mBox breaks into NZ and ramps up Oz channel

mBox breaks into NZ and ramps up Oz channel

ASX-listed unified messaging service provider mBox has entered the New Zealand market signing RHE & Associates as its exclusive reseller. Meanwhile the Australian-based company is looking to step up its local presence by signing more resellers.

Under the terms of the agreement RHE will supply the full range of mBox offerings including its retail and enterprise products. And according to a statement released by mBox, the NZ systems integrator is well placed to offer mBox's unified messaging service to its existing customers such as Qantas, Glaxco and NZ Post.mBox's retail offering lets users check e-mail, phone (stored as wav. files) and fax messages via any Web-enabled PC, or voice messages through a dedicated phone number for a $20 annual fee.

The enterprise product, at an additional cost of $9.95 per month, provides users with a 10MB e-mail account and two phone numbers. The additional phone number is targeted at business travelers who for example, might have one Sydney number and another Perth number, so as to check their messages by making a local call when in each city.mBox is targeting resellers, ISPs, Web sites and Internet enabled businesses to cross-sell the mBox offerings to their existing enterprise and end-user client bases. The company offers both branded and partial-branded offerings which allow these channels to offer the messaging service to their customers as their own service or as a link to mBox. Resellers are then paid a margin on the referrals signed up by mBox.mBox is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASX-listed Internet incubator Impress Technology, and is backed by its largest customer to date, the Web portal of the Channel Seven television network.

"The mBox messaging package can be re-branded for Web-enabled businesses that can bundle the available mBox products and resell them to their clients. mBox hosted messaging allows businesses to offer a sophisticated messaging service without investing in expensive equipment or incurring administration costs," claims Barksdale Brown, mBox managing director.

Brown also claims the service provides "stickiness" for reseller's Web sites as the end-user clicks through to their account via a Web link on the reseller's site.

After listing 14 months ago, mBox appears to have turned the corner towards profitability after high cash burn rates hampered the company's expansion. mBox has since slashed its cash burn rate by 40 per cent from more than $100,000 to less than $60,000.

In the quarter ending March 2001, mBox generated revenue in excess of $98,000 (not including interest) and now purports to have $4.6 million in the bank.

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