Bruce Chatterley may have barely a month under his belt as the president of business services for MegaPath, but he's not immune to the challenges of being a competitive provider either.
Coming to MegaPath when the service provider conducted a three-way merger between itself, Covad and enterprise VoIP provider Speakeasy to create what it calls the industry's first Managed Services Local Exchange Carrier (MSLEC). Each of these three diverse service providers all came with complementary focuses and customer channels: Speakeasy with VoIP; MegaPath has its distributed managed services suite; and Covad ties everything together with a facilities-based CLEC network.
With the completion of the three-way merger in September, the new MegaPath had 85,000 business customers and over 4,500 partners throughout North America.
"Between the three of us, it has been a really interesting opportunity, he said. "In our first month of operations we exceeded our sales expectation, which is a good way to start."
In addition to his leadership skills, Chatterley brings Speakeasy's VoIP capabilities. Knowing that some SMB and even large enterprise customers might not be ready to make the switch to VoIP, MegaPath is continuing their free phone promotion with Cisco.
Simply put, the promotion Cisco SPA 303-3 IP phone to any new MegaPath business customer that signs up for an unlimited or global Hosted Voice calling plan. Thus far, the plan has worked out as new customer inquiries were up by over 40 percent.
"Having talked to customers quite a bit, we were asking ourselves, this is a compelling proposition in terms of cost savings and flexibility, so what's stopping customers from adopting our solution?" Chatterley said. "From our perspective, it's a no brainer for almost any business. We realized that this is this cloud-based application, but it requires an investment to get going in the form of phones so we constructed a promotion to eliminate that last barrier to entry."
Going forward, the plan is to expand the channel strategy by combining it with their other channel strategy.
And while Chatterley is upbeat about the prospects of MegaPath combining the best of the three companies core competencies in managed services, business data and VoIP, he know there's a lot to do to integrate these assets as a common look and feel for his customer base.
"As you can imagine it's pretty complicated getting through the next three or four months in trying to figure out how to eliminate duplication and hiding complexity of integration from our customers," he said, adding that "we decided to focus on the MegaPath brand on a go forward basis mainly because we felt as though it was the most flexible brand across the three companies."