“Nitel is a good company with a great culture but there was a unique opportunity for me to come back to BullsEye,” said Basa, who oversaw Nitel’s sales between September 2009 and November 2011; before that, he had run BullsEye’s sales division since May 2005.
That unique opportunity is BullsEye’s expanding strategy. For years, BullsEye focused on multilocation sales, offering services including POTS, managed security, cloud-based apps, hosted Microsoft Office and business continuity and disaster recovery to large and spread-out enterprises. Now, BullsEye also is targeting SMBs — even those with, say, two locations on opposite sides of the United States. That’s because the company, with its various supplier agreements as well as its own IP network, can reach customers other providers often cannot.
“There are no geographic boundaries,” Basa said. Plus, he said, BullsEye is designing products according to partner input. “We’re really listening to the channel versus trying to force products” on customers, he said.
With that in mind, you can probably guess what’s coming next from Basa, who has a long and respected history in the channel.
“We’re going to recruit [partners], and recruit aggressively, which we really haven’t done in the past four or five years,” said Basa.
To that point, BullsEye is keen to add independent and master agents; VARs supplementing their portfolios with network services; and regional and local managed services providers.
“We think we’re a single-source solution for that MSP or VAR,” Basa said. “They can bolt on any product or service they don’t have.” They don’t even have to fully understand telecom, he added.
Granted, Basa’s role includes direct sales, too. But he’s not worried about channel conflict and emphasized that BullsEye’s direct sales force is limited to select markets. Partners have far more terrain to cover. Still, if something goes awry, Basa has a plan.
“My rule has always been that when there’s channel conflict we edify the channel partner,” he said. “We don’t try to compete with them…and we don’t try to displace them — that’s the kiss of death. We want to work with them.”
So, BullsEye is beefing up its appeal to the channel. Basa is formulating new agent contracts that should be introduced in early 2012 or sooner. Current partners will get to choose whether to work under their existing terms and conditions, or whether to switch to the new ones. New partners will sign the new agreement. Basa wasn’t able to talk much about the change but did say he is confident partners will be happy with the details.
Meantime, under Basa’s direction, BullsEye also is revamping its partner portal, hiring more trainers, and teaching channel managers to think in terms of hosted and IP services, rather than in terms of old-school telephony. Basa intends to have everything ready to launch in time for the Spring 2012 Channel Partners Conference Expo.
“It’s an exciting time at BullsEye,” he said.