Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission Selects Mediasite by Sonic Foundry For Courtroom Technology Upgrade

Mediasite webcasts hearings to provide users with 24/7 access to official record of administrative proceedings

MADISON, Wis., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Sonic Foundry(R) Inc. (NASDAQ:SOFO) , a leader in automated rich media communications technology, today announced the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission, the employment dispute resolution system for Oklahoma’s 36,000 executive branch employees, selected the award-winning Mediasite(R) platform to capture and archive investigative and administrative court functions via the web.

Members of the Commission staff investigate employment appeals from state employees and applicants for state employment. For almost two decades, the Commission had recorded these administrative law hearings on audio tapes, averaging 300 appeals annually with more than 40 moving on to the hearing process.

As part of an ongoing courtroom technology upgrade, staff began sourcing digital recording solutions, evaluating a number of multimedia and video conferencing platforms. After visiting the Center for Legal and Court Technology at William and Mary Law School (http://www.legaltechcenter.net/) to see Mediasite in action, the team determined that additional hardware, software and technical staff — at significantly greater cost and maintenance time — would be required to match the functionality of the Mediasite webcasting platform.

“As a small operation with limited staff and contract law judges, we needed a simple and easy way to record the hearings, but also the ability to provide a foundation for webcasting other Commission services in the future,” said Austin Gilley, Deputy Director for the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission. “Once we had a basic understanding of what we wanted to do, we really came to appreciate that Mediasite came pre-packaged and we wouldn’t need specialized people on staff to run it.”

The Commission garnered agency support for Mediasite, and then sought and earned approval from the Oklahoma State Legislature. Commission staff now record hearings for any employee dispute using Mediasite, which provides more efficient distribution, wider availability of hearings, and establishes the official record of the trial.

“All of the participants in the hearing process will have a login to our filing system that gives them 24 hour access to the proceedings, and now Mediasite is helping us improve the service we provide by increasing access to this information,” explained Gilley. “Because people can watch over the web, Mediasite makes it easy for court reporters to access the archive for written transcripts, and attorneys will no longer have to pay for copies of tapes or even come in to get them. They’ll all have immediate access online.”

The Commission also plans to provide consultation and training in a variety of state personnel topics via Mediasite, including managing internal agency grievances and discipline.

“The Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission is an inspiring example of a forward-thinking agency who understands how technology can streamline workflow and provide enhanced services for its constituency at the same time,” said Darrin Coulson, chief operating officer of Sonic Foundry. “Their vision for providing services online, from resolving disputes in days vs. months to offering anytime, anywhere resources to help supervisors avoid problems before they escalate to a dispute, mirrors our view for how Mediasite can transform and enhance our professional lives.”

A brief presentation about the Commission’s webcasting program is available at http://www.sonicfoundry.com/ompc.

Since its introduction in 2003, Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite has set the standard as a transformational communication medium for delivering critical information and sharing knowledge. Trusted by corporations, government, health and education institutions, the patented Mediasite webcasting and content management system quickly and cost-effectively automates the capture, management, delivery and search of rich media presentations that combine audio, video and accompanying graphics for live or on-demand viewing.

About the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission

The Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission serves the State of Oklahoma Executive Branch by providing quasi-judicial programs in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act and Oklahoma Personnel Act to protect employees’ constitutional due process rights and to shield the state from costly litigation in state court and federal jurisdictions. Its principal purpose is to provide a state employment dispute resolution system, including investigative and administrative court functions. These programs serve the people of Oklahoma by promoting effective personnel management and ensuring legal practices are followed in state government to avoid mismanagement, waste, fraud and litigation.

About Sonic Foundry(R), Inc.

Founded in 1991, Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ:SOFO) is a technology leader in the emerging rich media communications marketplace, providing enterprise solutions and services that link an information driven world. Sonic Foundry is named on Ziff Davis Media’s Baseline Magazine’s list of the top ten fastest-growing software companies with sales under $150 million and named one of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 companies. Voted Best Webcasting Platform and Best Webcasting Appliance in the Streaming Media Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards, the company’s solutions are trusted by education institutions, Fortune 500 companies and government agencies for a variety of critical communication needs. Sonic Foundry is changing the way organizations communicate via the Web and how people around the globe receive vital information needed for work, professional advancement, safety and education. Sonic Foundry is based in Madison, WI. For more information about Sonic Foundry, visit the company’s Website at http://www.sonicfoundry.com/.

Certain statements contained in this news release regarding matters that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Because such forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, uncertainties pertaining to continued market acceptance for Sonic Foundry’s products, its ability to succeed in capturing significant revenues from media services and/or systems, the effect of new competitors in its market, integration of acquired business and other risk factors identified from time to time in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Source: Sonic Foundry Inc.