Windstream combines enterprise, wholesale units under network chief Bayer

Windstream united its enterprise and wholesale divisions under one roof, aiming to take a more holistic approach to selling its portfolio of core and overlay services. Buddy Bayer, who has served as the company’s chief network officer since 2018, was tapped to lead the new unit.

In addition to his CNO role, Bayer hitherto served as president of Windstream’s wholesale division. On the enterprise side, he succeeds Layne Levine, who was named president of that unit in July 2017. The new role gives Bayer oversight of sales and marketing, service delivery, customer care, service assurance and access for the newly combined business. He will continue to serve as CNO.

Bayer told Fierce the whole idea behind bringing the units together is to leverage the strengths of each – core infrastructure and IP offerings from Wholesale and services like edge, SD-WAN and SASE from enterprise – to provide a broader solution set to customers.

“If I’m sitting in front of a fortune 500 customer, I want to be able to say I can over your core needs, I can be very custom in helping you manage your capabilities there, I can also do your edge play out, here’s what we can do and how to enhance that, the security capabilities we have within that,” he explained. “It’s a portfolio kind of solution.”

In terms of his priorities, Bayer said first and foremost he wants to invest in his internal team through development and coaching to ensure he’s leveraging each member’s strengths to help grow the business. When it comes to technology, Bayer added he has his eye on new innovations with a specific focus on automation and analytics. And that’s not just for customer-facing products.

“We also have internal tools and analytics that help us become better at what we do, so we can become faster at turning up, faster at resolving. Whatever it may be, we want to continue on that effort too,” he said.

Bayer noted the network team will continue to report to him for the time being, keeping to “business as usual”. There are currently no plans to appoint a successor to take over the chief network officer role, he added.