telecommunications companies alike shine prominently in this elite list.

Our website also covered several new products and services that recently hit the channel. Microsoft Teams and and work-from-home offers played a prominent role.

Check out these seven mini-stories before you start your weekend.

7. Fortinet Tackles SD-WAN, Security in a Multicloud Environment

The networking and security provider launched a multicloud version of its SD-WAN solution.

Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud uses a virtual appliance to connect to all major public cloud platforms and creates what the company calls a seamless network interface. Fortinet executives say they are meeting rising demand for multicloud optimization.

We shared how the update builds on Fortinet’s existing SD-WAN offering.

6. New Services to Sell: 8×8 Platform, Comcast Connectivity, More

It should come as a shock to no one that work-from-home offers inundated our latest product update.

For example, 8×8 and Comcast rolled out products and services that give customers more flexibility to work remotely. Similarly, Microsoft Teams integrations featured prominently as vendors sought to improve the unified communications experience.

Other announcements included new contact center capabilities, an SD-WAN partnership and Zoom encryption.

See more updates in our New Services Roundup.

5. Verizon Adds Google Cloud Contact Center AI for Better Customer Service

The carrier’s customer care team will benefit from increased contact center capabilities.

Adding Google Cloud Contact Center artificial intelligence serves more as a Verizon customer service offering than a partner offering, according to Verizon’s David Longo.

However, Longo said “our partners will ultimately benefit from their customers’ positive experience with Verizon.”

Edward Gately has the scoop.

4. Business Wireline: The Best & Worst Companies for Customer Satisfaction

Service providers improved year-over-year in serving their business wireline customers, J.D. Power and Associates said.

The latest satisfaction study, conducted in April and May, shows AT&T, Verizon, Comcast Business and their peers growing their approval rating. For instance, the average SMB satisfaction score jumped 38 points from 2019 to 2020. COVID-19’s got nothing on them.

The study reveals who is doing well and who is doing poorly.

3. Black Lives Matter Statement

The Channel Partners and Channel Futures teams released our statement on racial injustice.

We outlined steps we will take to tangibly foster diversity and inclusion in the channel. Our new Allies of the Channel Council seeks to draw attention to voices that our industry rarely hears at events. We’ll also shift our editorial content to include topics of hiring and workplace sensitivity.

Read our statement.

2. Microsoft Teams Together Mode Gets Release Date, Stares Down Zoom

Video conferences — ever wished you could trade in those boring Brady Bunch squares for an auditorium? If so, Microsoft Teams has you covered.

The new “Together Mode” displays video participants in unique settings using segmentation technology. The update also provides transcription and an enhanced whiteboard.

Jeffrey Schwartz covered the update.

1. Top Gun 51 for 2020: Meet This Year’s Best Channel Executives

Channel Partners Top Gun 51 logoCytracom’s Meredith Caram, Wildix’s Robert Cooper and TPx’s Jim Delis. These are three of our Top Gun 51 award winners.

Distributors, master agents and analysts helped our editorial team come up with a list of 51 influential channel executives. We measured the honors based on channel advocacy and the success of their partners.

Scroll through the gallery Buffy Naylor assembled to honor the winners.


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