Webex is a feature-rich video conferencing solution that lets you take your...
Webex is a feature-rich video conferencing solution that lets you take your online meetings to new heights. It’s accessible, as you can start using it for free today with fullscreen video options for any device. While yes, there are widely known solutions out there like Zoom, Webex ensures your online calling, messaging, and meetings happen seamlessly. In fact, it lets you host meetings that are longer than Zoom. And you can have up to 100 people join you for free. Convinced yet? Here’s a closer look at everything Webex has to offer.
Webex Pros and Cons
- Cloud recording storage: If your team relies on recording meetings and conferences, you can easily do so with Webex’s cloud recording storage feature on the Starter plan.
- Mobile screen sharing: Webex allows you to share your screen anywhere you are and on any device of your choosing. All you have to do is download the app and log in.
- Virtual backgrounds: With Webex you don’t have to worry about creating the perfect background. You can use one of its virtual backgrounds to host your meetings and call it a day.
- Polling and chat notes: Need to poll your audience or take notes as you go? Webex makes it seamlessly easy to do that in real time.
- File transfer: Transferring files and collaborating on projects is made easy with Webex’s built-in file sharing tool.
- Meeting length: If you choose to go with the free Webex plan, it allows you to host up to 100 people much like Zoom, except instead of offering you just 40 minutes of video time it allows for 50 minutes per meeting.
- Participants vs. hosts: Webex’s free tier allows for one host and up to 100 meeting participants. For anything over a singular host, its Starter plan lets you have anywhere from 1 to 50 hosts.
- Free online training: Ready to onboard Webex to your existing workflow? Webex offers online training where you’ll get access to video tutorials and plenty of how-to articles that walk you through the ins and outs of using its dashboard.
- VoIP functionality: Webex allows you to call into a meeting using your phone if you’re on one of its paid plans.
- Team collaboration tools: Webex equips your team to work together on any project with its shared whiteboard tool, the ability to integrate with Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce, or the ability to access it on any smartphone for on-the-go work.
- Optional Add-ons: You can add messaging, audio, and extra security features to any plan of your choosing at checkout, like HD VoIP and encrypted cloud recording.
- Limited customer support: Webex’s free plan is pretty robust with features and generous with the number of people that can attend your virtual meeting. As far as customer support goes, its free plan only comes with online support (as opposed to chat, call-in, or a dedicated representative).
- Cost vs. feature ratio: While Webex is a solid contender in the video conferencing space, you’ll want to weigh your options carefully when you’re looking at the cost vs. feature ratio. While it allows for a bit more freedom through its free plan than a tool like Zoom, once you navigate into paid plan territory the costs per tool offered can vary amongst competing options.
How Webex Compares to Top Conference Call Services
How does Webex stack up to other competitors in the video conferencing space? Undoubtedly, some of the best products like Zoom and RingCentral have plenty to offer. As far as cost goes for small businesses that can get away with a free plan, Webex is a stellar choice, with a bit more flexibility than the free Zoom plan.
Some of our top picks also include GoToMeeting and Google Hangouts. Our in-depth top picks list goes into more detail to ensure you’re picking the best video conferencing tool for your business. Here’s a closer look at how Webex stacks up when you look at it through the same criteria we used on our top picks list.
Webex Number of Participants
This is probably my favorite part of Webex. It’s generous with the number of participants it allows for any given video meeting.
The free tier starts with up to 100 participants and one host.
The Starter plan allows for up to 150 at $13.50 a host per month. Compared to a video conferencing tool like GoToMeeting, it’s a pretty sweet plan when you take into account GoToMeeting doesn’t even offer a free tier.
Though, get this: if you go with a solution like RingCentral, you’re also able to host up to 100 participants, but it lets you host meetings for up to a whopping 24 hours on its free plan. Tools like Webex and Zoom cap it at about 50 minutes each. Definitely a factor to consider if you’re planning on hosting longer meetings consistently.
Webex Video Conferencing
In the era of the remote work boom, video conferencing is as crucial a tool as ever. In this case, Webex doesn’t fall short in delivering a video conferencing experience for any size team that works.
Webex offers free HD video conferencing that also allows for group messaging and easy screen sharing. This is great for businesses on a budget that want a quick solution they can count on.
Though I must mention that Zoom, UberConference, and BlueJeans offer some of the same features. Webex offers virtual customized or blurred backgrounds so you can video conference without distractions.
It also comes equipped with breakout rooms where teams can break off into groups for smaller discussions. In this department, Webex delivers with a varied array of tools at your fingertips.
Webex Video and Audio Quality
It’s all fun and games when you’re offered a free video conferencing solution. But what can be said about its video and audio quality? Well, that depends on how you use Webex and if you’ve set it up for better video and audio quality.
Generally speaking, people’s experience with Webex’s video and audio quality can vary, especially if they’re on the free plan. While you might not always get the best audio quality, if you’re on the free plan, your best bet is to ensure you’ve set up Webex according to its best practice rules.
The reviews for any video conferencing tool, whether it’s RingCentral, Zoom, or UberConference, will often vary depending on your connectivity and setup.
Webex Call Recording
With its recent update, Webex has been able to step up its call recording game as it now saves your recorded files in MP4 format. With Webex, you have the option of recording meetings on the cloud or recording meetings on your computer. From there, you can choose to share and download them to your liking.
Not only that, but you can also enable the automatic transcription of audio for everyone or specific users. This comes in handy for team members who aren’t able to attend meetings, or for note taking and record keeping for future reference. You should keep in mind that MP4 recording and transcription are only available on Webex’s paid tiers beginning with the Starter $13.50 host plan.
Zoom, on the other hand, allows for local recording for both its free and paid plans. If the need to record your video conferences and video calls on a budget is a must, this is something to take into consideration when making a choice on a solution that’ll work for you long term.
Webex Call Scheduling and Setup
Yet another feature that’s a crucial part of video conferencing is call scheduling and setup. Webex makes it easy to schedule a call or series of calls down to the specific details that include call password, the date and time, the attendant information, as well as if it’s supposed to be a recurring meeting or otherwise. To invite other people to your meeting, you’ll have to download and send the meeting file for them to accept.
Other video conferencing solutions like RingCentral schedules calls much the same way. You set the meeting details and the password and it generates a meeting ID that will allow attendees to join. Though call scheduling and setup isn’t necessarily an area where Webex differentiates itself, it’s good to know you can schedule meetings with ease.
Webex Contact Center
Webex doesn’t only offer simple video conferencing solutions. It also goes out of its way to provide specific product offerings for more niche needs.
Webex offers cloud contact center solutions for customer engagement. With its contact center suite of tools, you can enable your customers to connect with you through message, chat, text, email, or call. Not only that, it comes equipped with automated call distribution, routing and queue management, reporting, and omnichannel communication.
Have calling agents that work from home? Webex can get them set up and ready to service customers in as little as five days. As a contact center solution, Webex carves its own place among superstar providers like RingCentral, which offers much of the same robust capabilities.
Webex Online Event Management
The fun doesn’t stop there. Webex also offers online event management that goes beyond the basics. With it, you can set up and host huge webinars with 3,000 participants. Or you can take it a step further and with Webex Webcasting you can expand your reach to up to 100,000 attendants.
As a robust feature for businesses that are serious about their webinar strategy, Webex online event management delivers plenty of tools that step up to the plate.
Video sharing, polling, Q and A, audio controls, and attention monitoring tools are built to engage your audience, whether you’re giving a presentation or launching a new product. Webex is the tool worth considering as your top pick if you handle webinars with higher attendance numbers than usual.
Webex Online Training Management
Yet another Webex product offering is its online training toolkit. Tools like whiteboard and chat enable you to interact with your trainees on the other side of the screen seamlessly.
Webex goes out of its way to deliver a top-notch training experience by equipping you with lectures, labs, and small breakout sessions. You’ll also get access to built-in ecommerce tools that allow you to sell as you train.
As a feature that enables you to do more than just train, the ecommerce tools help Webex stand out as a worthy online training platform. With a video training tool, you don’t only want to speak to your students.
You also want to make sure they’re paying attention. To help, Webex enables you to test and give out scores any time during your video presentation. As you peruse through Webex’s suite of solutions for a ton of different video conferencing scenarios, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most widely used platforms in the world.
Webex Hardware As A Service
Finally, we have Webex’s hardware as a service solution. Now, most video conferencing solutions, like RingCentral, give you the option of purchasing branded hardware directly from them.
Webex takes a different approach and allows you to lease your devices through 36-month periods on a personalized plan that works for you. Whether you want to make monthly or annual payments, you can be sure Webex will equip you with their latest models.
At the end of your term, you can choose to renew your subscription and turn in your old devices for updated hardware. How useful is that? As a feature, this is definitely a differentiating factor that helps Webex stand out from the rest.
We’ve gone through the ins and outs of everything Webex has to offer. As a video conferencing tool, it doesn’t leave any stone unturned in terms of what it’s capable of doing. Its free plan can easily be compared to Zoom’s free plan, one of the most popular video conferencing solutions available. Webex lets you host the same amount of people for longer, which is a key feature to note.
In the end, when you’ve whittled down your options to two or three contenders, it isn’t the standard features that sell you on the final product, but the enhanced experience of useful features and even how easy the video conferencing tool is to use. One of the best ways to gauge this is to take advantage of any free subscriptions and plans for a truly informed decision.
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