From the Enterprise VoIP Experts

January 10, 2011

Diversification Key to Communications Technology Distribution Through Reseller Channel

By SIP Trunking Report Contributor

Finding the right balance of products/services, distribution channels and technology development is no mean feat for companies in the IT and communications technologies space. Balance is the operative word; putting all the eggs in one basket won’t do, especially during a recession.

Basing its strategic decision on the concept of balance seems to be working well for Cbeyond, a PBX interconnection company that uses SIP trunking as it backbone to provide IT and communications services for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The company specializes in applications and productivity tools for security, collaboration, marketing and other functions.

“We’re financially sound with no debt and 53,000 customers in 14 markets,” said Brad Linden, vice president and general manager of sales at Cbeyond, in a recent TMCnet video interview.

Linden described Cbeyond’s ideal distribution channel as being a hybrid of value-added resellers (VARs) and other types of resellers. The company has a lot of partners and is looking to grow the reseller channel from 25 percent of the company pie to 35 percent.

To achieve that goal, Cbeyond is focusing on connecting with IT providers, phone vendors, brokers and master agents.

When it comes to methods for resale of its products, Cbeyond also doesn’t put all its eggs in one basket, either. 

“There is some straight resale of our services, there is some integration with phone systems, and there is some IT integration,” Linden noted. “Some IT folks offer their own core competency but use many of our productivity enhancing applications to be the outsourced CIO for small and medium business.”

Cbeyond’s sales cycle is usually 30 days or shorter, depending on the magnitude of a given opportunity. It does a lot of multi-location deployments.

“Ours is a relatively fast sales cycle, since small and medium businesses do not have a bureaucracy for making decisions,” Linden said. 

Looking to the future, Linden said success depends on keeping pace with new trends and new technologies.

“We’re embracing the cloud extensively,” he said. “In fact, we recently announced an organizational change where we put a very senior-level founding member as head of our cloud services organization.”

For more about Cbeyond’s strategy, plans and successes, including its involvement with SIP trunking development, recent integration with Clearwire, and expectations for the future, watch the full video.

To find out more about Cbeyond, visit the company at ITEXPO East 2011. To be held Feb. 2-4 in Miami, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Jason Walker, SIPconnect product manager of Cbeyond, is speaking during “Virtualized Asterisk in the Cloud.” Don’t wait. Register now.

Mae Kowalke is a TMCnet contributor. She is Manager of Stories at Neundorfer, Inc., a cleantech company in Northeast Ohio. She has more than 10 years experience in journalism, marketing and communications, and has a passion for new tech gadgets. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf