CenturyLink is adapting their Enterprise level offerings in preparation to bring Level3 into the fold. This follows their announcement last week of the management team for new combined CenturyLink organisation. New into the team are Laurinda Pang and Sunit Patel from level3. Sunit was announced as the CFO of the combined company and will give stability during the transition. Laurinda will look after global accounts and focus on the APAC, EMEA and LATAM market spaces, which is where Level 3 has considerably more ability than the more domestic-focused CenturyLink.
The expectation is that moves to higher-bandwidth and managed services will grow in the domestic markets, where the combination of CenturyLink and Level3's fiber networks will allow metro network offerings over an expanded footprint. Also migrating CenturyLink's international customer base to use Level 3 infrastructure will increase the margin for their existing MNC business.
To take advantage of the synergies of the combined organisation, they should consider using SDN and NFV to keep costs low, and to maximise margin. Putting in place these platforms during a merger adds risk in integrating the network. Failure to do so at this stage increases the time when the organisation is running with higher levels of cost that could be removed with integration. Both organisations have SDN or SD-wan solutions to enable this. Level3 has Adaptive Network Control, which provides bandwidth on demand for products in their portfolio. CenturyLink has a white box platform to offer a virtualised CPE SD-WAN solution. Together this makes a compelling managed SD-WAN offering. The challenge is can they complete the integration and gain market share before being overtaken by AT&T, Verizon or Masergy?
Across the rest of the portfolio, there will also be other synergies. CenturyLink will continue the managed IT services, and take on Level3's comprehensive security services. And they still have the domestic business providing a revenue stream.
The focus for the near term will be the enterprise market. If you are an MNC with CenturyLink or Level3, push for that extra value in your conversations with them.