Citrix weaves the webinar

The movers and shakers in the industry – or, if you prefer, “the world’s hottest on-demand business, entertainment and technology influencers” as public relations would have it – gathered for the sneak peek / release of Citrix GoToWebinar from access infrastructure solutions provider Citrix Online. The online events solution Citrix GoToWebinar expands upon the capability of the web conferencing and collaboration service, Citrix GoToMeeting Corporate 3.0. GoToWebiner will be available to the public at large beginning on June 30, 2006. The GoToWebinar provides capacity to scale to one thousand attendees per event.

Features in GoToWebinar include full-service registration; customized branding of webinar materials; automated e-mail templates; free integrated voice conferencing; toll-free service; and attendee polling and survey capability. The Citrix event also played host to “virtual attendees from around the world” (so edit above to “virtually played host to” or “played virtual host to”) checked out GoToWebinar. The gushiest of attendees was CEO Marc Benioff, who called GoToWebinar “amazing,” went on to imagine a few possibilities: “If you have a message … GoToWebinar not only provides the stage, speaker podium, and seating for 1000, but it’ll help you effectively connect with your audience.” In the Citrix business plan and overall philosophy, the opportunity available online for small- and medium-sized businesses to grow and compete is nearly exponential.

Author Geoffrey Moore said GoToWebinar was a prime example of “how U.S. business must innovate or deal with Darwin”: “Citrix Online has shown enormous leadership with GoToWebinar in empowering small- and medium-sized businesses to reach their potential on a global scale,” he claimed. Citrix Online Group vice president / general manager Brett Caine bragged a bit about his company’s history, saying “With GoToWebinar, we’re changing the rules once again…” Notable aside for the solution is the pricing scheme, a flat rate via which any individual can get in touch with to thousands of people and conduct unlimited webinars for one flat monthly rate.

This is reportedly an industry first. Citrix Systems, Inc. is the global provider of on-demand access. More than 180,000 organizations worldwide rely on Citrix to provide optimum access experience. Citrix clientele includes exactly one hundred of the Fortune 100 and ninety-eight percent of the Fortune Global 500. Citrix counts approximately 6,200 channel and alliance partners in over one hundred countries; 2005 revenues were US $909 million. Soon after the announcement and gathering came Citrix Online’s announcement of a strategic alliance with BT Conferencing to offer toll-free audio service to all GoToWebinar customers. BT Conferencing is a division of BT Group plc, an international telecommunications giant. For a limited time, Citrix Online is offering a special deal: 6,000 free BT Conferencing domestic toll-free minutes for new GoToWebinar customers.

After using their allocation of free audio minutes, businesses can continue the BT Conferencing toll-free service for the audio portion of their GoToWebinar events at favored pricing with savings up to 50 percent.

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