Windstream's acquisition of MASS Communications Wednesday comes on the heels of a recent re-org and is a taste of what will likely be a "very acquisitive" year for Windstream, says Layne Levine, president of Windstream Enterprise & Wholesale.
"This is not the Windstream of the past," says Levine in an interview with Light Reading. "This is a brand-new Windstream, a brand-new way to market and way to think about the type of products, technology and people that we bring together and help our clients move into the new world of SD-WAN and cloud."
In February, Windstream got a facelift announcing two new service brands -- Windstream Enterprise and Windstream Wholesale. Windstream's rebranding is part of an effort to challenge incumbent telcos in the business market space; Levine told Light Reading's Carol Wilson in a recent interview "It is really about focusing all the technology and making it simple so people don't struggle with it, making it easy for them to buy it, making it less threatening. We want to create a much friendlier environment than what most people think of the telecommunications world." (See Windstream Rebrands to Challenge Incumbents.)
Windstream closed on the $37.5 million acquisition of New-York based CLEC MassComm on Wednesday, after a FCC filing in December. MassComm, which has about 50 employees and several hundred midsized and larger multi-location enterprise customers, will now be a subsidiary of Windstream. Levine says MassComm's customer base and portfolio of services fit well with Windstream's culture and managed service offerings, making it "a perfect fit for both companies." (See Windstream Buys MASS Communications for $37.5M and Windstream Acquires MASS Communications.)
Levine says the acquisition provides Windstream with the opportunity to bring on additional sales and service delivery personnel as well as customers interested in migrating to Windstream's SD-WAN and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platform. While MassComm focused on managed services, voice, data and Internet services, the company was less invested in the SD-WAN space.
"Since bringing MassComm under the Windstream banner, in a day I've already talked to several of MassComm's clients about how to quickly help them leverage our SD-WAN platform and our OfficeSuite platform."
Former MassComm CEO Darren Mass is joining Windstream as president of resale for Windstream's Enterprise & Wholesale business unit, and will focus on building Windstream's reseller base.
Levine says the MassComm acquisition "sends a notice to the rest of the industry that we're active, we're aggressive, we're growing and we want to continue to bring great clients that can grow with us and we can help them with their transformation. It's also a message that we're in the market to find more opportunities that look like MassComm and I think you'll see us being very acquisitive… I don't think this will be the only noise you'll hear from Winstream this year."
— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading