Wheeling And Dealing: Top 6 Telecom Moves Impacting The Channel In January

January Packed With News

While January may have gotten off to a quiet start for the U.S. telecom industry, the month didn't go out like a lamb. The data center consolidation trend was once again evident last month with more acquisitions and partnerships. Some providers also kicked off the year by sprucing up their channel programs, or by promoting executives overseeing indirect sales to better serve partners.

In case you missed it, here's a review of six telecom and service provider news and moves that occurred in January.

CenturyLink Considers Wholesale Data Center Model

The buzz continued around the data center market in January with telecommunications provider CenturyLink saying that it's considering using its colocation facilities to provide wholesale services to businesses and other service providers, even if CenturyLink decides to sell its data center assets.

Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink first made mention of its changing data center strategy during its Q3 2015 earnings call last year. The provider said it would evaluate the sale of some or all of its data centers that it acquired from telecommunications provider Quest and cloud service provider Savvis in 2011. In addition to owning data center facilities, CenturyLink also leases space in third-party data centers to deliver its services.

CenturyLink still plans to offer cloud and managed services, regardless of any decisions made around data center ownership, the provider said. CenturyLink said that while no decision has been made, the provider said it can still sell colocation in a wholesale model even if CenturyLink's data centers are sold to another provider.

Avnet Expands Cloud, Data Center Offerings Via CenturyLink, IO

Speaking of CenturyLink, technology distributor Avnet has expanded its cloud and hybrid data center capabilities with the help of CenturyLink and data center operator IO.

The Phoenix-based distributor is now offering cloud and data center solutions from CenturyLink and IO that will give Avnet partners in the U.S. and Canada access to solutions such as hosting, redundancy support, and migration help based on off-premise, or co-located data center models for their end customers.

Avnet partners can access cloud solutions using the Avnet Cloud Marketplace and can profit from these solutions through either a referral model or a resale model, according to the distributor.

3CX Restructures Channel Program

Voice over IP (VoIP) provider 3CX overhauled its channel partner program last month in an effort to make it more transparent for partners. The changes are also aimed at making the reselling process more lucrative for partners, the Cyprus-based provider said.

The revamped program includes new partner levels, as well as a new points system for certified partners and those making repeat sales of the 3CX Phone System and 3CX WebMeeting solutions.

3CX resells its solutions entirely through the channel. The provider will continue to offer its partners regular online and on-site training events, as well as its free certification program, the company said.

Intelisys Promotes New SVP Of East Region

Petaluma, Calif.-based master agent Intelisys has promoted executive Rick Ribas (pictured) to senior vice president, East Region. First brought on to help the master agent expand into new regions, Ribas has helped the master agent break records, contributing to revenue growth of 43 percent yearly for the region since his appointment, according to Intelisys.

Ribas came to Intelisys in 2010 from PlanetOne Communications, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based master agent. The recent growth within the East Region aided by Ribas led to the creation of a Connecticut-based Intelisys office, which opened in December 2015.

GTT Communications Rolls Out SIP Trunking Service

Cloud networking provider GTT Communications launched a global SIP Trunking service late last month.

The new SIP service integrates different forms of bandwidth-intensive communications - including voice, video, and chat - onto a single IP connection. The service also interoperates with legacy communications equipment and with third-party unified communication (UC) products from the likes of Cisco, Avaya, Unify and Microsoft.

According to the McLean, Va.-based company, the new service will span five continents and can support international telephony services, including toll-free phone numbers and emergency services.

Broadview Networks Adds Microsoft UC Integration

Cloud-based communications provider Broadview Networks announced today that its cloud-based phone system, OfficeSuite Phone, now integrates with Microsoft's Skype for Business UC product.

The latest integration will give Skype for Business users a more seamless UC experience without needing to buy new phones, servers or additional Microsoft licenses, Rye Brook, N.Y.-based Broadview said. Microsoft and OfficeSuite users will have access to such features as click-to-call dialing from any location using their business phone numbers, call routing, auto attendants and call groups.

Broadview's channel partners selling OfficeSuite have immediate access to the latest integration, the company said.