Although 9 was first established in 2001, by current CEO, James Palmer, our Partner channel first came into existence in 2007, through the formation of 9’s wholesale division
The channel business at 9 was set up in 2007 to meet the needs of the many resellers who were finding dealing directly with BT for line rental somewhat challenging.
Two years later, an opportunity arose for 9 to acquire Club Communications, one of the pioneers of calls and lines resale in the UK, so Nine Club was born and provided service to hundreds of resellers, trebling the size of 9’s business overnight. The bureau billing option provided by “Billie” was a mainstay of many early reseller businesses, but it had started to show some signs of fatigue. When 9 acquired Dataflow Communications in 2011, we began the process of migrating Partners across to the more worldly Cascade platform, which we have continued to develop and is still in use today.
Recent developments have included further acquisitions and the expansion of our product portfolio to include our own SIP and Hosted IP communications platform, eve. This new website and the Free to Perform branding signals our revised channel identity as 9 Partners. Next, we will introduce a range of Microsoft IT Services before year end 2017 to offer our Partners even more opportunities to win and retain customer business.
Value added services form an important part of 9’s partner offering. Our Managed Billing Service and DD collection help free Partners from the onus of managing invoice production, while our Virtual Office solution means that call handling, customer service and provisioning can be outsourced to allow Partners to focus on sales generation. Finally, our Purple Partner Programme was introduced to provide marketing and commercial support, dedicated to helping partners grow more rapidly.