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Citrix Gets Aggressive in Collaboration - Launches GoToMeeting Essentials

23 Sep 2013 | by Roopam Jain
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Citrix unveiled several new developments for its SaaS business at its annual industry analyst event last week. Besides a new UC client and a fun whiteboard app, one thing that caught my attention is a new go to market approach and pricing for its successful GoToMeeting product. Though the web collaboration market has changed drastically over the last few years, GoToMeeting licensing had practically remained unchanged for a while now. Citrix is now going after a wider customer base for small group collaboration and has launched a new version of GoToMeeting called GoToMeeting Essentials.

GoToMeeting Essentials is a lighter version of GoToMeeting that allows participants to join a meeting at a low price of $19/month and $16 with an annual contract( Essentials offers the same functionality as GoToMeeting, with two exceptions - instead of 25 people per meeting, you're limited to 6 and there is no recording functionality. While this is not the lowest price available in the market for meetings of this size, it’s going to make customers stop and think before they consider alternatives when looking for a basic collaboration service. Along with the new version of GoToMeeting, Citrix is making its ecommerce more flexible allowing users to buy multiple licenses online. In the past, its ecommerce engine had a limit of one license and users that needed more licenses were required to go through the sales team. To encourage adoption, Citrix has also instituted no-credit card trials making the process easier for customers. Additionally, Citrix is widening its channel partner and service provider alliances to get deeper into certain markets.

GoToMeeting has been growing at a good pace consistently beating the industry growth. The GoToMeeting family of products (GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining) grew at 22 and 21 percent respectively in Q1 and Q2 of 2013, twice as much as the industry average. As a result, Citrix has climbed up the market share ladder and has been gaining 2-3 percentage points annually to become the strong number two vendor in the web conferencing space. That’s all good for Citrix. But the threat from “industry disruptors” looms large, be it Hangouts or Skype or providers like and Zoom. Citrix is taking this threat seriously. With new leadership at helm for the SaaS business under Chris Hylen, the goal is to not only grow the top line but to also rapidly accelerate the customer base. As Sampath Gomatam, GM of Real-Time Collaboration at Citrix, rightfully observed “we need to disrupt ourselves before someone else disrupts us”. That also applies to new offerings like Project Zeus, a free UC client for chat, voice, screen sharing and video which could possibly eat into some of GoToMeeting usage and sales. Citrix in the past was challenged by a lack of presence in UC and did not offer hooks into IM/presence-driven multi-modal communications, a market that Microsoft and Cisco are grabbing. Zeus fills in that gap to offer simple ad hoc collaboration for small groups. 

A large part of these changes can be attributed to Citrix feeling the threat from unexpected quarters. A plethora of providers have come in to the market and grabbed large user base. Citrix’s key selling proposition from the past –ease of use and simple pricing – while appealing to SMB users needed a new push. Citrix is creating more bundles across its product line offering greater pricing flexibility as it leverages and cross sells to a vast user base for GoTo products, Sharefile, and Podio. Citrix must now, as the next logical step, simplify the product line and offer seamless integration between the various collaboration pieces.

The web conferencing market is experiencing significant disruptions resulting from a shift to lower priced services as well as freemium offerings. Users are rapidly adopting free/low priced no-frills offerings. The rapid influx of BYO has further reduced the entry barriers opening new revenue streams to a broad range of companies. These market shifts pose challenges for established vendors like Cisco and Citrix. The arrival of GoToMeeting Essentials coupled with a more flexible sales strategy and a rapidly expanding solutions portfolio is pointing at a more agile Citrix that will not hesitate to fire on all cylinders and take some risks along the way. 


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Posted by Dipak Patil | 07 Dec 2013

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