Comcast Business Bows New Unit Targeting Fortune 1000

Comcast Business, the commercial services arm of the cable giant, is going after large enterprises full bore, forming a new unit specifically targeting Fortune 1000 companies and forming agreements with cable companies across the country to provide managed services to big business customers with locations nationwide.

The new Enterprise Services unit, branded Managed Enterprise Solutions, will offer a full suite of managed enterprise products including broadband, Ethernet, voice, router, security business continuity and WiFi. To meet those goals, Comcast said it has purchased a managed service company and has signed network agreements with other cable operators to further support national accounts.

Headed by former SpaceNet Inc. CEO Glenn Katz, Comcast said the new unit has already signed large customers from several industries including financial services, banking, hospitality and retail.

“We’re committed to expanding and enhancing our offerings for businesses of all sizes, and having the expertise, tools and portfolio in place to deliver customized service packages to nationwide enterprises is a key part of our growth strategy,” said Comcast Business president Bill Stemper in a statement. “Large companies need a provider who can help them manage complex networks, develop business continuity plans and integrate cloud-based applications. Our entry into this segment of the market will introduce new innovation and choice.”

Business services have been the fastest growing segment for most cable operators and Comcast is no exception. According to Comcast, business services grew 22% in 2014 and has an annual revenue run-rate of more than $4.5 billion. But so far most of the revenue has come from small and medium sized business. With the creation of Managed Enterprise Services, Comcast can tackle larger enterprises with locations outside of Comcast’s cable footprint.

According to a recent report from IDC, a Framingham, Mass.-based IT industry analyst firm, the U.S. market for managed services is expected to increase from $29 billion in 2014 to $52 billion in 2019.

"With its national network reach and end-to-end service delivery capabilities, Comcast is well positioned to serve the outsourced network management needs of large business that require increasing network capacity to serve expanding multi-site requirements," IDC research vice president Melanie Posey said in a statement.

While network agreements with cable operators like Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cox Communications and Cablevision Systems will help expand Comcast’s business services reach, the cable giant also recently purchased national technology deployment and managed services firm Contingent Network Services to help larger enterprises outsource their day-to-day network operations. Comcast purchased Contingent, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company but will continue to operate under its own brand name, in late August.

“Contingent’s mission is to provide clients with high-quality, cost-effective network and deployment services wherever and whenever needed for reliable communications across an enterprise, and we couldn’t be more excited for them to join our team,” Katz said in a statement. “By joining forces with Comcast Business, Contingent can further expand their reach and take advantage of Comcast’s extensive fiber and hybrid fiber coax network to give enterprises the optimal network experience to meet their business and technology requirements.”