Just over a year ago Ray Miller had a staff of three when he was named country manager for Web toolmaker Macromedia Canada. He’s been adding bodies ever since.

Next month the staff will grow to nine with the addition of two more persons, one to help with federal government sales and cover Atlantic

Canada, the other to cover the West.

Recently the company named its first channel account manager, Sid Silverberg, who has worked for Ingram Micro Canada, D-Link Systems, 3Com Canada and NEC-Mitsubishi.

The hiring shows how much software sales have increased in the past 18 months. “”We’re a revenue-driven type company. If you’re able to deliver results you can increase your staff,”” said Miller.

He wouldn’t divulge his sales targets for this year, except to say “”we have significant growth built into our Canadian plan . . . probably one of the largest growth numbers for all of the company.””

The firm’s biggest product is Macromedia Studio MX, which accounts for roughly 70 per cent of sales here, followed by server tools such as Cold Fusion and JRun.

In an attempt to diversify its line-up its been adding products, including Contribute, a application which makes it possible for content creators to upload Web pages without using a Web master, and Flash Paper, an Adobe PDF alternative that doesn’t need an add-on reader.

New versions of both apps were announced this week.

Contribute 3.0 will include a J2EE-based publishing services server aimed at enterprises with many content creators. With the module a company can assign multiple users the right to upload Web material. Smaller companies can continue to use Contribute’s key-based system, which is more appropriate for small staffs.

Contribute’s price has increased from $99 to $149 (all prices in US dollars), or $699 for a pack of six licences.

The new version also comes with version 2.0 of Flash Paper, which is faster to load than the previous edition, and now includes search and cut-and-paste capabilities.

And for the first time Flash Paper will be available as a separate product, for $79.

The recent simplification of product licencing has helped Canadian sales, said Miller, but he credits Silverberg’s work as being vital. He was hired as a contract channel manager last August and became full-time this May, concentrating on distributors Ingram Micro Canada, Synnex Canada and EMJ Data Systems.

While there are sales staff for large accounts, the company offers no incentives to them or customers to buy direct.

“”We needed someone who could focus on the channel daily,”” Miller said of hiring Silverberg.

“”Distributors and resellers didn’t have a face to attach to Macromedia. The other vendors had lunch-and-learn events and sales training. We weren’t there often enough for them to be familiar with our products and licencing.

“”One of the common complaints we had was that it took an awful long time to responses to simple queries about an SKU, a return or a description of the licencing program.””

Silverberg said he plans to grow Macromedia Canada’s channel business as well as lift Tier 2 resellers to Tier 1 by encouraging their sales staff to get the software company’s message out to users.

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