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Top 12 Stories in August: CenturyLink’s Chief, More Layoffs, Top SD-WAN Providers

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August’s roundup of top stories is a microcosm of the biggest stories of the year.

You’re always interested in who’s getting laid off from which companies, which vendors rank highest in various technologies, and who’s taking the reins as channel chief at the suppliers with whom you work.

Case in point: In August, some of our most-read stories included Xerox and West cutting hundreds of jobs — many of which have direct ties to the channel; the ranking of the top seven Ethernet providers; and CenturyLink naming its new channel chief.

Those are just some of our most-read stories – determined by taking into account both online page views and our weekly newsletter results (sign up for that here) – from August.

Which story was No. 1? Click through our gallery below to find out!

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

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Datapipe's Robb Allen
#12 — AT&T's Fiber Milestone

Partners are a big part of AT&T's fiber effort, which reached a milestone last month.

More than 450,000 U.S. business locations are using AT&T fiber, the carrier said. Its fiber network consists of business fiber, dedicated internet, switched Ethernet and dedicated Ethernet.

The company has been sharing its data with FiberLocator, an online tool that shows partners and customers which buildings are already lit with fiber.

Find out how quickly AT&T's fiber reach is growing.
ConnectWise's Arlin Sorensen
#11 — Cox Business Buys RapidScale

Cox Business made another big move into IT with the purchase of RapidScale, expanding the cable company's managed services and cloud portfolio.

Cox says this immediately boosts its transport and connectivity capabilities. RapidScale's cloud solutions include backup, server and desktop.

Learn how the acquisition "grows Cox Business in a strategic manner."
INFINIT Consulting's Darrin Swan
#10 — West Cuts Jobs

West didn't say who ended their contract with the company, but it must've been a biggie.

The provider of UCaaS, conferencing and collaboration solutions in the channel said it would lay off nearly 150 people in Wisconsin after a major client "unforeseeably" canceled its contract. West wouldn't name the industry in which the company operates either.

Find out which positions are getting cut.
Digital innovator
#9  — Channel People on the Move

Due to the glut of news that caught your eye last month, our monthly recap of new hires and promotions in the channel falls significantly lower on this list than we are accustomed to seeing.

This latest edition featured moves at Telarus, Intelisys, CenturyLink, Avaya and more.
Digital innovator
#8  — Slack Teams with Atlassian

You've got your eye squarely on unified communications and collaboration, so our story about Slack teaming with Atlassian to take on traditional powers Cisco and Microsoft caught your attention.

The partnership calls for Atlassian to discontinue its competing chatbots called Stride and Hipchat. In return for exiting the market in this regard, Atlassian will encourage its customers to switch to Slack and will provide migration services to ease the transition.

Here's where to learn why this move makes sense for both companies in this competitive landscape.
Trianz's Sri Manchala
#7  — Telecom-IT Layoff Tracker

Sure, it's not the happiest of news, but every so often we like to keep you apprised of who's cutting jobs — and why. The companies listed in our roundup all have major channel programs.

This update, first published in July, cracked our top 12 for the second consecutive month.
Newcomer
#6  — NTT Combines Subsidiaries

NTT Corp. said it would merge five subsidiaries into a single provider of IT services, a decision that will have significant channel impact.

The company hopes the move will tackle brand confusion and a sort-of auto-cannibalism that have resulted from these subsidiaries offering similar services and competing against one another.

An NTT spokesman told us how he expects the decision to impact NTT America and its partner community.
Tolar's Phillip Poarch
#5  — 20 Top SD-WAN Providers

As ZZTop once said, "She's got legs, and she knows how to use them."

That's certainly true of this "20 top" list featuring SD-WAN providers you should know that we published way back in March. It made our top 12 again five months later.

Velocloud, Aryaka, FatPipe Networks and Cisco were among those we profiled. This is where to see the rest of the companies represented and why we selected them.
Comeback
#4  — Ethernet Rankings

We all love a winner, right? Or in this case, a leader.

For the second time in six months, CenturyLink topped the Vertical Systems Group leaderboard for carrier Ethernet services after leapfrogging AT&T at the end of 2017.

The midyear report shows CenturyLink in the top spot, followed by AT&T and Verizon, respectively. See which other four channel players made the list.
Comeback
#3  — Xerox Cuts Hundreds of Jobs

Unfortunately, job cuts make their third appearance in our top 12 — with Xerox's being the most "popular," if you will, among readers.

It's hundreds of layoffs across the U.S. and Canada for the company, part of an effort to "optimize its operations" globally. The positions include those in Xerox's internal IT operations, including software engineers, program managers, system engineers and associated support, as well as finance managers.

Learn more about the enhanced channel program the company unveiled earlier this year.
Comeback
#2  — Channel Conflict and Controversy

This roundup of controversy-brewing news from the past few months would turn out to be the most-read in one of our weekly newsletters in six years.

You learned about high-profile executives being arrested, unions battling with vendors, Windstream fighting rate hikes and more.

Missed it? Here's that edgy wrap-up.
MVP Network Consulting's Ikram Massabini
#1  — CenturyLink Makes Channel-Chief Decision

Readers were on the edge of their seats waiting to hear what CenturyLink would do after channel chief John DeLozier up and left the company for 8x8.

In a Channel Partners exclusive, the company decided not to rock the boat too much, selecting Garrett Gee, formerly vice president of indirect channels – and co-channel chief – to take the reins. DeLozier had the title of VP of strategic channels and alliances.

"Certainly I’m humbled and excited to take on this additional responsibility," Gee told us, when asked about his expanded role. "Certainly I was in the same capacity at the former Level 3, but the new combined company is a much larger scale and it brings the ability for us to do some things that I wasn’t able to do previously. One of the examples would be really our strategy around having tactical teams and strategic teams so we can have the strategy teams really lay down the groundwork for our tactical teams to focus on. And that’s just one example of some of the things that we’ll be focusing on for the remainder of the year."

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