Top 12 Stories in July: Verizon, Layoffs, Extreme Networks



Layoffs and labor disputes were among the stories generating the most heat on our website in the hottest, most humid month of the year.

Four of the top 12 in the countdown below were about these topics.

Also of interest: A profile of a well-known channel figure who left Verizon to build another company’s partner program; a company, which has announced three channel-impacting mergers in the past year, saying it’s “ready for a fight“; and a prestigious list of SD-WAN providers that you should know.

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 July.

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 June.

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

TPx's Matt Coso
#12 — Extreme Networks 'Ready for a Fight'

You were eager to learn, with acquisitions of assets from Zebra Technologies, Avaya and Brocade now behind it, about Extreme Networks' focus going forward — both for the business as a whole, and also for the channel.

We sat down with Gordon Mackintosh, Extreme's VP of worldwide partner programs, who told us driving growth through automation and transformation will be key. 

"The new partner program has been extremely well received by our partners; in fact, many of them have been really surprised that we were able to integrate three partner programs into one and unify it together," Mackintosh told us. "And I believe that success came from the fact that we actually worked with partners to build the program, so [it] was in many ways built by partners for partners, and we really integrated all of the best ingredients of the different programs from the acquisitions to create an industry-leading unified partner program."

Read more about Extreme's direction.
Datapipe's Robb Allen
#11 — 20 SD-WAN Providers You Should Know

One of our most popular in our series of "20 top providers," this list of SD-WAN vendors, published in March, continues to get great traction.

We chose the 20 companies to include based on feedback from analysts, Channel Partners editorial advisory board members, recent news reports and Gartner’s Competitive Landscape: WAN Edge report.

Here you'll learn why Aryaka, Cisco, Windstream and 17 more providers made our prestigious list.
Unitrends' Clark Brown
#10 — Senators Pressure AT&T

As AT&T and its largest union, the Communications Workers of America continue to debate a new contract both at the bargaining table and in the media, the government is getting involved.

A story we published early in July caught your eye. A group of U.S. senators urged the carrier to reach an agreement with CWA concerning legacy contracts that impact 14,000 U.S. workers, mostly in the Midwest. The official letter asked AT&T to continue negotiating in good faith until an agreement is reached.

"... American workers, including AT&T workers in our states, fear their jobs being offshored," the letter read. "We urge you to assuage those fears by making explicit contract guarantees to increase the number of U.S.-based call center jobs.”

Read the full story here.
KnowBe4's Erich Kron
#9 — Channel Influencer Spotlight: Janet Schijns

We've been profiling our nine Channel Partners/Channel Futures Influencers all year long — highlighted here in our digital issue.

Our spotlight on Janet Schijns, who built her mass channel following as the head of Verizon's partner program before leaping to Office Depot last year, shared some stories with our T.C. Doyle about launching her career in technology and business.

She also shared thoughts on where the industry is headed.

“I really believe everything as a service is where we are going. And the channel has become the delivery mechanism for this phenomenon,” she told us.
KnowBe4's Erich Kron
#8 — F5 Lays Off Hundreds

F5 Networks, the application delivery networking provider based in Seattle, confirmed that it's laying off hundreds of employees, but plans to fill hundreds of other positions as it continues to evolve to a multicloud application services company.

F5 spokesman Nathan Misner told Channel Partners the company has “eliminated approximately 230 positions, primarily in our IT, services, product development, sales support and marketing organizations in the U.S."

Misner said there are more than 300 open positions worldwide in geographic sales expansion, new go-to-market motions, multicloud software development and digital-transformation initiatives.”

Learn more about what prompted the job cuts.
Arcserve's Erica Antony
#7 — Master Mania!

Our quarterly review of the biggest happenings among master agents such as Intelisys, Telarus, TBI and PlanetOne  was a huge hit.

You scrolled through to learn about how WTG bolstered its portfolio via new partnerships with iTel and Hurricane Electric; TBI went on a hiring spree; and Telarus expanded to Australia; just to name a few.

Read about all of the master-agent to-do in Q2 here.
LiveAction's Joe O'Connor
#6 — 20 Top Enterprise Telephony Providers You Should Know

The second of our "20 top" series to crack our top 12 list in July, we offered up a list of 20 top enterprise telephony providers. These are companies that have had to evolve or face extinction, as enterprises have steadily shifted from on-premises, traditional phones to cloud-based options with greater flexibility and efficiency.

Again, we polled analysts and members of the Channel Partners editorial advisory board.

Here's what they came up with. Did your company, or one you resell for, make the list?
Channel Partners Channel Futures 2018-19 Editorial Calendar 3
#5 — Hitachi Vantara Buys Rean Cloud

It was a little surprising that such a young company, Hitachi Vantara – which just branched off from Hitachi Ltd. last year – placed so high on our list, but many of you were interested in the company's purchase of Rean Cloud and what it means to the channel.

The company said its goal in acquiring the relatively young firm – Rean Cloud was founded in 2013 – is to reinforce Hitachi Vantara’s ability to accelerate secure enterprise cloud adoption across multicloud environments and strengthen its ability to manage and operate traditional applications as well as emerging workloads in artificial intelligence (AI) and ML.

This is where to learn more.
Kaseya's Mike Puglia
#4 — SolarWinds Releases New, Updated Features

For the second consecutive month, this story, published back in March, not only made our top 12, but rose in the rankings from No. 10.

You increasingly want to know about the updates that SolarWinds, the IT management software provider, says arms IT pros with the broad system-management capabilities needed to optimize performance in hybrid environments.

Don't miss learning more about what a lot of your peers are talking about.
#3 — Verizon, Unions Reach Deal

As noted with No. 10 on our list, partners have a close eye on labor agreements involving the big carriers — Verizon being one of the biggest.

Big Red, unlike rival AT&T, did strike a deal with the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) on a four-year contract extension that covers more than 34,000 workers.

Click here to read more about the deal.
TPx's Matt Coso
#2 — Channel People on the Move

Another month, another top 12 finish for Channel People on the Move. Our recap of who's getting new jobs and promotions in the telecom and IT channels once again was wildly popular. 

This edition featured movers and shakers at 8x8, Intelisys, Telarus and more. It was big month for channel chiefs, channel managers and other executives to roll up their sleeves and get to work in new positions.
Kaspersky's Alexey Kiselev
#1 — Telecom-IT Layoff Tracker

Also involving people, our semiannual telecom and IT layoff tracker came in at No. 1. While you wanted to see who was taking new jobs in the channel, you also wanted to hear about how many cuts the big vendors were making in the first half of the year.

Our tracker featured traditional telecom powerhouses such as CenturyLink, AT&T and Windstream, but also let you know who was let go at big IT providers like VMware, HP and Dell.

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