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CenturyLink Brings Savvis Into Brand Alignment

Carol Wilson

CenturyLink is combining its cloud, hosted and managed services capabilities under its network brand, announcing today that it is changing the name of data hosting subsidiary Savvis to CenturyLink Technology Solutions.

The change not only brings Savvis under the CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) moniker but also cloud and software companies purchased recently, notably AppFog and Tier 3. (See CenturyLink Buys Cloud Leader Tier 3 and CenturyLink Shows Cloud Is Still Critical.)

The move reflects CenturyLink's intention to offer potential business customers the full range of services, including voice and data networking as well as managed, hosted, collocated, and cloud services, says Becky Carr, CMO of CenturyLink Technology Solutions. While the newly named unit will continue to sell directly to the largest corporate customers, much of its sales will be done through and alongside CenturyLink's network services sales force, she says.

There will be a media campaign and marketing efforts to promote the new brand, Carr says. Savvis will not disappear entirely as a brand, however, as it will be applied to the product portfolio. CenturyLink bought Savvis almost three years ago and has been operating the company under its original name. (See CenturyLink Clouds Up With Savvis Buy.)

"We are surrendering the logo, not the name," she comments. "Savvis has a great reputation and we will use it as a portfolio descriptor, but we believe in the CenturyLink brand and that what we gain from having one brand will far outweigh any impact from losing Savvis."

CenturyLink Technology Solutions will continue to differentiate itself based on the extensive experience of the collective companies in delivering cloud, hosted/managed, and colo services, Carr adds, and on its ability to combine its services with CenturyLink's networking. Much of that differentiation is based on leveraging existing experience to be able to quickly and efficiently customize service solutions for its enterprise customers, Carr says.

For the coming year, she is predicting five major areas of growth for cloud services: big data/analytics, business-to-consumer websites, development test site moving to production, storage, and disaster recovery.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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User Rank: Lightning
1/21/2014 | 2:24:56 PM
Re: Ego tripping
I suppose the goal is that the better reputation Savvis has will benefit CenturyLink's other products.  But it's a ridiculous idea.  A weak name does not benefit by being applied to a stronger product.  Ford Motors did not salvage the Edsel by renaming the parent the Edsel Motor Company.
User Rank: Blogger
1/21/2014 | 2:22:33 PM
Re: Ego tripping
At least you have something to keep you warm as Polar Vortex 2 (just when you thought it was safe to go back on icecap) roars into the Jerz!
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/21/2014 | 2:03:21 PM
Re: Ego tripping
At the height of insanity branding here, we were required to minimize our LR/HR brand in favor of a generic corporate brand on our business cards. To make things even more fun, the flip side of the card contained an array of about two dozen vertical brands, almost all of which had nothing to do with us. Fortunately, I had stockpiled enough old cards to never have to use these, but I did get a box just for laughs.
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/21/2014 | 12:05:18 PM
Re: Ego tripping

It is basically a conundrum.  Century wants to spend money to improve sales at both Century and Saavis.  I would say that they view that money spent on one name is not helping the other.  That is not a weird thing.  I suspect that they knew from metrics that it was true.

Now was this done in a way that helps current Saavis customers get there from here?  No...they could have started with a year or two of Saavis - A Centurylink Company or Saavis Centurylink or something to bridge things.  Flash cuts are bad.



User Rank: Light Sabre
1/21/2014 | 11:27:39 AM
Re: Ego tripping
Having gone through more corporate rebrandings than I care to count, my experience is that these aren't driven so much by personal ego as some weird sort of executive-level groupthink that does not take into account how customers actually view the businesses in question. No doubt customers will continue to refer to their supplier as Savvis at least for the rest of this decade.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/21/2014 | 10:55:57 AM
Re: Ego tripping
I find it hard to see this as an extension of an ego - maybe I'm being naive in that regard. But it is a choice, a clear belief that Savvis can do more good for CenturyLink as part of its brand. And it will take time to see how that plays out.
User Rank: Lightning
1/21/2014 | 10:52:03 AM
Ego tripping
Savvis was an established company with a pretty good brand name and its own reputation.  It was bought by a company whose brand name is associated with the worst abuses of telephone monopolies.  Now the monopolist is branding its subsidiary.  They of course have that right, but it's stupid.  It's Blackie Post's ego at work again.  He is totally full of himself.
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