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What is Webex Meetings?
Sei Mani insight
What is Webex Meetings? by Elina Oost, 3rd April 2019
Who hasn’t heard of Webex Meetings? If you have done any research into the video conferencing space, you’ll have come across Cisco Webex at some point. Webex has been around for more than 20 years now, which is making it a true cornerstone in a relatively young market. Everyone from the world’s largest international TV company, Liberty Global, right through to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, right down to the family-run businesses are using Webex Meetings to connect their people. It’s chosen because it is robust and reliable, and the leader in the market. More than often, Webex Meetings is chosen because of word of mouth, its reputation precedes itself.
What does Webex Meetings do?
Webex Meetings is a cloud-based service enabling you to conduct highly-secure online meetings with integrated audio, video and content sharing. It allows you to take your meeting room with you, connect people across offices and borders, whilst giving you great collaboration experiences no matter what device you are using.
Cisco finally answered a growing and pressing need for great video with Webex Meetings. With a shift from office based 9-5 work, to a more flexible, agile approach to working in recent years, video has never been more important. The need to have spontaneous, shorter meetings to make decisions in real-time is a real selling point for Webex Meetings.
As part of a digital workplace suite, Webex Meetings plays well with other tools and platforms you use. Strong integrations with o365, Slack, and Workplace by Facebook give Cisco the edge. In recent months the Webex Meetings integration with Microsoft Teams shows that people no longer need to make a uniform choice about how they work, and they can really have the best of both worlds.
What do you need to use Webex Meetings?
The main selling point of Webex Meetings is the ability to join a meeting from almost any device you choose. Whether you are on the go, working from home, or in a traditional office environment, there are options for everyone as long as you have a connection to the internet.
- PC, Mac, Chromebook, or even Linux operated terminals all make the Webex Meeting experience easy with desktop apps or web-based joining
- Android, iPhone and iPad’s all have their own apps to connect you on the go
- You can even connect through a Webex Device such as a Webex board or personal DX device.
When it comes to audio there are a couple of things you might want to consider. If you are using a computer, we strongly recommend you use a good noise cancelling headset. Background office noise, or the kids playing in the background, can be a real distraction. Working hands-free is much easier than holding a phone to your ear anyway, and your built-in microphone might be too far away to pick you up clearly.
And, if you are using a mobile device, make sure you are muting your line when you are not speaking will reduce the background noise around you distracting the meeting.
How much does Webex Meetings cost?
Webex Meetings is not the cheapest on the market, in fact, it’s one of the more expensive offerings. But can you really put a price on reliable, crystal clear audio and HD video when you are working flexibly?
Webex has 4 packages, starting with the “Starter” at £11.95 per host per month. Perfect for small businesses or individuals. The mid-field “Plus” and “Business” packages support medium to large-sized organisations, with competitive price points, similar to Zoom. Their enterprise price point will obviously be much more expensive but give a wider range of controls and customisation. As always, it’s recommended to contact Cisco directly to discuss specific packages. There is a free 30-day trial option available if you want to really try before you buy.
Obviously, the more you pay per month, the more controls, support, and storage options you have available to you.
Is Webex Meetings a good investment?
If you compare it to Skype for Business for example, and if you base your choice purely on price per user, your choice will be quickly made. But if you are looking for the slick, polished, and professional experience that Webex Meetings gives you – it certainly is worth its weight in gold. It’s not only the investment in technology that you need to consider, investing in your people, communications, and training is just as important as the technical set-up. Assigning budget or bringing in experts to deliver outcome-based training solutions is a clear consideration up-front.
Webex Meetings pros and cons
Pro: Secure Webex Meetings for everyone
Besides physical security of the data centers, regular internal and external penetration tests to identify critical vulnerabilities and apply improvements, and a set of strong algorithms that help secure the network connection, Cisco provides end-to-end encryption making it bets in class secure.
Con: Audio challenges
When selecting “using the computer” option, users often complain that they have a bad audio experience. The majority of the time, this is due to external factors such as headsets not being set up properly, or being used at all, poor bandwidth, or noisy backgrounds. A little bit of education with your users can go a long way.
Pro: Excellent integrations
Webex Meetings not only integrates with the other Cisco services and devices, but also other digital workplace platforms such as Outlook, Microsoft teams, and Slack. You can even integrate Webex Meetings with your LMS platform to schedule and host training sessions.
Con: The need for training
Most users will need a minimum of coaching to have the best Webex Meetings experience. Webex has lots of excellent but often case-specific options, choosing the “wrong” one for your needs will probably get you an outcome that is far from what you were looking to do. We often recommend support and light touch training for Webex Meetings at a minimum.
Pro: Best in class video
Webex Meetings benefits from a very professional look and feel, especially when used with video devices and rooms. They make it easy to look great with customers and partners, share content easily, and have a crystal clear video no matter the size of your company.
Webex Meetings in the digital workplace
If you are looking for the best in class video conferencing solution, then Webex Meetings is just the ticket. It’s reliable, has a whole host of functionalities to give you the edge in your meetings, and integrates with the tools you use every day. Investing in a product that can deliver is a sensible decision when thinking about your digital workplace suite.