By Cary Tengler, Executive Director, National Partner Programs, Comcast and Jed Kenzy, CEO, Innovative Business Solutions
One of the surprising statistics floating around at Channel Partners in April was: 41% of the channel doesn’t know what DOCSIS is.
That means 41% of the channel doesn’t know that soon, 4 million buildings across the U.S. will be “gig-lit” by Comcast. Nearly 8 million will be gig-lit when you include other cable providers or MSOs.
At a high level, DOCSIS is a telecom standard that is utilized by cable providers to deliver high-speed residential and business services. DOCSIS 3.1 is the latest version of that specification and enables incredible speed improvements over existing HFC or hybrid fiber coax cable networks.
So, not only is it surprising that so many partners are out of the loop, it is worrisome that some even consider cable’s role in the channel to be a boring one. We’ve heard time and again that the cable story is no longer very exciting. It’s got no pizazz. It’s just coax, ARPU is low and nothing new is happening… These points couldn’t be farther from the truth, and here’s why.
You have to unpeel the onion.
On the surface, cable looks like the same old connection partners have been selling for decades. But when you delve below the surface – peeling back the layers of what’s there – you find that there are tons of opportunities to sell more across both SMBs and enterprises.
Take Comcast: Comcast can solve any connectivity issue whether it be a fully-meshed network across 100 sites, a data center to data center connection, or a large distributed enterprise. They offer wireless backup, SD-WAN, hosted voice, ethernet, and more. Partners should be thinking long term about what a gigabit-enabled network empowers businesses to do with applications, many of whom are still running their businesses on 1.5Mbps MPLS or low-speed DSL connections. The opportunities are many and tons of partners aren’t going deep enough to discover them.
There’s a unique value to cable.
Aside from the incredible price-performance advantage, one of the undervalued points unique to cable is the pre-sale site survey. Cable providers typically take 2-5 days up front to determine if the customer location is serviceable. Pre-sale site surveys enable partners to speak to customers with the confidence that their service will be deliverable and to address critical cost, construction and delivery timeframes ensuring there are no ugly last minute surprises.
Small deals are underrated.
One of the most important messages partners need to take to market is that there is a ton of money to be made in the smaller deals. Sure, the monthly commissions on a single $100 coax deal are nothing to get excited about. But, with a group like Innovative – which has built the back office to service small deals – those smaller transactions quickly add up to big bucks. And with Comcast’s extensive footprint and SMB solutions bundles, selling multiple $300-400 SMB customers is easily accomplished.
By layering additional services on top of those standalone deals – such as 4G backup, wifi and cloud services, or physical surveillance – all of a sudden, that $100 deal becomes $500. Now, you’re looking at closer to $70 or $80 a month. Innovative and Comcast have made it their business to help partners easily sell these bundled services to turn those little deals into bigger, more profitable ones.
There is so much opportunity to be had in cable. It’s time partners left behind the notion that cable is boring. It’s time to rewrite that story, and Innovative and Comcast are here to help you do it. Contact us today to learn more.