PROS / This service has some extra features to improve preparation and follow-up of meetings, including automatic recording, private messaging and the ability to upload presented files.
CONS / This service does not provide you with statistical information about participation with your web conferences.
VERDICT / Although there are better web conferencing services, Cisco's WebEx has some unique features that improve meeting preparation and follow-up, making it a good software for both presenters and attendees.
Cisco's WebEx web conferencing service has a strong focus on team collaboration that sets it apart from other online meeting software.
This web conferencing service offers full video-conference functionality and provides tools for creating profiles. Both features add a personal element especially useful for teams. The WebEx web conferencing service is compatible with most audio, video and multimedia file types, including Flash animation and playback functionality, and it runs popular demonstration programs, such as Microsoft PowerPoint. In addition, WebEx instantly integrates with software applications, email programs like Microsoft Outlook, IM servers and other applications to make it a seamless part of your daily workflow.
However, WebEx stands out in its features for preparation and follow-up. When you schedule the meeting, you can set the software to record it automatically. If you need to talk to someone ahead of time about the agenda, you can send a private message before the meeting. While it does not allow you to directly capture screenshots from the platform, attendees are given a chance to upload the files presented and insert notes. Presenters can send out follow-up and invite others who should be involved in the future.
While this service has several features that improve both the preparation and follow-up for each web conference you host, it does not feature post-call reports that detail attendee participation. This feature helps you pinpoint weaknesses in your presentation and gauge your audience better.
You can create breakout rooms with this service. This feature allows private meetings within the larger meeting and are good if a small number of people need to work on an issue for the larger group.
This virtual-meeting application requires a Java installation and cookies. It has mobile-optimization for tablets and smartphones, but the features vary by operating system. It works in the United States, Canada and Western Europe, and it offers call-in and toll-free dialing with the Call Me add-on that costs extra.
WebEx online meeting offers full, 256-bit, end-to-end SSL encryption for web conferencing participants. This is above the industry standard and offers even more security during your web conference. You also have the option to password protect online meetings.
This program offers a variety of help and support resources in addition to dozens of how-to guides, tutorials and systematic instructional materials on the website's support section. Phone support is available 24/7 and includes remote IT support as well as live chat.
Overall, WebEx provides good web conferencing services for businesses of any size. It lacks a few features found in higher-ranked web conferencing software but stands out in its preparation and follow-up features, which make it especially useful for people scattered across the globe to get together and work on a project.