Comcast Corp.'s cloud strategy for business services has added some SaaS, giving customers new ways to fill up those broadband pipes. (See Comcast: 'The Cloud Changes Everything'.)
The MSO has launched Upware, a cloud-fed, curated app store for small businesses that is starting off with a the following categories, services and vendor partners that customers will be able to access using a single sign-on:
Data Backup: Carbonite and GlobeX Data Inc.'s DigitalSafe (data backup), and Mozy (online backup).
Expect Upware customers to get access to some of these services at a discount versus what they'd pay by going direct.
Comcast isn't spelling out the exact business model for Upware or how much of a cut it's getting from sales, but the offer should bring more revenues in the door at a unit that generated $2.4 billion in business services revenues in 2012, and has been growing at an annual rate of more than 30 percent.
The majority of that revenue comes from small business, so, naturally, that's where Upware will focus at the start. Upware's "sweet spot" is businesses with 50 and fewer employees, says Kevin O'Toole, the SVP and GM of new business solutions for Comcast's biz services arm.
He says Comcast is in the process of adding Upware partners, identifying more collaboration services and the addition of CRM (customer relationship management) tools among the expansion targets. "We'll be moving pretty quick in the coming months and quarters," he said.
Upware also marks the latest chapter in Comcast's cloud story for business services, and follows the launch of Business Voice Edge, its hosted PBX offering. (See Comcast Rolls Business Voice Into the Cloud.)
Comcast's build/partner approach differs from how some of its MSO peers are taking on cloud-based services and applications. Two of them, Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable Inc., have fleshed out those strategies via recent acquisitions. (See Bright House Snaps Up Cloud Services Specialist and TW Cable Buys Into the Cloud.)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
re: Comcast Gets Bizzy With Apps Makes a lot of sense (and maybe dollars) to go in this direction.-á MSOs can get a cut of this without having to build something on their own and the partners get another chance to get in front of biz customers that they are targeting. But i'm curious to know the biz model here, and what the margin is for the partners versus what they get by selling direct.-á The difference could wash out, though, considering Comcast is helping them market their servcies, so there's some value there. JB
craigleddy, User Rank: Blogger 2/21/2013 | 3:09:55 PM
re: Comcast Gets Bizzy With Apps Upware's progress will be closely watched by other MSO business services folks. For years they've been talking about offering companies hosted services and other products but they've rarely hit the nail on the head. MSOs are making big bucks by connecting companies and now it's time to add more bells & whistles. -á
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.