Comcast Eases SMB Service Orders for Channel

By Khali Henderson Comments
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In an effort to reduce order fallout, Comcast Business is enabling its channel partners to more easily quote and order its small and medium business services with a new tool called the SMB Configurator that it rolled out last week.

The SMB Configurator is an Excel Workbook that partners can download and use to generate "clean" paperwork for the cableco's business-class Internet, voice and video/cable TV services, said Craig Schlagbaum, vice president of indirect channel sales for Comcast Business, in an interview with Channel Partners.

SMB Configurator will generate four document types: service order agreements (SOAs), letters of authorization (LOAs), IP justification (IPJ) form and a RespOrg request. From there, partners can print PDFs for customer signature, or if they have DocuSign capabilities, they can submit with electronic signatures.

Previously, partners had to submit handwritten orders, which were prone to errors, due to illegibility or incorrect promotional codes or pricing, Schlagbaum said.

SMB Configurator "takes a lot of guesswork out of our order paperwork process for SMB products," Schlagbaum added. "It allows partners to give us a good order the first time instead of finding out the order was rejected for the wrong code or the wrong promo or the wrong price."

As a result, Schlagbaum expects partner-initiated order-reject rates to decline from the former 30-40 percent rate to about 10 percent, which the Comcast Solution Provider Program is now experiencing as a result of  the tool. He noted that there will always be some partner-generated errors, but fewer of them will be clerical with the new tool.

Schlagbaum admitted that the SMB Configurator in its current spreadsheet form is only a stopgap measure, noting plans to move the functionality online in late 2014.

Comcast Business has a similar tool for it Metro Ethernet products, but this is the first time it's available for SMB products.

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