Strong Partnerships for Vibrant Communities

Brand Story – Comcast Business & McMenamins: What supporting regional brands means for the Pacific Northwest

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Of all the businesses, big and small, that enrich the Pacific Northwest, one in particular stands out as a household name that has given locals a place to gather for decades: McMenamins. Comcast Business—a global telecommunications force with a structure that enables strong regional teams—has helped support the family-owned chain’s growth journey for over 10 years, evolving with McMenamins and the region.

As McMenamins expanded to up to 3000 employees across 56 diverse sites (music venues, historic hotels, breweries, theaters and more), it required a strategic growth partner to maintain its powerful, personal brand.

“Comcast supports our enterprise needs by helping our sites communicate with very stable ENS, EDI and PRI connections,” says Joe Frazier, Director of Information Systems, McMenamins Pubs and Breweries. “Comcast has been a great partner for our company’s growth—providing unique solutions that fit our business model and are able to scale with us as we grow.”

Comcast’s Enterprise Solutions specialize in large, multisite customers with complex networking needs. The widespread ENS network it provides McMenamins, which connects hotels, restaurants and business offices, promises reliability, scalability and world-class performance. For multisite organizations like McMenamins, that dependability directly impacts customers.  A digital glitch, even one that only lasts 30 minutes, disrupts thousands of guests and halts tasks at every location, from payments to check ins.

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To further support clients as they expand their footprints, Comcast Business introduced its SAGE program in 2016. The white-glove experience includes access to a dedicated team and a single point of contact to handle any issues that arise. SAGE, like many of Comcast Business’s enterprise services, was driven by client feedback.

“We’re the tip of the spear of innovation and without customer input you undermine that innovation. Our most valuable assets are our partnerships with customers. Customers will tell you what they need, you just have to be willing to listen,” explains Debbie Powers, Senior Director of Enterprise Sales, Comcast Business. “It’s a partnership built on trust, consistent communication and understanding their strategic plans for the future.”

McMenamins accesses Comcast Business through multiple touchpoints on a quarterly basis, when accounts, network and bandwidth utilization, upcoming developments and strategies are reviewed. That level of interaction increases as necessary during times of transition or challenge, such as the arrival of COVID-19.

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It is no secret that the pandemic hit the hospitality industry hard. Helping its hospitality partners pull through extraordinary times became Comcast Business’s overnight mission. From securing funding to increasing support and communication, its teams tackled each client’s needs on an individual basis.

“We understood that McMenamins has been a local and loved brand since 1983, and we did everything we could to support them during this time. They’re part of the culture of the Pacific Northwest,” Powers adds. “We’re a big company, but our relationships are held at the local level and our employees are local. McMenamins is where we go to celebrate life events.”

With some creativity and determination, Comcast Business was able to help its longtime partner stay in operation.

“Comcast was very accommodating to our issues and helped us through a very challenging time,” says Joe Frazier, Director of Information Systems, McMenamins Pubs and Breweries. “We really learned that Comcast appreciated our years of working together, and they showed that we can trust them to help us out when needed.”

Bolstered by that experience, the Comcast Business team is more confident than ever that it can quickly adapt to help clients navigate unforeseen hardship in the future.

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“It’s all about evolution. The days of just providing connectivity are long gone. We have a ton of solutions,” Powers explains. “All too often other competitors will call and try to force a product. We don’t. We listen to your needs and craft the right solution.”

Since the pandemic, corporate structures have decentralized and adopted long-term, multisite and remote work strategies. These sites rely on seamless communication, introducing a host of new complexities. Any software upgrades, for example, must be pushed across the entire network.

“Comcast supports our enterprise needs by helping our sites communicate with very stable ENS, EDI and PRI connections,” Frazier adds. “Comcast has been a great partner for our company’s growth—providing unique solutions that fit our business model and are able to scale with us as we grow.”

An organization’s demands can change on a weekly or monthly basis. Having Comcast Business as a local regional partner that is backed by a global innovation leader means that clients get quick access to responsive, cutting-edge solutions.

“It’s all about digital transformation. Our customers are looking to improve operational efficiencies and processes,” Powers notes. “Companies are increasingly focused on adding more bandwidth and exploring ways to modernize networks with diverse routes and software while expanding the capabilities of their network.”

Comcast Business continues developing solutions in response to its clients’ evolving and future needs. It recently acquired Masergy, a leader in software-defined networking and cloud platforms with 20+ years of experience servicing large and mid-size companies in roughly 100 countries around the world. Masergy’s contributions translate into competitive opportunities for Comcast Business clients who benefit from a global network, cloud security experience, a mitigation team and extensive new services (EDR, MDR and SASE solutions).

The acquisition represents an investment in the strategic partnerships it plans to foster for decades to come.

“We truly understand what it takes to be a good partner. It’s so critical to what we do: We specialize in partnerships,” Powers concludes. “Where we shine is understanding the individual needs of each customer and helping them reimagine what is possible.”

As a global entity with a strong regional presence, Comcast Business knows the importance of staying plugged into local communities. Supporting the growth of McMenamins, the sweetheart of the Pacific Northwest, brings benefits that reverberate beyond the partnership—driving economies, enriching communities and providing beloved spaces to connect.


Brand stories are paid content articles that allow Oregon Business advertisers to share news about their organizations and engage with readers on business and public policy issues.  The stories are produced in house by the Oregon Business marketing department. For more information, contact associate publisher Courtney Kutzman.