Our look back at December 2015 includes a lot of looks back at the entire year.
Galleries and slide shows featuring the top pictures of the year, top partners and more were prominent in our list, but there were some big news stories as well. Among them: a continuing cloud shake-up at CenturyLink that could have a ripple effect in the channel; former Windstream and Comcast channel managers getting jobs as new channel chiefs; and a debate over which cloud service to recommend to customers – Azure or AWS.
As usual, our tallies come from combining online page views with results from our weekly newsletter.
Which story was No. 1? Click through our slide show to find out!
Looking for more top stories? Check out our top 10 from November.
Editor-in-Chief Lorna Garey’s sit-down with Jason Bystrak, executive director for Ingram Micro Cloud in the Americas, touched on the distributor’s cloud growth, the explosion of Office 365, certifications, professional services and advice for partners. Bystrak said his business is “going like a hockey stick.”
You can read the full Q&A with Bystrak here.
The evolved collaboration platform is designed to enable customers to message, meet and call anyone, anywhere and anytime. Spark’s selling points are unified messaging, meeting and calling; monthly, subscription-based pricing set by partners; availability for all-size customers and built-in cloud integration. The new Spark Hybrid Services, available now in the U.S., allow customers of on-premises CUCM, BE Series or HCS to connect to Spark messaging and meeting services and connect call, conferencing, calendaring and directory services to functions in Cisco private or public clouds.
Click here to read more about the advancements in Cisco’s Spark.
I know what you’re thinking — did I miss the show? Nope. Our image gallery from our 2015 event in March made its way into our December top 10 thanks to its appearance in our “Top 10 Stories of the Year” slide show that went live on Dec. 28. You either wanted to see what you missed the first time around or you thought it was a nice time to revisit the good times you had at the show.
Click here to see all the photos you might have missed.
Register now for the 2016 Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 16-18, in Las Vegas.
Accel Networks, a Sierra Wireless company, named a longtime Windstream channel manager as its new director of channel sales. As channel chief at Accel, Greg Franzen will craft the company’s channel strategy. Accel provides primary and backup connectivity services to more than 300 enterprise customers. Two weeks later, Accel announced that Chris Whitaker, formerly of Comcast Business, would step in beside Franzen and share the role.
… which segues us into Channel People on the Move, our recurring image gallery highlighting promotions and new hires that claims a spot in our top 10 every month.
Click here to see the People on the Move gallery published in December.
Like the chicken or the egg, it’s becoming a question that scholars might debate for years to come. For your customers, it depends on figuring out the best-long term solution to support a particular workload and to satisfy their business needs and drivers. So said Jo Peterson and Michael Goodenough in a guest column for Channel Partners. Their conclusion?: Either Azure or AWS could be a fit. Sometimes the answer comes down to feature/functionality needed, price or plain-old preference.
Should you help your customers choose AWS or Azure? Seven decision points are here.
In a Channel Partners Q&A, Bob Laskey, VP, global markets, software industry for CenturyLink, discussed how the transformation of the software marketplace – and the industry overall – toward being cloud- and SaaS-enabled, is accelerating as we move into 2016. What does that mean for CenturyLink and its partners? For one thing, a broadening definition of who, exactly, is a software vendor. Partners able to deal with everyone from established SaaS providers to ad-hoc IoT developers will have an edge in providing customers complete solutions.
Read the full Q&A with Laskey here.
Who were the best of the best in the second half of last year? We compiled a list of top partners as anointed by some of the biggest vendors in the channel. You wanted to know which companies and which of your rivals were recognized as leaders in the business.
Click here for our slide show that breaks down the many winners.
If you weren’t looking for who took home hardware for their channel leadership, you were probably clicking through our image gallery featuring our pictures of the year. One dozen made the cut, bringing back memories and offering up “that happened this year?” moments for you to share with colleagues.
Did you or someone you know make it into our Pictures of the Year? Click here to find out!
The cloud at CenturyLink got a little foggier last month when the telco giant revealed that it’s losing its top two cloud executives. Jared Wray and Jonathan King left the company on Dec. 1. CenturyLink denied a Fortune report that the exits may indicate a strategic shift away from public cloud infrastructure where it faces competition from bigger players like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure. The news followed the departure of Andrew Higginbotham last spring. He led all of CenturyLink’s cloud and managed-services businesses.
Read more about the turmoil at CenturyLink’s cloud unit by clicking here.