Building a cable operator's business services power is something that comes naturally to Bill Stemper, President of Comcast Business (Nasdaq: CMCSA).
His track record speaks for itself.
Prior to joining Comcast in 2006, Stemper served as Vice President of Cox Business Services for Cox Communications in Atlanta, where he more than doubled the size of their business market in less than three years.
In Q2 2011, Comcast's business revenues rose 41.7 percent year-over-year to $435 million from Q2 2010.
While Comcast was arguably a bit later to the business services game than its cable counterparts Cox and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), the MSO has been making a more concerted move into the space since Stemper came on board five years ago.
Initially serving the SMB segment with traditional HFC DOCSIS-based solutions--a segment that it continues to serve well with competitively priced bundled offerings--Comcast has been setting its sights on advancing up market into the medium to large business market.
Like Cox Communications, Comcast is leveraging much of the same infrastructure it built out to provide wireless backhaul services to wireless operators to build fiber-based services for larger business customers that Stemper said have more complex needs.
Making its move into larger accounts required a few major moves, however. In addition to the ongoing process of extending network facilities, but also make two key acquisitions--including the former Cimco and VoIP wholesaler NGT Telecom.
By acquiring Cimco, Comcast instantly gained a 2,300 customer base in Chicago in addition to presence throughout the Midwest. Since completing the acquisition, which integrated the operations and customer care, Cimco's headquarters has became the center to serve all of its mid-market customers.
With NGT, Comcast was able to gain more expertise in not only IP-based managed voice services, but also traditional PRI trunking services.
In tandem with these acquisitions, the MSO has been aggressively increasing its sales force and product portfolio, including Metro Ethernet and PRI.
In May, the MSO introduced its fiber-based Metro Ethernet service in 20 markets, offering point-to-point and point-to-multipoint options, with plans for future expansion. No less important in targeting larger businesses is having a bulk PRI replacement product, which enables it to TDM and next-gen IP-based PBX (private branch exchange) systems at their locations.
Stemper said in a previous interview with FierceTelecom that by having a product set that includes Metro Ethernet and PRI it has "valued alternatives to what the CLEC or the telephone company is offering."
And as more businesses' contracts with their local telephone company or CLEC come up for renewal, Stemper's mission throughout the rest of 2011 and into 2012 will be to present Comcast Business as a welcome alternative that's not beholden to legacy service revenue.