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Cisco Webex vs Zoom Comparison 2021

by Arthur Zuckerman

Video conferencing platforms are becoming more popular nowadays. With the business world slowly transitioning to work-at-home setups and multi-location collaboration, not the least because of the coronavirus pandemic, these tools have grown in importance. They are not just useful in meetings and file collaboration but also for webinars, training, talks, and big conferences.

Two of the top tools used today are Cisco Webex and Zoom. Both tools offer essential communication functionalities, ranging from instant messaging to conferencing. They even provide auxiliary features like file-sharing tools to boot. The only question is, which is better?

We know it is difficult to compare communication software so in this article, we’ll give you an idea of what these two platforms can do. And, we’ll pit them against each other to have our official Cisco Webex vs Zoom comparison verdict. Moreover, we will be discussing them side-by-side in key points of comparisons, including pricing packages, features, and integrations.

An Overview of Cisco Webex

With Cisco Webex, you can work remotely or from home. Just like Zoom, it can be used for webinars, web, and video conferencing, file sharing, content sharing, and the like. Cisco Webex is also marketed to businesses of all sizes.

Webex provides advanced features, such as facial recognition, and it can detect and suppress noise like keyboard clicks and sirens. With the facial recognition feature, you can quickly identify who you are in a conference with. This is especially useful to large enterprises with global footprints. What’s more, Webex has a collaboration app called Webex Teams that allows users to collaborate and share files. This also provides them with a useful whiteboarding tool for brainstorming and planning. 

Webex, just like Zoom, offers hardware for video conferencing. Furthermore, the company offers a cloud-based contact center setup complete with omnichannel capabilities. This is being marketed to small and midsize contact center operations. 

A mobile-ready platform, Webex works seamlessly with other business solutions, including GitHub, Dropbox, Zendesk, and Zapier, among many others. Lastly, pricing starts at $19 per user per month for an annual subscription. 

Cisco Webex dashboard

Cisco Webex is an enterprise-grade video conferencing and online meeting system that remote teams can use to collaborate closely.

An Overview of Zoom

Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing apps for business. It is designed for the use of businesses of all sizes, from large enterprises down to SMBs. The platform is being used for video meetings, video webinars, file sharing, and business instant messaging (IM). What’s more, it offers video conference room services and an enterprise cloud phone system

This enterprise cloud phone system is called Zoom Phone. It unifies your meetings, video, chat, and phone communications under one platform. Through its administration portal, you can provision and manage users. It also allows you to monitor business interactions through one dashboard. Also, while Zoom is available via browsers, iPhones, and Android devices, it supports traditional business phone system features. That said, you don’t have to drop your legacy systems when you use Zoom Phone. 

Moreover, Zoom offers a conference room management service complete with hardware. This set of hardware includes a scheduling display tab and digital signage. Also, you don’t have to worry if you want to scale up your setup. Hardware experts will help you create the most professional-looking and worry-free video conference room for you. 

Furthermore, Zoom integrates well with other business systems, including Salesforce, Slack, HubSpot, and Skype, among many. There is a basic Zoom plan that is already rich in features. However, for business use, pricing plans start at $14.99 per month per host. 

Zoom dashboard

Zoom is a popular video conferencing application complete with collaboration tools that can support large teams.

Cisco Webex vs Zoom Comparison 

In this section, we’ll analyze both solutions on different points of comparison. These comparison points will be (1) pricing, (2) collaboration, (3) video conference room, and (4) call quality and experience.

1. Pricing

At first glance, you can say that Zoom beats Cisco Webex. The former’s price is only $14.99 per month per host. The latter is at $19 per user per month. Notice that the host here is just the person that wants you to join the meeting. 

So, in principle, Zoom saves you money. Plus, Zoom has a free plan. This way, you can try and get the hang of it before committing. On the other hand, Cisco Webex offers a free trial as well just to get familiar with it. However, there is no free plan for you. 

Given these, Zoom seems to win the pricing battle. Firstly, it is readily available with its free service. And, its starting price is a bit lower than Cisco Webex. If everything else is equal when it comes to quality and features, Zoom takes the pie when it comes to price. 

2. Collaboration

Zoom’s collaboration features are all integrated into its Zoom Chat module. Within it, internal teams and even external participants can come together and collaborate. They can share files and even customize their workspace. Users can also set tasks and prioritize them. Plus, users can share screens simultaneously and co-annotate for more interactive meetings and brainstorming.

On the other hand, Cisco Webex also offers collaboration capabilities through Cisco Webex Teams. It has a whiteboarding feature for brainstorming and visualization. Plus, you can also set schedules and share files. It has basically the same features and capabilities as Zoom. 

When we compare their collaboration features, we can say that it is a toss-up between the two. They basically do the same things and have great user interface design. Also, communications are secured.

Alternatively, if you find that these two are still lacking in terms of collaboration tools, you can always reinforce it with a separate system. After all, there are plenty of software solutions available in this category.

3. Video Conferencing Room

Both companies help you set up an advanced video conferencing room complete with digital signages, mics, and cameras. The call quality from both companies is equally great. Also, both have advanced features. So, for this Cisco Webex vs Zoom comparison point, we feel that it is again a close fight between the two top solutions. 

Furthermore, Cisco Webex and Zoom both use AI to enhance experience and productivity. 

Zoom has an AI-powered automatic transcript and notes creation. Also, Zoom Rooms uses facial recognition to identify users and inform them of who they are in meeting with. Moreover, you can even use a mixed-reality background to enhance experience and communication. 

Webex also has AI-powered and machine learning-enhanced features. As mentioned, it has facial recognition, just like Zoom. And, it also has noise detection and suppression capabilities. 

Again, for this point of comparison, it is a tie. 

4. Call Quality and Experience

Call quality, of course, depends on the stability of your internet connection. If that is a given, then both companies provide stellar call quality. Also, the interface, including the dashboards, is very intuitive to use. It will be a lie if you don’t find using both Cisco Webex and Zoom a little fun. Yes, it has an enjoyable quality, and you can even make business meetings a little casual. 

Also, if you are one of the admins of either account, you get to have a great experience when it comes to data and analytics. Yes, both Zoom and Webex show you usage statistics that you can learn from to improve your communication and collaboration processes. 

So, for this, Cisco Webex and Zoom comparison point, it is also a tie. 

Which is Better? Cisco Webex vs Zoom Comparison Verdict

For our final Cisco Webex vs Zoom comparison 2020 verdict, we say that it is generally a tie between the two. However, there are those in our review team that feel Zoom is a bit better as it offers a free plan. For small teams and individuals, we recommend Zoom. 

But, if you represent an enterprise, we feel that you can do great with Cisco Webex. One differentiator is that it has its own branded hardware for conference rooms. This makes service and maintenance easy as you get everything from Cisco. This, though, has its downsides. First, Cisco is not really known for audio and video devices. Zoom, on the other hand, uses hardware known for audio and video quality, such as Logitech, for its hardware. 

So, again, it is really a toss-up. What we are sure of is that you will never go wrong with choosing one or the other if you have the budget. Zoom is a little cheaper, but there isn’t much difference between Webex. Finally, you can try both of them. Zoom offers a free plan while Webex offers a free trial. If you avail of these, you, yourself, can give your official verdict. You can also check out our Zoom vs BlueJeans comparison to learn more about these tools.

Do you want to expand your options beyond these two communication systems? Perhaps you’d like to find customer-facing tools that will help your clients reach you easily? In that case, you might also want to take a look at our list of call center software.

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