December 2, 2016
Where once web and video conferencing was the stuff of science fiction, it has become all but routine in the modern business world. Using video conferencing, professionals can connect, meet, and work together from across the country as though they were in the same room together. It cuts down on travel expenses, increases productivity, and can be utilized at a very modest cost. For almost every type of company, an effective web and video conferencing solution is an excellent addition to any collaboration strategy.
The problem is picking the right one. There are dozens of comparable products on the market today, and at first glance, the differences between them may seem minor. Compare these solutions side by side, however, and the differences become clearer. Here, we’re going to compare the Cisco WebEx solution with the widely popular consumer-grade option, GoToMeeting.
The Case for Paid Versions
GoToMeeting and WebEx both offer free versions of their product. Of course, every business is going to try to avoid any extra expense, but the free version of GoToMeeting and WebEx simply aren’t workable in a business context. Most notably, the free versions will only allow up to three participants in any meeting. Given the diverse range of meeting purposes, this restriction is going to be a deal breaker for many.
Furthermore, the functionality is also limited. In the free versions of both platforms, all you can do is set up dial-in audio and share screens. There’s no conference lines, recordings, HD video, drawing tools or any of the other features that make web conferencing solutions truly powerful.
The paid versions are simply designed to complement a business deployment. The free versions are not.
WebEx vs GoToMeeting
- Price: Side by side the cost of the two solutions is the same at the premium level at $49.
Extra Opportunity: The WebEx application is included within Cisco Spark. The combination of the two will change the way your company collaborates. Learn more about Cisco Spark.
- Meeting Occupancy: At the premium level, both solutions offer meetings up to 100 participants. This is excellent for company-wide announcements for SMBs and department-wide announcements for larger organizations.
- Equal Features: Both solutions offer the ability to screen share, record meetings, access dial-in audio, utilize drawing and markup tools, leverage mobile apps, as well as use keyboard and mouse sharing tools. Between the two solutions, there is a lot of similar functionality.
- Outlook Integration: WebEx and GoToMeeting are designed to integrate with your Microsoft Outlook account. You can quickly and easily add or reschedule meetings directly from your Outlook calendar.
- Compatible Devices: To broadcast video through these solutions, you need a compatible video camera, and here is where we find our first major distinction between GoToMeeting and WebEx. GoToMeeting is only compatible with PC cameras. By comparison, WebEx works with PC cameras, 3rd party video devices, and the full line of Cisco telepresence devices.
- File Sharing: In meetings, it is helpful to be able to share documents with the attendees. Both solutions have this functionality, but only WebEx will allow participants to download the document from the meeting room.
- OS Uniformity: WebEx provides a consistent experience across operating systems, but GoToMeeting will have slightly different functionality depending upon which OS is in use.
- WebEx Video Feeds: With WebEx, you can display up to six video feeds from your meeting attendees at the same time. GoToMeeting on the other hand restricts meetings to one feed at a time.
- Assign Privileges: WebEx allows the meeting organizer to assign different privileges to different attendees.
Two Powerful, Viable Solutions
Both WebEx and GoToMeetings provide an easy way to enable web conferencing at your organization, and the core functionality of each solution is both powerful and viable. At this time however, WebEx surpasses GoToMeeting due to its extra functionality and easier compatibility with existing applications and equipment. Citrix and GoToMeeting have been expanding the functionality of their solution to better serve the needs of enterprise organizations, so in the future these two applications may balance out.
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