2019 Directory - ChannelVision Magazine

2019 Directory | Channel Vision 59 PROFILE I n January RCN/Grande closed its partnership with Wave, a leading regional broadband and cable provider. Together, RCN, Grande and Wave are a force to be reckoned with as a national opera- tor poised for significant growth. Following the acquisition, in August, RCN, Grande and Wave announced a key leadership change that helped to unify and align the company. Industry veteran Patrick Knorr was named chief commercial officer and executive vice president of commercial services, and im- mediately went to work building out his new team. One of Knorr’s first strategic moves was to promote Paul Koss to senior vice president of carrier and wholesale services, to spur growth through services such as cell backhaul. We spoke with Ted White, vice president of the Agent Channel at RCN, Grande and Wave, who pro- vided an overview of what channel partners can expect from the newly merged organization. ChannelVision: Please expand on the opportunity at hand for channel partners, now having three brands under one roof. TW: We are combining the three programs to help drive the overall strategy of creating a market leader in next-generation, high-speed data services for business customers with a presence spanning coast-to-coast. Together, RCN, Grande and Wave are dedicated to working with our agents to deliver custom fiber network products and services for businesses of all sizes. We span across nearly 20 metro areas in 11 states including California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsyl- vania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C. The overall objective is to de- liver one experience for our agent channel. As an organization, we are committed to making fiber in- frastructure more accessible and affordable to support today’s tech- nological marketplace. CV: What are some of the dif- ferent services and incentives that you provide for channel partners? TW: Our products include E- Line, E-Lan, DIA, hosted voice and standard coaxial cable services. We have a very competitive and aggressive compensation program including periodic SPIFFs. CV: Now that your company is the 6th largest MSO in the country, how do you maintain your status as a partner-centric organization? And how have channel partners responded since the merger? TW: Our size has changed but not our commitment to providing high-quality customer care and ser- vice, and that applies to our agents. We have expanded our Part- ner Channel Program by adding channel managers in five markets (Boston, Chicago, Lehigh Valley and DC, and Texas). Our channel managers are dedicated and fo- cused on educating our partners on industry trends, products and pro- cess. With the acquisition of Wave, the channel manager on the West Coast has also joined the fam- ily. This expansion is specifically designed to support our growing channel program. The response from our chan- nel partners has been tremendous. They are encouraged by the strides we are making in supporting their efforts. We want to make it easy to do business with us. CV: What do you see as the biggest sales driver for your com- pany right now? What is every- one asking for? TW: It’s all about the customer need for bandwidth. There are several drivers for this like the continued advancement in technol- ogy and things like the Internet of Things (IoT) and bring your own device (BYOD). Social media also plays a big part in bandwidth con- sumption. For example, most em- ployees use Twitter or LinkedIn for business and are on Facebook or Instagram on their lunch break. The need to have immediate access to information and big data are other factors driving the need for more bandwidth. In fact, we are finding a gig is the new 100 meg and 10 gig is the new gig. The bottom line is customers want a quality connection, a reliable partner and a cost effective solution for more and more bandwidth. By Gerald Baldino RCN, Grande andWave: Unified and Growing