In a sign that cable companies are still eager to bulk up their business service offerings, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is adding several new mobile features to its hosted voice solution, Business VoiceEdge, which launched last spring.
The new VoiceEdge features include a mobile app for managing voicemail and user location settings, a teleworker function for extending service access to remote employees, and a "softphone" feature that allows users to place calls from a computer using their business phone numbers. The Business VoiceEdge softphone also enables support for high-definition video calls over computers.
Commercial services represent a high-growth area for cable companies. Even as they continue to lose residential video subscribers to their telecom counterparts, cable operators are gaining share in the business services market. As of May, for instance, Comcast was on track to reach nearly $3 billion in commercial services revenue for all of 2013, easily a new record high. (See Cox Targets SMBs With Hosted Voice.)
Cable companies still have a way to go, however, on the customer service front. While the latest J.D. Power and Associates study ranked cable companies high in the very small business segment (companies with fewer than 20 employees), cable’s customer satisfaction ranking was significantly lower among small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises. (See Small Firms Love Cable.)
Comcast is clearly hoping that its latest feature additions to the VoiceEdge service will help it gain more SMB fans. VoiceEdge is now available across Comcast’s footprint, putting it in 20 of the top 25 US markets.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading Cable