Goodbye Savvis, hello CenturyLink Technology Solutions

Sean Buckley, FierceTelecomCenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) recently bid adieu to the Savvis brand by renaming the division CenturyLink Technology Solutions, a move that reflects the company's growing identity in the managed services, colocation and cloud services space.

So what does this name change do for existing CenturyLink and Savvis customers?

For one, it enables the telco to provide a common message to its growing business and managed services customer base. Savvis may have given CenturyLink an entry into the colocation and cloud services space, but now CenturyLink Technology Solutions can present itself to new and existing clients as a provider that can fulfill multiple needs.

Rebecca Carr, CMO for CenturyLink Technology Solutions, told FierceTelecom that it needed to optimize its brand.

"When you have a brand like our parent company, like CenturyLink does that has great awareness and alignment in the market, our ability to capture all the great attributes that Savvis brings to bear in terms of delivering hybrid IT solutions to enterprise clients and building up those attributes under the CenturyLink brand just made sense," Carr said.

Another potential benefit of the new name is cross selling existing solutions to existing Savvis and CenturyLink business customers. The telco has a broad business service customer base and a sizeable service suite, including cloud, colocation, Ethernet, fiber-based wavelengths and managed services.

As more businesses look to offload functions to a cloud provider, the company can also more effectively execute on its goal to upsell existing Savvis and CenturyLink customers a broader array of services. 

"Aligning our go-to market and aligning our capabilities in the context of what we can deliver to enterprises, both large and small, just made a lot of sense. It improves the customer experience and aligns with the CenturyLink data strategy," Carr said. "As [CenturyLink CEO] Glen Post has defined a couple of the growth priorities for the business, the capabilities that Savvis and now CenturyLink Technology Solutions bring to bear, we're in a growth market and we're continuing to invest in the business."

Like fellow RBOC Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) purchase of Terremark, CenturyLink's Savvis acquisition was transformational in that it gave the company a new set of capabilities that it did not have before. It has continued to grow its cloud and managed services presence organically through building out new U.S. and international data centers and acquiring complementary assets such as Tier 3 and AppFog.  

An initial target that CenturyLink Technology Solutions will focus on is its growing large domestic and international customer base in Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific, all of which are considering outsourcing functions like storage and disaster recovery to a third party.

Besides large businesses, CenturyLink is finding that the cloud and managed service offerings have applicability to the small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) segment.

Following the Savvis rebranding, CenturyLink debuted its Managed Office service bundle. Many SMBs that reside in CenturyLink's markets are more likely to understand products that are offered under the company they already know.  

CenturyLink's move has kicked off what could be a new trend among traditional telcos that want to create a common identity in the managed services and colocation segment.

TDS (NYSE: TDS), for instance, renamed its Hosted and Managed Services (HMS) division as OneNeck IT Solutions LLC. Similar to the CenturyLink rebrand, TDS had to rationalize all of its cloud and IT service product lines.     

Savvis may have been a household name in the cloud services space, but as part of CenturyLink it was inevitable that the telco had to retire it and wrap it into its larger fold. While it will take time to understand how much of an impact the new name will be, having its own brand will give it a consistent look and message as it pursues new opportunities in the growing cloud services market.--Sean