By Greg Iuzzolino
Cablecos are formidable competitors in the telecom services sector — a fact that has not escaped the attention of channel partners who are seeking to strengthen and diversify their portfolios.
Now that many of the top cablecos have comprehensive partner programs and have been added to many of the leading master agent provider rosters, channel partners stand only to benefit from building a strong cable partner into their portfolio.
Having the support of a robust partner program backed by a strong brand is one of the many advantages that channel partners stand to gain when working with cablecos. Another derives from the forward-thinking, technologically innovative perspective that cablecos readily adopt.
Consider, for example, cablecos’ assertive approach to satisfying demands in the business services market. Using reliable Internet services as their entry point, cablecos have expanded aggressively to serve this market — including offering advanced, value-added voice and cable TV services.
A few key deployments – among many – are in advanced voice services and expanded data services:
In addition, cablecos offer aggressive pricing for services such as online storage, managed security, DR backup and other business applications. Within the next few years, the top cablecos expect to develop robust and scalable managed services solutions that most likely will form the backbone for future innovations.
Channel partners who are working with cablecos today are getting in on the ground floor of an already strong market that is projected to continue growing stronger year over year.
This growth is well-illustrated in the revenue numbers. Cable MSO revenue from B2B was at $8.8 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach $15.7 billion by 2018. This is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4 percent. By contrast, the CAGR of the entire commercial services market is set at .3 percent Overall, cable MSOs are projected to take 16.3 percent of the commercial services industry by 2018.
What accounts for this growth? Insight Research attributes it to multiple factors, including cablecos’ ability to leverage existing network resources so that they can provide in-demand services like Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and mobile backhaul. “Our research also shows that [cablecos] continue to take market share from the entrenched telco providers, who have yet to become aggressive with pricing, investment and quality,” Insight Research said.
Cablecos dominated the 2013 Vertical Systems U.S. Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard rankings, for example, and have developed a “winning formula for the U.S. business Ethernet market,” Vertical System Group’s Rick Malone said.
Whether taking advantage of cableco Ethernet expertise or aggressive pricing structures, it’s clear that working with cablecos gives channel partners a tangible edge over their competition.
Cable MSOs uniquely serve individual communities and businesses through strong local wholly-owned networks. Their geographic coverage does not overlap with other cable MSOs, which means that they don’t compete with one another.
This structure allows cablecos to gather their resources to share information and best practices. Channel partners who work with cablecos can look forward to individual service, access to well-thought-out joint marketing programs, and collaborating with an assertive partner that is willing to go the extra mile — literally.
Cablecos that do not currently offer a specific service at a specific location often will undertake construction to serve a business’s needs. In such cases, the cableco might choose to absorb the cost of construction, or the cableco might build the cost of construction into the customer contract. In either case, working with an MSO has enabled the channel partner to close the sale and build his/her client base — benefiting all involved.
Channel partners who work with cablecos are choosing a collaborator who has innovation, insight, geographical reach, and the motivation—as well as financial backing—to seek out and satisfy market demands. Aggressive pricing structures and robust partner programs only add to the attraction.
Greg Iuzzolino is director of sales for the Time Warner Cable Business Class Partner Channel. With more than 15 years of sales and management experience, he is responsible for all indirect channel sales nationwide for TWCBC. Prior to joining the company, Iuzzolino worked in various senior level posts, most recently at British Telecom where he ran all of sales and marketing for the N.J. sales region. He has a bachelor’s degree in management science from Kean University and is a member of the 2014-15 Channel Partners Advisory Board.