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Genesys Conferencing: Combo Platter

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-03-06 Print this article Print

Genesys Conferencing offered one of the first combined voice and Web conferencing services as it expanded into North America.

Parlez-vous Web and phone? France-based Genesys Conferencing started life 20 years ago as an automated teleconferencing firm serving Europe, and as a teenager pushed its way to the other side of the Atlantic.

Customers say Genesys was one of the first providers to offer combined voice and Web conferencing services, for a single, per-minute price—whereas competitors like Microsoft's Live Meeting and WebEx still rely on partners to provide audio conferencing and only recently began offering per-minute plans.

For Marriott International, the per-minute pricing model for both Web and audio conferencing provided more flexibility because the hotel chain didn't know exactly how many employees would access the service during a month. "Genesys had the only model suited for ad-hoc meetings," says Tom Maguire, director of Marriott's 20-person remote conferencing business unit. Marriott currently conducts about 400,000 minutes of Web and audio conferences per month, according to Maguire.

Steve Bergman, chief information officer of Goodwill Industries International, opted for a nationwide contract with Genesys two years ago. The job-training organization, which operates 2,000 thrift stores nationwide, had experienced spotty service with another, smaller teleconferencing provider, which he declined to name.

A key factor for Bergman was Genesys' reputation for high-quality service. "We've never had a problem," he says. "Genesys was interested in working with us, and they made the negotiation process really easy."

But Genesys sometimes has a snafu or two. The American Society of Civil Engineers used Genesys' services to present about 75 Web seminars last year for its members on topics ranging from landfill stability to designing traffic intersections. John Casazza, director of continuing education, says Genesys was less expensive than WebEx and seemed to provide comparable features.

On a few occasions, however, Casazza's staff has had technical problems with Genesys' Web conferencing service, including times when participants have been unable to join a meeting. "It doesn't happen often," he says, "but if we can't resolve it in 10 minutes, we've had to cancel the event." For its part, Genesys says it has support staff available 24 hours a day to resolve such issues. And to Casazza, the glitches mainly reflect the state of the technology today: "That's just the nature of live transmission over the Web."

Web Conferencing

Genesys Conferencing

1861 Wiehle Ave.

Reston, VA 20190

(703) 736-7100


Ticker: GNSY (Nasdaq)

Employees: 1,028

François Legros

Chairman & CEO

Joined the company in 1988. Previously served as CFO,

COO and vice president of international development, and was general manager of Genesys Sweden.

Andrew Lazarus

Chief Strategy Officer

Before joining the company in 2004, he was an executive director of investment banking at CIBC World Markets, specializing in telecommunications.


Genesys Meeting Center provides audio and Web conferencing, which allows presenters to show Microsoft PowerPoint slides and share applications, and control audio functions from a Web control console. Meeting sessions may be recorded for Web-based playback. Genesys Event Service is designed to broadcast large-scale events, like earnings announcements.

Reference Checks

Marriott International

Tom Maguire

Dir., Remote Events Division


Project: Hotel chain uses Genesys for 150 corporate events each year and allows employees to hold meetings using Genesys conferencing.

Goodwill Industries International

Steve Bergman



Project: Job-training organization uses Genesys services to run about 100 weekly staff meetings and other sessions.

American Society of Civil Engineers

John Casazza

Dir., Continuing Education


Project: Reston, Va.-based professional association expects to run 100 live Web seminars this year with Genesys conferencing services.

Chubb Specialty Insurance

Kathleen Tierney

Mgr., Strategic Marketing


Project: Business insurance company delivers new product information to underwriters and partners with Genesys Web and audio conferences.

Service Credit Union

Ray Springsteen

VP, Member Services


Project: Credit

union in Ports-mouth, N.H., uses Genesys to run finance and banking seminars for its 100,000 customers, two-thirds of whom are U.S. military service members.

Fusepoint Managed Services

Randy Fougere

VP, Marketing


Project: I.T. services provider based in Vancouver, Canada, uses Genesys for sales presentations.

Executives listed here are all users of Genesys Conferencing's services. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.


2005YTD 2004 2003
Revenue $128.28M $189.70M $200.92M
Gross margin 65.2% 61.8% 64.2%
Operating income/loss $11.35M -$97.48M -$19.80M
Net income/loss $5.29M -$97.81M -$14.30M
Net margin 4.1% -51.6% -7.1%
Earnings per share $0.29 -$5.32 -$0.87
R&D expenditure $2.36M $5.12M $5.27M
Sales and marketing $36.15M $48.90M $47.11M
*Fiscal year ends Dec. 31; YTD reflects first nine months

Figures converted from euros at period-end exchange rate


Total assets $131.65M

Stockholders' deficit -$14.15M

Cash and equivalents $11.94M

Short-term investments $578K

Long-term debt $82.97M

Shares outstanding 36.62M

Market value, 2/22 $29.66M

**As of sept. 30, 2005, except as noted

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