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WebEx Communications
Type Subsidiary
Founded February 1995
Headquarters Santa Clara, California (United States)
Key people Subrah S. Iyar (Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer); Vacant (President and Chief Operating Officer); Min Zhu (Founder, former Chief Technical Officer and Director)
Industry Telecommunications software and services
Products WebEx Meeting Center; WebEx Training Center; WebEx Support Center; WebEx Sales Center; WebEx Enterprise Edition; MeetMeNow; PCNow; WebEx AIM Pro; WebEx Connect.
Revenue $US 380 Million (2006)
Employees ~3500+ (March 2007)
Parent Cisco Systems, Inc
Website www.webex.com

WebEx Communications Inc. is a Cisco company that provides on-demand collaboration, online meeting, web conferencing and video conferencing applications. Its products include Meeting Center, Training Center, Event Center, Support Center, Sales Center, MeetMeNow, PCNow, WebEx AIM Pro Business Edition, WebEx WebOffice, WebEx Connect, and others. According to analyst firm IDC, WebEx is an on-demand market leader.[1]


[edit] History

WebEx was founded in 1995 by Subrah Iyar and Min Zhu. Zhu co-founded Future Labs (one of the first companies to produce multi-point document collaboration software) in 1991.[2] Zhu met Iyar, then a vice president and general manager of Quarterdeck Inc., when Quarterdeck acquired Future Labs in 1996. Iyar was named president of Future Labs, which had been made a Quarterdeck subsidiary, and the same year Iyar and Min went on to co-found WebEx. On March 15, 2007, Cisco Systems announced it would acquire WebEx for $3.2 billion.

[edit] Securities

Before the purchase by Cisco, WebEx previously was included in the NASDAQ Global Select Market.[3]

[edit] Services

All WebEx applications are built on the MediaTone platform and supported by the WebEx MediaTone Network, a global network intended for use with on-demand programs.

WebEx Application Suite WebEx provides a suite of applications specifically designed for business processes such as sales, support, training and marketing processes.

  • WebEx Meeting Center - Recreates face-to-face meetings with real-time data, application, voice and video sharing capabilities.
  • WebEx Sales Center - Features automatic attention notification to alert sales professionals when they are losing a prospect’s attention, branded prospect portals to provide a secure location in which to share information and real-time sales analytics and reporting.
  • WebEx Training Center - Designed for trainers, includes breakout session support and learner testing, tracking and reporting. Recently added on-demand LMS module. A component of the overall E-learning Suite
  • WebEx Support Center - Allows support agents to identify, resolve and track customer issues within a secure, online support session.
  • WebEx Event Center - Specifically designed for web seminars and events; WebEx Event Center includes automated lead scoring, email invitation management and an event producer dashboard.
  • WebEx LiveStream - Specifically designed for large events (100 - 200,000 attendees) which require onsite production, TV quality video, voice and powerpoint.
  • WebEx Consulting Services - Expert Teams which can provide education, content, and/or delivery as it pertains to building Online Sales Teams, Universities, Marketing Programs, etc.

WebEx WebOffice - Designed for small businesses, WebEx WebOffice provides an on-demand collaboration suite including a document manager, group calendar, database manager, task manager and several other collaborative business tools.

MeetMeNow and PCNow

  • MeetMeNow - A lightweight web meeting application for individuals. Allows users to conduct unlimited instant meetings with up to 10 attendees. Does not include custom-branded site.
  • PCNow - Allows users to securely access remote computers by using a mobile phone or web browser.

WebEx acquired Intranets.com in 2005, which provided strategic entrance into the small- and mid-size business market through the company's customer base of businesses with fewer than 100 employees. WebEx acquired the ability to offer online collaboration tools such as discussion forums, document sharing and calendaring while Intranets.com provided access to the WebEx communications environment for its customers.[4]

On February 21, 2006, AOL and WebEx announced plans to launch a business version of AOL's instant-messaging software. AIM Pro will offer more features to help workers collaborate using conferencing tools offered by WebEx.

On September 26, 2006 WebEx announced plans to offer a web collaboration "mashup" platform called WebEx Connect.[5]

[edit] Corporate governance

Board of Directors:

Top management team:

KPMG LLP are the independent accountants.

[edit] Legal proceedings and inquiries

[edit] Goldman Sachs securities fraud investigation

As a result of the securities fraud investigation initiated by the SEC and various state Attorney General offices, Goldman Sachs faced charges of issuing unfair research, including coverage of WebEx, and IPO violations. WebEx management allegedly dictated to Goldman Sachs analysts what the research should and should not include. WebEx maintains the management's information was accurate.[6] Another charge accuses Goldman Sachs of violating securities law in its allocation of shares in WebEx's initial public offering.[7]

[edit] Zhu and Zeleny legal dispute

On May 13, 2005, WebEx announced that Min Zhu was stepping down as CTO and retiring to China, where he would serve as a "WebEx Fellow."[8] This closely followed the WebEx Second Annual Users Conference, which was disrupted and then canceled because of a demonstration by a former business partner of Zhu's, Michael Zeleny.[9] The protest demonstration occurred amid a spate of lawsuits between the Zhu family, WebEx, and Zeleny for various claims, including breach of contract and defamation.[10] In the course of the legal dispute, Zeleny made public online that a complaint for childhood sexual abuse had been made by Zhu's daughter, Zeleny's former domestic and business partner, and alleged that Zhu diverted WebEx assets to settle that complaint. Zhu denied these claims in court records and WebEx sued Zeleny for defamation. Zeleny's claims have since been settled out of court and the WebEx counter-claim dropped.[11]

[edit] Raindance lawsuit for patent infringement

On September 27, 2005, WebEx sued Raindance Communications, Inc., a competitor, for patent infringement. On October 14, 2005, Raindance filed a countersuit against WebEx for patent infringement. Both parties sought both damages and an injunction enjoining further acts they claim to be infringing on patents.[12] On March 31, 2006, the parties agreed to the dismissal of both actions, releases of claims for past infringement, payments associated with those releases, and cross-licenses to each other's patents. The agreement resulted in Webex receiving $1.0 million from Raindance.[12]

[edit] Cisco takeover

On March 15, 2007, Cisco Systems announced that it had agreed a deal to pay $57 per share to acquire WebEx. The deal values WebEx at about $3.2 billion, or $2.9 billion when WebEx's cash reserves are factored into the price. WebEx's largest stockholder is Jan Baan with 9% of outstanding shares. In a press release Cisco said WebEx would "become a part of Cisco's Development Organization while maintaining its unique business model".[13] Cisco has also said that its long-term plan is to absorb WebEx at both a technology and a sales level.[14]

There is also increased use of WebEx as an online learning platform and classroom for a diverse set of education providers. The platform has worked for educational institutions because of real time collaboration using an interactive whiteboard, chat, and VOIP technology that allows audio and video sharing. In distance learning situations, while replacing the classroom with features, institutions have also looked for security features which are inherently strong in a Cisco powered collaboration environment[citation needed]. The downside is that WebEx is not a free platform like WiZiQ or Moodle, and fees are paid per "host" of a classroom or a meeting.

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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