Cbeyond Teams with TBI, Expands Footprint

Cbeyond Inc. announced at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo this week that it has signed master agency Telecom Brokerage Inc. (TBI) and that it is now halfway to its goal of serving 25 MSAs.

Cbeyond’s agreement with TBI enables the two companies to sell a bundle with Cbeyond’s BeyondVoice with SIPconnect and Microsoft Response Point. TBI will be offering this integrated solution through its network of 800 subagents.

Brad Linden, vice president and general manager of channel sales at Cbeyond, told PHONE+ the VoIP provider’s SIP trunking services will help make it easier for TBI’s agents to sell Microsoft Response Point since SIP Connect is certified interoperable with the Microsoft IP PBX.

TBI agents will be able to offer the solution with the service. “In this economy, the SMBs are looking to outsource everything,” he said.

Linden said with the new Service Pack 2, announced in February, Microsoft Response Point should gain more traction in the marketplace because it has more competitive features than it did when it debuted in October 2007.

Cbeyond was one of the first service providers whose services were certified to work with the software giant’s IP PBX, which is packaged as an appliance by three OEMs – D-Link, Aastra Technologies Ltd. and Quanta Computer Inc.

Cbeyond also opened an office in Washington DC to serve northern Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. This is the 12th office for the service provider and moves it closer to its goal of 25 offices in primarily NFL cities.

“It brings us closer to a national footprint and makes us more relevant to national agents,” said Cbeyond spokesperson Stein Soelberg.

Seattle is next on the roadmap and is expected to be opened by late third quarter.

The company also is expanding the service footprint in Los Angeles to cover the Verizon territory, essentially doubling the number of area codes it supports, Soelberg said. Service will be available there by June.

Linden, who rejoined the company last summer after leaving in 2001, said the channel program is shifting gears to work more on business development over recruiting. Cbeyond has about 4,000 partners with some 30 percent actually producing. “It’s manageable,” he said, noting Cbeyond has 48 channel managers.

“Our goal is to work with those who embrace us,” he said. While the relationship with TBI would be a good example, Cbeyond is not signing up every master agency because it doesn’t want to end up being “just a pricing engine.” So far it has strategic relationships with national master agents TBI, X4 Communications and IQwire. It has an agreement with a Florida-based master agent and is looking at another in the DC area.

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