They are the stories your friends, colleagues and business rivals are reading.
As always, our top 10 stories from last month are determined by a combination of online page views and interest from our weekly newsletter audience.
In February, what had you talking? How about Verizon’s proposal to buy XO’s fiber business? You certainly were interested in a former channel chief at Vonage and Cbeyond getting a new job. And highlights from Avaya’s Executive Partner Summit were on your watch list as well.
Click through or download our slide show to see which story was No. 1.
Missed January’s top 10 stories? Click here to see our most-read posts in January.
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Intelisys hired former Windstream executive Rob Fish as its senior channel manager, Southeast Region. Based out of Atlanta, Fish will manage Intelisys sales partners throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. He has spent the last 10 years as a channel manager for Windstream. Before joining Windstream, Fish held several roles with Cable & Wireless, specializing in the training of sales leaders and development of training curricula.
Read more about Fish’s future at Intelisys here.
In a huge purchase with a channel impact, Verizon will spend $1.8 billion for XO Communications’ fiber-optic network business. It’s expected to close during the first half of 2017. If approved, the transaction would provide Verizon with access to XO’s fiber-based IP and Ethernet networks, “helping to better serve enterprise and wholesale customers,” according to XO. In addition, the acquired fiber facilities will help Verizon continue to densify its cell network. This story probably would’ve been higher if it hadn’t broken right at the end of the month.
Click here to learn more about this proposed mega-merger.
AT&T is working with Nokia to make sure U.S. utility companies can get their data when they really need it. The companies are providing a new option for these businesses to build a private, highly secure, reliable and high-capacity LTE network. The solution combines AT&T spectrum with Nokia LTE technology. It covers utilities at times and places their own private networks can’t. The companies say utilities will have continuity they can count on for their critical grid applications and they’ll have a network that can evolve with the distribution grid of the future.
Got a utility customer? This might be worth exploring.
Avaya hosted its Executive Partner Forum 2016 in San Diego. The annual event is for Avaya’s partners in the Americas, and includes business sessions, networking activities, presentations and its Connect Partners of the Year Awards. Hundreds of Avaya’s 10,500 active partners participated in this year’s event. Our cameras were there; we shared the highlights in an image gallery.
In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Jason Porter, security VP with AT&T, told us that there’s “a lot of nervousness” among partners and customers considering this new wave of technology. Certainly, the full potential of IoT won’t be reached if the cost and complexity of security are on their minds. Porter recommends aligning IoT plans with security from the get-go. Considering regulatory and legal issues is also critical.
Read our Q&A with Porter here.
In a guest column titled, “Ingram Micro, Odin, Microsoft & Cloud Hosting: A Perfect Storm,” Aruba.it’s Francesco Cetraro called Ingram’s purchase of the Odin Service Automation platform from Parallels a “very interesting piece of news.” Why? As cloud-based services become more widely adopted and commoditized, there is a movement toward fewer, very large players fighting for domination. It’s a battle that has already seen quite illustrious casualties, including HPE, which decided to give up trying to compete with its own offering and become a premium partner of Microsoft Azure.
Read the full guest column here.
Oracle’s new PartnerNetwork Cloud Program aims to help partners accelerate the growth of their Oracle Cloud business through technical and go-to-market support. There are new tiers of recognition and progressive benefits. Qualifications will be based on performance metrics, including the partners’ cloud specializations, applications on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, cloud fixed-scope offerings, successful go-live implementations, success stories, and cloud-focused resources and expertise. In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Oracle’s Penny Philpot gave us more details.
Click here for the full Q&A on Oracle’s new cloud program.
We’ve already had one “person on the move” in this top 10 list, and there’s one more to come. So it should be obvious by now, especially if you’re a regular reader of our monthly top 10, that our audience likes to see who’s movin’ on up (or over) like “The Jeffersons.” Our monthly gallery once again cracked our list of most-read stories in February.
Here’s last month’s gallery.
Partners know Zane Long from his days at Cbeyond – before being acquired by Birch – where he was national vice president of channel sales. If not there, then from his role more recently as VP of Vonage’s Global Strategic Partner Group. Now Long has a new role as channel chief at RingCentral, the cloud communications and collaboration provider.
Read more about Long’s plans here.
Windstream told a percentage of its SMB customers (those with sub-$1,500 accounts) that it is raising rates on deals. These deals are money-losers for the communications giant as it focuses more on its enterprise customers and partners who sell to larger businesses. Channel chief Jason Dishon told us that Windstream has segmented its customers between an SMB unit and an enterprise unit. Sub-$1,500 accounts were moved to the SMB unit. We’re talking about “less than 3 percent of our partner base that’s being looked at …” Dishon said.
Learn more about this issue here.