The lockdown, shift to remote work and social distancing fueled the growth of video conferencing software and apps. Zoom and WebEx stand out as the go to video conferencing solution. Zoom, compared to WebEx, was a late entrant on the scene but skyrocketed to success in the pandemic times of 2020 with a daily user count of 200 million in March 2020, increasing to 300 million the next month. This is a stupendous increase considering that in December 2019 it has only 10 million users. Webex did not lag behind, recording about 25 billion meeting minutes in April 2020, over double of what it had to show for January 2020. The pandemic has by no means diminished and remote work is here to stay. As a small business you will find a video conferencing tool to be invaluable but which to choose: Zoom or WebEx? Find out.
Webex came into being in 1995 only to be acquired by Cisco in 2007. You could say its tech has more sophisticated roots and provides a competent unified communication platform for online collaboration.
Zoom came into being in 2011, founded by Eric Yuan and became operational in January 2013. Yuan himself was part of the team that helped build Webex before it was acquired by Cisco. He migrated to the US, launched Zoom and the rest is history with Zoom being valued at over $ 1 billion. Zoom is chiefly a mobile app compared to Webex that works on broader platforms.
Target user audience
Cisco’s Webex is conceived and designed to be used by medium and large enterprises with a diversified footprint geographically speaking. Generally, enterprises that already had Cisco infrastructure would plump for WebEx to fit into existing environment.
Zoom, on the other hand, was launched as an app, possibly targeting individual users. It reached a download figure of 2.13 million in March 2020. Majority of users belonged to the business category and inherent security weakness (such as crashers barging in) prompted the company to reposition Zoom for business use. If yours is a small business then Zoom is probably a better and more affordable option given its limitations. Or, you could simply get your own custom video chat and conferencing app developed for you.
Cisco Webex is the clear winner with four modules such as meeting center, event center, training center and support center with support for 1000 attendees.
Zoom offers just two: Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars with its Meeting module being similar to Webex training. It can scale to accommodate 1000 participants for meetings and 10000 for webinars at different price points.
If price is a consideration, Zoom is ahead and recommended for small businesses.
Again Webex has more features but small businesses may not need all these. It offers bridging of video traffic through video mesh and advanced features for webinar administration. You also get insights to view profiles of participants.
Zoom’s attraction is that it works even in low bandwidth internet situations and bridges traffic through Zoom Meeting Connector besides offering virtual background feature and simultaneous screen share. Another great feature is that small groups within a larger group can form separate groups to meet in virtual breakout rooms and hosts can visit multiple rooms per session. In Webex the host can only shuffle session participants.
Recording, messaging, calling and contact center, video end points
Webex permits unlimited recording, native messaging and call subscriptions for telephony users. It is well rounded and rich in features. Webex has its own endpoint platform.
Zoom allows only 1Gb maximum recording per user with payment based additional recording. Zoom’s chat is not quite as solid for messaging compared to Webex and the call center features are limited. As for video end points, Zoom has third parties build endpoint solutions to their specs. If these do not matter much, pick zoom, an affordable small business solution.
One thing, if it is important to you, is that Zoom full HD video quality outclasses Webex.
Zoom offers voicemail, transcription, call flipping and voicemail to email whereas Webex offers intelligent call queuing and routing options.
The alternative is to simply get custom video conferencing software developed and stop worrying about features.
Cisco’s Webex offers tight security that large enterprises need.
Zoom’s security was rather slack with many instances of eavesdropping and meetings being hijacked by unauthorized people. Since then it has improved security to be comparable to Webex.
Yet another reason why Webex is preferred by larger enterprises is that it integrates calendar, single sign on, syncs with active director and you can live stream from Facebook Live or YouTube.
Zoom does not lag behind, offering calendar, single sign on, active directory and ability to live stream YouTube and Facebook live.
Webex includes Microsoft Office, Google Calendar, Facebook live and others whereas Zoom offers Google Drive, Dropbox, HubSpot, Infusionsoft and Eloqua integration.
It is a tie.
Zoom offers free use and subscriptions starting at $ 19.99 per month. Webex also offers free usage and plans starting at $ 26.95 per month. Obviously, Zoom holds an advantage.
Ease of use
The pandemic saw many people switch to video conferencing as part of remote work routine. Those not familiar with just how online virtual meetings work would have had a hard time figuring out menus and systems of video conferencing solutions. In this respect, Zoom’s menu and ease of use rank higher compared to Webex which is more complicated and needs time to get used to. Webex requires users to register and login. With Zoom you just dive into a meeting.
If you look at price and ease of use then Zoom is head. If you want top level security, ability to hold meetings with thousands of participants and enjoy more features then Webex may be right for you. However, the third option is to get video conferencing solution developed for you and do away with relying on third party apps and software.