Q&A: What Should Enterprises Expect From the Windstream-EarthLink Merger?
Now that Windstream has completed its $1.1 billion purchase of EarthLink, many an organization relying on one or the other’s services will want some guidance on how to proceed. Protecting network costs and arrangements is paramount, as is understanding the new capabilities supported by merging the two providers. Timothy C. Colwell, senior vice president at AOTMP, provides some answers.
Why does this deal matter to AOTMP’s enterprise telecom/mobility management audience?
TC: As happens with any vendor merger, the question of impact on customers is always speculative. As the companies combine, there are likely to be point-of-contact changes and changes to customer workflow for service ordering, technical support, solution engineering, etc. Some customers will see no change in the day-to-day interactions, while others will experience changes. It is imperative for customers of each vendor to engage their respective sales and account management teams to discuss known and potential changes that alter business engagement protocols and practices.
What impact might readers experience from this combination?
TC: The merger appears to be positive for the market, and will expand and round out nationwide offerings. The current solution offerings of both companies are complementary; customers and prospects are likely to see a broad set to meet network service needs. As a single company, increased fiber route miles, along with voice, Internet, advanced network connectivity, SD-WAN, and managed services improves the new company’s competitive position in the market.
As a result, what should enterprise readers do?
TC: Review current contracts with Windstream and EarthLink to determine options available for renegotiation or, if necessary, termination due to the merger. Accelerate quarterly business review meetings and ask your account team or teams to brief you on the advantages the merger will yield. And, be proactive in addressing all concerns and opportunities with the newly merged vendor.