Cablevision is one of the largest multiple service operators (MSOs) in the United States and has deployed advanced fiber networks in its franchise region, which is the tri-state area of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. This cable operator is seeking to gain additional revenues by leveraging its high-speed network to address new customers, primarily business organizations.
Optimum Lightpath is a separate division of Cablevision that has been established specifically to focus on business services and large enterprise customers. This division differentiates the company from other cable operators that have not established specific business divisions. Technology partners such as Cisco
® and Tellabs are central to both the development of this separate fiber network and the focus on large enterprise communications.
Optimum Lightpath must address the following challenges:
• Other MSOs have attempted to address the larger enterprise market in the past, but generally remain successful with only general business and small-to-medium business (SMB) customers.
• The business market requires robust service-level agreements (SLAs) that are beyond the kind of quality of service (QoS) provided to the residential market, which has been the traditional MSO focus. Optimum Lightpath had to invest in additional infrastructure solutions and commit internal technical resources to meet these requirements.
• The traditional approach for MSOs in managed and vertical application services activity is to partner, particularly in light of restrictions on capital budgets. Cablevision's approach in setting up Optimum Lightpath is a more ambitious approach, which provides both greater opportunities, but also more risk.
Optimum Lightpath can benefit from the following opportunities:
• The regional footprint of Cablevision's franchise area is one of the most concentrated business markets in the United States, with a high number of business customers.
• Significant revenue opportunities are available in selling high-end managed network services to business customers (especially for mid-market and large enterprise customers). Optimum Lightpath has chosen to focus on high-growth segments such as healthcare.
Optimum Lightpath's separate business unit focuses on using a fiber network for business-class services. The company has partnered new services and applications.
• In May 2009, Optimum Lightpath announced a partnership with GetWellNetwork to offer its patient/healthcare software in Cablevision's franchise region. This partnership enables Cablevision to sell its video services to hospitals and support GetWellNetwork's patient program. Optimum Lightpath and GetWellNetwork plan to fully leverage their first mover advantage for patient applications and services.
• Optimum Lightpath has partnerships with many hardware providers, for example Cisco and Tellabs, to develop and offer network-based services for business customers.
GetWellNetwork is a private company that provides healthcare services to 1.2 million patients with a focus on patient engagement. It utilizes a combination of patient devices (e.g., touch screen accessible from bed) and web-based clinical tools with information delivered over a secure network to improve services and outcomes; in its words, it focuses on "interoperability at the point of care." It has developed a unique patient experience application for the hospital industry aimed at improving the overall care process and actual outcomes.
• The patient application provides a unique and better experience to patients and their families.
• In light of recent U.S. healthcare reform and increasing pressure on hospitals to increase efficiency while improving the patient experience, GetWellNetwork's holistic approach has received positive reviews.
• Healthcare analysts believe that integrating patient information and preferences into the clinical process has good growth prospects.
Within the Cablevision franchise region (New York and New Jersey initially), the GetWellNetwork will only offer their services to Optimum Lightpath and no other telecom provider or carrier for one year. This gives Optimum Lightpath a headstart on any provider competition in their covered region. Hospitals will be offered the full breadth of the Optimum Lightpath portfolio, including video, Internet, business data, and the GetWellNetwork patient services. An increase in the overall revenue per hospital site is expected.
Optimum Lightpath has just introduced it healthcare portfolio with two hospitals signing up and implementing services over the course of the first half of 2010. Although it is too early to determine the impact on Optimum Lightpath's business revenues, OVUM expects this partnership to have a positive impact. Optimum Lightpath revenues for 2009 were $250M ($98M Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization [EBITDA]). Revenues for Q1 2010 were $68M, an increase of 6.1 percent year-over-year (driven by sales of Ethernet services).