The nation’s third largest telecommunications company has gained even more expertise in supplying cloud computing to schools and other customers, thanks to a recently completed merger.

The $2.5 billion merger of CenturyLink and Savvis Inc., which was completed July 15, positions the combined company as a leader in meeting the demand for outsourced IT and cloud services, CenturyLink officials say.

“The combination of CenturyLink’s hosting and network assets with Savvis’ proven solutions in … managed hosting and cloud services substantially enhances CenturyLink’s capabilities and immediately provides the company with a solid platform for future growth,” said Glen F. Post, III, chief executive officer and president of CenturyLink, in a press release. “The transaction helps us meet the accelerating demand for cloud-based services through a robust hosting presence, including 48 data centers in North America, Europe, and Asia.”

Based in St. Louis, Mo., Savvis has approximately 2,450 employees in North America, Asia, and Europe. It provides cloud infrastructure and hosted IT services to nearly 2,500 clients, including many Fortune 500 companies.

Later this year, CenturyLink plans to integrate its hosting business with Savvis’ managed hosting and cloud services to focus on increasing CenturyLink’s market share in these areas. The integrated hosting business, which will operate under the Savvis brand for the foreseeable future, will be based in St. Louis and led primarily by key members of the Savvis leadership team, including chief executive officer Jim Ousley, CenturyLink says.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the deal July 12, and Savvis shareholders approved it July 13.

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