CINCINNATI – October 2007 – Ivy Boehm is in the center of a battle for her business. She will ultimately be the winner of what’s shaping up to be a war between cable and telecommunications companies. She is their heart’s desire… and right now her heart belongs to Time Warner Cable.
Boehm is owner of Visionary Research Services and has been a Time Warner Cable Business Class customer since she started her business. “Business Class Phone gives me the opportunity to have a business phone with all of the business features I need at the same price I was paying for just a phone line without any features,” Boehm said.
According to a Wall Street Journal article written by Peter Grant on January 17, 2007, cable operators have lured away more than 8 million residential phone customers. Telecom companies sell all business customers about $115 billion of services annually, but most cable operators have their eye on businesses with one to 100 employees, currently a $25 billion market, cable executives say. Cable operators are hopeful they can carve out as much as 20 percent…the article states.
A survey conducted in the first quarter 2007 by Forrester Research shows that “nearly 75 percent of North American small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) currently subscribe to some type of bundled service. Buyers like the lower cost and single source that these deals bring.” http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,42526,00.html
“Since most of my business is done over the internet, I count on Time Warner Cable’s high speed data services because it is fast and reliable. Business Class Phone has been easy to use and I know if I had a question Time Warner Cable would help me right away. When you don’t have a large staff to deal with technical issues, it is important to know that your providers will take care of you.”
Time Warner Cable’s Southwest Ohio Division has more than 200 orders for the much anticipated Business Class phone service scheduled to launch next week. For many small business owners, the cable offer represents the first time they have had an alternative to the local phone company, analysts say.
With more than 2.3 million digital phone subscribers, representing a 12 percent penetration rate, Time Warner Cable’s residential voice revenue has increased 75 percent to $285 million according to its second quarter 2007results.
“We are making focused investments… to lay the groundwork for growth in 2008. The first of these is commercial phone, which represents an important complement to our high-speed data business,” said Glenn Britt, president and CEO, Time Warner Cable, in its 2006 Annual Report. The company estimates there is a $40 billion market for business phone service, $9 billion of which is made up of small and mid-sized companies, said Ted Stine, Time Warner’s vice president of commercial services in Columbus.(Can this be Rick Human SWO? Reported in Columbus Business First.
Residential phone subscriptions for Time Warner Cable have grown from 1.1 million subscribers in 2006 to 2.09 million as of March 31, representing about 82 percent growth, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Additionally, commercial high speed data subscriptions are growing at over 30 percent year over year.
“I’ve been a Time Warner Cable Business Class customer since I started my business. Since most of my business is done over the internet, I rely on Time Warner Cable’s high speed data services because it is fast and reliable,” said Boehm of Visionary Research Services. “Business Class Phone gives me the opportunity to have a business phone with all of the business features I need at the same price I was paying for just a phone line without any features. Business Class Phone has been easy to use and I know if I had a question or if there was a problem, Time Warner Cable would help me right away. When you don’t have staff to deal with technical issues, it is important to know that your providers will take care of you.”
That’s exactly the message that Time Warner wants to share with businesses, and with orders pouring in for the new bundle of Business Class services, the Southwest Ohio Division should be in a strong position moving into 2008.
In fact, for the first time in its annual survey, J.D. Power said it found cable companies led in all six U.S. regions in its customer-satisfaction rankings for residential telephone service. The ability to bundle communications and technology services appeared to be a factor, the new study said. The survey indicated that 86 percent of cable-based voice subscribers also subscribe to data services from the same provider – up 17 percent in 2006.
“Customers increasingly want multiple services and products bundled into one convenient package under a single provider, and cable companies are doing a great job of achieving this with their voice, data and video packages,” said Steve Kirkeby, executive director of telecommunications and technology research at J.D. Power, in a press release announcing the survey results.
As a single-source provider of communications services to small and medium-sized businesses in Southwest Ohio, Time Warner Cable offers Business Class Phone service gives businesses access to unlimited local and long distance calls for one low monthly rate and makes important business phone features, such as hunting, inbound and outbound call restrictions, non-verified account codes and three-way call transfers, available at no additional charge. The digital telephone service is carried on Time Warner Cable’s private, secure and reliable nationwide network. Business Class Phone customers can keep their current telephone numbers and existing communication equipment.
“The small and medium-sized business market has not been well serviced by the ‘traditional’ telephony providers,” said Richard Human, vice president of Time Warner Cable Business Class Southwest Ohio Division. “Business Class Phone completes the "quadruple play" business communications bundle: Voice, data, security, video. Our great track record of service to this important market is now be enhanced by our voice offering. The crystal-clear digital connection for voice communications is carried on our robust and reliable nationwide hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network.”
Benefits of Business Class Phone include bundling with existing Time Warner Cable data and security services for a discount price, and a single invoice. Time Warner Cable Business Class customers receive dedicated customer service and technical support through teams of locally based customer service representatives and experienced field technicians.
Business Class phone works with industry-standard faxes, security systems, key systems and point-of-sale machines. For more information about Business Class Phone, visit www.twcinci.biz or www.twdayton.biz.
Time Warner Cable Business Class Phone’s first customer in the Southwest Ohio division, Ivy Boehm, owner of Visionary Research Services, is available for interviews. Please contact Karen Baxter or Pam Gilchrist (see contact info above).
About Time Warner Cable Business Class
Time Warner Cable Business Class, a division of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), offers a full complement of business communications tools to small- and medium-sized businesses and enterprise-sized companies. Its data, voice, video and security solutions are enhanced by award-winning customer service and local support teams. Time Warner Cable Business Class was founded in 1998, offering high-speed Internet service as Road Runner Business Class. As of year end 2006 Time Warner Cable Business Class served more than 245,000 business customers throughout Time Warner Cable’s markets.
About Time Warner Cable:
The Southwest Ohio division of Time Warner Cable is proud to lead the way in meeting the entertainment, information and communication needs of more than 640,000 customers in Greater Cincinnati, Dayton and the Miami Valley. The Southwest Ohio division of Time Warner Cable serves 339 communities, provides free service to more than 1,000 schools and employs nearly 1,800 people. Time Warner Cable is on the Web at www.twcinci.com and www.twdayton.com.
Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) owns and manages cable systems passing approximately 26 million homes in 33 states. The Company has 14.6 million customers for its various products, including video, high-speed data and residential telephone. This includes approximately 13.4 million basic video subscribers and more than 6 million customers who purchase more than one product. Time Warner Cable includes some of the most technologically advanced and best-clustered cable systems in the country, with nearly 85 percent of the Company's customers located in five geographic regions: New York, Texas, Ohio, the Carolinas and southern California. It is the largest cable provider in the nation's two largest cities, Los Angeles and New York. Leveraging its leadership in innovation and quality customer care, Time Warner Cable delivers advanced products and services such as video-on-demand, high-definition television, digital video recorders, high-speed data and Digital Phone.