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Q: Web conferencing services ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Web conferencing services
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: apiary-ga
List Price: $150.00
Posted: 15 Jun 2006 08:20 PDT
Expires: 15 Jul 2006 08:20 PDT
Question ID: 738407
* is Webex's 64% market share under increased pressure from
Microsoft's SharePoint and/or Citrix's GoToMeeting?
* is price pressure intensifying, especially for market leader Webex?
* what are barriers to entry in this business?
* how differentiated is Webex's MediaTone Network?
Subject: Re: Web conferencing services
Answered By: czh-ga on 16 Jun 2006 15:49 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hello apiary-ga,

Your four questions all ask for up-to-date information about the state
of the web conferencing industry and current market trends. WebEx
continues as the dominant player in this field. Microsoft?s web
conferencing product is LiveMeeting and continues as a much smaller
second in the field. GoToMeeting from Citrix is a low-end product that
is growing rapidly.

I?ve collected a wide array of resources to help you understand the
web conferencing market and to be able to investigate and interpret
current developments in pricing, new entrants, market consolidation
and the movement to a broad-based web collaboration.

The first article I?ve listed is the best place to start. It provides
you a recent review of the top five web conferencing products. The
profiles include information about product capabilities, pricing,
strengths and weaknesses and competitors. These reviews will give you
a basic handle on the three products you?ve listed in your question.
Once you?ve gotten yourself oriented, I suggest that you review the
other resources I?ve provided to help you draw your own conclusions
about where the industry is going.

Wishing you well for your projects.

~ czh ~


Review: Five Web Conferencing Packages 
With travel budgets slashed and airlines going bankrupt, applications
by Citrix, Convoq, Elluminate, Microsoft, and Webex can keep you in
By Matt McKenzie InternetWeek 
Nov. 28, 2005;jsessionid=D0F0VKBLGXCV4QSNDLRSKHSCJUNN2JVN?articleId=174401998&pgno=1&queryText=
November 28, 2005, By Matt McKenzie
 Review Roundup: Five Web Conferencing Packages 
 With travel budgets slashed and airlines going bankrupt, applications
by Citrix, Convoq, Elluminate, Microsoft, and Webex can keep you in
Making A Choice
The five Web conferencing products you'll read about here represent
the market as a whole pretty well. Some products here are the result
of corporate acquisitions, while others originated with the companies
selling them today. It includes a relatively young startup (Convoq), a
vertical-market success testing the mainstream waters (Elluminate), an
established tech-industry player looking for new growth opportunities
(Citrix), and the Web conferencing market's most dominant brand

And of course, it includes Microsoft: A company whose presence in any
market ensures higher stakes, longer odds, shorter development cycles
? and very little room for error.

Each of the five products in this roundup ? Citrix GoToMeeting, Convoq
ASAP Pro, Elluminate Live, Microsoft LiveMeeting, and WebEx MeetMeNow
? offer different, if overlapping, features, along with varying
strengths and weaknesses. If you want a bargain-priced product with
built-in videoconferencing, for example, give Convoq ASAP and
Elluminate Live a closer look; if you prefer a product that focuses on
a high-quality desktop- and application-sharing tool and you don't
care about integrated audio/video, Citrix GoToMeeting is a good first
choice. Ultimately, deciding what you want your Web conferencing
product to do will go a long way toward deciding which products
deserve a more thorough tire-kicking.

Market Trends in the World Web Conferencing Industry 
 Date Published: 8 Jun 2006 

The web conferencing market is in its early growth phase, and it
continues to expand rapidly as it becomes a more widely accepted
alternative to face-to-face meetings, and offers greater functionality
and impact than voice-only conferences. As a result of advancements in
technology, such as voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) and the
integration of collaborative applications, there are more attractive
and cost-effective ways of communicating.

Market Trends
The following are some of the key trends affecting the web conferencing space: 

 -- Enterprises continue to increase their global reach and,
therefore, need a more efficient way communicate
 -- VOIP is gaining momentum and is capable of providing enhanced
functionality and cost-savings
 -- The untapped small and medium businesses (SMB) segment is a major
market opportunity for web conferencing

April 19, 2006
Trends 2006: Web Conferencing

Knowledge workers demand Web conferencing, driven by the need to save
time and money, speed up internal work processes, and improve external
selling and marketing processes by replacing many face-to-face
meetings. And the converging communications environment makes it
easier for users to access the appropriate Web conference components,
including those for simple remote meetings, virtual training classes,
large events, and online technical assistance. As one-click launching
brings knowledge workers into collaborative, online meetings, Web
conferencing will become an essential communication tool just like
email or the telephone.

Oct 27, 2005 -- Review: Web Conferencing Services 

Web conferencing services let users attend meetings, share documents
and collaborate on files without leaving their desks. Of the four we
tested, our Editor's Pick showed promise with strong meeting
execution, good support and reasonable pricing.

The Web conferencing services market has two categories. Some services
let small groups hold interactive meetings. A second set is for large
meetings, such as companywide corporate announcements, whose
participants primarily watch and listen.

For this review, we tested services for small and ad hoc interactive
meetings. We looked for services that could host up to 15 participants
per conference. We permitted no on-site infrastructure, but let
vendors install a small client program on users' machines. The
conferencing service had to handle video, voice and collaborative
features, such as presentation sharing. We excluded authorized
resellers of third-party products.

WebEx delivers online meetings, Web conferencing, webinars, remote
support and video conferencing services to companies of any size. Our
award-winning online meeting services drive results for sales,
marketing, support, training and other professionals on the web.

JUNE 12, 2006
Just Starting to Glow: Why WebEx Will Shine

Web-conferencing services are expected to grow over the next seven
years at a compounded annual rate near 22%. And WebEx has two-thirds
of this exploding market, which research firm IDC projects could one
day hit $6 billion. WebEx boasts 23,800 customers, including such
heavy users as Boeing (BA), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and
(CRM). The company added 1,200 accounts in the first quarter, double
its year-earlier gain.

Skeptics carp that Web collaboration can be commoditized like wireless
phone service, causing margins and profits to collapse. CEO Iyar,
who's heard such criticism for more than a decade, just shakes his
head. What naysayers don't understand, he says, is that there are
significant barriers to entry. WebEx has spent more than a decade
developing complex and reliable technology that, he maintains, is

Until this year, the biggest drag on the stock had been the fear of
Microsoft (MSFT), whose Live Meeting conferencing program is a direct
competitor to WebEx.

Not to worry, says Iyar, who explains that "Microsoft bundles Live
Meeting with other Office products for free" but doesn't provide
comparable on-demand services. The upshot: Microsoft sells software.
WebEx sells on-demand services over the Internet, which is the secret
to its success. "For Microsoft to switch to a services business, it
would cannibalize its software revenue and operating margins," he
says. In fact, Microsoft no longer even has sales people specifically
assigned to sell its Web-conferencing software.

Quarterly Report
Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition
and Results of Operations

Initiation of Research Coverage: WebEx Communications, Inc. 

April 24, 2006 - William Blair & Company initiated research coverage
of WebEx Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBX, $33.58), which offers
unique, on-demand Web collaboration services, with an Outperform
rating and company profile of Aggressive Growth. The company?s
services enable users to conduct online meetings, sharing documents
and content over its secured, proprietary Mediatone network without
the need for specialized hardware or software.

Analyst Bill Benton estimated that the company would generate pro
forma earnings per share of $1.36 in 2006 and $1.67 in 2007.

?We believe that WebEx distinguishes itself from its competitors
through a broad-based, tailored product offering (not one size fits
all) that is delivered securely using a dedicated private network it
refers to as Mediatone?consisting of more than 2,000 servers deployed
globally linked in clusters,? Benton said. ?We believe the security
and reliability offered by the Mediatone network has been important to
many of the company?s customers.?

June 6, 2006
WebEx Continues To Lead The Web Conferencing Market
The Forrester Wave? Vendor Summary, Q2 2006 

WebEx Communications leads the Web conferencing service market with
67% market share and solutions for meetings, support, training, sales,
and events, as well as an enterprise version that bundles all
solutions for businesses of all sizes. WebEx's MediaTone Network uses
a proprietary information switching technology to handle data, voice,
and video communications. However, there are some drawbacks to WebEx's
offering: The Web conferencing tools and some desktop features ?
including the whiteboard ? are not as rich as competitors', and video
quality and disability access need improvement. But a core strength is
that, in addition to providing audio through its own MediaTone
Network, the product integrates with many audio-only providers. With
its recent acquisition of, WebEx now seeks to bring Web
conferencing into the on-demand market by tightly integrating Web
conferencing with asynchronous products (e.g., IM, collaboration, and
expertise location products), as well as with other apps like customer
relationship management (CRM) software.

October 11, 2005  --  WebEx attacks SMB collaboration market with WebOffice

WebEx is also launching two stand-alone products, MeetMeNow and PCNow.
MeetMeNow works like a Web conferencing version of instant messaging
systems: The application resides in the system tray of a user's PC and
allows users to launch instant Web conference meetings with a few
clicks. It carries a $50-per-month price tag. PCNow, priced at $15 a
month per PC, lets users access remote computers through a Web

With MeetMeNow and PCNow, WebEx will be going head to head against
Citrix Systems Inc., which offers similar services with GoToMyPC and
GoToMeeting. WebEx's fiercest rival, however, will be Microsoft, whose
Live Meeting and SharePoint collaboration tools are aimed straight at
the small-to-medium market that WebEx covets.

IDC analyst Robert Mahowald said WebEx has a short window of
opportunity in which to extend its Web conferencing dominance into a
similar command of the small-business collaboration software market.

"Looking over their shoulder, they see Microsoft with a new version of
Office and an on-premises version of Live Meeting coming out next
year," Mahowald said. "[At WebEx], there's a sense of, 'We've got to
get ensconced in our customers now.'"

WebEx Readies P2P Support Through Corporate Firewalls
6 December 2005

Web conferencing services vendor WebEx Communications Inc will launch
support for peer-to-peer (P2P) collaboration apps on its MediaTone
network next year, enabling them to work through corporate firewalls.

The support for P2P networking will be delivered on the company?s
MediaTone network, which is a secure private network with switching
hubs around the globe, the latest of which in India, with a rollout
planned for South America and extensions in Australia in 2006. As
such, said Farshchi, it will be delivered after the next generation of
the MediaTone software, which WebEx is calling the multimedia version,
with enhanced voice and video capabilities, goes on general
availability early next year.

SharePoint Products and Technologies

Live Meeting Product Information
The Microsoft Office Web conferencing service

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 Microsoft to Unfurl a New Collaboration Road Map 

Sure, Windows and Office are dominating all the Microsoft product
headlines as of late. But the company has plans to deliver a number of
other communications, collaboration and security technologies over the
next two years.

Citrix Online delivers innovative Web-based products and services that
provide remote access and support for consumers and businesses. The
products integrate Citrix Online's core screen-sharing technology to
provide sophisticated, real-time remote-control solutions.

Citrix GoToMeeting Receives 2005 Frost & Sullivan Award for Best New
Web Conferencing Service
Simplicity of Web Conferencing Model is Transforming the Way Companies
Conduct Business

SANTA BARBARA, CA ? 6/20/2005 ? Praising its rapid growth, simplicity,
security and functionality, industry analyst firm, Frost & Sullivan
today honored Citrix® GoToMeeting? from Citrix Systems, Inc.
(Nasdaq:CTXS) with its 2005 Award for Best New Web Conferencing
Service. The firm, a leader in consulting on emerging high-technology
and industrial markets, cited the compelling value proposition of
GoToMeeting and GoToMeeting Corporate, which offer ease of use and
affordable pricing through a convenient, hosted service or on-demand
model. According to Frost & Sullivan, Web conferencing services like
GoToMeeting are transforming the way companies do business and the way
individuals communicate.

The 2005 Best New Web Conferencing Service Award was given to
GoToMeeting based on its demonstrated excellence in developing and
introducing a new class of service. Criteria used to determine the
Award winner included: significance and competitive advantage of the
new service; innovation in technology and pricing; pace of adoption;
and number of competitors.

InterCall® is the largest dedicated conferencing service provider in
the world.  We provide audio, web & video conferencing solutions, with
services that are scalable for local or global businesses.
Raindance is now a part of InterCall!
As of April 6th, Raindance customers are part of the world?s largest
conferencing service.

Web conferencing is used to hold group meetings or live presentations
over the Internet. In the early years of the Internet, the terms "web
conferencing" and "computer conferencing" were often used to refer to
group discussions conducted within a message board (via posted text
messages), but the term has evolved to refer specifically to "live" or
"synchronous" meetings, while the posted message variety of discussion
is called a "forum", "message board", or "bulletin board".

In a web conference, each participant sits at their own computer, and
is connected to other participants via the internet. The most basic
feature of a web conference is screen sharing, whereby conference
participants see whatever is on the presenter's screen. Usually this
is accompanied by voice communication, either through a traditional
telephone conference, or through VoIP, although sometimes text chat is
used in place of voice.

Ubiquity Advances Multimedia Collaboration with SIP-based Speak IP
Conferencing Platform
Ubiquity_Ts Speak Solution Enables Service Providers and Enterprises
to Deliver A New Generation of IP Conferencing Services Centered On
Multimedia Collaboration
Cardiff, UK ?_" March 21, 2006

The conferencing services market will experience its most dramatic
transformation ever in the next two-to-three years as the enterprise,
the networks, and infrastructure move to IP. 2005 showed continued
strength in market demand for audio and web conferencing solutions,
according to the Q4 and full year 2005 Wainhouse Research report CSP
SpotCheck. On a worldwide basis unattended audio volume grew 26%,
total audio volume increased 23%, and revenues for web conferencing
climbed 10%. The worldwide conferencing services market is very robust
with 10 out of the 12 local markets tracked realizing double digit
growth Germany and Canada gaining 50% and 43% respectively over the
prior year. Wainhouse Research estimates the two largest web
conferencing providers drove the market with 3 billion minutes of

"The conferencing industry is undergoing dramatic change as
traditional audio-only conferencing has largely become a commodity
business with little differentiation and subject to price pressure"
said Marc Beattie, CSP Practice Manager and Partner at Wainhouse
Research. "There is tremendous depth and growth opportunity in many
local markets and IP-based conferencing, such as Ubiquity s Speak
application, opens up a new world of differentiated service
possibilities based on converged multimedia services that include
voice, web, data and video."

Ten Key Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Web Conferencing Solution
Published by: Yankee Group
Published: Aug. 27, 2004 - 12 Pages

World Web-based Events Markets  

From the June 2004  issue of Communications News

Web conferencing made simple: Experts expect Web conferencing to be
widely adopted faster than any previous collaboration technology.

The good news for users about Web conferencing products is that they
can do a lot that users will, and do, find valuable, innovative,
creative and cost-effective. The bad news about Web conferencing
technologies and products is that you can only do a lot that you will
find valuable, innovative, creative and cost-effective if you
understand it all.

Not all Web conferencing products are created equally or even with the
same tasks in mind. This is by design, and so knowing what you want
from these types of collaborative software products and what you would
like to do with them is paramount to your successful adoption of them.

A number of industry experts expect Web conferencing to be widely
adopted faster than any technology that has preceded it. They predict
that widespread adoption of Web conferencing for all manner of
collaborative communications is less than five years away.

Of the three conferencing technologies available?audio, video and
Web?only Web conferencing offers access to all available media in
three key categories: conferencing, which is real-time, two-way
communications; casting, which is a real-time, one-way broadcast; and
caching, which is a non-real-time communication.

November 24, 2003
The Future Of Web Conferencing: Good Interviews Keith Teare

Finally cost. To become a service provider of communications a company
would have needed to invest millions of dollars. Perhaps even tens of
millions. Today, companies like ours can deliver rich communications
over IP networks and the cost to do this - as a service provider - has
dropped to below $50,000 for a business that can initially support a
couple of thousand subscribers. The end user might pay only a few
dollars a month for unlimited voice, video and data sharing
communications. That removes many barriers to entry.

So, performance, ease of use and price seem to me to have been the key
barriers. They are all going away, or have already gone away.

Q: Web Conference market size
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 13 Feb 2006

According to figures from Frost and Sullivan the key players in the
web conferencing industry and market share are as follows:


Webex 67%
Microsoft Live Meeting 16.5%
Raindance Communications: 4%
Genesys: 2.8%
Other Providers: 9.7%

Page 23: Pie chart Web Conferencing Services Market Share

Q: Web Conference
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 22 Feb 2005
Hello again hsmith825,

The four key players in the Web-conferencing field are WebEx, 
Microsoft  LiveMeeting, Raindance   and Genesys.

Market Share 

Key Players                        Market Share
WebEx                              67   percent 
Microsoft  LiveMeeting             16.5  percent 
Raindance                           4    percent 
Genesys                             3    percent


web conferencing
web conferencing services market
apiary-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
good background reading and product reviews, to lay out the market
place, but I was hoping for more direct responses to my questions

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