Comcast Business

Challenge

Comcast Business recognized early on that selling software — in addition to its core Internet, phone, and video services — to SMBs could drive new revenue, as well as increase customer loyalty and customer lifetime value. “Selling software is very adjacent to selling connectivity,” said James Mumma, Executive Director of Product Management at Comcast Business.

Comcast Business decided to approach its SaaS effort as a mini start-up business separate from the rest of the company, outsourcing as much as possible and relying on operational expenses versus capital expenditures to fund it.

“We wanted the ability to experiment in a fiscally responsible way in order to discover the right approach to selling and supporting a SaaS-based business without disrupting our core business,” Mumma says.

Solution

The Comcast Business team had a three-pronged approach to the new cloud services start-up: operational excellence, digital transformation, and customer experience.

With those pillars in mind, Comcast Business chose AppDirect as the platform to power its new SaaS sales channel. With AppDirect, the SaaS startup within Comcast Business introduced 10 products in 10 months to its SMB customers.

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Results

Five years into its experiment with selling SaaS solutions, the “start-up” inside Comcast Business has solidified into a proven business model and has expanded into further channels within the company.

A key lesson from its SaaS startup approach is the need for an anchor application, which for Comcast Business is Microsoft Office 365. Support is also critical for driving SaaS activation, usage, and overall satisfaction, which is why the team selected an additional AppDirect product, AppHelp, to offer high-touch 24/7 technical support for Office 365 and its other SaaS products under the Comcast Business brand.

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“We always like to say, ‘If there’s one thing we got right when we started, it was choosing AppDirect.’”

JAMES MUMMA, Executive Direct of Product Management