SMBs Represent Big Opportunity for Comcast, Other Cable Providers

Ann All

I blogged back in November about Comcast's decision to bundle services such as e-mail and document sharing with its high-speed Internet offering in the hopes of winning more business from SMBs.

 

Now there's an update, with Cable Digital News reporting that Comcast is planning "a major unveiling" of the new product this month. The article cites a Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. report, which says that the cable company is gearing up for a full-blown and simultaneous deployment across all of its systems rather than rolling it out in stages, as has been more typical with other Comcast product introductions.

 

The relatively rapid rollout may be to appease Comcast executives like COO Steve Burke, who on a recent earnings call expressed dissatisfaction with the company's efforts to sell business services to SMBs.

 

Though the SMB area of Comcast's business grew 46 percent from 2006 to 2007, the company wants to see even stronger growth. According to Cable Digital News, execs mentioned a revenue target of $2.5 billion by 2011, up from $384 million last year.

 

IT Business Edge blogger Carl Weinschenk says that SMBs present an especially ripe opportunity for cable companies like Comcast. Weinschenk writes:

(SMBs) have traditionally been underserved by the phone industry because of high acquisition costs and the disparity in knowledge between telco engineers, who are accustomed to dealing with enterprise technical experts, and the relatively low telephony sophistication of SMBs.

Weinschenk's blog is packed with further details on how cable companies may be able to woo SMBs and some bullish expectations from analysts on their abilities to do so.



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