If you enjoy the feeling of a Zoom meeting or workshop, but the security concerns have you running the other way, Cisco WebEx may be for you!
Cisco WebEx Meetings –
Owned by Cisco Communications, Webex (also referred to as Webinar) is one of the most secure online meeting interfaces. WebEx was founded in the mid-90s and became a publicly offered service in 2000. It can be run either through a web browser, or from an app that can be downloaded to your desktop. The “meetings” function has some of the more standard features expected from a platform. Multi-participant or “Brady Bunch view”, active speaker, video pinning, and video spotlighting are available to create an exciting participation experience. What this software does well is it integrates seamlessly with 3rd party hardware such as capture cards and a variety of digital audio interfaces. All video coming into the platform is converted to 720p and is pushed out to viewers the same way. Bandwidth use with this platform will depend on the number of participants in the meeting, and how many of them have their video displays on at once. All users of WebEx have the ability to identify themselves and the muting of audio and video remains standard for each participant. This platform also features seamless integration with Outlook for email calendar, and scheduling. It is our recommendation that video playback not be done while screen sharing, as the frame rates are incorrect and videos will skip or experience other playback issues. This can be fixed with a few solutions, however for ease of use screen sharing is best suited for static slides.
- Security features such as password protected meetings.
- User friendly. Moderate flexibility in use.
- Users can decide which break-out rooms they would like to attend.
- Some auto background sound cancelling.
- Customizable backgrounds for added security or brand cohesion.
- Cloud based and local record storage.
- Online account management. Meetings allow users to see audience reactions and allows them to be more engaged without admin permission.
- Built-in polling features.
- Allows for Co-Hosts or multiple controllers.
- Assigning participants to rooms is not an option for break-out rooms.
- User experience is limited.
- Limited audio control and video control.
- Depending on account level, security features may be limited.
- Limited account management on mobile app.
- Pre-show troubleshooting documents should be distributed to the audience and participants, as needed.
Cisco WebEx Webinar
Webinar is very similar to meetings but you can not see everyone in the room. It is a mixture of the words “web” and seminar.” It is more of a watching experience. You can “bring people on stage” (in other words make the audience able to see them), but they must be invited speakers. The more frequently used platform is “GoToWebinar” which utilizes large scale presentations that can be presented as video conferencing and “screen share” technology. All features are fairly similar to Webex. The main “difference” is the end users or participants. Webinar is used mainly for educational purposes whereas Webex is used for meetings. Webinar’s audience is a little bit sizable and would require planning ahead or reason for participation. It has the most loose form of participation because it requires a more planned out viewership, a scheduled time for participants to join, and for a user to present. It is a little more rigid- It’s like watching a movie but not being a part of the movie.
- Singular focus without background chatter
- Really structured
- Can have speakers and people on the virtual stage
- Can import pre-recorded videos, presentations, and powerpoints
- Chatbox feature for Q&A
- Used for training sessions, demonstrations, workshops, etc- mostly for educational purposes.
- NO Brady bunch view, lower engagement.
- Must be more planned out and has to be cued
- More audience control leads to less audience engagement
- Webinar feature limits interaction other than hand raising and polls, must be a pre-arranged speaker or invited on stage.