According to a new study from Wainhouse Research, sponsored by Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CTXS), Web conferencing is no longer a technical novelty reserved for large enterprises. Simpler on-demand solutions for Web conferencing, such as Citrix(R) GoToMeeting(TM) and new Citrix(R) GoToWebinar(TM) are increasingly attractive to small and mid-size companies (SMBs) for a very different reason than their large enterprise rivals.
In a survey of more than 1,500 respondents of which approximately 75% worked at firms with fewer than 500 employees, the Wainhouse Research study has identified how and why smaller organizations use the on-demand model for Web conferencing to gain immediate advantage in the constant battle to achieve bottom-line results with minimal resources.
Unlike large enterprises, these smaller companies report they meet online using Web conferencing more than any other method -- including in-person or audio-only meetings -- to drive revenue or conduct business. Benefits that are valued most by SMBs include the capacity to quickly scale sales and marketing, and reach global audiences on demand. In fact, a number of respondents indicate that Web conferencing has become so vital that they couldn't conduct business-as-usual without it.
"Considering that SMBs constitute about 99.7% of U.S. businesses, comprise approximately 44% of the overall U.S. private payroll, and are responsible for more job creation than any other sector of the marketplace(1), Web conferencing is proving to be a strategic business tool," reported Alan Greenberg, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research. "Next-generation Web conferencing solutions give SMBs the capability to impact local and global economies as never before possible."
-- "Outbound" Web conferencing applications that involve customers and prospects are most important to SMBs.
-- 75% of SMB respondents believe the ability to involve/reach more people and save travel costs and time are major reasons to use Web conferencing; 59% say it makes meetings more productive.
-- 55% of SMBs (and 44% of large enterprise respondents) say that in addition to the more predictable improvements in business practices, Web conferencing enables users to solve problems they could not solve before.
-- 69% of all respondents use Web conferencing to enable new meetings that could not be held in any other way due to cost constraints, timing and several other issues.
"The majority of companies polled indicated they are increasing their use of Web conferencing, and are enjoying a high to very high return in value," said Greenberg. "Though companies of all sizes use Web conferencing to drive business processes, SMBs are much more aggressive in using online presentations and demonstrations to drive marketing and close sales by facilitating meetings with customers and prospects."
Ease of Use: A Web Conferencing Solution "Must Have"
Because small businesses are often strapped for time and IT resources, the respondents cited ease-of-use as the most important consideration when choosing a Web-conferencing solution. In order of priority, meetings must be easy to start, have superior screen performance, ensure reliability, offer a clear predictable flat-fee model and offer strong security.
"With simpler, better ways to connect to prospects and customers online, businesses can unlock their sales and marketing power to drive the business forward, eliminate the high costs of travel and fuel consumption, and ensure a superior customer experience," said Mike Mansbach, vice president of product marketing at Citrix Online. "Now, no prospect or client is too far away to reach with just a few simple clicks of the mouse with Citrix GoToMeeting and Citrix GoToWebinar."
Wainhouse Research and Citrix Online will present a Webinar on the full findings of the survey on August 29, 2006, at 11:00 a.m. PT. To register for the live event, please visit www.gotomeeting.com/s/wainhouse. To view the recorded Webinar on demand, please visit www.gotomeeting.com/s/warchive.
Citrix Online, a leading provider of easy-to-use, on-demand applications for remote desktop-access, Web conferencing and collaboration offers small and mid-sized businesses, consumers and professionals an easier, more cost-effective and secure way to access and interact with information, customers, partners and employees in real time. Citrix Online's award-winning services, which are used by more than 20,000 businesses and hundreds of thousands of individual subscribers, include: Citrix(R) GoToMyPC(R) for easy, secure, remote PC access from anywhere; Citrix(R) GoToAssist(TM) for live, easy, remote support; Citrix(R) GoToMeeting(TM) for online meetings made easy; and Citrix(R) GoToWebinar(TM) for Web events made easy.
For further information on Citrix GoToMeeting Corporate with new Citrix GoToWebinar: please visit http://www.gotomeetingwebinar.com/corp.
About Wainhouse Research
Wainhouse Research is an independent market research firm focused on critical issues in IP communications. The company conducts research studies; provides strategy advice to vendors and end users; publishes a variety of reports, white papers and a free newsletter; and organizes conferences on collaboration and conferencing solutions. Visit www.wainhouse.com for more information.
Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CTXS) is the global leader and most trusted name in on-demand access. More than 180,000 organizations around the world rely on Citrix to provide the best possible access experience to any application for any user. Citrix customers include 100% of the Fortune 100 companies and 98% of the Fortune Global 500, as well as hundreds of thousands of small businesses and individuals. Citrix has approximately 6,200 channel and alliance partners in more than 100 countries. Citrix annual revenues in 2005 were $909 million. Learn more at http://www.citrix.com.
Citrix(R), GoToMyPC(R), GoToMeeting(TM), GoToAssist(TM) and GoToWebinar(TM) are trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
(1) The Vital Role of Web Conferencing in Small and Medium Enterprises by Andy Nilssen and Alan Greenberg, Wainhouse Research, July 2006