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Star2Star Merges With Blueface And Becomes StarBlue, New CEO Counting On Channel To Spur Rapid Global Growth

Alan Foy, formerly CEO of Dublin, Ireland-based Blueface and now head of the combined company, says Star2Star's strong channel program will serve as a blueprint as StarBlue expands into new geographies and deeper into midmarket and enterprise accounts.

Cloud-based unified communications specialist Star2Star Communications has merged with Dublin, Ireland based Unified Communications-as-a-Service provider Blueface, and the CEO of the UCaaS power player says the channel is vital to the company's high hopes for growth.

"We actually have ambitious plans to roll out a more robust channel strategy across new markets in Europe, really taking the lessons and insights that Star2Star has taken to support of the channel," said Alan Foy, now CEO of both Star2Star and Blueface. "The channel is absolutely vital to our go-forward plan."

Foy was previously CEO of Blueface. Sarasota, Fla.-based Star2Star was led by Norman Worthington, who is now executive chairman of each company. The combined company has more than 500 employees worldwide. It'll use the corporate name StarBlue, but will continue using the Star2Star name in the U.S. and the Blueface name in EMEA. The company said the merger makes StarBlue a top five global UCaaS provider.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Star2Star Offers Free Training To Make Solution Providers 'Dangerous' In UCaaS Market]

The combined company's channel operation will be led by President and Chief Revenue Officer Michelle Accardi.

Star2Star's strong channel program will serve as the blueprint for the combined company's channel operation as it expands into new geographies and deeper into midmarket and enterprise accounts, according to Foy.

Foy said he agrees with projections that target about 15 percent growth for the UCaaS space in North America this year and as much as 18 percent growth in Europe.

Blueface has a channel program, but much of its business before the merger involved white-boxing its products to third-party carriers that sold them under their own brands.

"At the core of Star2Star is our love of the channel, and our support of the channel, and that's absolutely not going to change," Foy said. "We are very much a channel-focused business in North America, and I think Blueface has a lot it can learn from the channel approach of Star2Star in North America. I hope the channel will view us as a partner of theirs that's with them for the long haul and wants to make them as successful as they can be."

Star2Star has about 800 partners in North America. Its products and services focus on voice, conferencing, messaging, SIP trunking and contact center applications. Its solutions are sold through partners including MSPs, master agents, distributors and certified installing dealers.

Blueface markets proprietary cloud voice platforms and UCaaS software.

For Foy, the rapidly growing unified communications and UCaaS markets offer Star2Star, Blueface and their channel partners a huge opportunity to expand globally and take share from larger rivals like Polycom and Mitel.

"For the channel to know that we're are constantly going to stay ahead of the curve and really ahead of our peers in terms of product and solutions is really important," Foy said. "A lot of our peers in the marketplace have become like big oil tankers that are very resistant to change and are not as fast as they need to be in terms of deploying new offerings, and that's a real differentiator."

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