By: Cisco Systems, Inc.
WebEx is a service by Cisco, one of the world’s largest corporations specializing in networking and IT security equipment. With Cisco’s solid backing, you can be assured that the service will be top notch with maximum security deployed for all your meeting.
Webex was founded in 1996 as ActiveTouch. The company then acquired by Cisco in 2007 for $3.2 billion.
WebEx offers multiple services with a similar set of features to cater to different needs and types of users. If you are looking for a standard web conferencing solution, you should be looking at WebEx Meeting or WebEx Meeting Center. The WebEx Meeting would be ideal for less number of participants with support for up to 100 participants across 3 tiers. For collaboration beyond 100 members, you might want to go for WebEx Meeting Center.
With the Cisco logo sitting next to the WebEx logo, it instantly lifts the credibility and reputation of the service and this should be a good indicator. WebEx boasts millions of customers and initiating a meeting with prospective clients bearing the Cisco logo establishes that you are a serious business owner who has made a sizeable investment for enterprise software.
WebEx offers HD audio as well as video conferencing supporting up to 7 participants at once. You have the option of recording videos which is encoded in WebEx’s custom format and plays on the free “WebEx Player”. This might seem like an inconvenience as it may cause compatibility issues but you can always save the video in Shockwave flash format which has more widespread compatibility.
You can also get toll free call in numbers internationally but it will cost you. If you are anticipating a large number of call-ins for an extended duration of time, it may cost you a pretty penny. You get 500 minutes for $45 a month. This can be scaled up depending on how many minutes you will require for a month.
Similar to other video conferencing solutions, with Cisco WebEx, you have the option of sharing all content on your screen or a certain application. You can hold private chats and you participants have the option of “hand raising” during the meeting. WebEx is compatible with Outlook and Lotus Notes allowing you to easily schedule a WebEx meeting directly to one of these applications.
On top of this, Cisco allows you to virtually share any form of files across participants in your meeting which will always come in handy when you are running an interactive discussion.
WebEx also provides two related products for larger scale interactions. You can setup an entire online conference complete with registration and presentation of abstracts by speakers as well as one-to-one sessions if required. This plan will cost you quite a bit and is recommended if you are looking to hold a conference over the course of a day for a large number of people. They also have their Training Center which is ideal if you are looking to run training programs.
Some of the products for large enterprise includes Cisco WebEx Meeting Center and Cisco WebEx Event Center. These platform hosts features which are ideal for enterprise customers who frequently may have big number of users wants to join.
You can be assured that the service will be at least mediocre but we recommend that you try it out for yourself. The starting price of $49 may be a little out of budget for someone looking for minimal features on a tight budget but in most cases, WebEx is worth the test drive because it could very well be your permanent "go to" web conferencing software.