Time Warner Cable Business Class recently launched a product set that lets certified partners sell to the hospitality industry.
The cable operator first spoke about the new initiative with Channel Partners on Thursday. Within the industry, TWCBC marks the second cableco, after Comcast Business, to go live with a channel-specific video product set for hotels and motels.
TWCBC offers two options. The first is the new Pro:Idiom platform. It delivers HD programming for guest rooms and common areas, and more than 60 channels with the ability to add premium brands such as HBO, over fiber. Pro:Idiom is available in all of Time Warner Cable’s markets except for Hawaii.
The second bundle is called Set-Back Box. It, too, provides HD programming, but over coax. It features more than 100 channels, the option to add HBO and Showtime, and more, and a portal for front-desk employees. Set-Back Box is available in all Time Warner Cable markets expect for Hawaii, the Midwest, Desert Cities and San Diego.
Of course, partners also may sell TWCBC’s voice, data and Internet services alongside the video programming.
For now, TWCBC is limiting participation in hospitality sales to 62 agents with expertise in the space and will decide in three to six months whether to open the program to more partners. All of the participants have taken part not just in TWCBC training, but in a certification process designed just for its hospitality products, because they involve more complexity than typical network services deals.
"It’s a high-end, more sophisticated sale," said Greg Iuzzolino, senior director of partner sales. "We want to make sure…they understand how to sell it and the engineering behind it."
Much of that is because video requires a different competency than voice and data, said Jim Delis, vice president of national sales.
"There are decisions about hardware, where you want service, the guest rooms, and so on," he said. "In the past, subagents had to sell DirecTV or someone else to pursue their skill set in hospitality. …Now, partners can provide the voice, data, Internet and video."
And that’s the key, said Brian Snortheim, director of indirect channel marketing. Partners now may sell an entire suite of services, expanding their practices.
"It’s a big opportunity not only for us, but for the partner," he said.