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TradeMD Moves Forward With Rich Media Platform

TradeMD.com plans to launch a medical equipment e-marketplace this summer that will use Eloquent's Communications Server as the backbone for its rich media application platform.

Deployment of rich media at TradeMD will help educate consumers, shorten the sales cycle and improve customer satisfaction by providing customers with operational and maintenance tips after they purchase products from the site, said Dr. Yuval Lirov, CEO of TradeMD.com, Morganville, NJ.

“We are full steam ahead with the production process. We're making movies and preparing presentations,” that will be found on the rich media sales floor of TradeMD, Lirov said.

Big-ticket medical equipment sales cycles are very long and complex. “In many cases it's like buying a car,” Lirov said.

He believes Eloquent's multilingual rich media tools will help customers learn about equipment for sale on TradeMD.

ECS technology will synchronize scrolling text boxes, slide shows and streaming media in different languages, Lirov said, and this is of paramount importance to his international medical supply mall. “We have to educate consumers in different languages,” he said.

A text-search option allows users to rewind or fast-forward to the specific point in the rich media presentation that they need to know more about. Consumers will be able to find whatever they want to know, whenever they want to know it.

ECS rich media technology, “is like streaming media on steroids,” said Jane Beule, vice president of marketing at Eloquent, San Mateo, CA.

“It's a Web infomercial; an in-depth presentation that helps someone fully understand what product they're choosing. It's like delivering a salesperson over the Web,” Beule said.

TradeMD's e-marketplace will provide consumers with product assessment seminars, which will be available whenever and wherever buyers need them.

The site also will include product configurations, installation and maintenance information and case studies.

Eloquent's business-to-business customer base includes heavyweights such as Cisco Systems, Compaq and Siebel Systems. Each one of these companies has used ECS rich media technology, according to Eloquent officials.

With the exception of Cisco, none of these companies returned calls for comment. Cisco spokeswoman Erica Schroeder refused to say how the company was using ECS.

But Hank Barnes, vice president of marketing at Eprise.com, Framingham, MA, said ECS has helped customers better understand the products and services his company offers.

Eprise, a software provider and content management server, has been using ECS over the past year and a half to create CD-ROMs and to combine prerecorded demonstrations with live Webcasts to educate customers.

The company also uses ECS to showcase the Eprise Participant Server, a content management program that facilitates Web site management. The rich media presentation of which shows customers how their consumers might experience their Web site content, Barnes said.

“We use ECS to educate customers before they get into the buying cycle,” Barnes said.

Since adding the ECS presentations, Barnes said customers have spent more time at the Eprise Web site. “We usually find people go through at least one full presentation module,” out of six presentation modules on the site, Barnes said.

“Everyone that goes through it has had better questions for our sales reps, [and] that's what drives the value [of ECS] up,” Barnes said.

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