Centra Helps Cognex Corporation Improve Reach to Global Customers and Employees with Real-Time Web Collaboration Platform

August 21, 2002

Sharon Dratch


Tel: 781-994-1151


LEXINGTON, MA (August 20, 2002) – Centra (NASDAQ: CTRA) announced today that Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ: CGNX), the world’s leading supplier of machine vision systems, has successfully deployed Centra’s real-time Web collaboration platform to deliver interactive, online learning and communications to a large global audience of customers and employees. Faced with the introduction of a new, low-cost vision system to customers, Cognex assessed that the cost of each physical classroom course would be disproportionate to the cost of each new system. With Centra, Cognex has been able to reach many more customers over the Internet at a fraction of the cost without sacrificing the quality of its educational services.

“Over the last two years, Centra has enabled us to dramatically increase the frequency and reach of our employee programs, and to accelerate the delivery of critical product knowledge and information to users worldwide,” said Cliff Fitzgerald, Senior Manager of Worldwide Educational Services for Cognex Corporation. “Our ability to deliver live Centra sessions in targeted modules, that can be recorded for later viewing, better suits the deadline-driven, diverse nature of our global audience – many of whom take advantage of recorded sessions to ensure comprehension of material delivered in English.”

The platform’s flexibility, ease-of-use, interactive application sharing, and integrated voice-over-IP capabilities have quickly made Centra-powered collaboration popular in other departments at the company as well. The marketing department has adopted Centra for online meetings and to conduct live Webinars for updating the sales force and application engineers on new products and features. The application engineers have been using Centra’s virtual classroom product to demonstrate their products online to customers.

“As soon as people are exposed to Centra, they quickly realize ways the technology could be adopted for use in their jobs,” commented Fitzgerald. “Even our IT department is looking at Centra to provide training to regional offices.”

Scaleable Software Solution for Enterprise Collaboration

Used by more than 900 companies, government agencies, and universities worldwide, Centra’s scaleable software solutions are based on CentraOne(tm), an open and extensible Web collaboration platform. Leveraging the core capabilities of CentraOne, Centra offers a suite of compatible, real-time Web collaboration applications, content composition tools, and knowledge delivery systems that can be quickly installed on-site using Centra’s rapid deployment methodology, or conveniently accessed through Centra’s secure, full-service ASP. The applications supported by CentraOne – including interactive Web meetings, virtual classrooms, and large-scale conferences – ensure universal access to users through firewalls and proxy servers, and deliver full-performance IP audio conferencing, streaming video, application sharing, and dynamic multimedia over low-bandwidth network connections through a standard browser interface.

“Cognex is a great example of how Centra is being used for both internal and external outreach to customers and employees for a variety of business interactions,” said Tony Mark, Centra’s President and COO. “Centra helps organizations to realize the full potential of online collaboration technology to connect all segments of their enterprise in a productive, secure and easily accessible online work environment.”

About Cognex

Cognex Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets machine vision systems, or computers that can “see.” Cognex is the world’s leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped more than 150,000 machine vision systems, representing over $1 billion in cumulative revenue, since the company’s founding in 1981. Cognex’s Modular Vision Systems Division, headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, specializes in machine vision systems, which are used for automating the manufacture of a wide range of discrete items and for assuring their quality. Cognex’s Surface Inspection Systems Division, headquartered in Alameda, California, specializes in machine vision systems, which are used for inspecting the surfaces of products manufactured in a continuous fashion, such as metals, paper, plastics, and non-wovens. In addition to its corporate headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, Cognex also has regional offices located throughout North America, Japan, Europe, and Southeast Asia. For more information, visit www.cognex.com.

About Centra

Leading with an undisputed track record of helping millions of users to increase revenue and improve overall business performance, Centra provides Web collaboration solutions that enable the delivery of information in a variety of live and self-service formats, and add value through unmatched capabilities to capture interactions and content, personalize and manage this information, and instantly re-use it across the enterprise. Today hundreds of global organizations across every industry and market sector choose Centra, including Cadbury Schweppes, Citigroup, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, McKesson, Merck, Nationwide Insurance, Sysco, and Stanford University. Centra’s products are bolstered by a vital ecosystem of strategic partners, including PwC Consulting, Deloitte Consulting, KPMG iLS, EDS, Microsoft, Siebel, SAP, Cisco, and SmartForce. Headquartered in Boston’s technology corridor, Centra has sales offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.centra.com.