Interview with Subrah Iyar, Chairman and CEO of WebEx
TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?
WebEx: WebEx is the leader in software-as-a-service collaborative business applications. These on-demand applications enhance high-touch business processes, such as sales, support and training, with efficient web-touch interactions. To some, Web 2.0 is just a lot of hype, but WebEx is delivering on the promise of on-demand every day, generating business results delivering across 70 countries, 2 million registered users and 82 percent of the Fortune 100.
TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?
WebEx: All WebEx applications are delivered via the WebEx MediaTone Network, a private global network consisting of 36 linked hubs. Built from the ground up, MediaTone offers unprecedented network reliability and connectivity that competitors can simply not provide. With over $150 million dollars invested in research and development, the MediaTone network helps 3.5 million people use WebEx every month to deliver tangible business results.
TechAddress: What are some of the main features?
WebEx: WebEx applications, and custom applications built on the WebEx on-demand platform, increase the reach, speed and cost effectiveness of doing business by unifying web collaboration with business services, processes and content. WebEx was founded as an on-demand vendor long before its SaaS was a popular concept. This unique legacy has enabled us to understand what users need better than most others. We focus on ease of use, creating specialized solutions for our customers with industry leading reliability and security. Plus, with our distributed global network we can offer flexible deployment and award-winning support for our customers most vital business requirements.
TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?
WebEx: We target businesses of all sizes that strive to increase productivity, enhance collaboration and remain competitive in today’s intense global marketplace. As a result we have multiple products to serve such a wide range of customers and allow them to integrate WebEx into their daily business workflow.
WebEx provides organizations the ability to use online meetings to meet with anyone, anytime demonstrating products and services, sharing presentations in any format, and resolving open issues in real-time with a secure and reliable technology. We provide much-needed impact for live events, hosting large scale events over the Web such as all-hands meetings, shareholder presentations, and prospect webinars with interactive and dynamic multimedia presentations. WebEx also delivers interactive world-class training, enabling users to reach more people with online training and e-learning via live online classrooms. We empower customers to resolve technical issues faster, increasing productivity and client satisfaction while reducing support costs with both unattended and attended remote support. And finally we can shorten the sales cycle for large enterprises and three-person business enabling users to connect with anyone, anywhere with dynamic online sales presentations.
TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?
WebEx: We recently announced WebEx Connect, the first on-demand platform designed to enable developers and customers to create collaborative enterprise “mashup” solutions from web-based, on-premises and desktop applications in late September of this year. The requirements of an enterprise mashup platform are:
- Customization—needs to allow customers to integrate their existing solutions. Can’t be a proprietary platform.
- Collaboration—need to offer IM, email, presence, and cross-company collaborative capabilities
- Control—needs to work with enterprise policy and directory services solutions.
We expect to deliver a product in Q1 2007.
TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?
WebEx: SaaS is moving beyond cost-efficiency and towards business productivity. There are new classes of applications that leverage the web to bring us together to make us smarter, more productive and better connected and WebEx fully expects to be at the forefront of this movement, changing the way people around the world do business.
TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?
WebEx: People sometimes think that WebEx meetings are a replacement for *all* face-to-face meetings, but they are not. WebEx meetings allow you to be more as productive and spontaneous as you would be in person, but we still believe that occasional face-to-face meetings have an important role in business. WebEx helps create a continuum for communications–from simple text chat to phone calls, web meetings to face-to-face interactions. Having WebEx meetings as an option means you can meet in-person for the right reasons.
TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?
WebEx: Continue to bring innovative collaboration solutions to our customers.
TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?
WebEx: Continue to be the proven technology leader in software-as-a-service collaborative business applications.
TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?
WebEx: As a publicly held company traded on the NASDQ under the ticker: WEBX
TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?
WebEx: Our WebEx Connect platform was launched on September 25, 2006. We expect to deliver the first version of the platform in Q1 2007.
Entry filed under: Application Development, business, business network, business news, communication, desktop, Desktop Applications, information resource, Information Technology, Interactive, internet, News, online, online business, online community, online privacy, Sales and Marketing, software, software-as-a-service, tech, Technology, technology news, web, web 2.0, Web 2.0 technologies.