New Balance Takes Sales Training to a New Level with Centra
LEXINGTON, Mass. (May 28, 2003) – Centra Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRA), a leading provider of application software and services for real-time enterprise collaboration (RTEC), today announced that New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., a leading manufacturer of technologically innovative width-sized footwear and athletic apparel for women, men, and children, has selected and deployed CentraOne(tm) to provide a Web-based application for virtual training. The company is currently using Centra to connect its field sales force with corporate-based product managers who need to distribute up to the minute information on new products and promotions to dispersed team members.
New Balance started as an American company with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Today, the company employs more than 2,400 associates around the globe selling products in more than 120 countries. New Balance has wholly-owned subsidiaries in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Africa, and Brazil. New Balance maintains a number of licensees, joint ventures, and distributors all over the globe. With the help of a committed group of domestic and international affiliates, New Balance has grown to be the fourth largest athletic footwear and apparel company in the world.
“The Centra implementation has been instrumental in keeping remote associates connected to corporate headquarters,” said Fran Grey, sales administration and automation manager for New Balance. “By using Centra, we have increased the level of interactivity between our field based sales reps and the corporate team who designs and builds our changing product line. In addition, we have seen a significant decrease in the amount of money spent on training programs through savings on travel-related expenses and the use of Centra’s proven voice-over-IP capabilities that eliminate the need for conference call charges.”
In addition to product training, sales representatives receive training on tools that assist representatives before and after the sales process. Application training and technology updates are delivered via Centra. Centra’s built-in evaluation tools, surveys and assessment capabilities allow New Balance to create a training program that augments face-to-face meetings with just-in-time learning delivered at the convenience of a representatives desktop. With the North American field sales force first to deploy Centra, European team members have witnessed the value of live collaboration and have begun to host virtual team meetings using the CentraOne platform.
Scalable Software Solution for Enterprise Collaboration Centra’s secure and scalable enterprise application provides collaboration solutions for sales, marketing, human resources, information technology, and other departments across the enterprise that need to take advantage of more efficient and cost-effective business communication over the Web. CentraOne brings together voice, video, data, and graphics in easy-to-use interfaces for Web conferencing, meetings, and virtual classrooms that can be deployed onsite or accessed through a secure ASP, leveraging Centra’s global network of servers. Centra integrates with existing infrastructure to help organizations align enterprise IT strategies with key business processes to enhance productivity, lower costs, and drive revenue. Centra’s solutions are available in 13 language editions and in 29 countries worldwide.
“New Balance’s effort to ensure consistent communication throughout its distribution channels is important to its continued success,” said Paul Daly, Centra’s senior vice president, Worldwide Sales and Marketing. “Our application suite is providing New Balance with an efficient way to get essential information out to field-based sales professionals, so they can, in turn, provide their clients with the most up-to-date information on new products and promotions.”
About New Balance
New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, is a leading manufacturer of technologically innovative width-sized footwear and athletic apparel for women, men, and children. The range of product categories includes running, walking, cross training, basketball, tennis, adventure sports, and kids. Work and hiking boots, sandals, boat shoes, and rugged casuals are also available through the company’s Dunham Bootmakers division. Dunham joined the New Balance family in fall 1998. New Balance acquired the rights to the PF Flyers brand in February 2000. PF, available to consumers in spring 2003 is an active casual, lifestyle brand. New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. employs more than 2,400 people around the globe, and in 2002 reported worldwide sales of $1.3 billion. For more information, visit www.newbalance.com.
Leading with an undisputed track record of helping more than three million licensed users to increase revenue and improve overall business performance, Centra enables global corporations, government agencies, and universities to drive greater productivity and lower costs through the industry’s most extensible application software for real-time enterprise collaboration. Today more than 1,000 organizations across every industry and market sector choose Centra, including Cadbury Schweppes, McKesson, Sysco, Viacom, and Stanford University. Centra’s products are bolstered by a vital ecosystem of strategic partners, including Deloitte Consulting, EDS, Microsoft, Siebel, Cisco, and Oracle. Headquartered in Boston, Centra services a worldwide customer base throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit www.centra.com.
Centra is a registered trademark, and CentraOne is a trademark of Centra Software, Inc. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.
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