Wainhouse Research has published the results of a survey they ran a few months ago. They got over 200 responses from end users of web conferencing technology. The survey concentrates on brand perceptions and experiences/preferences on product/vendor functionality and performance. The full 45-page summary is available for $2995 at the Wainhouse WebMetrics report order page. The page also has a link to a free teaser extract in the form of an executive summary that you can view and download.
I don't have the full report, but from the summary it looks like there was no attempt made to differentiate responses for users of collaborative web conferencing (group meetings) and large-audience broadcast technology (webinars/webcasts). While lumping the two uses of web collaboration software is commonplace, I think it is a pity. There are significant differences in the features, service, and applications of the two sub-groups that are usually glossed over. Still, let's see what Wainhouse found.
Wainhouse asked respondents to fill in the names of up to six brands that come to mind when asked for "companies offering web conferencing equipment or services." Shocking absolutely nobody at all, WebEx was out in front by a mile with a 58% response. Cisco was in third place with a 13% rating, and I have no doubt whatsoever that this is entirely due to all the press it got from the purchase of WebEx. On a brand perception basis, Cisco had almost no marketplace recognition for its Unified Communications offerings (that's my opinion... not Wainhouse data).
Microsoft was sandwiched between WebEx and Cisco, but people also wrote in LiveMeeting and NetMeeting as separate entries. If you group the three Microsoft offerings, they come out at 46% total (behind the 71% combo total for Cisco/WebEx). Not surprising to me was the fact that Microsoft's combined recognition total has fallen steadily over the last three half-yearly surveys. Microsoft has been deathly quiet in publicly marketing their web conferencing capabilities and the results are showing.
On the brand growth side, both Adobe and Citrix saw boosts in their name recognition, although people were split on writing in the company names or the product names. On a combined basis, Citrix/GoToMeeting beat out Adobe/Macromedia/Breeze with response rates of 19% and 12% respectively. Citrix Online has been a marketing dynamo over the last year or two, and it's paying off in terms of brand awareness.
I was surprised to see that on a cumulative basis (all vendors/all respondents) people ranked their product and vendor experiences favorably, averaging higher in every sub-category that Wainhouse asked about. You have to buy the detailed report to see responses broken out by vendor.
It's great to see this kind of wide ranging analysis being undertaken outside of a single vendor's sponsorship. Kudos to Wainhouse Research. Now if they could just figure out a way to lower the price of the results to a point where more of us could benefit from them! :)
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