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Verizon, Avaya, Job Cuts Crack November’s Top 12 Stories

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Some of the biggest names of the channel turned in some top-story-worthy performances in November.

Channel Partners’ trips to company events paid off. AT&T hosted a new combined meetup for members of its Alliance Channel and Partner Exchange channel programs, while RingCentral held its annual event in San Francisco.

But in a dichotomy that rivals the opening line of A Tale of Two Cities, these good times were balanced by some bad times. CA Technologies laid off hundreds of workers following its acquisition by Broadcom, and Symantec got in some hot water thanks to a shareholder’s lawsuit.

Also making our top 12: the big push toward 5G – including a “cage match” at a PlanetOne event – and restructuring at Verizon that could have a trickle-down channel impact.

Those are just a few of our most-read stories from October, 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 October.

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Datapipe's Robb Allen
#12 — CEOs Behind Bars?

Privacy bills and laws aren't exactly sexy stuff, but when we told you CEOs could land large prison sentences for violating them, you sat up and took notice.

Consumer Data Protection Act proposed by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, gives the FTC the authority to police data privacy. Fines could be as much as 4 percent of annual revenue for a company's first offense, and sentences of 10-20 years for senior executives.

While this bill might struggle to stay intact before going to a vote, Joseph Pedano, Evolve IP‘s senior vice president of cloud engineering, told Channel Partners that “anything is better than nothing right now.”

Read more here, but CEOs, we warn you: You might get squeamish.
PlanetOne November Hires
#11 — Oracle Buying Talari

SD-WAN is one of the hottest technologies in the industry today (foreshadowing No. 4 in our countdown).

That would explain why tech giant Oracle decided to buy Talari Networks. The former wants to take advantage of the latter's "failsafe" SD-WAN technology. 

“Together, Oracle and Talari will accelerate digital transformation and cloud adoption by providing companies with complete enterprise network solutions that ensure reliability and performance of real-time communications and mission-critical applications over any network,” an Oracle statement read.

The move definitely has channel implications.
AWS DeepRacer
#10 — New Avaya Mission Statement

One year after emerging from bankruptcy, Avaya has a new mission statement, tagline and refreshed look reflecting its transformation and vision for the future.

The rebranding signals publicly what leadership at Avaya has been working toward through acquisitions, investment and R&D products during the past year.

Learn how partners played a big role in rebranding plans.
MacDonald, Duncan_RapidScale
#9 — Hot Certifications

November was a bit of a throwback. This is the first of two stories from days of yore that made our November list.

Before the calendar rolled over to 2018, we posted a story highlighting 29 hot certifications to "spice up" your business in the new year. Yes, in 2018. Among them: certified information security manager, AWS certified solutions architect and project management professional.

Maybe you were interested in getting these certifications before the year comes to a close. Guess we'd better start planning on a story for 2019 certs.
MacDonald, Duncan_RapidScale
#8 — Channel People on the Move

We've got this little thing we do every month called People on the Move. And, just about every month, it winds up here in our top 12.

There's little doubt why you embrace it; you want to see where former colleagues, friends and rivals have taken new jobs — or been promoted.

This edition featured moves at Intelisys, Cisco, Effortless and more.
PlanetOne's Christi Clark, Bernadette Richardson, Jonathan Hartman
#7 — 5G 'Cage' Match

We went to the final stop on PlanetOne's 2018 Tech Tour in Scottsdale, Arizona, and a "cage match" broke out.

That's what the master agent called its panel featuring channel leaders from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Broad Sky Networks, who talked about what partners can expect as 5G becomes widely available.

Partners shouldn't be waiting for 5G before they embrace IoT, said AT&T's Kevin Leonard. Here's why.
TBI's Robert Schlosser and Kit Carker
#6 — RingCentral ConnectCentral

RingCentral held its annual event in San Francisco, and Channel Partners was there.

The company's CEO, Vlad Shmunis fired a shot over the bows of Cisco, Avaya and Mitel, saying they are wasting their time trying to compete with RingCentral because they can't replace legacy systems with born-in-the-cloud solutions.

RingCentral has completed six straight quarters of revenue growth. The company’s growth and the “negative growth of legacy providers is perhaps not an accident,” Shmunis told the audience of partners.

Read why Shmunis thinks Cisco has "problems."

Telarus Randi Robison Joshua Haselhorst
#5 — AT&T Fusion

Fusion is an appropriate name for the inaugural AT&T event that brought together members of its Alliance Channel and Partner Exchange channel programs.

AT&T Partner Solutions channel chief, Zee Hussain (pictured above), talked about the investment the parent company is making in its channel. The company offered up on stage a number of high-profile execs, including Anne Chow, president of national business of AT&T Business, and CEO Thaddeus Arroyo.

Read more about the direction of AT&T's channel.
Powernet's Chris Raponi
#4 — 20 Top SD-WAN Providers

The second of our "throwbacks" on this month's top 12 is our list highlighting 20 top SD-WAN providers you should know. It should probably come as little surprise that this list, published back in March, would remain so hot. But still, it's eight months old!

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

If you're one of the few who hasn't seen it yet, the list is here.
Powernet's Chris Raponi
#3 — Verizon Restructuring

5G is said to revolutionize the wireless industry, providing the necessary speed to fuel the spread of the internet of things. It's with that in mind that Verizon is restructuring its operating units into consumer, business and media, effective Jan. 1.

Wireless has stood alone as a unit, but it will now be a component of both Verizon Consumer and Verizon Business. The consumer group will contain wireless and wireline services as one might expect, and it will also include wireless wholesale.

Read more on why the carrier is making this move.
Opaq's Lynn Tinney
#2 — Symantec Lawsuit

November was a busy month for Symantec, which saw its president and COO step down last week.

But the story cracking the No. 2 spot on our countdown involves a lawsuit by shareholders that claims the cybersecurity provider manipulated quarterly financial results, prompting big payouts for top executives, and the resulting investigation and fallout caused investors to lose money. The suit seeks class-action status, damages for the lead plaintiff and all class members — and a jury trial.

The suit claims that top execs who came from Blue Coat in a 2016 acquisition brought "unethical practices and a 'toxic culture' with them to Symantec."

Symantec said in a statement that the lawsuit is without merit.

Learn more about the legal wranglings.
Coopetition Panel CP Evolution 2018
#1 — CA Job Cuts

Ending our countdown with some gloom again.

CA Technologies handed pink slips to hundreds of employees two days after Broadcom took ownership of the company, according to Newsday. The workers, some facing layoffs, said that “based on documents they received from the company they believed more than 300 workers were losing their jobs,” the article reads.

Layoff news, sadly, is rarely a surprise when companies merge.

Read the full story here.

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