Sonic Foundry Launches New Software-as-a-Service Model

Erica St. Angel

Sonic Foundry Inc.
[email protected]

MADISON, Wis., July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Sonic Foundry(R) Inc. (NASDAQ:SOFO) , a leader in automated rich media communications technology, today announced the success of its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) pilot for rich media webcasting has resulted in a formal SaaS offering, Mediasite(R) Now, and the successful acquisition of new customers including Accenture, New York Law School, California Department of Health Services and Hawaii Department of Education.

The Mediasite Now offering presents organizations with an alternative to traditional capital equipment expenditures and internal IT management, making it easier to purchase and start webcasting with the patented Mediasite web communications platform. Increasingly, corporate enterprises are exploring SaaS models for a low-risk way to jump start webcasting initiatives. Mediasite Now provides preconfigured rich media recorders and access to Sonic Foundry’s hosted content management system. Through this hosted model, organizations begin mediasiting presentations and courses more rapidly, avoiding IT challenges, network infrastructure issues and the time and expense of data center management and associated personnel costs.

“SaaS provides a quicker-to-deploy, lower-risk alternative to traditional licensed software; it empowers the business unit by enabling ownership of the buying cycle, eliminating dependence on IT, and facilitating ongoing collaborative development. SaaS deployment options bring faster business benefits and quicker ROI, as well as frequent, automatic updates, independence from IT, and improved usability. While SaaS originally took off in the midmarket, Forrester finds that this deployment option is gaining ground among large enterprises as well. The SaaS model is transforming the overall software applications market as vendors work to fine-tune their offerings to meet customer demand for SaaS options,” writes Senior Analyst Liz Hebert in the October 2006, report released by Forrester Research, Inc., “Topic Overview: Software-As-A-Service.”

Sonic Foundry is now hosting over 90 customers, a 60 percent increase in the last three months. By leveraging Sonic Foundry’s infrastructure, customers minimize the burden on internal IT staff and take advantage of the company’s high availability data center, which includes redundant telecommunication services and firewalls, multiple independent internet connections, load balanced servers and 24×7 monitoring, environmental controls and power failure protection.

“Many customers want to reduce their dependence on IT in putting their training, lectures and briefings online, and they are turning to Sonic Foundry because we are the leader in providing services for the complete life cycle of rich media webcasting: capture, streaming, content management, search and support,” said Darrin Coulson, chief operating officer of Sonic Foundry. “The success of Mediasite Now clearly highlights our ability to provide our customers with faster deployment, adoption and return on investment.”

Mediasite Now includes the managed service for EX Server, a Mediasite room-based or mobile Recorder, SmartServe maintenance and support for one year. The minimum one-year subscription pricing starts at $24,995 and is based on viewership and total content generated.