Top 12 Stories in September: Avaya, Janet Schijns, Cisco



Our list of biggest stories from September reflects many of the hottest topics that bring you to our website on a monthly basis.

People landing new jobs and mergers that could impact how you do business. Interviews with channel chiefs. Controversies and conflicts in the channel. Those are just a few of the issues you most wanted to learn about last month.

Our top 12 stories from September feature an update on Avaya’s bankruptcy proceedings; the growing partner opportunity in managed services and analytics; three cloud trends to watch; and our profile of former Verizon channel leader Janet Schijns on why she left the carrier.

As is the norm, our results are an aggregate of online page views and weekly newsletter results.

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

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

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Datapipe's Robb Allen
#12 — 3 Cloud Computing Trends to Watch

DevOps and IT ops are being held responsible for cloud cost control, not finance. It’s all about automation, DevOps and self-service. And looking ahead, it’s about stacks.

Those are three cloud-computing trends to keep an eye on, according to Jay Chapel, CEO of ParkMyCloud, who authored a guest column for Channel Partners. Why those trends? And how can partners capitalize on them? He explains here.

Evolution Golf Invitational last place
#11 — Analytics Forecast and Partner Opportunity

A report from MarketsandMarkets predicted a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 14 percent for embedded analytics. Among the major vendors identified: Microsoft, IBM, SAP and Oracle.

Learn more about the verticals that make this opportunity particularly appealing to channel partners.

#10 — The Role of Distribution

Have rumors about the death of distribution been greatly exaggerated?

Panelists at the GTDC Summit in San Francisco said "yes." One of the top issues facing techn distributors these days is how to better service cloud providers. And you were curious enough to help this story crack our top 10.

Cable Party at Channel Partners Evolution
#9 — Partners Lead Disaster-Recovery Efforts Post Hurricanes

Businesses grappling with the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma not only faced danger to their physical property, but also the possibility of losing valuable data if they weren't adequately prepared.

We profiled four data center and cloud providers who shared with us how they and their partners played a role in cleanup.

McAfee's Brett Kelsey at Channel Partners Evolution
#8 — AT&T and the Evolving Network

Innovation is moving rapidly, so it’s important to educate yourself and understand all of the latest technologies, such as software-centric networking and network virtualization, to take advantage of the many opportunities presented by it.

That was the message from Rupesh Chokshi, associate vice president of AT&T Business Solutions and International, during a keynote presentation in last month's Channel Partners Evolution.

He talked about new partner opportunities created by AT&T’s Flexware platform aimed at simplifying the delivery and deployment of software-based network functions.

Peak 10 + ViaWest's Paul Starkey (left) and Dave Sroka
#7 — Blockbuster M&A Update

There was no slowdown of merger-and-acquisition activity in the heat of summer. Plenty of channel-facing IT and telecommunications firms decided to join forces in August. Our recurring M&A gallery also provided updates on previously announced tie-ups with channel implications. 

Among the highlights: Birch sold its cloud and business services unit, and rumors swirled around a major cable company — per usual. And CenturyLink’s purchase of Level 3 continued to demand the attention of the channel.

Cable Party at Channel Partners Evolution
#6 — Managed Services Forecast

First published in August, we highlighted a report predicting an 11 percent global CAGR for managed services — a pool that more and more partners are diving into.

IBM, Cisco and Accenture were among the companies named "major vendors." Read more about what those companies are doing in managed services and how partners can capitalize.

#5 — Controversies, Conflicts Raise Eyebrows

They are the stories that have had the channel buzzing throughout 2017.

Toshiba Telecom suddenly shutting its doors and then selling; lawsuits attacking CenturyLink; Avaya's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing — these are just some of the biggest controversies and conflicts giving partners and their customers angst.

We broke down a number of them in this wrap-up.

Peak 10 + ViaWest's Paul Starkey (left) and Dave Sroka
#4 — Avaya Channel Execs: Chapter 11 Didn't Stop Innovation

Speaking of Avaya and its bankruptcy proceedings, our Q&A with the company's VP of U.S. channels and partner marketing director caught your eye last month.

These execs gave us an update on Avaya's focus while navigating Chapter 11 and what partners can expect as the company emerges from bankruptcy protection.

Cable Party at Channel Partners Evolution
#3 — Cisco Unveils New Business Architecture Certification Portfolio

Our report on Cisco's brand-new Business Architecture training and certification portfolio got your attention. It aims to help IT bridge technology solutions with corporate business needs, not only creating what it calls a next generation of digital talent, but also helping to close the skills gap that exists today.

The new Cisco Business Architecture Certifications include: Analyst, Specialist and Practitioner. Learn more here.

Cable Party at Channel Partners Evolution
#2 — Channel People on the Move

It will come as little surprise that our recap of Channel People on the Move lands in the No. 2 spot.

Our compilation of people getting promoted and taking new jobs in the channel in August included people on the move at AT&T, Intelisys, Avaya, TPx, Effortless and Rapidscale — just to name a few. And the companies these new hires used to call home are also noteworthy: XO, Ingram Micro, Microsoft, Dropbox and more.

Channel Partners Golf Invitational
#1 — Office Depot's Janet Schijns on Why She Left Verizon

Gone, but not forgotten.

Janet Schijns’, the longtime Verizon channel leader who was a staple on stage at Channel Partners events, sat down with our James Anderson to talk about her new position at Office Depot. The headline: She wanted to help the retail giant grow its brand.

"This is in the core of everything I’ve ever done — to provide technology services and understand how to provision those products, and even more importantly, how to make them so that a channel can engage with their customers and spend their time in front of their customers versus in front of screens trying to figure things out. And the customers now need this local supplier first-person relationship, and that is Office Depot," she said.

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