Across The Telecom Spectrum: 6 Moves That Made Waves In The Channel In January

Now Hiring

The year started off with a flurry of new hires and executive moves as telecom service providers tried to keep one step ahead of competition in January. Carriers and their partners are building up their C-suites to accommodate new growth, with some providers already taking on new contracts and business.

Here are six newsworthy items that happened in the telecom industry last month that solution providers should know.

Comcast Hires Digital Transformation Officer To Improve Customer Service

In an effort to improve its customer service strategy, cable giant Comcast brought on Scott McAllister as senior executive and digital transformation officer in January.

McAllister will help develop and oversee the provider's plans to bake more customer support functions into Comcast's products and applications, including mobile bill paying tools, the Philadelphia-based provider said.

McAllister joins Comcast having previously served as senior vice president of consumer digital marketing and business development for media and publishing powerhouse Time Inc.

Reports Suggest Verizon Is Courting Cable Companies

In January, reports surfaced alleging that carrier giant Verizon was considering purchasing a cable company. The Washington Post reported that the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based provider was "exploring a combination with Charter Communications," the second-largest cable provider behind Comcast.

Earlier this month, The New York Post also reported that either Comcast or Charter were in Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam's sights as the carrier reportedly "mulled over" a cable purchase.

Sources cited by both reports said that Verizon could be interested in a cable purchase to bolster its wireless strategy, 5G in particular. Sources also noted that carriers, like Verizon and AT&T, were under pressure from internet content providers to snap up more content-related companies.

Verizon declined to comment on plans to acquire a cable company when reached by CRN.

Telecom Veteran Bobby Fabris Joins Telarus

Master agent Telarus has nabbed Bobby Fabris, a longtime channel manager, to support its channel partners in the Southeast.

Fabris, Telarus' new senior partner development manager of the Southeast region, will help partners expand their businesses while recruiting new agents to join the Telarus community, the Sandy, Utah-based master agent said. Fabris is based in Birmingham, Ala.

No stranger to the telecom market, Fabris has served as channel manager for several service providers, including Level 3, Windstream, and Paetec, prior to its merger with Windstream.

CenturyLink Awarded NASPO ValuePoint Cloud Solutions Master Agreement

CenturyLink in January was awarded a 10-year NASPO ValuePoint Cloud Solutions Master Agreement, allowing the provider to sell cloud solutions and managed services to state and local governments. These agreements are awarded to cloud providers that meet stringent security and data protection requirements, according to the Monroe, La.-based provider. CentuiryLink's FedRAMP-certified government cloud offering is also available to local government agencies through the new NASPO master agreement.

Earlier last month, CenturyLink said it added SDN and NFV services to its Defense Research and Engineering Network contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. The addition will help the department transition to newer networking technologies faster, and at a lower cost, CenturyLink said.

MetTel Appoints Mobility Veteran Andrew Nash To Lead IoT Division

Telecom solution provider MetTel hired telecom industry veteran Andrew Nash to head up its new Internet of Things business unit. In his new role, Nash will lead the MetTel IoT division, which will work toward supporting businesses' IoT needs across services, hardware, software platforms and network connectivity, according to Holmdel, N.J.-based MetTel.

Prior to his appointment as director of IoT for MetTel, Nash served as IoT and M2M director of business development for Kore Telematics. He also worked atVerizon for five years, most recently as the carrier's M2M/IoT partnership manager in the New York Metro area.

Avant Appoints New CFO To Its Leadership Team

Chicago-based master agent Avant brought on Brendan Taylor as CFO last month. Taylor, who is originally from London, will help bolster Avant's European expansion plans, according to the master agent.

Taylor is joining Avant from Chicago-based technology and services provider CVM Solutions, a Kroll Company, where he served as managing director. Taylor has spent more than 15 years working in various finance and accounting roles.

Avant expanded internationally into the United Kingdom during 2016. Taylor's financial experience and international expertise will help the master agent make solid investments and grow agent revenue in 2017.