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Good Technology trims sales staff

Citing new relationships with carriers, mobile-software maker lays off 5 percent of its workforce.

Good Technology has let 5 percent of its workforce go as part of a shift toward selling its software through carriers such as Cingular and Sprint, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

About 100 people with the Santa Clara, Calif.-based mobile-software maker were notified of the layoffs a mere six months after the company went on a massive hiring spree for salespeople in California and North Carolina.

Good sells wireless e-mail and office productivity software products similar to those that Research In Motion made famous with its BlackBerry device and service.

The layoffs primarily impact Good's inside sales force, which sold GoodLink wireless corporate e-mail service and other bundled software contracts to value-added resellers such as CDW and Software House and hardware vendors such as Dell.

Good said a small number of staff remains but the majority of sales will now be handled directly by Cingular, Sprint and any other wireless carriers Good is planning to partner with in North America and Europe.

"We've worked very closely with the carriers as we moved into these relationships, and we've come up with a new model that is consistent with their organizations," said Terry Austin, president of worldwide sales and marketing. "There is no need to have inside sales." Austin noted that now that Good is working with the carriers, it has a sales force of about 6,000.

A former Good employee who asked not to be identified said the layoffs made no sense. He said the inside sales force regularly brought in multiple contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars, with corporate deals for 70-seat licenses a daily occurrence. A record 250-seat license for a single customer was recorded back in February, the former worker said.

Good's $1,500 starter package includes one year of support from Good, which can also be broken down into smaller plans.

Good's sales tactics include 30-day trials of the product, which Austin said resulted in a full-fledged commitment to Good products 90 percent of the time.