THE SOX telephony product is back in the market, nearly a year after a potential investor promised, but later failed, to inject cash into its ailing manufacturer Tennyson Networks, now called Fusia.
The company announced this month that it has given exclusive licence rights for the product to Metrowell, an entity made up of the brand’s local distributor Sox New Zealand and its Australian equivalent Interlock IT.
Metrowell, which will trade as Sox International out of Melbourne, has the rights for a year, with the option to purchase the intellectual property at the end of the period.
But Sox New Zealand director Simon Hepburn says Sox International is likely to take over the brand within four months.
“Under the deed of company arrangement [between Fusia and major shareholder Ascent Capital], they’ve got to keep it for 12 months. But we’ve taken full control of the stock [and] got half a million in orders. We’ve certainly paid a substantial amount of money already for [the Sox product].”
Sox International can “complete its financial obligations early” but if it does so, it will lose its exclusive distribution rights, according to Fusia’s announcement letter.
Hepburn says the agreement is a fresh start after a 12-month battle to keep the product viable.
“It’s worked out perfectly. We’ve taken the cream of the developers [from Fusia] and now our main focus is the release of Sox Two. We’ve got the reins of the horse, now we can point it in the right direction.”
Fusia’s agreement with Sox International ends a saga that started last July when potential investor Neoside proposed a near-$A10 million cash injection to help solve Fusia’s cash-flow problems. The company went into voluntary administration in October and Neoside failed to come up with the money, which opened the door for Ascent.
In March, Ascent won shareholder approval to take a 40% stake in Fusia. On May 24, the Australian Stock Exchange reinstated trading in Fusia shares. The Sox product, which integrates voice with Microsoft Exchange email and other media, is sold in New Zealand by nearly 20 resellers, with Computerland being the biggest.
Hepburn says he is “recommencing negotiations” with local resellers and “gaining their confidence” in the product.