Sendside Reinvents Business Communications to Foil Spam, Reduce Carbon Emissions

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


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E-mail has become one of the worst ways for businesses to build customer relationships, thanks to spam—which is now also blamed for creating 17 million tons of CO2. Sendside Networks breaks the e-mail habit by bringing spam-free multidimensional communications to businesses of all sizes.

Let’s face it—e-mail has become almost useless due to the growth of spam, embedded malware and a host of other problems. Simply put, businesses can’t rely on e-mail any more for marketing or professional communications. What’s more, spam is not only a drain on productivity, it has now been identified as a contributor to carbon emissions, albeit in a roundabout fashion.

Salt Lake City-based Sendside Networks took a close look at how businesses communicate with each other and their customers and came up with a new model, which eliminates multiple e-mails, adds multiple communication paths to a company’s Web presence and, at the same time reduces the need for on-site sales calls.

Originally designed for financial markets, Sendside Networks’ new platform offers businesses measurable metrics to track how customers are interacting with the company and, more importantly, a unified pathway to help close the deal and build a long-term customer relationship.

Sendside Networks delivers those capabilities with a communications platform that works as a service that aims to combine Web content, audio, video, Flash or existing print collateral and then delivers it as a single multidimensional message, called a package. Those packages allow organizations to prepackage and send important, confidential and complex information to their customer prospects and business partners.

Advanced reporting and analytics provide the sender with key information on when a package is opened and what content is viewed. The goal here is for businesses to align marketing and sales efforts to deliver a central location for approved content, which in turn facilitates faster follow-up on customer requests.

The overall result of a package is to create shorter sales cycle, reduce risk, improve efficiencies and meet compliance requirements. The controlled nature of package delivery also helps with DLP efforts. Sendside packages further marketing and sales goals by eliminating the need for multiple steps in the sales process and simplifying the creation of custom sales presentations or complex media kits.

Advanced reporting capabilities instantly inform senders when packages are delivered, what content was accessed, whether a video was viewed, and what documents have been read and downloaded.

The product is delivered via a Web-based service that uses Web 2.0 technologies. Users create accounts on the service (the personal edition is free) and then access a communications management console, where they can roll up documents, video, hyperlinks or other content into deliverable packages. Those packages are delivered via the Sendside secure network to targeted receivers.

In other words, a user creates a package, which is then stored on the Sendside network—a secure link to that package is then delivered via an e-mail to the receiver. The recipient then clicks on the link, which brings them to a secure Web page, where they can interact with the content, send messages, download files and so on. All activity is recorded and archived, which allows users to keep track of who has seen what and also creates an audit trail.

The platform portal offers a library, message center, reporting, signature tracking, networking and many other features that help to create an integrated communications environment. Users can log into the portal from any Web-connected system, eliminating the need for dedicated software to be placed on an individual PC. That also gives the product "netbook" appeal, where all you need is a browser and an account to stay in touch or deliver critical documents.

Business accounts range from $20 to $75 per seat per month. For enterprise implementations, pricing is based on the number of unique recipients reached in a given month. Solution providers can sign up as an affiliate to sell the service to their customers and can earn some revenue via commissions and training opportunities, or better yet, by selling mobile systems to leverage the service on the go.

Solution providers also have the option to become reseller partners, and can rebrand the product, integrate with existing Web pages, develop APIs and create custom solutions. Margins can range from 30 to 40 percent for most partners.

Sendside helps to solve a critical problem faced by many businesses by providing secure, auditable communications that can be used to create customized packages for marketing needs or to keep proprietary information secure during transmission.


Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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