IT Transformation: No Longer an Option. It’s a Mandate.

February 8, 2018 Layne Levine, President Windstream Enterprise & Wholesale

Whether you’re a veteran of the networking and communication industry or new to this sector, the tectonic shifts that accompany businesses’ rapid migration to the cloud and adoption of next-gen technologies have been felt by customers and network providers alike. This transformation shock would register 9.0 on the Richter scale, and lest you think the change has run its course, think again. We’re in for a wave of aftershocks as business and IT transformation evolves to keep pace in the digital economy. With it, the role of the network is changing, and an exciting, but ultimately rewarding journey awaits those willing to take it.

The transformation journey begins

The great irony of the current situation is that as businesses migrate core workloads to the cloud, they often run into a challenge they might not have considered; that their current legacy network architecture is not prepared to support transformative change. At the same time, the legacy service providers they depend on have a history of not being easy to work with and less than responsive to their evolving needs. This is especially true for often-ignored mid-market customers. In the wake of all this migration and change, there is a huge opportunity for a provider willing to take on the challenge of helping the customers that other providers have ignored or can’t keep up with.

A transformative new brand for a transformative era

It was with the needs of these customers in mind that a few years ago, we began to transform our own business. To get where we needed to be, we knew we had to make some important changes. We began with the customer, instituting a new company-wide, customer-focused culture to radically change our customer experience for the better. And, to differentiate and distance ourselves from the world of tactical providers we had to become an agile, responsive partner with solutions designed to empower businesses to address their most essential business technology challenges.

We also had to address our technology capabilities, investing heavily in infrastructure upgrades including SDN across our nationwide network. This creates an agile, intent-based programmable network fully optimized to deliver in an always-evolving, cloud-driven environment. Then to put that technology to work, we introduced a broad range of strategic solutions ideally suited to enterprise customers who want greater control and who seek to drive business innovation and deliver a differentiated customer experience through superior connectivity, communications and collaboration.

Together, these changes have been so significant that we are fundamentally a different company today than we were just a few years ago.

I will admit that the process has not been easy. Change never is. At times, it felt like changing the tires on a bus that’s moving at 100 miles per hour. Our conviction about making these needed changes, however, was greater than our fear of losing control while stopping the bus. And when momentum is on your side, you’d better keep going.

Introducing Windstream Enterprise

Looking back, the massive transformation was necessary to become the kind of provider that customers choose to do business with. While our journey is far from over, we’ve come to the point where it was time to take things to the next level with an update to our brand to match.

  • Our Net Promoter Score (how likely a customer is to recommend Windstream Enterprise to another customer) improved 43% in the past year alone.
  • We’ve launched 17 new products in just the last 3 years, including industry-leading solutions like SD-WAN with Concierge service and UCaaS that give customers a real edge in the cloud-driven environment.
  • The impact of these introductions has been immediate. In 2017, 76% of sales included a strategic product, and 71% of revenue on new logo sales is from strategic products–up from just 23%.

With these results fueling our progress, I’m proud to introduce Windstream Enterprise (WE), a new brand for our mid-market, enterprise and wholesale business. The WE brand reflects the changes we’ve made and the many to come as we continue to evolve to serve our customers’ needs.

As our journey continues, we will not lose sight of the singular goal behind the Windstream Enterprise brand: to be the network technology partner businesses expect but rarely find—a customer-focused, agile, responsive and expert trusted advisor committed to helping them connect, transform and elevate their business.

A special thank you to all the businesses who have presented us with the challenges and opportunities for you have helped drive the customer-focus and innovation that define the WE brand. We consider you partners and co-sojourners and look forward to sharing your journey with you.

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