Zoom vs Webex Comparison: What Is the Best Video Conferencing App?
Zoom vs Webex- which app is the best for your video conferencing need? Here’s our guide on these leading video conferencing tools to help you make the decision.
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With telecommuting on the rise and the COVID 19 pandemic changing the culture of the workplace, a good video conferencing tool is imperative. But which one? We thought that a good way to help you decide on a good video conferencing tool, that suits your needs, would be to compare two leaders of the video conferencing market.
Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you may have definitely heard of Zoom and Webex. And so, these are the two we are going to compare. Therefore, it comes down to Zoom vs Webex.
In this article we will do a Zoom vs Webex comparison, to help you in deciding on which of these two video conferencing apps is better fitting for you. Let’s get started.
What is Video Conferencing?
Before we get on to the Zoom vs Webex showdown, let’s first understand what video conferencing is. Video conferencing is an innovation that transmits and receives audio and full-motion video image signals in real-time. This innovation created a drastic change in what is possible in communication today.
Video conferencing makes communication easy for people in different geographical locations and makes this communication efficient and simple to achieve.
What Is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing tool founded by CEO Eric Yuan in 2011. With its features, including video webinars, Zoom Rooms, online meetings, and group messaging, it is a popular choice among many. Zoom’s popularity can be properly understood by the fact it has 300 million daily meeting participants as of April 2020.
1. Video Conferencing
Zoom’s amazing video conferencing platform is the best thing about the software. There are certain types of HD video conferencing you can join with Zoom:
- Training Sessions
- One-on-one meetings
- Large team meetings
Zoom is accessible from one’s PC, Mac, or even through a mobile device. Moreover, a Zoom call offers the ability to add up to 1,000 participants and simultaneously view 49 of these participants at once on your screen. During a meeting, Zoom offers certain features that make it stand out among its other competitors.
These features include:
- The ability for everyone in the call to share their screen
- The option is available to upload files, as well as add notes to the files being discussed
- There is also an option to make notes or strategy on the whiteboard feature
- Participants of a meeting can also choose a visible background screen for their video call.
- Private and group text chat features stay available throughout the meeting
- Virtual hand-raising feature
- Closed captioning during meetings
- Option to create password-protected meetings
- Anonymous polling options can be created
- Meetings can be recorded both with audio and video
- There is the ability of searchable transcripts of recorded meetings
- Hosts have the option to live stream Zoom meetings on YouTube
- Participants can mute or unmute themselves during a video conference
2. Breakout Rooms
Apart from the features mentioned above, Zoom also provides the option to create “Breakout Rooms” while in a video call. The Breakout Rooms feature, allows hosts of a meeting to break up the meeting participants into different smaller groups, limited to 50 such groups.
This is a great feature for when, during a meeting, participants need to go off to go over a specific task or brainstorm on the topic being discussed. The control of these Breakout Rooms is in the hands of the host who can manually choose who goes into which room or decide to assign groups randomly.
The benefit of such a feature is that once these smaller meetings are over, all the participants are automatically transferred back into the main meeting, thus avoiding the hassle of having to rejoin and sign in to the meeting for a second time.
3. Zoom Rooms
Zoom Rooms is a feature that helps teams conduct virtual meetings when you get back to working from an office. This feature acts as software support for your company conference rooms.
This feature takes away the hassle of having to set up hardware before each meeting. As with the Zoom Room, you have a physical conference room in your office that is prepared with Zoom’s audio and video equipment.
This feature is particularly beneficial for those companies or teams that need to connect with others outside of their particular teams, such as those in another branch or perhaps another company.
Zoom rooms also provide additional features that include:
- Ability to share multiple screens on call
- Operate on a wireless system
- Use existing conference room systems
- Join meetings and share files with a simple one-touch design
- The option to connect with other zoom users or rooms through their desktop or the phone app
- Additionally, use interactive whiteboard features online, that can be shared with the participants of the meeting
- Ability to manage all Zoom Rooms from a single dashboard
Note that this feature comes for $49 per month subscription per room. There is also the option for a 30-day free trial so you can get to see whether this feature is worth the while for your team.
4. Zoom Phone
A recent feature is the cloud-based secure phone system or Zoom Voice. This feature aims to streamline communication making it easy for everyone. The feature allows for admins to listen in on business calls and achieve other communication needs.
The feature works with the desktop program and mobile app allowing you to still be able to share content while on the phone. This also means that jumping onto a Zoom meeting after a Zoom call is easy to achieve.
Further features of the Zoom phone include:
- Ability to monitor calls in real-time
- Call transferring, and forwarding options
- Call recording options
- Call blocking options
- Automated assistance is available
- Voicemail transcription is possible
5. Zoom Webinars
Zoom Webinars allow you to share information and products externally across the globe. This feature allows the option to broadcast either a seminar, panel, event and such as a view-only option to up to 10,000 people. The feature allows for hosts to share files and slides, and although the participants cannot speak during such an event, they can ask questions using the chat tool.
Zoom Webinars allows for a total of 100 panelists per webinar, hosts will have the ability to label panelists, allow them to speak as well as share documents. Moreover, with Zoom Webinar, registration is easy with either manual or automatic approval.
What is Webex?
1. Webex Video Conferencing
Considering Cisco Webex vs Zoom, there are quite a few similarities between the two. No wonder they are both top of the game for video conferencing! Webex allows users to join meetings on desktops, Android, or iPhones. Similar to features offered by Zoom, Webex allows you to record meetings and have similar whiteboard features for brainstorming and note-taking.
However, Webex also allows you to customize your preferred video layout. This means that it is your choice whether you want to see your meeting attendees in numerous video feeds across your screen or not. Webex also allows you to add 10,000 people per conference call with the option to view 25 video feeds on your screen at any point in time.
Other features that set Webex apart include:
- The “people insights” feature allows you to read a person’s history with the company, the person’s professional role, background, and other information you may be interested in.
- Video recordings done in Webex are immediately emailed as transcripts or recordings to everyone who attended the meeting
- Webex noise detection and suppression features help cut out unnecessary background noises such as sirens and dog’s barking
- Ability to share an entire desktop screen or choose just to share a single app
- Attention indicator tool
- Polling features
- Virtual hand raising
- Ability to take attendance
- A “meet now” feature allows users to transition seamlessly into a conference or video call from a text-based chat
2. Webex Teams
Essentially similar to Zoom Rooms, Webex Teams aims to provide a conference room space in your software. Anyone can host a Webex Teams meeting, whenever the need arises, whether this is a company-wide internal or external meeting. Webex Teams seems to offer more in the way of features for the conference room, as compared to Zoom. With Webex Teams, physical equipment for your meeting goes beyond just your standard projector. You can choose special desktop devices, an all in one whiteboard, or choose smaller screens on stands.
3. Webex Training
Webex Training is for those educators or trainers who work with groups of a larger size, of up to 1000 people at a time.
Webex Training provides intuitive features like:
- Automated grading to make the test correction process easier
- The option between live or pre-recorded sessions
- Webex Training supports 13 languages
- You can monetize your training through e-Commerce functionalities such as payment checkouts
- Available on desktop and mobile devices
4. Webex Calling
With several Cisco IP hardware options to choose from, the Webex Cloud Calling solution includes phones with built-in video screens.
Other features of Webex Cloud Calling include:
- Call forwarding and holding options
- A ‘do not disturb’ feature
- Group phone lines
- Call transfer options
- The ability to add a virtual receptionist
The Webex Webinar feature is aimed not only at allowing you to conduct larger video conferencing calls like webinars but also to help with webinar planning and follow up research. Certain features include the ability to send discounts to potential attendees of your webinar. Not only this but with Webex Webinar, you can track leads and then use these leads to integrate into your marketing strategy.
Moreover, the feature allows you to send out reminders and customizable invitations to your attendees. There is also a virtual private room that allows for speakers of your webinar to practice beforehand. Gain real-time analytics about your webinar’s registration, participation, attendance, and more.
Zoom vs Webex
Now that we have outlined the specific features available with both Zoom and Webex, it is time to get down to specific differences between the two. We will highlight certain aspects of Cisco Webex vs Zoom so that you can get a clear picture of what each of these software offers that gives them a one up on the other.
Let’s get to it!
For a company that is already acclimated to certain tools and software, such as for time management, it is essential that your video conferencing tool can integrate along with these. Both Zoom, as well as Webex, offers options to integrate the software with those tools your company is already in use with. However, the particular software either of these conferencing tools can integrate with is different.
|Google Drive||Google Drive|
|Google Calendar||Google Calendar|
|Microsoft OneDrive||Microsoft OneDrive|
|Workplace by Facebook||Trello|
2. Starting the Actual Call
Both Zoom and Webex vary in the way in which you can start a call in the platform, and the differences between the two could be a deciding factor in which tool you choose. Zoom is fairly straightforward in this regard. Anyone can join a Zoom call if they are simply provided with the link that the host generates.
Zoom does not require participants to create an account to be able to attend a call. This comes in handy when you want to connect with individuals that are perhaps across companies, and therefore do not share a collaboration platform. This fact also is beneficial for situations that arise in which you are required to make a last-minute video call.
On the other hand, Webex requires that you create an account before you can jump in on a meeting. Therefore, joining a meeting in Webex includes you creating an account, verifying it via your email address, and then being able to attend a meeting.
3. Security Features
Security features are yet another deciding factor in our Zoom vs Webex roundup.
Zoom has several security features, such as:
- Data encryption, although it should be noted that as of yet it is not end-to-end data encryption
- An option to enable two-factor authentication
- Features such as “waiting rooms” that can be enforced by hosts at either account or call levels
- Controls given to hosts for file or screen sharing,
- Hosts also have the option to put attendees on hold
- Visual alerts are also there to indicate when an attendee is recording the call
Webex, on the other hand, includes the following security features:
- For every video conference, there is the option to enable end-to-end encryption
- Physically secured data centers
- Options for flexible password management that can be enforced by each admin, to his liking
- Permissions for hosts and admins to revoke or grant access to any attendee
Therefore, it can be seen that both Zoom and Webex offer reasonable security assurance for their users.
Another difference to be aware of is that both Zoom and Webex offer different pricing plans, and provide different features at varying price points. Here is a quick breakdown of the paid plans offered for both conferencing tools.
Before we begin, however, note that the prices mentioned are per-host – whereas, the ‘host’ being the person who conducts and invites others to a meeting.
With Zoom you have the option to pick between 4 different plans at different price points.
- Basic free plan
- With Zoom’s free plan you have the option to host up to a total of 100 participants
- You can conduct unlimited 1-1- meetings
- The free plan limits your group meetings to 40 mins
- You can host an unlimited number of meetings
- Pro plan for $14.99 per host per month
- All the basic features are available in the pro plan plus the following additions
- Includes 100 participants
- Your meetings can be held for a duration of 24 hours
- Additional reporting and admin feature controls
- 1Gb of MP4 or M4A cloud recording is also provided
- Business plan for $19.99 per host per month
- All pro features are available plus these additional features
- Includes 300 participants
- Cloud recording transcripts
- Admin dashboards
- Vanity URL
- Enterprise plan for $19.99 per host per month
- All business features are available plus the following additional features
- Enterprise includes 500 participants
- Enterprise+ includes 1,000 participants
- Unlimited cloud storage
- Bundle discounts on Webinars and Zoom Rooms
Apart from these plans, the other features mentioned above have their pricing.
- Zoom phone starts from $10 per month per user
- Zoom rooms cost $49 per month per room
- Video webinars start at $40 per month per host for 100 attendees
There are also additional add-ons you may consider for your company and may be beneficial for your team’s communication and collaboration.
Webex on the other hand has five available plans.
- Webex free plan
- Ability to host up to 200 participants
- Unlimited video calls
- Offers a personal meeting room
- Starter plan for $13.50 per host per month
- Includes all the free plan features plus these additional features
- Host up to 50 participants
- Provides 1-9 host licenses
- 5GB cloud storage
- Plus plan for $17.95 per host per month
- Includes all the starter plan features plus these additional features
- Add up to 100 participants
- Provides 1-50 host licenses
- Also provided with 24-hour customer support
- Business plan for $26.95 per host per month
- Includes all the features included in the plus plan as well as the following
- Up to 200 participants
- 10 GB cloud storage
- Provides 5-100 host licenses
- Enterprise plan which is customizable according to your needs
- Offers the business plan features as well as
- 1000 participants
- Support provided to host large online video meetings and events
Zoom vs Webex Conclusion
So, Zoom or Webex which is better? Well, it’s hard to say really.
Each of the two has its edge in certain aspects. We feel that for smaller businesses that are fairly young and don’t have a lot of capital yet would benefit a lot from Webex’s free version.
However, Webex does not allow as many integrations as Zoom does, so it is important to consider which tools your company is already using. If your major motivation is whether you can easily use the software, Zoom would be the way to go, but if your company is looking for something that is a touch more tech-savvy, you should consider Webex.
At the end of the day, it does depend on what you are looking for as a team, therefore, evaluate and discuss with your team and see what would suit your needs better.
Published at DZone with permission of Fred Wilson, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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