Webex Microsoft Teams

Posted : admin On 1/3/2022

Webex Teams enables continuous teamwork with video meetings, group messaging, file sharing, and white boarding. In the Teams apps menu, click on Setup policies and add the Cisco Webex Call app to your Microsoft setup. Users will now be able to click Webex Call at the bottom of a window when chatting in Microsoft Teams.

The concept of team communication and collaboration has been in evolution for over a decade. There have been several players, but in reality it’s developed into pretty much a two-horse race—Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx Teams.

How Did We Get Here?

Cisco developed their Spark team platform in 2015. Their approach is to provide a platform that integrates a cloud-based voice and video suite that can serve as a customer’s primary communications solution. They have recently rebranded Spark and called it WebEx Teams. WebEx Teams brings together their Spark and WebEx technologies.

Microsoft introduced Microsoft Teams in 2017. It serves as the next evolution to their Skype for Business collaboration solution (and Microsoft Lync before that) and is intended to be their default unified communications solution. Microsoft Teams heavily leverages Microsoft Office 365 and other Microsoft solutions and provides a much tighter integration than before.

Feature Similarities between WebEx Teams and Microsoft Teams

Before we start to dissect the differences between the two offerings, it’s worth noting that Microsoft and Cisco have many features in common. There may be some nuance between the features as they are presented by the two solutions, but they’ll be similar. Both are cloud-only applications without an on-premises option, and neither can be single tenant hosted solutions.

Some of the more meaningful similarities include:

FeatureMicrosoft TeamsWebEx TeamsPersistent Messaging in rooms or channels1:1 Text/Audio/Video and screen sharingAbility to Escalate chat to calls with or without videoDocument and Desktop SharingDocument Management, File Share, and UploadsControl within meetings to add/drop/chat/mute individual participantsAbility to add external people into roomsAccess to Third-Party Applications within the platformDigital WhiteboardInability to Federate between Cisco and Microsoft appsAPIs to integrate third-party applications or tie features to external applicationsOne soft client for voice, video, meetings, and messagingSingle Sign-OnAbility to export messages for archivalMobile Client integration with Google and Apple O/S

Differences Between WebEx Teams and Microsoft Teams

Even though the Microsoft and Cisco solutions are similar, there are also several fundamental differences. At the center of their respective approaches is the fact that they each steer the user towards their rest of their proprietary solutions.

Telephony

Microsoft has had the Skype for Business voice and meeting platform. Microsoft Teams includes a next generation voice platform that is even more tightly integrated with Microsoft Office 365. Whereas Skype for Business had both cloud and premises-based solutions, Teams will only offer cloud-based telephony. Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint and a host of other Microsoft tools provide the applications within Teams. The Microsoft Calling Plan provides the PSTN services within Teams should you wish to source these services directly from Microsoft. Cisco WebEx Teams leverages Jabber and Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager and Hosted Collaboration Suite platforms.

Security

Cisco provides end-to-end encryptions of all WebEx Teams data, and customers can control their own encryption keys. Cisco encryption addresses the transport of data, but not the storage of encrypted data on devices. Cisco also has federation between different organizations using WebEx Teams, while Microsoft doesn’t yet have intercompany federation. Microsoft relies on their Intune mobile device management and encryption at rest and in motion for device security.

Productivity

Microsoft has made the integration of Office 365 a primary mission within Microsoft Teams. The rich and tight integration has made collaboration, access, and storage within Teams a powerful tool when coupled with their messaging, voice, and meeting platforms.

Cisco WebEx Teams leverages their meeting apps and a variety of apps and tools from their third-party partners. It’s important to note that Cisco users will still need productivity tools (i.e. Microsoft Office 365, Google, etc.) coupled with WebEx Teams. This is one area where Microsoft Teams is the clear winner. Microsoft Teams allows you to edit office files directly within the application, while in Cisco WebEx Teams you can only view files.

Price

If you already have an Office 365 for Business plan, Microsoft Teams is free. The cheapest plan including Microsoft Teams is $5/user/month (Business Essentials), though of course there are some limitations for add-on licensing with Business Premium.

If you want to add PSTN voice services, then you’ll need an Office 365 Enterprise license (starting at $8/user/month). The PSTN voice services do add to the price and require other licenses.

Cisco offers several different licensing bundles but know that you will be paying for the full features of WebEx Teams with each. You get WebEx Teams with a WebEx Meetings subscription, which start at 13.50/user/month. Calling services add-ons will also add onto this price, similarly to the Microsoft model.

It’s also worth mentioning that both Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx Teams offer free versions of these services with limited—but still pretty impressive—functionality included.

Teams Free Version Feature Comparison Chart

Microsoft Teams FreeOffice 365 Business PlansOffice 365 Enterprise PlansPriceFreeStarts at $5/user/month annual commitmentMicrosoftStarts at $8/user/month annual commitmentGuest Access✓✓✓User limit300300No User limit140+ integrated apps and services✓✓✓File Storage

Webex Microsoft Teams Rooms

2GB/user and 10 GB of Shared Storage1TB/user1TB – Unlimited storange per user (varies by plan)1:1 and group online audio and video calls✓✓✓Channel Meetings✓✓✓Screen Sharing✓✓✓Scheduled Meetings✓✓Meeting Recordings✓✓Audio Conferencing and CallingAvailable with Add-onsAvailable in more than 150 countries and 44 languages✓✓v

WebEx Teams Free Version Feature Comparison Chart

WebEx Teams FreeWebEx Teams PaidUnlimited teams messagingScreen sharingFile Storage5GB limit5GB – Unlimited (Varies by plan)Unlimited online audio and video calls3-person limit100-person limit130+ integrated apps and services10-app limitunlimitedAudio Conferencing and CallingAvailable with Add-ons

Direction

Microsoft is making Microsoft Teams the focus of their unified communications offering. They’ve made it clear that Skype for Business will eventually be phased out and telephony will be though Teams. At present, you can maintain your Skype for Business environment, but once true feature parity is achieved between Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, they’ll expect all clients to migrate to Microsoft Teams.

Cisco’s WebEx Teams is really designed as the next generation collaboration solution for those with an existing investment in Cisco voice and video endpoints. WebEx Teams is part of the Cisco portfolio. It’s a well-integrated solution with their existing WebEx Meetings offering and their on-premises voice technologies.

Other Differences

There are a range of other differences I’ll mention that aren’t significant when it comes to comparing the collaboration features.

Security – Cisco uses third-party telco and cloud services and doesn’t manage those locations directly. Microsoft has their own cloud and controls the physical security on their fibers.

Service Availability – Based on what I could find, Microsoft offers Teams voice calling in approximately 181 countries. Cisco WebEx Teams calling is in roughly 70 countries. Both are clearly multinational solutions. Audio conferencing with WebEx is in 45 countries, and Microsoft conferencing is in over 90 countries.

Federation – Another important note is that neither Cisco WebEx Teams nor Microsoft Teams will federate with one another. It is not currently possible for an organization to integrate a Microsoft Teams environment with a Cisco WebEx Teams environment. The two platforms will not work with one another. You can either run them in parallel (which isn’t practical) or choose one to standardize on.

So…What to Do?

Both Cisco and Microsoft have excellent team collaboration applications. What it boils down to is a fundamental question of your current IT investments. Those organizations that have committed to Cisco voice will most likely want to focus on WebEx Teams. If your organization has focused on Microsoft Tools and Office 365, then Microsoft Teams is a natural fit. The high level of integration, coupled with Teams being free in most cases, makes it beyond compelling.

If you don’t have a focus on either vendor and are looking to migrate from an old phone system, then you’ll want to conduct a needs analysis and compare the results to the features of each vendor’s offerings. Both vendors are represented by excellent partners. Find a Cisco and Microsoft partner that specializes in Voice and Collaboration in your geography and engage them to help with determining what’s best for you.

Tim Krueger, PEI

The remote working trend is shifting companies’ digital work hub from email to team collaboration applications. Increasingly employees rely on them as their primary means of engaging with their co-workers to manage tasks and workflows.

Team collaboration is rapidly extending beyond enterprise boundaries as companies look to embrace team apps to improve engagement with partners, suppliers, and customers.

Webex Microsoft Teams Comparison

In April 2020, Cisco announced a new Call App for Microsoft Teams. The app launches call through the Cisco voice and video services, even when you click-to-call in Microsoft Teams. As a result, users can join a Microsoft Teams meeting from a Cisco Webex Room Device and join a Cisco Webex Meeting from a Microsoft Teams Room.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about Cisco Webex Meetings within Microsoft Teams.

Q: How can I use the Cisco Webex Meetings for a Team Meeting?

You can hold meetings with your team on Microsoft Teams with Cisco Webex Meetings after you or a member of your team has installed the Webex bot on your Microsoft Team. For a team meeting, only one member of the team needs to install the app. To install the Cisco Webex app, go to Teams on your Microsoft Teams then click on Manage Teams. Search for Cisco Webex Meetings App in the app store and then install it.

However, before you can set up Microsoft Teams for Cisco Webex Meetings, your Cisco Webex site administrator must first configure Cisco Webex either from the Control Hub or site administration as the case may be. As an administrator, you must link the users matching the Webex account with that of their Office 365 account. Similarly, the Microsoft Office 365 administrator must accept or decline permission to add the Cisco Webex Meeting.

Q: What are the permissions needed to use Cisco Webex Meetings in Microsoft Teams?

To have a seamless integration of Cisco Webex Meetings into Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office 365 will require you to accept or decline some of the following permissions from Cisco Webex :

  • Read user calendar
  • Read and write calendar in all mailboxes
  • Maintain access to data you have given it access to
  • Read all groups
  • Read all users’ full profiles
  • Read contacts in all mailboxes
  • Read directory data

Q: How can I join the Cisco Webex Meetings from Microsoft Teams?

You can join a Cisco Webex Meetings from the Command Box in the Webex Tab and accepting the join prompt sent via message extension.

To join a Cisco Webex Meetings through Webex Tab, simply click on the Upcoming Meetings and join the scheduled meeting. You can also use both the meeting number from the email invitation sent to you or Personal room ID from the Personal Room URL to join a meeting.

On the Command Box located at the top of Microsoft Teams, enter @Cisco Webex Meeting and then enter the meeting number and then select join.

Q: What is the maximum number of participants that Cisco Webex Meetings in Microsoft Teams can hold?

Microsoft Teams can currently accommodate 250 participants in a meeting. However, it plans to expand the maximum number of attendees to 1000, while Webex already has a ceiling of 1000 attendees.

Q: How do I schedule Cisco Webex Meetings in Microsoft Teams?

You can schedule a meeting directly from your Microsoft Teams workspace with Webex Tab. You can also schedule a meeting on a channel or a private chat with Webex Tab.

To schedule a meeting in a channel, select Webex Tab from the channel and choose the schedule. Choose the meeting type which is between Cisco Webex Meetings and Webex personal Room meeting. A channel meeting is open to everyone in the channel.

For a private meeting, select the Webex Tab in a private chat with the Cisco Webex Meetings bot. Private meetings are only for invited individuals and not all the team members.

Webex Microsoft Teams

For both private and channel meetings, you can select the frequency of your meeting when scheduling. You can choose whether you want a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual meeting.

You can also use a command @Cisco Webex Meetings on the Cisco Webex meeting App to share a meeting link from your Personal Room with your participants or the join button if you do not have a Personal Room. Use the help command on your app if you are not sure of the appropriate command.

Q: How do I add participants to a meeting?

You can add attendees as you schedule your meeting by adding the email address of the participants. Simply select “invite all channel members” in the Attendees box if you want to invite everyone in your Team. To invite only some participants, enter the email address of the people you want to invite.

To make it easy to add participants’ email addresses, the ‘look ahead’ feature of Cisco Webex lets you add attendees by typing the first three letters of their email addresses and the rest will auto-fill. If more than one person’s email address starts with the same first three letters, you will find the suggestion of all the participants.

Q: Will I know if a scheduled meeting has started?

Yes. You will get notified five minutes before your scheduled meeting will start from your Cisco Webex app. You can also check the ‘Upcoming Meetings’ list to know if a scheduled meeting has started, how long it has been going on, and the number of participants who have joined.

Q: What do I do if I am not ready to join a meeting?

When notified of a meeting from your Cisco Webex device, you can hit snooze or join the meeting immediately. If you are not ready to join a meeting, you can simply continue to snooze it until you are ready.

Q: How do I record a meeting?

You can record your meeting to listen to it later in case you miss any part of the meeting. As a participant in an ongoing video meeting, you can record a meeting by tapping the ellipses (…) menu on the screen.

Q: Will others know if I record a meeting?

The meeting participants will be notified of the recording when the meeting ends with the topic of the meeting, date, time, duration, and a play button. At the end of the meeting, you can play and share your recordings with other participants in the channel or private chat. You can go back and listen to the recordings from the last ten days on the Webex sites on the right side of the Webex Tab as saved on the cloud.

Q: Can I share content from Microsoft Teams with Cisco Webex Meetings participants?

Both the Cisco Webex Meeting and Microsoft Teams support content sharing in a meeting. As an active speaker in a meeting, you can share your screen and use digital whiteboarding to buttress your point in a meeting. Using a dual-screen solution, you can see the active speaker on one side and the shared content on the other. You can share content bi-directionally from Microsoft Teams to Webex Meeting during a meeting.

However, you cannot chat or share direct messages from the native app.

Q: Can I use Microsoft Team’s feature in Cisco Webex Meetings?

You can also use some of the Microsoft Teams features in Cisco Webex Meetings, like screen sharing, digital whiteboard, and virtual background during video conferences. However, the Cisco Webex Meetings app for Microsoft Teams does not support hybrid Microsoft Exchange mailboxes.

Webex Teams Vs Microsoft Teams

The interoperability between the Cisco Webex Meeting and Microsoft Teams allows users to join Cisco Webex Meetings from Microsoft Teams if invited. Cisco Webex users can also join Microsoft Teams room’s meeting through their Cisco Webex devices.

Q: Can I use my mobile device for Cisco – Microsoft meetings?

Yes, you can use any mobile device that supports the Webex Meeting app to start, schedule, and join Microsoft Teams meetings. Cisco Webex Meetings supports mobile devices such as Touch 10, iPads, iPhones, Huawei, Xiaomi, and the new Samsung series. You can download and install the Cisco Webex Meetings app, accept the permission, and join a scheduled meeting chat with a Microsoft Team user. Your mobile device must be at least 3G compatible to support Webex -Teams meetings.

Q: How secure is the Cisco Webex Meetings within Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams has end-to-end encryption. Cisco Webex Meetings in Microsoft Teams can take advantage of the Azure AD integration in Microsoft Teams.

Q: Which is better, Cisco Webex Meetings or Microsoft Teams?

Teams

The choice between Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Meetings is a difficult one. Although the two collaboration platforms have similar features, they also have distinct differences. It depends on the need of your organization.

The app integrations built into the Microsoft Teams makes it the best choice for collaboration. But Cisco Webex Meetings offers better conferencing solutions if your company uses Cisco voice and video devices & services. Microsoft Teams has more extensive features in its free plan than Cisco Webex Meetings. Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Meetings have different levels of security but Webex provides better end-users control when it comes to management than Microsoft Teams.

You need to consider what your company prioritizes. You can compare the cost, security, and telephony extensions as well as the main features of both platforms to determine your choice.

Q: Can Microsoft Teams replace Cisco Webex Meetings?

Choosing Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex depends on your enterprise needs. Both Microsoft and Cisco are focused on bringing enterprise solutions. However, while Cisco Cisco Webex Meetings can take advantage of Cisco’s hardware solution to deliver superior video conferencing experience to its users, Microsoft can build on its Office 365 with Teams to ensure users have seamless communication and collaboration.

Q: What is the difference between Cisco Webex Meetings and Cisco Webex Teams?

Webex Teams Or Microsoft Teams

Cisco Webex Meetings is a cloud-based solution for online video-conferencing and meeting while Cisco Webex Teams is a cloud-based collaboration app for teamwork. Features like meetings, group messaging, file sharing, and screen sharing are inclusive in Cisco Webex Teams.

Webex Microsoft Teams Zoom

Q: How can I use Microsoft Teams to call into a Cisco Webex Meeting?

Webex Microsoft Teams Integration

The integration of Microsoft Teams within the Cisco Webex Meeting does not allow Microsoft Teams users to call directly into a Cisco Webex Meetings session unless invited to join the meeting.