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Cableco Executives Address Channel Strategies

The cablecos have come late to the channel party, but they are making a big entrance by providing an alternative supply for big bandwidth (i.e., Ethernet pipes) and the promise of a triple-play bundle for businesses. Hear from leading cable channel executives about their products, plans and partner programs in a roundtable discussion Monday at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Speakers include Ken Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of business services for Time Warner Cable; Joe Magliulo, director of strategic sales for Cablevision; Tim McKinley, vice president of field operations and alternate channels for Cox Business; Jack Gordon, manager of channel sales for Charter Business; and Ed Gallagher, vice president of business services, North Central Division, Comcast.

Moderator John Macario, president of research firm Savatar, planned to have each cableco executive discuss its business market strategies and how the channel will play a role in achieving those goals.

Cablevision’s channel, for example, started about two years ago as a referral program and grew to a traditional agency program. Magluilo said the program now includes both bounty and residual models.

Cablevisions’ initial objective in starting an indirect sales program was to go after the business that the company cannot get through telemarketing or direct sales. “There is a significant portion of the marketing that doesn’t respond to those tactics. They rely on experts,” he said, adding that agents are viewed by the company as playing a strategic role in helping advise clients on solutions that include the Cablevision services.

“The department has taken on real significant in the company,” he said. “It’s moving the needle as far as revenue is concerned.”

Time Warner Cable Business Class rolled out its agency program in March at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. It had worked previously with resellers to aggregate services, but this is the first time it is offering an indirect sales opportunity throughout its footprint.

Fitzpatrick said the impetus for the program is to “allow customer to buy the way they want to buy.” He added that agents also have proved to be subject matter experts in key verticals like health care and finance. He said he expects partners to accelerate sales into the SMB space.

Gordon said Charter Business has been working with VARs to sell its services for the past two years. It also has a referral sales program and will be rolling out a residual program to agents at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo this week. He said that with the cablecos rolling out new services, having agents with expertise in dial tone just makes sense.

On the flip side, Gordon said, the agent community is excited to get tehri hands on the cableco networks.


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