After months of speculation, Citrix finally announced the disposition of its GoTo family of products (GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining, etc). I have been following this story since April and the earliest rumors from "unnamed sources." At that time I wrote the following:
My personal take on the question of sale vs. spinoff is that it would make more sense to spin off Citrix Online into its own independent company. They seem to have strong, well-run management and operations that keep growing business, and I would think the separation from Citrix Systems infrastructure would not cause undue pain. It would certainly cause the least disruption for existing customers.
As time went by with no word, I started to feel that Citrix must be looking for a buyer rather than a spinoff, even though I maintained my position that spinning off the products would be best for customers.
Yesterday Citrix ended the suspense with their announcement that the products would indeed continue to be owned and operated independently as a separate, publicly traded company. No name was announced for the new business entity, which is expected to take over in the second half of 2016.
If you are a user of one of these products, this is the best news you could have hoped for. You should be able to expect continued support, development, and product/account management from a group of employees who already know the business and will have more of a personal stake than ever in focusing their energies on pure-play web collaboration. You also won't have to deal with integration and potential dilution of the products into some purchaser's existing product line.
I thought it was funny that ON24 highlighted the Citrix news in their own press release about buying out competitors' web conferencing contracts. From my perspective, the Citrix announcement gives existing GoTo customers less of a reason to switch, rather than more.
What we'll be looking for next is information on whether the new independent company will be located near the existing facilities. If they headquarter it in a new city, that could cause more disruption to the workforce, which is why I would consider it unlikely.