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May’s Top 12: Windstream Bankruptcy, CenturyLink, Avaya Rumors

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There’s a certain comfort we get in belonging to a community.

Sure, there’s the thrill and anticipation as you click through a gallery such as the one below to see which story was the most popular on our website last month. But it’s the sense of knowing our peers feel the same that makes us feel all rosy inside. It’s the same reason die-hard conservatives flock to Fox News or the left-leaners head on over to MSNBC or CNN. We like knowing others think like we do.

OK, now that we’ve gotten past all of that malarkey …

In our recap of May’s top stories, you’ll find Windstream’s bankruptcy, now a few months past its onset, still getting a whole lot of attention. SD-WAN continues to dominate the tech speak; nearly three months after posting our latest “20 top” list, you wanted to see who ranked where. And CenturyLink caught your eye by acknowledging selling its consumer business isn’t “off the table.

Our countdown is based on both online traffic and results from our weekly newsletter. What are you waiting for? Sign up now!

Click through our gallery below to find out which of these stories – or something else – was No. 1!

Missed the previous month’s top stories? Click here to see our most-read posts in April.

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Datapipe's Robb Allen
#12 — CenturyLink Joins Google Cloud Program

It's an expansion of the relationship between CenturyLink and Google Cloud, allowing the telco giant to combine the search behemoth's public cloud platform with its own IT consulting, sales and technical services.

As part of the Google Cloud Partner Program, CenturyLink will provide implementation, sales and technical support to enterprises that are innovating with cloud solutions. It was just last year that CenturyLink said customers could connect to Google Cloud around the world through its interconnect service.

A CenturyLink exec told us his company is the only North American network service provider to achieve GCP partnership status.
Telarus' Lesley Evans
#11 — Channel People on the Move

A mainstay in our monthly countdown, CPOTM doesn't rank quite as high for May due to a deluge of important news that climbed the rungs on the ladder above it.

Nonetheless, many of you clicked through our gallery to learn more about new hires and promotions at Intelisys, Telarus, AT&T, PGi and more.
TBI's Corey Cohen
#10 — 2 Hosted PBXs Customers Love

You wanted to see who guest blogger John Malone of Eastern Management Group highlighted as those companies with hosted PBXs you'd "recommend to a friend."

OK, we'll play spoiler here and tell you they're Nextiva and RingCentral. But no doubt you'll want to know why EMG recommended them over their counterparts.
TBI's Corey Cohen
#9 — SD-WAN Leaderboard

SD-WAN is a growing field with a growing number of players, but Vertical Systems Group stuck to the big boys when compiling its U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN Services leaderboard.

It was no surprise to see the likes of AT&T at the top, with Verizon, Windstream and CenturyLink among those nipping at its heels. But those companies didn't comprise the whole list.
ReFirm Labs' Robbie Robbins
#8 — ServiceNow Updates Partner Strategy

You were interested to learn that ServiceNow unveiled changes to its global partner strategy, including new programs for its partner community.

The digital workflow software provider said the changes mean partners now can better differentiate and position their services to joint customers; enhance joint go-to-market consistency and predictability; and more effectively respond to public sector customer opportunities, just to name a few.

What else?
SADA Systems' Miles Ward
#7 — Mitel Wants Avaya?

A story published in April continued its hot streak in May. (Sometimes rumors linger.)

This particular idea came from the Wall Street Journal, which said "people familiar with the matter" claimed Mitel had offered up to $2.4 billion to merge with Avaya Holdings. You might recall that Avaya emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy a year-and-a-half ago.

Mitel tried to buy another rival, Polycom, back in 2016, but came up short. Still nothing concrete on this Avaya speculation, but stay tuned.
SourceDay personnel
#6 — Rubrik Hires Bahr

Wendy Bahr, well-known for her long tenure at Cisco, including a stint as global channel chief, popped up as Rubrik's new chief commercial officer, a first for the company.

Bahr talked in-depth with our Edward Gately about her decision to join Rubrik in this insightful Q&A.
Sungard AS' Mike Robinson
#5 — Big M&A

Those mergers and acquisitions don't seem to stop, and it's no wonder M&A is one of the most popular topics month in and month out on our website. We even have a page dedicated to the topic.

Our usually monthly (but sometimes bimonthly) roundup of channel-impacting M&A really drew you in last month. An acquisition by Evolve IP and the rumors surrounding Avaya and Mitel were no doubt big reasons why.
Sungard AS' Mike Robinson
#4 — Public Cloud Rankings

Whoa, this one has staying power. We all know who the big three public cloud providers are, but you're addicted to the back and forth among AWS, Google and Microsoft — so much so that a story we did back in February comparing and contrasting the three continues to score with our readers.
Advantix's Brad Renville
#3 — 20 Top SD-WAN Providers

No surprise to see our updated list of 20 top SD-WAN providers, published on May 2, rank high on this list. Last year's version was one of our most-read posts of 2018.

This isn't a regular ranking of suppliers. We talked with analysts and members of our editorial advisory board about whom they would recommend. While not a formal list of companies ranked 1-20, it's a nice collection of SD-WAN companies in what's a rapidly changing technology.
GMS Live Expert's Danny Obaseki
#2 — CenturyLink Consumer Biz Sale?

This one seemed to catch you by surprise.

In a recap of its quarterly earnings, CenturyLink CEO Jeff Storey said selling the company's consumer business or selling it off hasn't been ruled out. The company is examining assets like its consumer business and has "engaged advisers to assist us in that review," he said.

That being said, a CenturyLink spokeswoman told us that the communications giant is "pleased with the performance of our consumer business ... "

This one has the potential to be one of the biggest stories of the year if the speculation comes to fruition.
UCaaS transition
#1 — Windstream Bankruptcy Saga

Barring AT&T and Verizon announcing a merger (and the government approving it), we're pretty confident that Windstream's bankruptcy is going to be our No. 1 story of the year. So it's no surprise to see it as No. 1 again in May.

We had a handful of posts that were all among our most-read:
If you haven't read one or more of those, that ought to keep you busy for a while.

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