Top 12 Stories in October: Avaya-RingCentral Deal, Windstream Bankruptcy Update



Stories about bankruptcy continue to populate our monthly countdown, but Windstream and Fusion Connect, the two biggest names in the channel to file chapter 11 this year, are making big strides to emerge as stronger companies.

Those updates appear here, as do the latest SD-WAN rankings; you love to see who’s at the top of the leaderboard and those companies pushing for that No. 1 spot.

October also saw CenturyLink data exposed online and a mammoth deal between RingCentral and Avaya that will change the unified communications landscape for years to come.

As always, our top 12, in the gallery below, feature not only those stories that get the most web traffic, but also those that get your attention in our weekly newsletters. You can sign up for those here.

Missed the previous month’s top stories? Click here to see our most-read posts in September.

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Datapipe's Robb Allen
#12 — Intelisys, ScanSource Celebrate Partner Growth

We kick off our countdown with a story published in late September, but still got a lot of traction in October.

It was our recap of a presentation at Intelisys Channel Connect, which featured Intelisys president Jay Bradley and ScanSource CEO Mike Baur on stage talking about success stories emanating from partner sales.

“As [partners] have grown up, they’ve educated themselves and know where the targets are. [The bull’s-eyes] have changed over the years,” Bradley said. “I credit the partners because we’ve done a good job of educating them and they’ve done a good job of listening.”

Read more about some of the big deals Intelisys and its partners are landing.
Nextiva personnel Oct 2019 gallery
#11 — Synnex, RingCentral Partner on UCC

In the first of two appearances on our countdown, unified communications provider RingCentral announced a new deal with distribution giant Synnex that will deliver unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud communications and contact center solutions to U.S. channel partners.

RingCentral, along with Cisco, Avaya and Five9, are Synnex UCaaS and CCaaS technology partners. This latest deal centers around the delivery of new offers.

Cohesity's Bill Lipsin
#10 — CenturyLink Customer Data Exposed

CenturyLink acknowledged that customers’ personal information was exposed online in a database that’s since been closed.

The records making up the database were logs from a third-party notification platform used by CenturyLink, Comparitech reported., In all, 2.8 million records were exposed in the CenturyLink data leak. The personal information included names, email addresses, phone numbers and physical addresses, along with account-specific information.

“Since becoming aware of this situation, we have worked to confirm that the security issue has been addressed and we are conducting a thorough investigation of the incident," CenturyLink spokesman Mark Molzen told us. "The data involved appears to be primarily contact information and we do not have reason to believe that any financial or other sensitive information was compromised. CenturyLink is in the process of communicating with the affected customers. We will continue to work to protect customer information. CenturyLink takes the protection of our customers’ information seriously, and we will work to ensure that we earn our customers’ trust.”
Sell Outcomes
#9 — Channel People on the Move

Firmly planted once again in our countdown, this edition of Channel People on the Move featured moves at PlanetOne, PGi, AireSpring and more.
Cohesity's Bill Lipsin
#8 — T-Mobile Tops in Business Wireless

If you hadn't followed J.D. Power studies over the past couple of years, it might've surprised you to learn that T-Mobile topped its 2019 Business Wireless Satisfaction Study, but in fact, it was a clean sweep in all three business segments for the third consecutive year.

The carrier credits “generous hotspot data, published rate plan pricing” and strong customer service among the reasons for its victory.

Learn more about T-Mobile's win and why its competition isn't quite up to the magenta carrier's standards.
Cohesity's Bill Lipsin
#7 — Channel Program Update

Our monthly update of new and changing channel programs cracked our top 12, probably for the big names that graced its pages.

We told you about how CenturyLink is helping partners expand their businesses across the pond, Intelisys announcing a new track to help partners pursue a next-gen technology, and F5 Networks revamping its partner program in line with the company's software push.
Unit4's Beata Wright
#6 — Public Cloud Rankings

It's not often that a nine-month-old article remains in our top 12, but that's the case with a story we did on public cloud rankings in February.

It was no surprise that Synergy Research Group identified AWS as the leader, with Microsoft Azure picking up steam. But perhaps it was the idea that IBM is slipping back in the pack – mostly due to its emphasis on private cloud – that has kept the global universe rapt with attention on this post.
CloudJumper personnel Oct. 2019
#5 — Windstream Bankruptcy, Channel Update

We told you that partner dialogue around Windstream's bankruptcy is starting to change. So says Windstream channel chief Curt Allen, who we interviewed in September about the latest developments. Still, more than a month later, this story stayed hot.

"initially [partners] had questions about what it would mean for them short and long term. We have been proactive in our communications throughout the process and they have been appreciative of the transparency and updates. Partners are naturally curious about when we will emerge, but are more focused on how we come together to win business. Our partner conversations are laser-focused on where we can be successful together," Allen said in this Q&A.
CloudJumper personnel Oct. 2019
#4 — Fusion Connect Bankruptcy

2019 will be known as the year of the bankruptcy, with not just Windstream, but Sungard AS and Fusion Connect all filing for chapter 11.

Our story on Fusion's filing that's still on your radar five months later. Published on June 3, we told you how acquisitions of assets from Birch Communications and MegaPath led to the financial struggles. That being said, we got an update from the company last month saying that the future is bright, and it plans to emerge from bankruptcy with all of its partners.
Nextiva's Aaron Acree
#3 — Avaya Ends Acquisition Speculation

Avaya closed the book on swirling acquisition rumors when it entered a strategic partnership with RingCentral. The latter is contributing $500 million to the deal to be Avaya's exclusive UCaaS provider.

The introduction of Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral means Avaya's portfolio now includes a full suite of UC, contact center, UCaaS and CCaaS solutions to a global customer base of 120,000. That includes more than 100 million UC lines and 5 million contact center users in more than 180 countries.

Get the full scoop on this big partnership with channel ramifications.
Bigleaf's Eric Brooker
#2 — Channel Conflict, Controversies

About twice a year, we recap some of the biggest conflicts and controversies in the channel and telecom/IT industries as a whole. It's always an eye-opener.

This edition featured Windstream's "intimidating" agreement notices, Fusion Connect's bankruptcy and layoffs at AT&T, Ribbon, Oracle and more. Don't miss out on the hottest watercooler talk in the channel from the past six months.
Nextiva's Aaron Acree
#1 — SD-WAN Rankings

The channel loves its SD-WAN. Another set of rankings had you glued to our site to see market trends and who's on top.

This time it was IHS Markit's numbers, which listed VMware, Cisco and Aryaka as its top three for the fifth straight quarter. Of note, however, was Fortinet leapfrogging into fourth place over Silver Peak, Nuage Networks and Huawei. The research firm ranked the companies based on revenue generated from SD-WAN appliances, and control and management software."

Go here to see how your company – or a company you partner with – stacked up.

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