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Birch Communications Turns Over New Leaf With Cloud Focus, A New CEO And Expanded Channel Plans

Birch Communications has unveiled a new mobile app, a refreshed cloud solution and an expanded partner program as it attempts to court solution providers.

Birch Communications has a new lease on life and wants the channel to take notice. The provider has unveiled a new mobile app, a refreshed cloud solution and an expanded partner program for solution providers.

Birch Communications, based in Atlanta, has expanded its original nine-state footprint across all 50 states, as well as into Puerto Rico and five Canadian provinces. This reach, coupled with the provider's recent investments in its channel program, is making Birch a better telecom partner for solution providers, according to the company's president and CEO Tony Tomae, who took over at the helm in May.

Under Tomae's leadership, Birch is looking at the channel through new eyes. The provider has positioned additional channel leaders in all partner-facing roles in marketing, sales support and engineering, and client implementation teams to better support solution providers, Paul Masters, senior vice president of alternate channels for Birch told CRN.

[Related: Across The Telecom Spectrum: 6 Moves Making Waves In The Channel ]

Since his appointment earlier this year, Tomae has worked with Masters to grow the company and partners are a big part of the growth plan. Birch has also scheduled over 75 different events to draw in new partners and expand education and support for its existing partner base, Masters said.

"Birch is doubling down on our channel initiatives for the remainder of 2016 and we hope to exceed our 2017 goals for growth," he said. "Birch has now advanced far beyond a [competitive local exchange carrier] CLEC specializing in POTs and T1s – it feels like we are a startup in some ways, and we would like for our partners to see us as a leader in the next phase of growth."

One Birch partner that requested anonymity appreciates the provider's refreshed product line and believes that its channel-centric updates should start "bearing more fruit" for the provider.

"They are doing some really good restructuring and recasting their strategy around the channel," an executive for the partner organization said.

In addition to its fresh focus on the channel, Birch has also revealed a new mobile application to complement its cloud-based unified communications (UC) offering, the TotalCloud PBX Hub app, as a part of its company-wide revamp.

The TotalCloud PBX Hub app works with the TotalCloud PBX platform. The TotalCloud PBX service combines UC and collaboration tools, such as video and audio conferencing, and desktop sharing, into a virtual meeting room for business users.

Using the new app, customers can access UC tools, and make and receive calls from any device while appearing as if they are using their desk phone.

Birch refreshed its TotalCloud PBX line with several new features, including TotalCloud PBX Executive Seat, an offering that can help businesses collaborate between multiple offices, or with clients. TotalCloud Professional Seat is a feature that combines advanced communications features -- like mobile integration -- for businesses that operate in distributed environments or outside standard business hours. Finally, TotalCloud PBX Merchant Seat is designed for small businesses that primarily manage their storefront on-location.

Birch also plans on further refreshing its entire TotalCloud PBX line with new cloud-based UC and collaboration tools for users, the provider said.

Tomae succeeded Birch's former CEO Vincent Oddo. Oddo is credited with leading the provider through 28 different acquisitions since 2003, which included the purchase of Kansas City-based Birch Telecom, Inc. Prior to this acquisition, Birch Communications was known as Access Integrated Networks.

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