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Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC) announced on Monday that it was making its Business Class Phone service available for resale by its VAR, MSP and systems-integrator channel.
While traditional telecom agents have been selling TWC’s business voice service on commission, this marks the first time the cable company is selling voice service wholesale, on a recurring revenue basis.
Through this arrangement, the wholesale VAR channel partner owns the business-customer relationship and assigns its own markup to TWCBC’s services as part of its own bill. This channel also can be expected to bundle TWC’s voice services along with Ethernet, Internet access, cloud services, installation, project management and hardware. Such resellers also assume first-level customer support. Typically, their deals involve multiple geographies and multiple MSOs for large multisite companies.
Business Class Phone provides calls over TWCBC’s secure, fiber-rich network. Reselling a flat-rate, unlimited nationwide calling plan to start, this rollout includes such by-now-expected business features as call forward and transfer, three-way calling, speed dial, caller ID, directory listing, sequential and circular hunting at no extra cost. Voice mail and remote call forwarding are available options.
VARs can bundle BCP service with the phone equipment and the IP PBXs they sell, Ira Morris, TWC’s senior director, Reseller Program, explained. Some of his partners are hosted PBX providers.
“That’s why it’s exciting; it’s a two-way street. They can help us sell to bigger clients, and we help them through our service offerings,” Morris said. He expects PRI and SIP trunking, now sold directly to the end customer, to be added to the VAR channel portfolio by year’s end.
Asked why VARs would take up TWC’s voice offering, Morris replied, “By bundling voice and Internet services, they get additional discounts off the data services. There’s also the need out there for remote offices — with a lot of these big deals, you have two- or three-person offices that don’t need a big installation and can benefit from just reselling our available services. So insurance, real estate offices – things like that – are ideal for resale, because it simplifies their service offering.”
Current and prospective VAR resellers must be voice certified with TWCBC. Detailed program information can be found here.