NEW YORK - A strike at Verizon's wireline division by two separate unions is now dragging into its third week with both sides leveling a series of accusations against each other in the media. Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) voted to go on strike in April after failing to reach a new contract with the carrier. Wages, benefits and the movement of jobs offshore are said to be the main concern of the two unions as the company looks to downsize its copper-based network.
Last week, the carrier announced that it was aggressively investigating a rash of service interruptions to customers that it claimed were the direct result of sabotage. There have been at least 49 such incidents since the beginning of the strike where as during a normal year the carrier said it might average 11 such incidents. Although not directly blamed for the incidents, the CWA released a counter statement denying any knowledge and instead blaming the network outages on Verizon for poor maintenance of its facilities.
This week the CWA has began making its own accusations against the company, filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission stating that Verizon is forcing wireline customers to move from copper to fiber-based delivery in violation of FCC regulations. The complaint was co-signed by a number of consumer interest and lobbying groups such as Common Cause, Public Knowledge, USAction and Citizen Action of New York.Read more
CHARLOTTE - Converged Network Services Group (CNSG), the Premier Master Agency for Cloud, Connectivity, and Cloud Enablement is pleased to announce the hiring of Anne Brogan as Director, Channel Sales in CNSG’s Atlanta office.
Anne comes to CNSG with over two decades of telecommunications experience in the partner channel. Holding positions in areas of business development, sales, marketing and network operations. She has also been a proven cultivator of national and regional channel growth, as well as a passionate and effective communicator and partner resource.Read more
CHARLOTTE - Converged Network Services Group (CNSG), the premier master agent for Cloud, Connectivity, and Cloud Enablement, and BCN, a privately held and management owned non-facilities based CLEC have announced their partnership.
Recognized as a channel-friendly telecommunications provider with more than 75 unique wholesale network providers, BCN offers a single-source solution for custom-configured, flawlessly provisioned and meticulously maintained voice, data, wireless, and cloud services. Together with CNSG, BCN will engage and enable more telecom agents to define and deliver advanced connectivity solutions that bring simplicity to inherently complex multi-location, multi-network opportunities.Read more
MARIETTA, Ga - MicroCorp, a distributor of commercial data, voice, UC, security and data center services, announced today that it has named David Burgeson as its new Strategic Partner Manager to lead sales and business development efforts in the company’s rapidly growing Texas and southwest territories.
Burgeson joins MicroCorp following a deep career in the channel as both a partner and provider. Burgeson’s channel experience began as Director of Business Development for Louisiana-based solution provider, Global Data Systems. He then spent more than ten years with industry-leading providers. Most notably, are his 8 years with Time Warner Cable, rising through the ranks to lead the agent channel in the Texas market.Read more
NEW YORK - A strike among wireline workers at Verizon Communications has resulted in a backlog of installation orders and provisioning requests. On Wednesday, April 13th nearly 40,000 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Communications Workers of America (CWA) walked out on their Verizon jobs in protest of stalled contract negotiations. Sticking points for the unions seem to include issues such as healthcare, temporary job relocations, pensions and offshoring call center jobs.
While the company conceded that there was a "bit of a delay" in fulfilling orders, the company claims to have brought in a temporary non-union workforce of approximately 20,000 personnel to help ease the backlog and hopes to resume installations within the next week.Read more
ALBANY, New York - FirstLight Fiber a leading fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in New York and Northern New England, announced today its new partnership with Intelisys Communications, Inc., the nation's leading Technology Services Distributor. This new agreement will give Intelisys' Sales Partners full access to FirstLight's complete portfolio of data, Internet, data center and voice services, which are backed by strong, locally-based service and support.
PETALUMA, Calif. – Intelisys Communications has secured the services of European telecom channel veteran Stephen Hackett in a move that solidifies its entry into the international market and opens the doors for Intelisys to expand outside of the United States to support a new community of Sales Partners as they sell telecom, connectivity and cloud services to business customers around the globe, with dedicated international support in the UK.Read more
Having worked off-and-on as a network administrator for the past 15+ years, I am often reminded of just what a life-saver the cloud and managed services can be. This past weekend, I happened to step into a situation where ignoring these benefits led to a complete nightmare for one "unlucky" customer.
I was called-in as a favor on what basically turned out to be a disaster recovery operation. The disaster did not come in the way of a flood, fire or earthquake though. It came in the form of a rogue IT employee who basically took down his employer's entire telecommunications network upon his sudden, forced exit from the company.Read more
LAS VEGAS - The Channel Partners Conference & Expo has just published images from its 2016 gathering in Las Vegas, which are available via their website. This year's show featured a record-breaking 5,100+ attendees, including NBA Hall of Famer, professional wrestler and Donald Trump campaign supporter Dennis Rodman.
A full index of photos from this year's show is available at https://goo.gl/mvZEOh
CORONA, Calif. - TBI has entered into a ten-year license of Salestream’s MasterStream-MX platform, making it Salestream’s longest license term ever signed. TBI is well known for its commitment to providing its agent partners with superior support. With more than 70 telecom providers in its portfolio, and more than 2500 agent partners, TBI’s administrative demands are extraordinary. With MasterStream, TBI aims to further improve the experience it provides to its partners with extensive on-demand quoting while reducing its operational overhead.
“TBI is a marquee name in this industry and we’re very proud to be able to finally name them as a customer. With their dedication to quality, the TBI team has already made a positive impact on our customer base by challenging us to do more and do it better- a challenge we gladly accepted." said Jeff Fraser, President of Salestream Software.Read more
NEW YORK - George Fischer, senior vice president of global sales at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, has named Janet Schijns vice president of global channels for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. Schijns succeeds Adam Famularo.
Verizon has driven significant growth in its channel business in the past 18 months, including a 10x increase in new business through the agent channel; the company will continue to build on the momentum of its channel team.
ATLANTA - Birch Communications, Inc., announced its recent agreement to purchase select assets and customers of Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. (“Primus”), one of Canada’s largest independent, full-service, telecommunications service providers. The closing is expected in the second quarter of 2016 and this transaction will mark the 28th asset purchase for Birch.
Draper, Ut. - The Technology Channel Association (TCA) today named Rob Butler as its new president. The TCA board is made up of industry leading master agents, leadership from one of the country's largest VAR's, the past Editor-in-Chief of the leading telecom and cloud industry magazine, an author and consultant for sales enablement and marketing, the founding President of the Women in the Channel, and the best direct agents that the industry has developed.Read more
Las Vegas - By all accounts, the 2016 Channel Partners Conference and Expo this past week was a hit with a growing number of vendors and attendees. A list of exhibitors from one year to the next says a lot about where the state of the industry is headed and how much things have changed in only a few short years.
What originally started off as the Phone+ Magazine Agent Trade Fair in 1997 has morphed from a gathering of agents, master agents and upstart long distance carriers and resellers to a much more matured group of Channel Partners and variety of data and information providers.Read more
Las Vegas - This year's Channel Partner's Show in Las Vegas has apparently set a new record for attendance at well over 5,000 attendees, with a wide variety of new exhibitors and technologies taking to the floor for the first time.
There were quite a number of new announcements made by vendors at the show. We will cover a few of them here:
Mediacom Park, NY - Nationwide cable MSO Mediacom today announced that it will be making $1 billion in network upgrades over the next 3 years to offer gigabit broadband service to the 3 million customers currently in its footprint. The upgrades will include both gigabit internet service to residential customers as well as to business customers in its 1,500 local rate centers. Areas not already served should start seeing gigabit service deployed in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Currently priced at around $150 per month, its "Project Gigabit" service will largely be expanded to residential customers through the use of Docsis 3.1 technology utilizing its existing copper network. For businesses and metro customers the company plans on delivering direct "deep" fiber connectivity and greatly expanding the number of "lit" buildings that it passes.Read more
Boston, Mass. – Grandstream Networks, connecting the world since 2002 with award-winning SIP unified communications solutions, has announced the launch of IPVideoTalk, a cloud-based video, audio and Web conferencing service. This subscription service allows any video conference held on a Grandstream GVC3200 or GVC3202 to become a virtual online meeting that can be easily attended by any other GVC320x devices as well as any Web browser users anywhere in the world.Read more
CHICAGO, Ill. - Global Capacity, the leading connectivity as a service company, announces it has signed a strategic channel partnership agreement with award-winning distributor of business data, voice and cloud services, Telarus. As part of the agreement, the network of agent partners, value added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs) of Telarus is able to offer Global Capacity's robust portfolio of Internet, private line and MPLS services to their small, medium and large customers nationwide and internationally.
"We are pleased to be a master agent in Global Capacity's Channel Partner Program," said Adam Edwards, president of Telarus. "Global Capacity's brand promise of Connectivity Made Simple, combined with its differentiated products, like Asymmetrical Ethernet, provide our agent partners another viable alternative to compete and win more network sales opportunities."Read more
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Momentum Telecom, a premier provider of Business Voice, Broadband Management and Unified Communications solutions, has successfully introduced its new comprehensive online training platform, Momentum University. Designed with the goal of providing easily accessible and comprehensive access to informational and training resources, Momentum University will serve as an active and progressive tool for Momentum Telecom to aide its customers.
While Momentum Telecom already boasts robust training practices, Momentum University will enhance the already extensive curriculum, which includes on-site training, webinars and materials library.Read more
San Jose, Calif. - On Monday Google quietly launched the nation's newest wireless service for customers across the United States. Acting as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) the new service is available exclusively to owners of the newest versions of its Nexus smartphone using a special SIM card.
Branded as Project Fi, the service initially became available to beta testers in 2015. Starting this week, anyone owning the compatible hardware can subscribe though. Currently, Google uses proprietary technology in its Nexus phones to switch customers seamlessly between wi-fi and the 4G LTE networks of either T-Mobile or Sprint.Read more
SUNNYVALE, CA - ShoreTel, the leading provider of phone systems and unified communications (UC) solutions, has rolled out its new ShoreTel Connect HYBRID Sites in North America, which enables companies to mix-and-match Connect ONSITE and Connect CLOUD services and applications across multiple locations.
ShoreTel Connect HYBRID Sites provides a flexible communications solution that allows companies to move at their own pace and as their business needs dictate to full and mixed cloud deployments, while protecting existing communications investments. ShoreTel Connect can be configured multiple ways and across multiple geographies to fit with individual company growth and business models; ensuring that what companies select today will grow with them as their needs change in the future.Read more
Dallas, TX - AT&T today announced a new suite of collaboration tools named AT&T Collaborate™ that will become available to business customers in late April 2016. Services will be offered on a per seat basis with basic voice services and calling features at the core of each offering.
"With AT&T Collaborate, you're able to design a collaboration solution that best fits your business needs – whether you need basic voice capabilities or a full unified communications experience," said Rick Hubbard, senior vice president, Networking Product Management, AT&T Business Solutions. "The solution provides a flexible way for you to connect your employees while helping control costs and complexity."
A number of enhancements will be available in the form of add-on packages which include:
Philadelphia, PA - Comcast Corp. is reportedly set to make upgrades in 2016 to its broadband infrastructure including the deployment of Docsis 3.1 modems to its customers. Deploying the new modems will allow Comcast to offer Gigabit speeds to customers living in areas that do not currently have access to its fiber network. Using Docsis 3.1 technology its existing copper infrastructure will be able to provide customers with download speeds of up to 10Gbps.
Currently, the company offers its GigabitPro service to business customers in areas where fiber has already been deployed. It currently offers download speeds of up to 2Gbps, but carries significant installation costs for customers that do not already have fiber deployed in their buildings. Its new service will allow customers to upgrade to Gigabit speeds by simply swapping out their existing modems.Read more