Comcast’s channel sales program shows signs of early success

Telecommunications company Comcast recently launched its Solutions Provider Program, a comprehensive indirect channel sales program that provides the necessary sales, marketing and operational support for master agents and value added resellers to sell the company's services to small and mid-market businesses.

The program, which was introduced at the Spring 2011 Channel Partners Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, offers services that are specifically tailored to address business needs such as increased bandwidth demands and hosted cloud-based applications. It also provides the core network infrastructure to help with storage, disaster recovery, business productivity and other business applications.

"We are already starting to see a significant amount of order volume," said Mike Saxby, chief strategy officer at Telecom Brokerage Incorporated (TBI), as reported by Technology Marketing Corporation. TBI is one of three national master agent representatives enlisted by Comcast. Currently, TBI is permitted to sell Comcast's business-class internet, voice, and high-capacity ethernet services, which can then be bundled with additional programs such as Microsoft SharePoint and antivirus software. At the moment, the company is not authorized to sell Comcast's fiber product.

Comcast decided to begin its partner program after judging the demand in the marketplace based on smaller data rollouts. After a lengthy interview and review process, the company chose three master agents – TBI, Telarus and Intelisys Communciations.

"We chose these companies based upon an extensive review of their robust capabilities and determined they were best positioned to work and grow with us during this early phase of our program," said Craig Schlagbaum, vice president of indirect channel sales for Comcast.

An order limitation was placed on the master agents for the duration of the the initial rollout in order to ensure that partner and end user experiences were optimal. Following early signs of success, the limitation was lifted after a week, which means that master agents are now free to submit an unlimited number of orders.

"It isn’t too often that a $70 billion company enters the channel and launches a partner program," said Saxby, according to the news source. "All of us will look back 10 years from now and be like, wow, it was really cool to be on the ground level. … I think Comcast coming into the channel is obviously going to be the biggest and most significant development of 2011."