Comcast launches app store for biz customers

Comcast(s cmsa) opened Upware, an app store featuring nine services for its small and mid-sized business customers on Wednesday. The app store isn’t a new idea, but it’s one that will bring in a new line of revenue for the ISP and serve one of its fastest growing customer bases.

Comcast’s business services brought in $2.4 billion in 2012, up 34 percent from the previous year. That’s only 6 percent of the company’s cable sales, but it’s growing at almost 6 times the pace of total sales. And those customers were asking Comcast for choices on document storage, security and other resources, which led to the ISP building Upware.

While spokesman Charlie Douglas declined to give specific financial details associated with the app store, he did say it would be a revenue-generating service for Comcast. It will also be great for the partners who will have their services listed for Comcast’s business customers. Those companies so far include:

  • Data Backup – Carbonite(s carb), DigitalSafe and Mozy(s emc).
  • Data Security – Norton(s symc) and Websense.
  • Collaboration – Box, Microsoft(s msft), Soonr and YouSendIt (see disclosure.)

This is a good example of how a service provider can add value for its end users — value that it can monetize beyond a monthly broadband fee. Comcast has been pretty aggressive about adding connected home products on the residential side as well as beefing up it’s pay TV service to compete more with web-based on-demand services.

Disclosure: YouSendIt is backed by Alloy Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media.