AT&T sets common broadband, DirectTV installation process goals

AT&T (NYSE: T) may have set DirecTV as its new video delivery platform, but in order to cross sell customers a suite of complementary wireline broadband and wireless services, the telco is looking to bring commonality to its installation processes.

Ralph de la Vega, vice chairman of AT&T and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions and AT&T International, told investors during the 44th Annual JP Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, that having consistency in how it lights up new broadband and video services will create internal benefits for the telco and a better customer experience.

"Today, for example, because we were two different companies, if you were to set up a new service for a customer you'd have to dispatch an AT&T technician and a DirecTV technician," de la Vega said. "We're going to one technician before the end of the year."

"I can give the customer a better service and you only have to rely on one person so it's half the cost to do the install, and it's going to give the customer a great experience," de la Vega added.

The streamlining of AT&T's installation process is known inside the company as Project Halo, or its "High Automation Low Overhead" process. This project is contributing to across-the-board cost savings for the company.

The first wave of technicians trained under this program was deployed back in November 2015.

AT&T estimates that installing multiple services in a single visit will enable it will realize the $2.5 billion in cost synergies expected from the DirecTV deal.

Thus far, DirecTV has been a decent seller for AT&T as the company reported that it added 328,000 subscribers during the first quarter. However, overall video subscribers declined slightly.

As it continues to hone its back office and installation skills, AT&T will push selling more bundles of services.

De la Vega said a growing focus will be to penetrate the existing DirecTV customer base with broadband and wireless services.

"I think we have the greatest cross sell opportunity because of the number of customers that have one of our services as AT&T, but not two or three," de la Vega said. "We have not launched a full frontal attack to try to acquire those customers until the processes and the back offices are good enough."

For more:
- listen to the webcast (reg. req.)  

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