Cable operators continue to squeeze more revenue out of the business services sector. After hitting the $1bln mark in annual revenue mark at the end of ’10, Cox Business is on track to be a $2bln business by the end of ’16, according to Phil Meeks, svp, Cox Business.
 
Now that the low-hanging fruit has been picked, how does Cox get there?
 

  1. Think big by expanding the focus beyond the sweet spot of lower-end SMB. Smaller businesses (companies that have 20 employees and below) have been the bread and butter for cable operators in business services, but more money means branching out. Cox Businesses 5-year strategic plan focuses on “large locals,” or entities that are geographically concentrated, Meeks said. Companies and institutions that are regionally-based need a high-performance platform. That’s where metro-Ethernet comes in, which connects multiple locations through a common platform. The scalable Ethernet networking solution supports data- and bandwidth-intensive applications and voice and data convergence strategies, allowing employees in different locations to access shared applications and tools, he said. In addition, speeds can be adjusted by location and application.
  2. Work with the government. Cox is supporting E-Gov initiatives with its standards-based Ethernet services and private Metro Ethernet services backed by security safeguards and monitoring, Meeks said. Reliability and security is key in this sector. The services ensure regulatory compliance, private, secure connectivity, resiliency and secure access to critical data, Meeks said. Another key strategy in serving the government sector is having extensive facilities-based coverage and flexible solutions, he said.
  3. Tackle wholesale and carrier business. Much of this area has been driven by wireless backhaul, Meeks said. National wireless providers like AT&T are migrating more data to fiber-based platforms. According to Meeks, Cox is looking at the next technological shift, such as WiFi offloading and Distributed Antenna Systems, which can be used to create to propagate indoor WiFi for commercial uses.
  4. Keep to your knitting. While expanding business service, Cox won’t neglect the low-end SMB market and will continue to attempt to take market share. Like other MSOs, Meeks contends competitors haven’t reached this segment fully or grown their market share. What can help Cox and other MSO stand apart is implementing localized strategy. That means having local sales, support and technical teams serving local businesses, Meeks said. Things that matter the most to small businesses, many of which don’t have in-house IT staff, are simplicity, reliability and affordable pricing, he said.

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