Definition

Cisco Webex

Contributor(s): Katherine Finnell

Cisco Webex is a cloud-based collaboration suite comprised of Webex Meetings, Webex Teams and Webex Devices. The Webex suite is a merger of Cisco's WebEx web conferencing platform and Cisco Spark team collaboration app. The services rebranded under Webex in April 2018 to centralize Cisco's collaboration portfolio.

Cisco Webex products provide core collaboration capabilities, including video meetings, team messaging and file sharing. The suite is considered a leading collaboration platform in the unified communications and is geared toward small group collaboration as well as enterprise-wide deployments.

The Webex backbone network powers all meetings, regardless of whether they are joined from the Webex Meetings or Webex Teams apps. Cisco Webex supports on-premises and hybrid deployments through its Webex Hybrid Services, which connects Webex Teams' cloud-based capabilities to on-premises Cisco communication systems. Cisco Webex also offers Video Mesh, a hybrid media service that keeps local users on premises and pushes remote or overflow users to the cloud.

Webex also includes a cloud-based phone system, Webex Calling, which allows users to call anyone from Cisco IP phones or directly from a Webex Teams space. Users can also connect Cisco phone systems to Webex Teams with Webex Hybrid Services; however, PSTN services must be purchased from a third-party provider. Webex Teams supports 911 calling with the ability to set a service address per PSTN telephone number.

Webex Teams

Webex Teams is a cloud-based team collaboration application that features video meetings, messaging, file sharing and whiteboarding. The software offers a persistent virtual meeting room for in-office and remote teams to collaborate. While Webex Teams is primarily a cloud-based service, it also supports hybrid and on-premises systems.

Cisco Webex
Webex products and user interfaces take a video-first approach.

Cisco originally launched the service in 2014 under the name Project Squared. The product was rebranded as Cisco Spark in 2015, and renamed Webex Teams in April 2018. The service officially becomes Webex Teams, with a new user interface, in June 2018.

Webex Teams offers third-party app integrations ranging from project management services, such as Asana and Pivotal Tracker, to customer relationship management, such as Salesforce and Zendesk. Webex Teams also offers integrations via APIs through its Cisco Webex for Developers program. The platform allows developers to build custom apps that extend Teams capabilities into daily workflows. Cisco also created a Webex Innovation Fund to support developers using Webex APIs.

Webex Meetings

Webex Meetings is Cisco's cloud-based web and video conferencing service that enables global and virtual teams to collaborate on mobile devices and standards-based video systems in real time. Webex Meetings includes features such as screen sharing, meeting recording, customizable layouts and meeting broadcasting.

Webex Meetings is the rebranded Cisco WebEx, a web conferencing platform. Cisco purchased WebEx in 2007 to compete against Microsoft and other collaboration software vendors. It was renamed Webex Meetings in April 2018.

Webex Meetings integrates with Slack and Microsoft Teams, which allows users to start or join Webex video meetings directly from Slack and Microsoft Teams. Webex Meetings offers calendar integrations including Outlook, Office 365 and Google Calendar, and also integrates with IBM Connections and Microsoft One Drive for file sharing.

Webex Meetings features personal rooms that users can customize, schedule meetings or leave open for ad hoc meetings. Users can also schedule meetings from Webex Teams, join Webex meetings from Teams or continue conversations in Teams after a meeting ends.

Webex Meetings supports large-scale events such as webinars and training. Webex Events supports webinars and events for up to 3,000 attendees. Webex Training supports live or on-demand training sessions with capabilities such as testing and automated grading for over 1,000 participants. Webex Webcasting supports large-scale virtual events for more than 40,000 participants.

Webex Meetings also has a customer service offering called Webex Support, which allows organizations to support up to five customers as a time. The service includes capabilities such as live chat, video conferencing, remote desktop control, and automatic queuing and routing.

Webex Devices

Cisco Webex includes a range of meeting room devices with its Webex Room Series and Webex Board. The Webex Room Series includes kits of devices including a camera, codec, speakers and microphone for small and midsize meeting rooms. The kits integrate with flat-panel displays and support cloud and on-premises deployments. The Webex Room Kit supports meeting rooms that seat up to seven people and the Room Kit Plus supports rooms that seat up to 14 people.

The Webex Room 55 supports small to medium meeting rooms that seat six to eight people. It includes a 55-inch 4K display, camera, codec, microphones and speakers. The Webex Room 70 supports larger meeting rooms that seat up to 14 people and includes single or dual 70-inch 4K displays, an integrated camera, microphones and speakers. Both Webex Room 55 and Webex Room 70 are built for cloud and on-premises deployments and offer advanced capabilities, such as speaker tracking and automatic framing and wake-up.

The Webex Board features a 55-inch or 70-inch interactive whiteboard that offers wireless presentation, audio and video conferencing and content annotations. Content created on the Webex Board is stored in the cloud and can be accessed from its associated virtual workspace within the Webex Teams app.

Webex security

Webex Meetings encrypts sensitive data at rest and encrypts all media streams during sessions. End-to-end encryption is optional for customers. Webex Meetings also has ISO 27001, SSAE-16 and SOC 2 Type 2 certifications. Webex Meetings is also certified with the Federal Risk and Authorization Program, or FedRAMP, for government organizations.

Webex Teams offers end-to-end messaging encryption with user-held keys, which provides an added layer of security by enabling customers to control access to message stores. Webex Teams also has SOC 2 Type 1 and ISO 27001 certifications. The service is looking to meet other security goals including SOC 2 Type 2, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

This was last updated in May 2018

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