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2017 Was a Big Year for Birch

Wow, what a year 2017 was.  Our channel program reached new heights this year as the entire company focused on delivering more value to our partners.  We’re beyond excited at what lies ahead in 2018 but before we usher in the new year I thought it was a great time to take a moment to reflect on the news, events, and investments we made in you, our partners, in 2017.  Here’s a recap:

We Announced a Deal with Fusion
In August, we reached a definitive agreement with Fusion for the customers, infrastructure and operations of Birch’s Cloud and Business Services division.  This winning combination will enable the New Fusion to broaden our advanced and integrated cloud services portfolio, complement Birch’s existing products and services in North America, extend our reach to become more competitive in key markets, and expand our infrastructure, operations and support systems to deliver even better ways to serve our partners and customers.  All of us at Fusion and Birch are looking forward to building the New Fusion and finding new ways to grow with you, our valued Partners.  We expect the transaction to close in 2018.

We Shifted to a Channel-Centric Business Model
In March we announced that we took an extraordinary step to align our sales organization more closely with the indirect channel as the next and most critical step in the execution of our strategy to grow by leveraging the strength and reach of you -- our partners.   Because we recognize the increasingly valuable role that partners play as trusted advisors to customers, we see our partners as our leading driver of future growth and our most valuable distribution channel.  It was a big shift and one reason we were able to invest in the rest of the items on this list!

We Launched Our Own Quote Tool
After rolling out Masterstream to partners earlier in the year for quoting, we decided that we could better serve them by developing our own tool in-house.  Birch 360 launched November 15th with a user friendly interface, accurate availability and pricing information for our full suite of products, and single sign-on with Birch Central, our partner portal.  You can get access here. 

Birch 360 is just the first step in our development roadmap for online enablement tools for partners that will encompass the entire lifecycle of a Birch opportunity from marketing to commission, and every stage in between.  Be on the lookout for more functionality in 2018!

We Invested in Mindmatrix
You heard it here first…  Many of the partners we met with at the Channel Partners Conference and Expo in Spring 2017 told us that what they really needed to help them grow their business and sell more Birch services was marketing support.  Some asked for co-branded collateral, others asked for turnkey digital marketing campaigns.  We heard you and we acted.  Mindmatrix is a channel marketing automation platform that will enable our partners to just login and launch. It’s got a repository with personalizable and co-brandable marketing collateral, emails, presentations, digital assets, and more.  You’ll also be able to launch personalized email marketing campaigns with just the click of a button.  You don’t need to be a marketing genius, our marketing team will take care of everything.  We signed the agreement with Mindmatrix in Fall 2017 and are looking toward a beta launch in early 2018 with a full launch shortly after.  Keep your eyes peeled in 2018 for further launch information, including your chance to be a beta tester! 

We Attended Over 100 Events
Our Channel Team racked up a LOT of frequent flier miles this year traveling to local and National events all across the country in 2017.  Here’s a quick list of some of the events we attended, if we didn’t meet on the road this year you’ll be able to find us there in 2018 too!
  • Channel Partners Conference and Channel Partners Evolution
  • Intelisys Channel Connect and Mindshare Events
  • Telarus Partner Summit and Technology Innovation Councils 
  • Sandler Summits
  • Our own sporting event roadshow
  • Many, many more!

This year was one of our biggest on record in terms of dedicating resources, budget, and time to the channel.  We couldn’t do it without our partners.  I’m looking forward to a 2018 that’s even bigger.  From all of us here at Birch, thank you your business and we wish Happy Holidays and a happy, healthy, and successful 2018!