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Top 12 Stories in September: Vonage, Verizon, AT&T-RingCentral

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Our countdown of the channel’s hottest stories in September features some of the biggest names in the industry.

Vonage, for one, made the biggest acquisition in the history of the company, shelling out $350 million for a cloud contact-center provider. AT&T made a surprise move by expanding on a deal with RingCentral after it appeared the two would part ways. Verizon continued its move to discontinue copper-based services in several markets.

Those are just three of our most-read stories from September, determined by online traffic and results from our weekly newsletter (sign up for that here).

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 August.

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Datapipe's Robb Allen
#12 — SIP Growing Steadily

SIP trunking services continue to be a strong opportunity for the channel, with the global market expected to reach $12.7 billion by 2023. That's a 10.7 percent growth rate between now and then.

MarketsandMarkets made that prediction, recognizing channel stalwarts AT&T, 8x8, CenturyLink, Fusion, Mitel, Nextiva, Sprint, Verizon, Vonage and Windstream as key players. Major market drivers, the report noted, include reduced cost of ownership via a pay-as-you-go model, increasing adoption of cloud and UC, and easy integration with PBX systems.
Cisco's Oliver Tuszik gallery
#11 — 20 Top Tech Channel Thought Leaders

You wanted to see who made it onto our latest "20 top" list, which had a different spin than our previous lists that focused on technology. This one ID'd people – analysts, company executives, strategists and evangelists – who are united in their focus on the future of technology in the industry — and particularly the channel.

Who made it and why? Read our list of those who take a big-picture view of technology.
Netfortris' Devi Rai feature
#10 — 3 Things MSPs Do Poorly

Verne Harnish, founder of strategic-planning insights company Gazelles, joined leaders at IT Glue's GlueCon in Scottsdale, Arizona, to lay out these three things that managed service providers do poorly despite skyrocketing demand.

One is pricing: Many MSPs offer a flat, seat-based fee that's the same for all types of employees and all types of companies. Another is targeting: Customer demographics are too broad.

Read more about those two and learn about the third thing MSPs do poorly.
Netfortris' Devi Rai gallery
#9 — Kaspersky Wants Government Ban Lifted

The Russia-headquartered security company got its day in court last month, asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's decision that upheld Homeland Security's ban on using Kaspersky products and an identical law signed by President Trump.

The law ended a months-long effort to purge Kaspersky from federal agencies amid concerns it was vulnerable to Kremlin influence.

“The damage is done and [Kaspersky's] reputation is permanently damaged,” The 2112 Group's Larry Walsh told us. “At one point in time, nearly every software security vendor watched Kaspersky as a competitive threat."

Get up to speed on this issue.
Netfortris' Devi Rai
#8 — Vonage Buys NewVoiceMedia

it's Vonage's biggest purchase to date after several previous acquisitions over the past few years. The company bought NewVoiceMedia, a cloud contact-center-as-a-service provider, for $350 million.

The acquisition combines Vonage's UCaaS and CPaaS offerings with NewVoiceMedia's pure-play cloud contact-center services, providing what Vonage calls an "end-to-end communication experience for a company's employees and customers."

More than 700 primarily midmarket and enterprise customers rely on NewVoiceMedia for a range of customer engagement use cases, from inbound customer support to outbound sales.

Get the full scoop on this M&A.
Agari's Tracy Pallas
#7 — Cisco Rolls Out Meraki for Small Businesses

The new Cisco Meraki Go Wi-Fi offers indoor and outdoor wireless access points and targets companies with fewer than 50 employees. Its niche focus is on businesses with about 20 employees — a market segment in which Cisco Meraki hasn't previously played.

The new offering came about in part due to a Cisco survey that found the Wi-Fi solutions small business use today aren't meeting their needs.

Learn more about Meraki Go.
Agari's Mandeep Khera
#6 — Channel People on the Move

This top 12 wouldn't be complete without our monthly recap of people taking new jobs and getting promoted in the channel.

This edition featured moves at Telarus, Fusion, Sandler Partners and many more.
Yottabyte-Superloop
#5 — 20 Top SD-WAN Providers

Our list of SD-WAN providers you should know really has legs. Published back in March, it cracked our top 12 once again, proving that this relatively new technology to the channel will be a hot topic for some time to come.

We interviewed analysts, members of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board and other industry experts who shared their views with us on what it takes to succeed in SD-WAN now.

See if a company you know made our list.
Vendasta-Grupo NGN
#4 — Verizon Plans Copper Retirement

The retirement of legacy services always draws our audience's attention; this time it was a story about Verizon asking the FCC for permission to retire copper in parts of New England, New York and Pennsylvania. It's become a common request for the carrier and its peers who are moving more and more customers to fiber-based technology.

After the retirement, Verizon will no longer offer services via copper facilities and will cease maintaining them.

Here's more about how it will impact customers.
Vendasta-Grupo NGN
#3 — AT&T, RingCentral Strike a Deal

Just a few months ago, AT&T told customers that it would part ways with RingCenral, whose Office platform is the foundation for the carrier's Office@Hand platform. But it reversed course last month, noting that it would not only maintain the partnership, but would expand it, offering the solutions to enterprise customers in addition to SMBs.

“Working with RingCentral means we can deliver cloud communications and collaboration solutions to even more businesses to help their workforces be more productive, no matter where they are.” said Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer with AT&T Business.

Learn more about why the partnership remained intact.
Tufin-Pilot
#2 — Azure Down

When one of the big public-cloud providers has a problem, it impacts a lot of people.

That's why you were interested in our story on a Microsoft Azure outage that surprised even hardened cloud veterans. The outage was caused by severe weather near one of Microsoft's data centers in the South Central U.S., which resulted in a structured power-down process. There were still some problems up to 24 hours after the outage was initially reported.

Find out more about what happened.
Aparavi-Netcarrier Telecom
#1 — Conflict and Controversies

There's no doubt about it — the channel enjoys some good water-cooler talk. That's why you loved this recap of stories featuring industry conflict and controversy from the past several months.

From layoffs to executives getting arrested to potentially "devastating" rate hikes, we packed it all into one juicy gallery. Just in case you missed it, here it is.

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