• April 26, 2005
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

BlueRoads Interfaces With WebEx

WebEx Communications and leading SaaS company BlueRoads have announced BlueRoads Interface for WebEx, an integration of the two companies' communication products promising unsurpassed ease-of-use. The prepackaged integration will premiere at the second annual WebEx Experience user conference in San Francisco, from May 1 through 3. BlueRoads created this integration around the MediaTone Platform from Web meeting facilitator WebEx to improve coordination, shorten sales cycles, and boost close rates of sales organizations partnered with WebEx subscribers. By allowing reseller partners to leverage a vendor's WebEx account, those partners can slash travel and support costs, reduce the need for follow-up meetings, and get better access to expert opinions. The result is increased effectiveness in partner sales engagements, translating to greater indirect sales for the vendor, according to the company. One-click integration is the watchword with this combined offering. Once the vendor administrator has selected users and products to be WebEx enabled, an authorized partner sales rep can start a WebEx meeting with a sales prospect by clicking an icon in the BlueRoads interface. Once the meeting is under way the partner can summon product experts to the virtual table with similar ease, providing instant sales support. Conferences can be scheduled in advance or launched on the fly. The results of completed conferences can be added to a postmeeting report generated by the vendor administrator to track conversion rates of prospects into sales. BlueRoads Interface for WebEx is part precursor, part pilot for WebEx's revamped MediaTone Developer Program, according to Doug Erickson, senior manager for strategic alliances. "Our partnership with BlueRoads preceded the relaunch of our developer program," Erickson says, "but the same tools they used--SDK [software development kit], samples, personnel--are available to developers through our Web site." The new developer program appears to work much more smoothly. "The older version of the program required a lot more handholding and paperwork," Erickson says, "so we repackaged the resources to make more of a clickthrough process." Once BlueRoads engineers had reviewed the requirements, which took about three weeks, development of the integration package was complete within two months. The interface project began approximately three months ago, when BlueRoads founder Axel Schultz met with WebEx executives. "Axel wanted to know more about WebEx," Erickson says, "and we began to see how the companies could benefit each other through integration." Related articles: Secret of My Success
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