Earlier this summer, Fusion sent shock waves through the channel when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, leaving everyone wondering what’s next. So, we were very eager to catch up with the Fusion team at the recent Channel Partners Evolution event in Washington, D.C. to get the latest insight about what’s been happening at the company.
As it turns out, things are looking up at Fusion. The company was recently recognized as an SD-WAN leader by Vertical Systems Group; won a $3.1 million, three year contract for a security and surveillance company; enhanced their award-winning UCaaS solution; and announced a nearly $2 million increase in total contracted revenue with a global retailer of video, consumer electronics and wireless services.
Speaking with CEO Matthew Rosen, the message was clear: Fusion is back, and the company is on track to be stronger than ever.
ChannelVision: Earlier this year, Fusion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. How is Fusion managing this?
Matt Rosen: I think there’s a couple of very important things that we had set up prior to filing Chapter 11 that, in my opinion, are the reason that this process has been so successful.
The first is that we had an arrangement with the lenders that had lent us money. We had an existing agreement that as we entered into Chapter 11, they were going to be supportive of us financially, as well as through emergence. And that’s very, very important.
We also focused on making sure that the critical assets of our business were maintained without any disruption.
Number one was our people. You know, as, as we all know in this industry, it’s very difficult to attract and retain really good people. We wanted to make sure that our team of people remain as excited to continue to execute on our vision as they had been.
The second is our channel partners which, as everybody in the industry knows, is an area of our business that we’ve been focusing on since day one. It’s a very critical piece of our distribution strategy, and we wanted to make sure to let the entire channel know that there were going to be no changes to how we operate the business and, probably most important, to any compensation from doing business with us. So we managed that process very well.
The third area is our customers—and obviously, our customers are the lifeblood of our business. We over-communicated with those customers and made sure that they understood the process and the fact that Chapter 11 is actually going to make us a much stronger business when we emerge later on this year.
CV: Do you still feel that Fusion’s strategy is still compelling and unique?
MR: Absolutely. Back almost 10 years ago, we developed a very unique strategy that focused on delivering an end to end solution for customers who were looking to move to the cloud. It was commonplace then, and actually still today, for a business customer to go and buy their services from disparate providers. So they’ll buy their connectivity from one, they’ll buy UCaaS from another, they’ll buy storage and security from a third and fourth, and they’ll try to integrate it all together. This is more costly, and more complicated. It also encourages finger pointing; When an issue arises, each provider tends to blame the other provider for the issue.
We wanted to solve that problem by delivering all of those services to the customer while managing the end to end experience. So we actually have a lot of our own intellectual property. We have our own UCaaS platform, our own contact center platform, our own secure messaging platform portals, and so on. We can actually control our own destiny. We have integrated a number of third party technologies, but they are in our network and we actually take responsibility for delivering and supporting those solutions as well.
And so, as you take a look at the strategy we had in place back then—which was very unique and not really well adopted 10 years ago—it’s now become the future of technology. We’ve now spent almost 10 years developing that strategy.
So I believe we are a very unique player today. Our channel partners recognize it, and our customers recognize it, and are benefiting by the solutions that we offer. And we believe that we’ll continue to stay ahead of the curve as we continue to innovate within our products and services.
CV: How can partners learn more information about Fusion?
MR: Fusionconnect.com is our website, and that will provide a lot of information and case studies, as well as a full list of products and services that we offer.