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CenturyLink’s John DeLozier: ‘Amazing’ Returns on Level 3 Investment

Business Celebration

… jumps into the data centers and puts a red wire to red wire, and it just all lights up, that’s really not our plan and how it works. But when you lay our networks down together next to each other on the table, and you look at a map of the United States – of the world really – it’s incredible how Level 3 was in places we weren’t, and we were in places they weren’t. So we’re taking advantage of that. So it’s good stuff.

CP: What sort of feedback are you continuing to receive from the various partners?

JD: We have a tremendous group of partners. The top 25 is what I handle, most of our top masters. Level 3 had relationships with them as well. There were a few that they had and we didn’t and vice versa … But I value them, they’re on my advisory council, I listen to them, and the feedback has been very candid; it’s been very fair in most cases, and it’s always coming — they have a lot to say. And it’s interesting because each one of them has their own specific requests and things they like to see, but the interesting thing that I’ve seen in this whole process as I’ve received feedback from partners is the red thread of feedback, things they’d like to see better or things they’d like to see enhanced, those kinds of things. They’re why I have a job, so it’s good stuff.

CP: How rapidly are changes being made in response to what they’re saying — what they’re wanting?

JD: For being such a large company, we’re pretty flat from a management perspective. I report to Lisa Miller, our president, who reports to Jeff Storey (president and COO), so it’s pretty flat. Because it’s so flat and because we’ve taken a lot of the bureaucracy out, we can make changes pretty quickly. And so if it’s something significant, my partner Garrett (Gee) and I will sit down and talk about it; we’ll bring it to Lisa and we’ve put things in place within days sometimes, within weeks. If it’s something major, like a major change to our agreement or a change in how we go to market, that may take a little while because there may be operational and legal, and financial things that we’ve got to consider, but we’re able to put in place partner recommendations pretty fast. And I think they value that because we listen. It’s not always yes, but when it is, we move pretty quickly.

CP: What’s new in terms of partner opportunities, and ways that CenturyLink and its partners can gain a competitive advantage?

JD: What’s new is really what’s old, but we keep it a secret. People think of CenturyLink as this global network company that connects the world as a trusted, connect carrier, and that’s true, no question about it. But what people miss – and this is the part that I really want them to understand – is we’re one of the largest security companies in the world; we value our partnerships with many, many large security companies and we carry a ton of the world’s internet traffic, so it’s a big, big deal for us. From a cloud perspective, whether it’s a hybrid network or a …

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