Channel Partners’ Top 12 Stories in June



June was a wild month in the channel, with news flying at us from the right, left and down the middle.

What was hot? Longtime channel vet Blake Wetzel parted ways with Rackspace. CenturyLink was blasted with a $12 billion lawsuit. Synnex made a bold move in buying Westcon-Comstor. But there’s more …

What was No. 1? Click through our gallery to find out!

Looking for more top stories? Click here to see our most-read posts in May.

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Data Center Workers
#12 — CNSG's Harty: 'We're All in the IT Business Now'

Channel Partners attended the CNSG Partner Forum in Charlotte, North Carolina, and sat down with Matt Harty, the master agent's president and CEO, to get a "state of the business" report and to find out where the company is headed.

Harty noted a lot of changes to doing business in the channel going forward. Read our Q&A here.
Blake Wetzel
#11 — Wetzel, Rackspace Part Ways

Just a year after joining Rackspace as its channel chief, a position he held for many years at CenturyLink, Blake Wetzel stepped away from the managed cloud provider.

Saying he remains "excited about the opportunities in the IT market for channels with continued evolution of business outcomes for enterprises,” Wetzel didn't elaborate on why he left Rackspace. The company told us it will find his replacement "in the coming weeks."

Click here to read more about this story that took the channel by surprise.
Reject, talk to the hand
#10 — Charter Snubs Verizon Buyout Offer

Charter Communications reportedly rejected a buyout offer by Verizon valued at more than $100 billion. Verizon made the buyout offer in recent months, the New York Post said, citing anonymous sources.

Charter turned down the telco’s bid because it was too low, and Charter and its largest shareholder, Liberty Media, weren’t ready to sell, the report said. Neither company commented on the rumor.

#9 — Communications Billing Without Compromising Compliance

Don't think billing is sexy? Think again. Our exclusive Report provided an overview of the compliance and taxation regulations you must navigate, as well as middleware available to help you manage all of the complexities involved.

Get access to this business-critical Report now.
#8 — Get to Know WebRTC

WebRTC is beginning to generate a lot of interest in the channel.

We learned in a report from MarketsandMarkets that the global WebRTC market is expected to grow from more than $1 billion this year to nearly $6.5 billion by 2022, a CAGR of 44.2 percent. AT&T, Avaya and Cisco Systems are among the major vendors, the report noted.

Learn more here.
Time for Change
#7 — Channel Program Changes

Our monthly recap of new and changing channel programs caught your eye.

This most recent edition featured updates from Dell EMC, TBI and Salesforce, to name a few.
Donald Trump
#6 — Trump Meeting Sparks Optimism

Not all of the headlines out of the White House last week were fabulous, but leaders from the nation's big telcos seemed optimistic after meeting with President Trump.

He reportedly told telecom and technology leaders he will fight government regulations they consider too strict, as well as barriers to investment in technology and network infrastructure.

“As a company that deploys infrastructure for the benefit of anchor institutions, businesses and consumers,” said CenturyLink spokesperson Linda Johnson, “we are supportive of the direction the administration and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) are taking in removing regulatory and other barriers to innovation through technology and broadband availability.”

Click here to learn what Verizon said about the meeting.

Business Handshake
#5 — Synnex Buys Westcon-Comstor

In a big acquisition, distribution giant Synnex said it is buying fellow distributor Westcon-Comstor's Americas and Latin America businesses for $600 million. This includes the U.S., Canada and Latin American markets, as well as a 10 percent international investment in Westcon-Comstor's EMEA and APAC businesses.

"Ultimately, I think this acquisition is good for partners because, using a shopping analogy, they’ll be able to fill up their cart with more of the items that they need without having to go to two or three stores," Synnex's Bob Stegner told us. "It’s also an easier way to do business versus dealing with multiple sources to fulfill their needs."

Want to know more? It's here.
Avant's Howard Huerta
#4 — Huerta Takes New VP Role at Avant

You wanted to learn about Howard Huerta's new role at Avant Communications.

The senior executive with a long history in channel sales with the company, as well as XO Communications, CenturyLink and Time Warner Cable, is Avant's first vice president of channel sales enablement. Avant launched the program last summer, delivering sales enablement as a service (SEaaS) to partners looking to accelerate their sales of next-generation IT offerings like security, SD-WAN, IaaS and UCaaS.

Learn more about SEaaS and Huerta here.
#3 — Comodo Hires Symantec Channel Vets

Michael Fowler, president at security vendor Comodo, made no bones about it, claiming that "governance and compliance problems over the past two years, which came to a head recently," led to a mass exodus of channel personnel from Symantec to his company.

In all, seven former Symantec channel leads have jumped ship and joined their former rival.

Read what else Fowler had to say here.
PlanetOne's Kristen Cunningham
#2 — Channel People on the Move

Cracking the top 12 as always is our monthly Channel People on the Move gallery, featuring new hires and promotions in the channel.

This edition features TPx, PlanetOne Communications and West UC.
#1 — CenturyLink Hit with $12 Billion Lawsuit

CenturyLink faces numerous class-action lawsuits, with a single one seeking as much as $12 billion based on a group of 6 million subscribers.

It all stemmed from a suit filed in Arizona, where a woman claims she was fired as a CenturyLink customer service and sales agent days after notifying the CEO of a scheme that resulted in charges that weren't authorized by customers.

The telco claims the woman never bothered to raise an alarm before filing a lawsuit, and it takes the allegations "very seriously."

Read more about this issue here.

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