September’s Top 12 Stories: Windstream Bankruptcy, SD-WAN and SIP Leaders

There’s no doubt about it — we’re still a long way from getting back to “normal,” whatever that might be. Yet the news cycle in the indirect sales channel seems to be returning to some familiarity.

This edition of our top stories countdown features M&A news, bankruptcy updates, rankings lists and other typically hot content.

For example, in the gallery below you’ll find a key acquisition for CoreDial that could intensify its battle against other UC providers. We’ll also tell you how Windstream finally exited bankruptcy and its plans for partners going forward. Then there’s Gartner’s just-released Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge; it features a lot of names the indirect sales channel knows well.

Not enough lists for you? That’s OK; we’ve got you covered with a list of 20 top SIP providers and an Ethernet leaderboard.

Of course, those are just a few of the stories from our website and our weekly newsletters to crack the top 12 for September. You, our loyal readers, determine what makes it to the top of the charts! Not a newsletter subscriber yet? Join us!

Once you’ve clicked through to see what was No. 1 in indirect sales channel news for September, check out last month’s countdoown featuring CenturyLink, Intelisys and top CCaaS providers.

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Datapipe's Robb Allen

#12 — CoreDial Buys eZuce

Don't know eZuce, the video collaboration and communications technology vendor? You should, because CoreDial just bought the company in a move that could heat up the unified communications (UC) wars.

CoreDial gets Vibe, eZuce's cloud-based video collaboration platform; Uniteme, the company’s UC solution; and Reachme, the company’s contact center (CC) offering.

Read why CoreDial thinks the acquisition will give it some great footing against rivals 8x8, RingCentral and Vonage.
Rusty Vice

#11 — Top SIP Trunking Providers

Hitting the web in late August, our list of 20 top SIP trunking providers took the internet by storm last month.

Part of our recurring "20 top" series, we asked analysts and members of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board to tell us the companies we should be watching for various technologies. This time, it was SIP trunking.

Learn who these industry insiders think are worth talking about.
Lumen Technologies' Jeremy Dupont

#10 — Gartner WAN Edge Magic Quadrant

Published right at the end of the month, it took no time at all for this story to jump into the countdown.

Gartner's highly regarded Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge listed six companies in its "Leaders" group. That's up from just two – VMware and Silver Peak – last year, showing the dramatic growth of SD-WAN.

Learn more about SD-WAN's channel impact and who else Gartner is recognizing.
Lumen Technologies' Jeremy Dupont

#9 — Ziply Fiber/Frontier

The tranquil Pacific Northwest was rocked with controversy this year when Frontier sold off assets to what would become Ziply Fiber. It was part of Frontier's restructuring process agreement, which impacted customers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Our story, published back in May, continues to draw fiery comments from people who aren't satisfied with the turnover of service.

"Ever since the ironically named Ziply Fiber took over Frontier’s failing business, our internet connectivity has become very intermittent and frequently totally unusable for many hours per day," wrote reader Micheal Cranford in our comments section last month.
Startup Business

#8 — Ethernet Leaderboard

Everyone likes a list, so when we published Vertical System Group's ranking of Ethernet service providers, you took notice. It was packed with big channel players.

CenturyLink maintained its lead, one its held since acquiring Level 3 in 2017. AT&T, Spectrum Enterprise and Verizon were second, third and fourth, respectively. VSG ranks the companies based on port share.

See who rounded out the top seven, which all had to have at least 4% share to qualify for the list.
Carousel Industries' Steven Demaayer

#7 — Top Gun 51 Up-and-Comers

We released our second annual Top Gun 51 list of top channel executives this summer, but we weren't done.

Last month we debuted the first of our "baby" Top Gun lists, which we're dubbing "Top Gun On Target." This list featured 10 up-and-comers in the channel, identified by our roster of Top Gun 51 honorees.

See who the execs think are people worth keeping an eye on.
Synergy Research Group's John Dinsdale

#6 — New T-Mobile Partner Program

T-Mobile announced its new partner program in conjunction with our Channel Partners Virtual event. The news came just months after closing its acquisition of Sprint.

The T-Mobile for Business Partner Program lists agents, resellers, MSPs, VARs, cloud partners and solution providers as its target demographic. Channel executives say they are offering “true deal registration” and want to eliminate channel conflict with T-Mobile direct teams.

Read our full story to see how the company plans to make that happen.
Channel Partners' Kevin Morris

#5 — Channel People on the Move

This edition of our popular monthly feature of new hires and promotions featured moves at CenturyLink, Intelisys and Masergy. And that's just to name a few.

That's Dell's Rola Dagher featured above.
Synergy Research Group's John Dinsdale

#4 — Windstream Exits Bankruptcy

Channel stalwart Windstream finally passed all of the requirements to leave chapter 11 bankruptcy in the dust. It took a year-and-a-half, but the company's restructuring process is complete and its debt load much lighter.

What does this mean for the channel? Layne Levine, president of Windstream Enterprise, acknowledged a "checkered history" in the channel. But now it's full speed ahead.

With no financial albatross around its neck, “Windstream now has one of the best balance sheets, period, in the industry,” Levine said. “But more importantly, we’ve stayed focused this entire time around where it is our right to win with our partners."

Read more of Levine's comments, then check out our recap of Windstream's entire bankruptcy saga to get caught up.
Call center remote worker

#3 — Apple, Where's the 5G?

Considering their ubiquitous nature, you and others you know probably have multiple Apple devices. The company just announced its next round of iPads, but something key is missing: 5G.

Despite the absence of 5G support, Apple claims the new iPad Air will perform 60% faster on existing LTE networks than the prior version. The new base iPad is available on Sept 18 and the higher-end iPad Air is set to arrive next month.

We also know approximately when to expect the next iPhone.
IntelePeer logo

#2 — CenturyLink Enterprise Becomes Lumen Technologies

CenturyLink no longer ... CenturyLink? Well, that's at least the case with its enterprise business. Now Lumen Technologies, the communications giant believes the new name reflects how different the company looks from just a few years ago.

Lumen Technologies is poised to help lead enterprises through the challenges and opportunities of the “4th Industrial Revolution" — when “smart, connective devices are everywhere.”

There were no significant changes within the company's channel structure, which still runs through channel chief Garrett Gee. Read about the ramifications on partners.
Blue Register Now Button

#1 — AT&T, Microsoft Team on IoT

Surprised? The potential of the internet of things is prompting speculation in our audience in terms of what might be possible in the channel. This story on a device that aims to improve IoT deployments, a partnership between AT&T and Microsoft, rose all the way to No. 1.

Dubbed a "guardian" device, the “end-to-end solution” aims to help machines connect to the cloud without the help of public internet. The new offer, which AT&T and Microsoft are building, will allow businesses to “retrofit” their equipment into smart devices, the companies said. In addition to connecting to the cloud, the device will help businesses connect their equipment to the Azure IoT Central application platform.

The solution, which the companies are calling a guardian device, utilizes AT&T’s cellular network and the Microsoft Azure Sphere IoT security solution.

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