May 30, 2006
Sonexis Inc. has released version 6.1 of its ConferenceManager audio conferencing bridge and unveiled its three-tiered reseller program.
ConferenceManager was designed for SMBs wanting to save money while safeguarding network security, said Brian Giuffrida, vice president of marketing and business development for Sonexis.
Audio conference bridges usually mean companies are renting a service and being charged per minute, he explained. ConferenceManager actually sits behind a companys firewall and uses SSL. It works with existing voice and data networks and often eliminates long-distance fees because it runs on a companys IP network, Giuffrida said. ConferenceManager accommodates Microsoft Outlook and the upgraded version features private conference rooms, and allows hosts to mute someone whos talking in the background or whose cell phone is too loud, for example. ConferenceManager has room for anywhere from five to 200 users and allows administrators to run detailed reports, such as who is using the system and when.
ConferenceManagers presentation functions are very similar to those of providers such as WebEx, said Giuffrida. The difference is that WebEx is very expensive and limited to certain applications, he said. ConferenceManager, he said, integrates audio and Web conferencing while WebEx requires subscribers to pay extra for audio. Plus, the Sonexis method means corporate information never leaves the company network, Giuffrida reiterated.
The ConferenceManager server measures 2U and takes about 45 minutes to install, according to Sonexis. Administrators place it in the company network and assign the bridge an IP address, just as with any other endpoint in the network.
Meanwhile, to bolster ConferenceManager sales, Sonexis has introduced the Sonexis Top-Achieving Reseller (STAR) Program, which consists of three tiers. STAR offers Premier, Advanced and Member options for resellers, which typically are companies ranging in size from a few million dollars to hundreds of millions in revenue, according to Sonexis. The Premier tier comes with the most benefits and requirements. For example, by promising to deliver at least $150,000 in sales annually, Premier resellers get a dedicated account team; on-site sales and product training; around-the-clock technical support; a 50 percent discount on on-site demonstration units; year-end rebates; Web portal access; joint marketing; Partner Advisory Council membership; and reciprocal Web links.
Advanced members must commit to selling $75,000 worth of Sonexis products per year; in return they receive help from a dedicated account team; remote sales and product training; around-the-clock technical support; a 50 percent discount on on-site demonstration units; year-end rebates; and Web portal access.
Resellers at the bottom of the tier are called Members and must just sign a reseller agreement, with no volume commitment. They get full sales cycle support; remote sales and product training; around-the-clock technical support; and a 50 percent discount on on-site demonstration units.
Selling for Sonexis is relatively simple, said Giuffrida, because the company is intent on providing exceptional service to its partners. Resellers need to make no investment other than listening for the word conferencing, he said. We close the deal, and drive the sales process from open to close, but pass on the profit to resellers.
The companys customer service personnel are guaranteed to respond to off-hours calls within 30 minutes, and respond immediately during working hours. Sonexis has live engineers available at all times. Premier-level resellers also have constant access to support people they know by name, said Giuffrida. Service is the hallmark of Sonexis, he said, noting there are a number of alternatives for in-house conferencing products, but most of them have garnered reputations for being hard to deal with. As part of its drive to prevent such an attachment to its name, Sonexis also will do all end-user install, service and support if a reseller requests that option.
Sonexis now has 193 resellers, Giuffrida said.
Sonexis Inc. www.sonexis.com
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