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BCN Channel Chief Focused on Growth, Signing New Agents

Growth

Edward GatelyBCN Telecom’s Michael Ginsburg sums up his overall plans as channel chief in a single word: growth.

Ginsburg has been BCN’s vice president of sales since last fall, and previously was a sales director managing a number of the company’s largest master-agency relationships. The switchless reseller operates in all 50 states and is solely focused on the agent channel.

BCN's Michael GinsburgBCN recently announced it added personnel in key areas to support “a continually growing partner and customer base.” Additional resources in sales, support, pricing, order administration, operations and product are now in place, as well as new internal systems and tools to increase operational productivity and drive efficiencies.

The communication service provider delivers voice, data, wireless and cloud services on a unified platform.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Ginsburg talks about BCN’s business strategy going forward, and how he’s working to spread the word that BCN is the “best carrier that the agent world hasn’t heard of before.” 

Channel Partners: What drove the need to invest more to support partners and customers?{ad}

Michael Ginsburg: The driving force behind it was the explosive growth that BCN has experienced over the last couple of years in the types of activities that we were getting from our existing agent base, as well as the growth and penetration that we were seeing with, particularly, the master-agent community. And not only from the growth on the partner side, we started moving upstream, and servicing larger and more sophisticated customers, and the opportunities that our partners were bringing us into. So we looked at that as an opportunity to invest back into the business, and develop new systems and tools that would better serve our partners and the customers that we had signed on.

CP: Can you give some examples of how the new investments will help your partners?

MG: The new investments back into the business will certainly help on the front end in the pre-sales cycle, where it will enable us to turn around quotes faster, be able to get a broader reach out to our underlying wholesale network providers to help spec out and form the best solution for an opportunity that a partner brings to us. And long term, it will help with the management of a partner’s customer where we’ll be able to have a deeper view into the types of services that the customer has … to help them manage their telecom expenses better and help them optimize the types of services and bandwidth that they would need at a particular location.

Proactively, it will help us on the repair side as we …

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… continue to grow our network portfolio of underlying wholesale carriers. We continue to be invested and electronically bonded with these carriers and network partners to better enable us to proactively trouble report, and work with the end users and their vendors to rectify things in a more seamless manner.

CP: Let’s talk about BCN’s partner program. Has the program been expanding?

MG: Our partner program has been around for 22 years. Since the founding of the business, we have always been dedicated and committed to the partner community in running a partner program. We do not have a channel conflict in any way as it relates to having direct sales or an in-house salesforce call-center type of environment. And as we continue to evolve and grow both our existing and new partner relationships, we remain very flexible and agile, where we listen to what our partners have to say and what they’re asking for. It gives us the ability to go out and procure new underlying wholesale network agreements, to source out new products and services, and really integrate those in a timely manner into our overall product portfolio, and really just drive all of that growth based on our partners’ feedback and what their needs are.

CP: What is BCN’s partner strategy? Is it evolving along with market/channel trends?

MG: Since day one, the program constantly evolves as new products and technologies are released to the market and as carriers change how they deliver services and the types of services that they offer. As we’ve experienced growth over the years, that has enabled us to get a broader reach into the community by partnering with a lot of the master agents in the community, as well as some of the regional partnerships that we have in place. Our partner strategy is effectively our company strategy.

As a reseller of multiple underlying network providers, our sweet spot where we really shine for our partners and their customers is for the end user that has multiple locations across multiple territories with a multiple product requirement. That really enables BCN to source the different components of what the end user is looking for and to meet their needs, and bring the best available options from a plethora of different underlying solution providers or network providers that enables us to create a targeted solution for the end user. So the more locations, the more products and services a client needs, the better fit that BCN becomes.

CP: What are the biggest issues facing BCN and what is your role in addressing them?

MG: From my perspective, I would say one of the big issues that BCN is facing is answering the question of who we are. There are still many agents and partners in the community who haven’t heard the BCN story and they’re not aware of our value proposition. We like to say that we are the best carrier that the agent world hasn’t heard of before. And as part of addressing that, I have been responsible for growing and expanding our internal sales group to …

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… foster growth and form relationships within the master agent community and bring on those partnerships, and that really has enabled us and given us opportunities to engage with many new partners across the country to share with them the BCN story, and let them know who we are and what we do.

BCN historically did not do a lot of marketing; we used our marketing efforts really to help support our agents. But here recently, we have become more dedicated to marketing the BCN brand. And sort of the tail end of this effort that we have going on is we’re going to be launching our new website here in mid-August, right before the [Channel Partners] Evolution show.

CP: What sort of feedback have you been receiving from partners? Are there things they like/dislike about BCN’s partner program?

MG: The feedback from our partners really has been extremely positive. They’re incredibly impressed with the depth and breadth of our service offering, which encompasses aggregating across 75 different, underlying wholesale network partners. And as part of that wide reach, our broad range of products and services that we can offer across voice and data, wireless and cloud services, we really are very well positioned to accommodate whatever type of need a partner has for one of their customers.

CP: As BCN’s channel chief, what do you most want to accomplish in 2016 and beyond?

Ginsburg: In a single word, I would say growth. And I think there [are] a lot of variables that go into that. We’re going to focus on and grow our existing partner relationships. We want to target potential new strategic partnerships with some other agencies that we don’t currently engage with. We want to continue to expand upon our product and service portfolio to ensure that we continue to have the most robust offering in the industry. And if we’re delivering on all of these areas, it will effectively translate and enable us to continue experiencing year-over-year record revenue growth and new customer acquisition. So we’re going to focus on growth.

CP: How do you think your company’s channel strategy will change in the next three to five years?

MG: I think our channel strategy will remain on the same trajectory that it’s on now. BCN has no plans in changing our strategy in being 100 percent channel-focused. So I think as the next year, two years, three years, five years go by, really the change that you’ll see from BCN is evolving with the times. As new technologies come out, as more things are shifting from traditional voice and data, more toward cloud and managed services, I think you’ll find that BCN will shift its product focus in what we provide out to the community as those new things become more prominent and readily available on a wholesale market.


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