A few days ago Charter Spectrum, the US’s second largest cable company, and RingCentral made an announcement of two new offerings – Spectrum Business Connect with RingCentral and Spectrum Enterprise Unified Communications with RingCentral.
On the face of it many would say, “oh, another RingCentral distribution deal,” as it’s not much different than when they did something similar with AT&T. But as you read through the news release one key line stood out.
These new offerings will combine RingCentral MVP™ with Spectrum’s high-speed internet and network solutions to provide Spectrum’s small and medium-sized business customers–as well as Enterprise clients–access to a reliable, secure, and simple communications platform which will enable them to work productively from anywhere.
This could mean when the service offering goes live for enterprise customers in December that the cable MSO is starting to make a move away from Cisco’s Broadsoft platform which previously was the only solution for the enterprise Spectrum offered.
While current enterprise customers are not being moved off of Broadsoft by Spectrum, they do have that option at the end of their contract, and for new enterprise customers, they can choose RingCentral or Cisco/Broadsoft when they sign up starting later this year.
The new option, missed by many, is subtle, but it could be seen as a takeaway of sorts from Cisco by RingCentral, as anytime a large customer like Spectrum makes this type of move, it has to hurt at some point, as it creates competition when before there wasn’t.
The offer also comes at a time when all the MSOs are chasing business customers, and have bigger fiber footprints than in years before. The key difference with RingCentral for the enterprise is a more end-user friendly solution, where the Broadsoft Broadworks solution requires more IT department hand holding. At a time when IT spend is being watched closely by everyone, a service which is IT lighter is a big point in RingCentral’s favor.
The bigger win though for RingCentral will be with the small business segment, where they excel, and one that remains vastly under served. With the Broadsoft platform being far too complicated to manage versus RingCentral this is another point in their favor vs. Broadsoft/Cisco.
Given small business is big business, by winning Spectrum’s business, that market, which is currently chased by the legacy telcos, numerous white-label players, OOMA and more, is more of a treasure trove of riches for Spectrum, and likely where the subscriber numbers will see faster adoption before the longer cycle enterprise sales come onlin