GoToWebinar, an extension of GoToMeeting, has gained some buzz in the market, mainly because it's so cheap. Kind of makes you wonder 1) How Citrix is making money from it? 2) How good or reliable is the solution? The old adage, "You pay for what you get," certainly rings true with all the GoTo products and GoToWebinar is nothing short of this.
Example 1. When sending out email invitations to a webinar, the coordinator needs to manually forward the registration details and invites. Citrix recommends that you Bcc: all email addresses for added privacy. What if you forget to do this? Well, everyone just inherited a email marketing list that you spent years building.
Example 2: GoToWebinar lacks a custom registration page so the coordinator cannot track registration in stages: Pending, Rejected, Approved, Updated, etc.
Example 3: GoToWebinar forces you to use their outsourced 3rd party solution, FreeConferenceCall.com (Click here to read details about Cingular, Sprint, AT&T battling this Citrix partner.) (Article 2) GoToWebinar does not offer Audio Broadcasting, Integrated VoIP, or dial-out to attendee capabilities. These three telco giants are looking to block all Citrix audio users from using FreeConferenceCall.com Do you want to be caught up in the chaos? Who do you think is going to win this battle?
Example 4: Speaking of block. GoToWebinar and GoToMeeting are notorious for "blocked URL's." Companies will block the GoTo URL's so their employees cannot join GoTo session, mainly because these GoTo sessions are not backed by any 3rd party security certifications which means companies run the risk of computer viruses, worms, trojans, etc.
Quinlan Eddy, CEO of StarAnalytics, switched from GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar to WebEx because his company had recurring issues where the companies they were trying to meet online with blocked the GoTo URL's. In one instance with Citibank, Citibank simply told them they were no longer interested in seeing the demo. Lost revenue???
Example 5: If you want to record your webinar, GoToWebinar requires that you have an input device like a microphone connected to your computer and then configured to the GoToWebinar audio settings. (I'm already getting lost with what this all means and how to set it up...) Click here for the full list of instructions. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just click "Record," and your webinar would be recorded?
Another thing to consider during the GoToWebinar recording. You are required to have 1 GB of available storage, download a G2M2 recording codec, and are expected to wait 45 minutes for a 60 minute recording to "convert." Citrix recommends that you do nothing on your computer during this 45 minute conversion since the recording/conversion process requires lots of CPU.
Example 6: GoToWebinar CANNOT support the following:
- Lead source tracking ID's
- Automated lead scoring
- Integration into CRM marketing campaigns
- Online calendar of events
- Custom enrollment email messages
- Production services
- Custom animations in PowerPoint
- Virtual whiteboard
- Video streaming
- Integrated VoIP
- File transfer
- Real-time communications as everything relies on their Citrix Metaframe Presentation Server
At the end of the day, with all the GoTo Products, you pay for what you get. If you are willing to risk a failed event, perhaps lost business, damaged reputation, it might be a viable solution. Otherwise, if you are like most companies who are looking to minimize their investment risk and want to do all the right things, go with a market leader, a trusted and proven solution.