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Charter Opens Up on TWC, Bright House Channel Integration

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Edward Gately**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of August’s important channel-program changes you should know.**

In 2017, Charter Communications will begin consolidating all of its partners, as well as those of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, under one unified partner program.

This summer, Charter completed its $71 billion acquisition of TWC and Bright House, creating a cable powerhouse with almost as many subscribers as Comcast, the nation’s largest cableco.

Charter's Greg IuzzolinoUntil now, Charter has remained silent regarding how partners of all three companies will be impacted by the acquisition. In an interview with Channel Partners, Greg Iuzzolino, Charter’s vice president of channel sales, talks about what lies ahead for partners.

The No. 1 goal since the acquisition was finalized has been to “over-communicate with our partners,” Iuzzolino said.

“So week two, we set up calls with our partners just to really reassure them, to let them know that it’s business as usual for 2016, and so … continue to work with the sales leaders, continue to work with your current channel managers because we have three very diverse, separate footprints,” he said.

And last month, Charter reorganized into one operating model for channel sales, combining the legacy teams under one leadership team, Iuzzolino said.{ad}

“From an ecosystem perspective, there [are] still three separate CRMs,” he said. “There’s [a lot] of work that needs to get done from an integration perspective, which will take place in 2017 and 2018. Our No. 1 goal, frankly, was not to jeopardize the momentum that the legacy three companies have built over the years. It’s all about keeping the momentum going and continu[ing] to drive sales revenue.”

Feedback from partners of all three companies has been “very, very positive,” Iuzzolino said.

Cablecos & The Channel: The State Of The Market 2016 is strong, judging by partners’ experiences with cable business telecom services from Comcast, Cox, Time Warner and others. Are you maximizing this market? Find out now.

“The other thing is, they’ll truly be able to scale even greater, with all three companies,” he said. “They certainly will create new opportunities once the organization – from the billing platforms, the CRMs, the tools and systems we have in place – [is] fully integrated, it will give them the opportunity for sure to be able to go up market and sell really in that …

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… enterprise space even greater than what they’ve done with us in the past.”

Mitch Lopez, director of communications and training for Charter’s Spectrum Business, said the combined entity, with a 41-state presence, puts Charter “on par and very competitive with the traditional telco competitors out there.”

“So I think there’s going to be a ton of opportunity, that partners will definitely see a bigger opportunity with a combined program,” he said.{ad}

Iuzzolino said he and Charter’s other channel leaders are looking at the best practices of all three companies.

“We’re looking to incorporate those as we roll out the new model in 2017 and 2018,” he said. “Our goal is to always be easy to do business with. It’s moving toward a unified partner program that takes the best and includes the best practices that have been put forth and leveraged between the three companies.”

There’s very little overlap among the companies’ footprints, unlike many other M&As, Iuzzolino said.

“We need to continue to support those footprints from a channel-management perspective,” he said. “There’s obviously work to do, but I think on the sales side, we’ve got it really well covered. The momentum and our sales numbers have been outstanding. I think the challenge that lies ahead will be with the systems integration and billing integration … which is something that, thankfully, I don’t have to worry about.”


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