Webex vs Skype – Which is Better Meeting Software?

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There is no doubt that the internet has influenced us in many ways. When the first whiff of the internet was felt by millions across the globe, no one would have thought that it would impact our daily lives so much.

Today, the internet has become almost indispensable for millions of people across the world. It cuts across age, gender, ethnicity, geographical location, language and religion.

It has impacted almost each and every aspect of our lives. Communication between individuals, between individuals and entities, between entities and between groups of individuals and entities are perhaps one of the biggest achievements of the internet.

It has well and truly made the world a smaller place and in one stroke it has removed the barriers of time, distance and geographical boundaries.

It would not be possible to talk in detail about each and every aspect of our lives that has been touched by the internet, computers and mobile telephony.

In this article, we will try and have a look at online meeting using the power and reach of the internet. As we speak, it is quite possible business transactions, important medical decisions and other such things could be decided using the internet for discussions and meeting.

It is as good as being physically present and the meeting can be conducted between one-to-one, between three or more persons and also between various groups of persons.

There is no restriction as to time, geography or other such impediments as was the case around forty to five years ago when the internet was around.

How Are These Online Meetings Held

When we see a group of top executives having some serious and important discussions across many states and regions of the world or across many countries of the world, you have to try and understand the power, technology and reach of various online meeting software solutions that are being commonly used these days.

There are many such software solutions available in the market today. However, in this article, we will try and have a look at webex and Skype and try and find out as to what these two solutions offer.

We will look at them from various angles and attributes. We are sure that it will help customers to know more about these software solutions and make the right choice.

However, before doing so, we will have a brief look at online meeting software and what it offers when compared to conventional chatting, emailing and other such services.

What Is Online Meeting Software

Put in simple words, this is a software solution which allows the users to be in touch with the other stakeholders or others who also have the same software.

This form of communication is also referred to internet conferencing. It is become the standard for almost small and big global business and the advantages of the same have been explained briefly above.

This form of conferencing also saves thousands of dollars on hotel conferences, meetings, hotel accommodations and also the various training tools that are required.

In fine, there is no doubt that it helps to distribute information simple, efficient and extremely cost effective.

A Look At Some Online Meeting Software Solutions

If you look around the internet, it is quite obvious that you will come across many online internet conferencing software options. Hence, you certainly could have a tough time choosing the right one.

However, if one goes by track-record, history, and customer satisfaction, there could be many reasons to either try out Webex or Skype.

Both are unique in their own ways and both have their own pros and cons. We will try and have a look at each of these internet conference solutions. This we are sure will help customers and readers to make a right decision.

Webex

There is no doubt that webex from Cisco is one of the most well known and reputed online meeting software solutions available in the country and also across scores of countries across the world.

According to reports, each month around 113 million professionals use Webex to correspond, communicate and collaborate for the purpose of moving business projects forward.

This certainly is big number and they have come this far because they do have something very useful and pertinent to offer.

There are some very interesting features that make webex a much sought after internet conferencing option.

It allows teams to work with another person or entity using a browser, video system or even a smart phone or mobile phone device. It offers one of the most efficient and integrated video, audio, content and text sharing options.

Further, from the safety and security point of view, many customers believe that it is comparable to the best in the world. It helps the users and other stakeholders to keep the conversations confidential and private using the best of technology.

The secure features of Cisco Collaboration Cloud are also being talked about in many quarters.

Some Interesting Features

There are a number of features which makes Webex good internet conferencing software. It offers a free trial to the customers so that they are able to get a look and feel before deciding to invest money in it.

it has one of the widest deployment options. It can be deployed as SaaS, on the web, Cloud based deployment, and so on. It works on Mac, Windows, and Android platforms and also on iOS native applications.

Training can be done in person or through webinars.

Some Other Interesting Features

Customers also are happy about this meeting software because on offers on-demand webcasting and also electronic hand raising option. It also is possible to do the best of presentation streaming.

The software also comes with high class presentation tools to make things clear, concise and meaningful and it also helps to put the message across briefly without missing out on the important points.

You also get the option of private chat apart from the facility to share screens. There are a few more facilities like video conferencing and recording and playback abilities.

All these when taken together and looked at in totality, certainly makes it very versatile, feature rich and cost effective online meeting software.

Pros

  • Webex is popular because it allows tea members training and conference meetings and the same can be played back later for various purposes.
  • It certainly allows to connect with people across the globe instantaneously.
  • The connection is quite impressive and happens almost immediately provided one has the right internet and broadband connectivity.
  • It also is suitable for large sized firms. Hence, it is not a surprise that it finds favor with companies who have more than 10,000 and more employees who need to be in touch with them for various reasons.
  • It is cost effective provided the users do the right research and choose the right package.

Cons

  • There have been a few instances of quirk sounding audio and this could prevent a few users from getting access to useful and vital information, especially in a life situation. This apart there is nothing negative about Webex.
  • The cost might be prohibitive for small and medium sized firms but this also is being addressed gradually by the software services provider

Therefore in fine it certainly could be considered as a very good buy for large sized firms and it certainly functions seamlessly and is extremely easy to use.

Not many people or organizations have had issues with regard to usage, reliability, features and value for money.

Skype

There are hardly any internet users who would not have heard of the name Skype. It is from the house of Microsoft and this in itself is a feather in the cap of Skype.

If you are looking for a reliable, proven, time-tested and value for money audio and video calling solutions for business and also for personal use, then Skype certainly is a name to reckon with.

It has stood the test of time and there are millions of users who are extremely satisfied using this internet meeting, audio and video conferencing software solution.

We will look at a few reasons as to why it has been able to earn the trust and confidence of millions of users across the world.

Brief History

Skype as we all know is internet meeting and conferencing software. It was acquired by Microsoft for around $8.5 billion way back in 2011 and according to the market and experts, it certainly is a shrewd move by Microsoft.

It now forms an integral part of Office 365 or even the latest version of Office 2019. It covers audio, video and text chat making it a comprehensive and total online conferencing solution in the market today.

However, there are many users who feel that when it comes to integration of Skype with Office 365, there are still some issues and problems.

It is still not as seamless as it happens with Word, Powerpoint, Excel or Access amongst other such application from the stables of Microsoft. Let us now look at some of the major features of Skype.

There are quite a few of them and it would not be possible to list down each one of them in full detail. We are however, sharing some of the most salient and important points for the benefit of readers.

Most Important Features

It is a good solution for all those who are looking for video, web conferencing and audio solutions either when they are in the home or office or even while they are on the move.

It allows for planning the meeting well in advance and also hosting a meet in real time should there be a need for it. Further, it also allows 250 people to join a meeting using their individual devices.

Apart from the above, there are a few more features that are worth looking at.

  • Allows scheduling meetings from Outlook. This is an exciting feature of Skype. It allows the user to integrate Skype for Business with Outlook using a simple plugin feature. With this in place, you can schedule your online meeting using Outlook and that too with just a single click.
  • You also enjoy the facility of single touch joining and if the meetings have been decided in advance, the users can be a part of the meetings with the help of calendar meeting reminders.
  • It also offers multiparty HD video to stream videos and that too with a stunning 1080 resolution.
  • You can also share desktop screens, power point presentations and excel sheets making it very versatile as far as information sharing and flow are concerned.
  • You can also mute individual or all attendees, block the video of any person, hide unhide names behind display pictures, easily invite other people and also set parameters for permissions for presenters and also participants.
  • You also have some of the finest conferencing tools and these include virtual whiteboard and also annotation.
  • You also get some of the easiest broadcasting facilities. You can easily broadcast the content to more than 10,000 attendees and therefore Skype is the obvious choice for conducting of webinars.
  • There are also other facilities like polling, digital raising of hands, record and playback and much more.

Hence, when all the above factors are taken into account, there are reasons to believe that you are buying a complete and total online conferencing tool.

Pros

  • Great for internal communication.
  • The best of screen sharing facilities and options.
  • Top class video communication.
  • One of the best broadcasting options covering 10000 plus attendees.
  • Polling, hand rising and other such facilities.

Cons

  • Upload time is a bit long at times.
  • Not exactly the solution for small and medium sized business houses.
  • The application is user friendly but there are a few who believe that there is scope for improvement.
  • Customer services are good with again avenues for improvement.

When we look at all the above features, pros and cons and then pause and look back, it is quite obvious that Skype has become what it is today mostly because of the quality that they offer to their customers.

It is a quality conferencing software tool that has a proven track record.

Now that we have had a close look at the various features of both Skype and Webex, let us now get into some Webex vs Skype comparisons.

Backed by the information available above and the comparisons that are to follow, we hope that the readers and prospective customers would be in a position to take the right all as to which is the better option.

Webox Vs Skpe – Some Salient Features

History: The main objective of both Skype and WebEx was to become digital disrupters. They wanted to deliver on the promise of making the internet as a global communications tool.

WebEx had its roots dating back to 1996. It was basically the brainchild of an Indian programmer and a Chinese entrepreneur. They got together to create a video conferencing software and the same was renamed as WebEx in 1998.

The first version of SaaS product was launched by WebEx in 1999. Eventually the company was taken over by Cisco for around $3.2 billion dollars.

It has grown from strength to strength and according to some figures more than 26 million meeting happen per month using this software

On the other hand, Skype was released in 2003 and it was the handiwork of Danish and Swedish Developers. In 2005 Skype was purchased by eBay for around $2.6 billion.

During that the market value of Skype was around $2.92 billion. However, when Microsoft bought it the market value for Skype had risen to around $8.5 billion.

Hence when a comparison between webex vs Skype is made this market reality has to be kept in mind. Today, Skype most probably has around 300 million users each month and this is staggering to say the least.

The mobile version of Skype has been downloaded more than 1 billion times.

Overall Performance Rating

When it comes to overall performance rating, both WebEx and Skype are evenly balanced.

While in many sites the average rating for Webex is 8.9 and for Skype it is 9.0. Hence as far as performance is concerned both the software platforms are on even keel. The user satisfaction levels are also high for both and they vary from 96 to 98%.

Cost

As far as cost is concerned, even today Skype has a free version. However, if you are looking for a business solution then you should buy Office 365 and Skype comes inbuilt as a package and therefore both Office 365 and Skype for Business are integrated.

On the other hand WebEx as we read this article does not have any free option as far as individual users are concerned.

Hence, as far as cost is concerned, Skype is one up because of their free version, but only for individual users.

There Are Some Similarities

Both Webex and Skype offer a number of similar services. These include web and video conferencing for more than 200 people.

However, Skype might have an advantage here also because they can accommodate conferencing facilities for more than 300 people.

Both of them offer a monthly SaaS fee options and this will ensure unlimited and secure meetings. Therefore in this attribute both these service providers are the same.

Apart from this there are some more common features and these include file sharing, white-boarding, and brainstorming and chat facilities. Both Skype and WebEx are almost the same as far as the above features are concerned.

Last but not the least administrative controls and live support are almost the same in terms of quality and time of response.

What Are The Differences

When looking at some other aspects of webex vs skype, we also should try and identify the differences. The biggest difference between the two software solutions is the absence of feature driven instant messaging services. This is available in Skype.

WebEx tried to counter this with WebEx Spark but there are issues still with regard to file storage and IM. However, when it comes to preplanned calls or events many even today feel that WebEx is a better choice.

Apart from the above, there are also some more areas where there is a difference between the two.

  • Skype perhaps offers a better option whenever there is a need to toggle between compact screen and full window screen.
  • When it comes to adding new participants during a live video session, both Skype and WebEx are equally good. But there are a few who believe that Skype has a better edge on this count.
  • Another big difference which sets Skype apart from Webex is with regard to interpolation with its own suite of MS Office applications. Whether it is Word, Excel, Powerpoint or even Organizer, there is hardly any doubt that this can be done quite easily and effortlessly as far as Skype is concerned. In this area, there is no doubt that WebEx as of today has no solution to offer.
  • The facility of using Outlook to start a session with a pre-set date and time is certainly a big takeaway as far as Skype is concerned.
  • When it comes to managing simultaneous IM conversations, both these solutions are good enough, with some users claiming that WebEx could be slightly ahead.
  • When it comes to handling number of attendants, there is no doubt that Skype wins hands down. It has the capability of handling around 10,000 attendants quite effortlessly and it is unlikely that WebEx would be able to match this.

Pros And Cons Skype Vs WebEx

According to customer feedback and expert opinions, WebEx is perhaps more user friendly. However, when it comes to price versus easy usage, Skype could be considered a better option.

There are many packages of WebEx that are double the price of Skype. Further the paid plans of Skype also offer up to eight simultaneous video conferencing lines apart from screen sharing and also the ability to record meetings, etc. Skype also offer free mobile apps and other such giveaways.

Webex meeting hosts have an advantage because they are able to share their files or desktop quite easily. Further, when it is about controlling attendees, WebEx could be more efficient.

Cisco’s WebEx does not offer phone conferencing. But they could have overcome this problem by offering multiple phone conferencing facilities.

Conclusion

When we look at the various features, specialties and various other attributes, there are both good and bad things about Skype and WebEx.

Skype might have more number of users and also starts with an advantage that it has a slew of products in its Microsoft Office stables that can be integrated with its meeting software.

WebEx is perhaps sturdier, more user-friendly and is a good option for medium and big sized business that is ready to spend the mind of money that is expected of such meeting software platforms.

George Smith
 

George is seasoned tester, having fair knowledge of development tools and technologies. He started off as a customer to one of the online meeting softwares but couldn't last the chinks in the armor. He has now gathered some good 8 years of experience in auditing and testing online meeting and other softwares. He loves connecting and networking in his leisure time.

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