Windstream Addresses Channel Partner Direction and Benefits of SD-WAN

April 13, 2017

By Michael Guta, Contributing Writer

In January of this year, Windstream (News - Alert) introduced its SD-WAN solution to deliver cloud-ready, secure and cost-effective networking to branch offices and remote sites using software intelligence to overcome the limitations of traditional WAN. As an established company with its own 147,000 miles of local and long-haul fiber-optic network delivering a wide range of advanced network communication services to consumers, small businesses, enterprise organizations and carrier partners in the U.S., Windstream already had the infrastructure in place to supply channel partners with the tools they need to serve their customers.

At the 2017 Channel Partners Conference & Expo, Windstream addressed the steps it is taking to improve its channel partner program after the merger with EarthLink, as well as the benefits of SD-WAN in improving the connectivity of remote sites for organizations.

The $1.1 billion Windstream EarthLink acquisition was approved by the FCC (News - Alert) in February, and it will provide network and financial synergies that will greatly benefit channel partners with expanded products, services and enhanced enterprise solutions with propriety infrastructure to deliver the agility and flexibility customers now demand.

Before the acquisition was even finalized, Windstream was in the process of improving its Channel partner program, which in the past year included the addition of dedicated Sales Engineering, Sales Support/Sales Order Coordination and Account Management to the Indirect Channel. This now gives channel partners more focused and responsive sales-support functions, including quoting, partner support and order entry/processing with dedicated sales engineering team members located across the company’s service areas, and a consolidated Service Order Coordinator and Channel Advocate programs.

“The past year has brought a number of positive changes for Windstream channel partners, and 2017 will bring a greater level of focus and commitment to giving them the tools and dedicated resources they need to be even more successful. We have been meeting with our Partner Advisory members and other channel partners to understand firsthand their priorities, and we are incorporating those into our channel roadmap,” said Olen Scott, Windstream’s new vice president of Channel Sales.

The demonstrations at the expo will highlight the company's suite of advanced network communications technology, including its software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution along with voice and unified communications, network security, and managed and cloud services. Windstream's SD-WAN is powered by VeloCloud, which gives it more network agility, seamless scalability and optimized performance at lower price points.

The platform also has simplified network management, increased efficiency and resiliency, and a secure ecosystem that encrypts all network traffic in a borderless environment with an abstracted overlay that creates a VPN on top of existing connection points.

Edited by Alicia Young