Cable Companies: Competing With MSP IT Compliance Services?

Cable Companies: Competing With MSP IT Compliance Services?

When  it comes to corporate compliance issues like HIPAA and PCI, managed services providers (MSPs) may soon face growing competition from big cable companies and broadband service providers. The latest evidence: Cablevision Systems Corp., the fifth largest U.S. cable operator, is now advertising corporate compliance services to help businesses address health care, credit card security and payroll services.

In a January 2 newspaper ad, Cablevision stated: "Compliance doesn't have to be complex." The ad, from Cablevision's Optimum Business unit, promised to connect business customers with "top suppliers" that can provide compliance solutions, premier service and preferred pricing. Cablevision mentioned ADP, Digital Insurance and CardWorks Merchant Services as key partners in the compliance effort.

Should MSPs be worried? Not really. But MSPs should continue to track how cable companies and broadband service providers attempt to deliver specialized managed services into the SMB market. Some of the best-performing MSPs from our annual MSPmentor 100 survey focus on corporate compliance services. Companies like ETG (health care) and HEIT (financial services) come to mind.

Now, cable companies want a piece of that compliance action. I believe the cable companies will succeed in selected market niches. One potential example: Here on Long Island, numerous hospitals and health care providers leverage Cablevision's Optimum broadband service. Those customers could potentially extend their Cablevision engagement to leverage the compliance services as well.

Still, we've all seen how big broadband providers and telcos have introduced managed IT services for small business, only to stumble badly and retreat to corporate enterprise accounts. Plus, Cablevision itself is the subject of M&A rumors right now.

TAGS: Strategy
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