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AT&T, Comcast, Spectrum, Cox Praise Partner Efforts

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Telecom carriers and their partners have drastically increased their speed of business in 2020.

Craig Schlagbaum, senior vice president and channel chief of Comcast Business, said speed matters more than ever in customer conversations.

Comcast's Craig Schlagbaum

Comcast’s Craig Schlagbaum

“The most challenging item that we’ve addressed is probably getting installs done rapidly. There are a number of areas of the country where we’ve had to accelerate and expedite turnups, particularly on the East Coast and central part of the U.S.,” Schlagbaum said.

Channel chiefs from AT&T, Comcast Business, Cox Business and Spectrum Enterprise shared partner program updates during a Sandler Partners Summit session. These telecom carriers and cablecos all agreed that partners are selling and deploying faster than they ever have.

Jones, Chris_ATT

AT&T’s Chris Jones

Chris Jones, AT&T‘s associate vice president of channel sales, said the carrier has been fine-tuning its approach to eliminate unnecessary steps. As a result, it set up the USNS navel ship Mercy with a land-to-ship circuit in under 24 hours.

Such a deployment would have taken much longer to take in the past, according to Jones.

“It’s actually a positive benefit from COVID-19 that we realized how much was built into our processes that didn’t need to be there — that we could remove from the process,” Jones said.

Jones said his company has also seen an accelerated sales cycle. That’s a trend we’ve seen across the industry. People are taking less time to buy.

“Customers are willing to make decisions without meeting after meeting after meeting and proposal after proposal after proposal,” Jones said. “Customers have really been able to make decisions much faster with much less information and in a much more timely way.”

John Muscarella

Cox’s John Muscarella

Partners Rise to the Challenge

John Muscarella, senior director of sales and channel programs for Cox Business, said customers have very quickly transitioned from office to cloud-based remote work.

“During the COVID-19 crisis, what we were really surprised at was the resilience of the agent community and their business model to be successful during this time,” Muscarella said. “We were really ecstatic to support them, to make sure we can provide solutions that their customers needed.”

Spectrum's Michelle Kadlacek

Spectrum’s Michelle Kadlacek

Michelle Kadlacek, vice president of Spectrum Enterprise‘s channel program, praised partners for helping businesses adjust to the work-from-home era.

“I think now more than ever, clients are really turning to their trusted technology advisors,” said Michelle Kadlacek, vice president of Spectrum Enterprise’s channel program. “Partners have really helped clients transition through this ever-changing world, and we’re seeing partners through various verticals help clients as they move to a remote environment.”

Kadlacek said Spectrum has helped partners meet their customers’ bandwidth needs and security concerns. Schlagbaum noted a growing demand for …

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