For Birch, adding Cbeyond serves some key aims. First, the purchase gives Birch truly national footprint, and reach into Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as about 200,000 additional business customers. It also lets Birch serve more sizes of client, from initial startup to multilocation enterprise, rather than just SMB. Finally, the combination creates an IP network with about 10,000 fiber route miles, more than 500 fiber-lit buildings, 570 collocations and five data centers throughout the United States.
Birch did not provide details about whether it will retain all of Cbeyond's employees, nor did it discuss in-depth its plans for the channel (or Cbeyond channel chief Zane Long or Birch channel chief Brad Smith). Christopher Ramsey, chief sales and marketing officer for Birch, said in a press release that Birch will integrate "the Cbeyond sales organization, including management, representatives, partners, dealers and support staff into the Birch sales family."
"We are committed to making this a smooth and productive transition for all divisions of the sales organization," he added.
Check back with Channel Partners throughout the week for more. Birch's post-acquisition channel policies have created some controversy in recent years, as well as at least one lawsuit in which Birch has been ordered to pay damages.
Cbeyond marks Birch's 21st acquisition since the late 1990s. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the transaction, which should close within six months.