Understanding the Differences Between Zoom vs Webex
When it comes to selecting the right video conferencing platform, there can be a lot of questions. In a previous post, we discussed how video conferencing has become a major part of the daily workflow, followed by a breakdown of Zoom vs Skype for Business. But what about Zoom vs Webex? Both companies have put an effort into prioritizing “video first” but how do you decide which of these two video conferencing platforms is right for your organization? Is one superior?
There are many intangibles to look at as part of making a decision, but our experience shows that if you compare core features, telephony extensions, UX, pricing, and security for both Cisco Webex and Zoom you’ll be able to quickly emerge with the best choice.
Features of Zoom vs Webex
The number of features available from both platforms is impressive, and overlapping in many cases. For example, they both offer video conferencing, meeting management, SSL security, third-party integration, and video call recording.
But they also differ in a few key areas. Webex supports file transfers and removal of attendees from a meeting while Zoom has a one-touch feature to join or start a meeting and allows for watermarks and waiting rooms for added security.
Another big difference in the Zoom versus Webex breakdown? While Zoom consolidates features for SIP calling integration, meetings, training, and remote support into one service, Cisco Webex requires you to buy separate products at different prices.
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The ability to make calls at an enterprise-grade level is no easy feat. The telephony extensions are critical for business communications with video, voice, conferencing, and messaging.
In order to do this all in one with Webex, you’ll need Webex Calling. Webex Calling provides call subscriptions for telephony users and common areas like conference rooms, offers cloud services delivered by regional service providers, offers an app for desktop and mobile devices, gives access to Webex Teams for a more unified communications ecosystem, and has the option to add in Webex Meetings.
With Zoom, this is called Zoom Phone, which is their cloud phone system. It offers a vast number of features including a single platform for video, voice, chat, and collaboration. Behind the scenes, you’re getting intelligent call routing and management, auto attendant / IVR, interoperability with standards-based endpoints like Polycom and Yealink, voicemails and call history, caller ID and dialing personas, plus call recording. Similar to Webex Calling, Zoom Phone also features applications for both desktop and mobile devices.
For new users (or even just occasional users), Webex can be a challenging user experience. It takes about one minute to get into a meeting, not including the downloads required (extension & client), and it doesn’t offer the most intuitive interface.
Third-party reviewers rave over Zoom’s simplicity. It requires little to no end user training as it features the previously mentioned one-touch feature to join or start meetings across all devices. This caters well to organizations with a Bring Your Own Device culture, allowing everyone to enjoy all features across all devices.
Webex offers several basic plans for smaller teams but does not disclose enterprise pricing. Plans listed on their website start at $13.50 per host per month for up to 50 participants, with prices jumping to $18 for 100 participants and $27 for 200 participants. While their website lists an option for an enterprise plan that supports up to 1,000 participants and unlimited cloud storage, it does not give a price.
Zoom takes a different approach when it comes to pricing, which again enables end users to get started with Zoom without needing any IT consent… or even a credit card. Zoom has a freemium approach where users can host up to 100 participants and have unlimited 1:1 meetings. The catch? Group meetings have a 40-minute limit.
Zoom’s next plan ups the meeting time limit to 24 hours (we hope nobody needs longer than this for a meeting) and offers additional features and controls for only $15. Whether you’re an enterprise or a small to medium sized business, the price point becomes $20 per host per month. From 10-49 hosts per month, the 100-participant limit remains, but more features and customizations are available. With 50+ hosts, the same $20 price gets you their large enterprise-ready plan capable of hosting up to 1,000 participants.
Unified communications conversations have always come with a security discussion. Any serious IT-centric discussion about business meetings and conferences always includes security as one of the biggest concerns. When it comes to out of the box Zoom vs Webex features, they both provide the basics like user authentication, password requirements for meetings, and end-to-end encryption. Both Zoom and Webex also offer Active Directory integration for single sign on, which is essential as most organizations have AD for their directory service. As mentioned in the features section, Zoom also offers a waiting room and watermarks while Webex features OTP (one-time password) for a secured login.
The Verdict – Zoom
While Webex is a robust tool with unique features and benefits, Zoom takes the cake with its interactive video communication, meetings, and now Zoom Rooms. It’s an ideal tool for minimizing end user training and adoption struggles while being flexible enough to integrate into workstream collaboration apps like Slack and Workplace by Facebook. Zoom also stands strong with its price point and features.
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