WebEx expands, refines partner strategy

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Online conferencing provider WebEx is shifting to a mixture of direct sales, partnering and co-selling as it targets further expansion in the regional teleconferencing market.

Historically, the bulk of WebEx's sales in Australia have come from its top-tier sales partners, all of whom are large telco firms (BT, Intercall, MCI, Premier and Telstra).

However, direct sales are now proving increasingly important to the company as it pursues a strategy of integrating its facilities into other applications rather than simply selling meeting time.

"As we get into more vertical applications and move beyond the basic meeting, we need to put our own people in place," said Kevin Mackin, managing director for WebEx Australia. "We're doubling our staff size this year in response to the market."

Mackin added it was unlikely that there would be any additions to the existing top-level structure.
"I'd be surprised if we expand our core channel much," he said.

Nonetheless, WebEx does foresee an expanded presence in the market through its co-selling arrangements with application partners such as Salesforce.com and Remedy, as well as hardware resellers through products such as webcams.

"Those arrangements are doing really well for us," Mackin said.

WebEx Australia will also be used as the base for a planned expansion into southern Asian markets this year. The company claims to have 67 per cent of the global online conferencing market.

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