Late last year, CenturyLink completed its acquisition of Level 3 Communications, Inc. and the two combined entities plan to make the digital transformation journey smoother for channel partners and their customers.
The combination of CenturyLink and Level 3 essentially creates a global network services provider capable of offering a wide range of secure technology solutions over a fiber network. CenturyLink’s network can connect more than 350 metropolitan areas with more than 100,000 fiber-enabled, on-net buildings, including 10,000 buildings.
Craig Patterson, CenturyLink’s vice president of indirect sales, told EChannelNews during a podcast, that the acquisition of Level 3 will enable the channel partner community along with enterprise customers to leverage world class assets such as the global fiber network that spans 60 countries and 450 route miles.
“Customers can now be enabled for digital transformation and their partners can facilitate that journey,” Patterson said.
The new CenturyLink has estimated pro forma revenue of $24 billion and forecasts that approximately 75 per cent of its core revenue will come from business customers and nearly two-thirds of its core revenue will come from strategic services.
Besides the combine company assets, Patterson also said the new CenturyLink will be making more investments in this space. He described these investments as an across-the-board increase in the number of resources partners and will include new sales resources, new engineering support resources, and a brand new lifecycle team that will be tasked to help channel partners assess the lifecycle of customers if they want to add, change or move in its digital transformation journey.
“There will also be an additional new retention team to help maintain the base of revenue already sold and locked up by partners. We want to enable the partners to grow inside this base,” Patterson added.
Also look for CenturyLink to create a services management team that will be deployed across most strategic customers. This team will provide, what Patterson calls, the “white glove treatment.”
“For partners – if you boil the ocean – it will be a much better experience for them.”
The digital transformation market opportunity is at the centre of this new investment for CenturyLink.
“Digital transformation is something that is top of mind for every single CTO across the globe. For us, it comes down to our portfolio of services for this journey that will allow the partners to focus on network-type opportunities in the transition. Customers are pivoting away from private to public cloud and that comes with a whole new set of bad actors, threats and breaches on a daily basis. We have a whole new security suite of products that can take care of those bad actors,” he said.
The new CenturyLink will also have a suite of hybrid IT and cloud solutions for customers who are currently managing both environments or are on different stages of the digital transformation journey. “This gives customers the road map to make the transformation,” Patterson added.
Research and consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan recently reported that CenturyLink’s multi-cloud environments offer cost-effective management, optimization and managed services capabilities without lengthy contracts.
“To achieve product leadership is never an easy task, but it is one made even more difficult considering today’s competitive intensity, customer volatility, and economic uncertainty – not to mention the difficulty of innovating in an environment of escalating challenges to intellectual property,” said Karyn Price, senior analyst, Frost & Sullivan.