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March’s Top 12 Stories: Layoffs, Windstream Delisting, CenturyLink’s Stock Fall

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March both came in like a lion and went out like one, as you kept coming back to our website to catch up on the biggest stories in the channel.

Windstream is still early in the bankruptcy process, so an article about the company getting delisted from the Nasdaq caught your eye. We also introduced our Channel Influencer of the Year last month and got you caught up on who’s leading the pack in Ethernet.

Speaking of lists and rankings, we released version 2.0 of our “CP List” featuring 20 of 2019’s hottest UCaaS providers.

Those were just a handful of the stories you flocked to in March. As the weather warms up, so does engagement with our audience; we had more traffic to our site last month than we did in each of the previous two.

Our countdown is based not only on online traffic but also results from our weekly newsletter. Join the rest of your friends and colleagues who are signing up for it in droves..

Click through our gallery below to find out what was No. 1!

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

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Datapipe's Robb Allen
#12 — 20 Top UCaaS Providers for 2019

We refreshed one of our most popular features from 2018, asking members of our editorial advisory board and the analyst community to identify 20 top UCaaS providers and tell us why they should be on this list. It's remarkable how quickly the landscape is changing in this ever-evolving technology, so if you saw last year's list, expect to see some newbies this time around.

Only posted on March 21, this one didn't need a whole month to rack up the interest from the channel community.
Spectrum's Brian Snortheim
#11 — Enterprise Connect Roundups

Enterprise Connect is a big annual show put on by UBM, part of the Informa (Channel Partners' parent company) family — and there was no shortage of news at the event that impacts the channel.

We kept you apprised with a pair of roundups from EC, including this one that highlighted new products from 8x8 and a new cloud program from Avaya. But that wasn't all; we also featured new announcements that Masergy, Vonage and others made at the show.
Scale Computing's Dan Pierce
#10 — AT&T Job Cuts

Now almost three months since we posted the news, a story about AT&T job cuts is still hanging on to a spot in our top 12. As part of a "geographic rationalization" and "employment surplus," the cuts were to impact employees in nine states and Washington, D.C. 

Despite the news, the carrier told us that it's still actively hiring in many areas of the business — reasoning that doesn't satisfy the Communications Workers of America, the largest labor union representing AT&T workers.

“In fact, AT&T is outsourcing and offshoring work and eliminating good-paying, family-supporting jobs in communities across America that need them,” CWA president Chris Shelton told us on Jan. 9.
Scale Computing's Dan Pierce
#9 — Hot Certifications

Speaking of stories that remain on our countdown, how about this one from Dec. 26, 2017?

Our Kurt Marko broke down 29 hot certifications for 2018 that clearly resonate today. From security to project management professional to solutions architect, we had you covered for '18. Maybe you should see what all the fuss continues to be about.
Zerto's Jim Ortbals
#8 — Channel People on the Move

You've got another chance to see March's edition of Channel People on the Move, whose popularity once again vaulted it into our monthly rankings.

This version featured new hires and promotions at AT&T, Spectrum, Nextiva and more.
HiveIO's George Nealon
#7 — Incumbent Ethernet Rankings

As evidenced by No. 12 on our list and this slide, you like lists and rankings.

We published the results of Vertical Systems Group's year-end 2018 U.S. incumbent carrier Ethernet rankings. You were interested to learn that CenturyLink took the top spot, followed by AT&T, Verizon, Windstream and Frontier.

Incumbent carriers account for more than half of the 1.1 million U.S. retail Ethernet customer ports installed at the end of 2018.
BCN's Julian Jacquez
#6 — CenturyLink Stock Hits Historic Low

The first quarter of 2019 was a forgettable one for CenturyLink, which had to deal with the fallout from a nationwide outage the last week of 2018, then saw its stock fall to a 20-year low on in March after the company reported it was unable to meet the deadline for filing its 10-K with the SEC.

The communications giant also recently posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.
BCN's Julian Jacquez
#5 — Channel Influencer of the Year

We identified Janet Schijns, former Verizon and Office Depot channel head, as our Channel Influencer of the Year. It was part of our spring print and digital issues, where we recognized 25 organizations and nine innovators (including Schijns) to watch, plus 10 business trends taking off and 10 technologies that might just take over.

Schijns now runs the consulting group she founded 10 years ago.
Highfive's Greg Popham
#4 — Avaya Considers $5 Billion Buyout

Big things could be happening at Avaya if rumors about a buyout come to fruition.

A Reuters report citing people familiar with the matter said the unified communications and contact-center provider is considering a $5 billion leveraged buyout by a private-equity firm. Avaya's board supposedly is weighing the bid. Stay tuned.
Rackspace's Sandy Hogan
#3 — Channel Conflict & Controversy

Twice a year we catch you up on the channel's most controversial topics, all in a one-stop shop.

This edition featured Windstream's bankruptcy, rumors at Mitel and trash talk from RingCentral, not to mention a slew of layoffs impacting companies that do business with partners.
Telarus' Rich Goates
#2 — Windstream Delisted, Draws Scorn

News of Windstream's bankruptcy announcement in February carried over into March, as a story we posted on the company getting delisted from the Nasdaq caught fire.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) didn't hold back his criticism of the communications company.

“Despite its bankruptcy status, the burden of Windstream’s financial problems cannot fall on the shoulders of taxpayers who depend on their services to access the internet,” Collins said.
Rackspace's Sandy Hogan
#1 — Oracle, SAP Layoffs

It's not unusual for bad news to top this list, but one piece of news took on a life of its own.

We reported on hundreds of employees getting pink slips at tech giant Oracle as it continues shifting resources from its legacy business to cloud computing. A follow-up story gave us some more specifics on the locations from which the workers are being let go.

“As our cloud business grows, we will continually balance our resources and restructure our development group to help ensure we have the right people delivering the best cloud products to our customers around the world," said Oracle spokesperson Deborah Hellinger.

These two stories alone were responsible for 9 percent of all our web traffic in March.

If that weren't enough, we posted a story about layoffs at SAP on March 28 that got enough attention to qualify for the No. 3 spot on this countdown if we didn't combine all of these job cuts into one.

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