Time Warner Cable Business Class, a division of Time Warner Cable operating in 31 states, announced Monday at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo that it has tapped Jim Delis as its new channel chief.
|Time Warner Cable’s Jim Delis|
Delis came to the post in early February from XO Communications Inc. where he served as vice president of business operations, which included oversight of the CLEC’s indirect sales channel.
In his new job as vice president of national sales for commercial services, Delis will head up the cableco’s national direct team, carrier services sales, telesales and the nascent indirect sales program, which launched nationwide in March 2008. Greg Iuzzolino, director of the partner channel, reports to Delis.
In an interview at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, Delis told PHONE+ he expects to spend a significant portion of his attention on the channel. “It will be more than the fair share because I think there is so much early on potential for the channel. I think we’ll have tremendous growth in 2010,” he said.
His second day on the job, Delis attended the first partner advisory board meeting. Seven of the company’s master agents attended and created a to-do list for the carrier. “They gave us a list of things to do that we think are very doable in the 90- to 180-day time frame,” he said, noting requests to shorten quote times, to offer consistency throughout the country and alter compensation.
While his role is new, Delis said he is encouraged that much of the fundamentals for a successful indirect sales channel are in place or are nearing completion. “We’ve been hiring channel managers and building a support mechanism behind the channel, and I have been fortunate to come into that when it’s kind of done,” noting that a new CRM for partners is planned for summer.
The change in channel leadership is coincident with an expansion of the Time Warner Cable Business Class channel program to provide regional channel support to subagents working under its master agents (now numbering 12) and for a new effort to recruit regional partners.
To facilitate this, the company has appointed directors of alternate channels in each of its six regions – New York City/Upstate New York, the Midwest, the Carolinas, Texas, Southwest and West – each reporting to the regional vice president of sales. Previously, the Time Warner Cable channel program included Iuzzolino and sales engineering support only at the national level. Time Warner Cable Business Class declined to name the new directors.
In addition to supporting subagents and regional partners, the directors would be responsible for recruiting regional partners and coordinating sales engineering support at the local level. As volume grows in a region, the director may also oversee channel managers.
Some of the regional systems already have local referral partners. Iuzzolino said there are about 75 partners in Upstate New York and the Carolinas combined. Now, the company is normalizing that program across its footprint with a single contract. The existing partnerships will be evaluated and in some cases extended under the new contract.
“As the program has evolved, I think it’s important that to remain competitive, we really need to put in the right level of support across the country,” said Iuzzolino. “More local touch points is what we are after. We want to be able to have our local channel management group go out and visit with a customer if necessary and help close that deal.”
Iuzzolino said that while Time Warner Cable has great name recognition, there still needs to be greater awareness of the strength of its telecom network. “There are some customers that think we are a cable company, but we are much more than that. We are very much in the commercial business competing head to head with Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. With the additional support, we feel confident that we will help these agents or enable them to close more business.”
Time Warner Cable also is planning quarterly incentives throughout 2010 to accelerate channel sales.