Fusion Channel Exec: Birch, MegaPath Integrations Top Priority

The cloud provider has a plan to keep partners happy.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 27, 2019

3 Min Read

Fusion Connect’s newest channel executive is charged with making sure partner integration goes smoothly in the aftermath of the company’s acquisitions of Birch Communications‘ assets and MegaPath.

Fusion has hired Bill McLeod, previously Vertek‘s vice president of channels and alliances, as senior director of channel programs. He brings to the cloud services provider more than 20 years of channel development and channel-program experience across telecom, cloud and IT.


Fusion’s Bill McLeod

Working in startups through $20 billion-plus companies, McLeod has built teams to launch and grow services that achieved more than $500 million in annual revenue.

His experience includes strategic channel consulting and development of national channel programs across all phases of design, recruitment, on-boarding and management. In addition, he’s developed and managed strategic technology alliances and has extensive expertise in to- and through-channel marketing.

“We are delighted to bring Bill on board,” said Michael Fair, Fusion’s senior vice president of channel and business alliances. “He brings together deep go-to-market experience with broad knowledge of direct and indirect channels. This is part of our strategy to help our partners understand and sell the integrated Fusion portfolio to maximize their market share.”

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in February.

Last year, Fusion bought Birch’s cloud and business-services business, including its customers, operations and infrastructure, in a transaction valued at $600 million. It also acquired MegaPath for $71.5 million, gaining its SD-WAN, UC and security offerings.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, McLeod talks about his experience in the channel and his plans in his new role with Fusion.

Channel Partners: Why did you want to join Fusion?

Bill McLeod: I’m excited about the challenge and opportunity of integrating three channel programs and portfolios (Fusion, Birch and MegaPath) into one top-tier company. Also, I have a successful history working with Michael Fair and know he builds strong teams, focused on optimizing the partner experience.

CP: What’s your take on Fusion’s current channel strategy and partner program? Are you planning any changes?

BM: I’m impressed by the investment our senior leadership continues to make in systems, tools and people. They remain laser-focused on growing our channel program to be the best in the industry; which is exactly what our partners deserve. It’s hard work, but the upside for partners is tremendous.

CP: How will your previous experience come into play in this new role?

BM: Most recently I’ve been consulting with smaller solution providers in SaaS and cybersecurity to build their channel programs, but I also have Tier 1 carrier channel experience. I’ve been in situations where you’re completely bootstrapping with few resources but a lot of promise, as well as large programs with resources but organizational challenges. I’ve learned a lot through it all and a key takeaway is to meet the partners where they are. Guide your product and service-delivery teams to create differentiated services, and focus on the programs and experiences that make partners want to sell for you. Execution is key.

CP: What will be your primary responsibilities in this new role? What’s at the top of your to-do list?

BM: Right now job No. 1 is completing the integration projects. More broadly, my role is to evolve our partner operations, communications and enablement programs so partners can maximize the opportunity to sell across our entire portfolio. I’m also spearheading the expansion of our Canadian channel so our partners can easily provide solutions in Canada for U.S.-and Canadian-based customers.

CP: What do you hope to have accomplished in your new role a year from now?

BM: We want all partners to know us as Fusion versus three distinct companies. Moreover, we want them to understand the tremendous value of selling our industry-leading portfolio of cloud communications, networking, and applications solutions.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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