How to use Cisco’s video conferencing software
Cisco WebEx was established in 1995 and became part of Cisco Systems in 2007. Since then, it has undergone a rebranding and has dropped the capital “E.”
Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, Webex Training, Webex Support Center, Webex Event Center, Webex Sales Center, Webex Enterprise Edition, and Webex Connect are some of the video conferencing solutions they provide.
Today, we’ll look at the Cisco Webex core product, which offers video conferencing through an installable application or a browser.
Don’t allow being out of the office slow down your company. From wherever you are, you may participate in safe and productive meetings.
Cisco Webex Meetings hosts approximately 25 billion meetings each month, including industry-leading video and audio conferencing as well as sharing, chat, and other features. Discover why Webex Meetings is the most trusted video conferencing solution available today.
• Join and present from any meeting, event, or training session • Voice commands with Google Assistant and Google Home Hub
• Easily attend meetings or replay recordings straight from your calendar or a customized widget
• Customizable video layouts and virtual backdrops • Ability to share your screen with others
Let us walk you through the steps of using Cisco Webex for the first time, highlighting the main features you’ll need to know to get the best out of it.
- Download Cisco Webex.
Webex is almost special in that it does not require you to instal a client programme in order to use it, except to hold a video conference.
Unique Webex apps are accessible for iOS (Apple) and Android smartphones, but we’ll be using Cisco Webex from a pc in this tutorial.
Go to https://www.webex.com/ to get underway.
On the web tab, you may either attend an ongoing meeting held by someone else or sign up to organise one yourself. There are no costs associated with doing any of these items, so feel free to experiment.
Many interested in learning more about the costs of using Cisco Webex for business should go to the top menu and choose the ‘Plans & Pricing’ option, which lists the different choices and their related costs.
Meetings of up to 100 people will be held in the free edition, although they are limited to 40 minutes.
A monthly membership is needed for those who want longer meetings with more attendees, as well as the ability to log exchanges and get better assistance.
However, for this demonstration, we’ll use the free edition and sign up.
Cisco Webex is a video conferencing service provided by Cisco
- Becoming a student
The first piece of details Cisco requests is your email address, and as I previously said, if the meeting is being hosted by anyone else, you do not need to include all of this information.
Following your email address, you must state your location and name, as this may affect anyone who will attend the meeting by phone.
Cisco will give you an email to validate that the account is yours based on the information you’ve supplied.
The Cisco Webex address for your meetings, as well as a connection to set a password, are included in that email. To prevent anyone from controlling your meeting room, we suggest that you set up a password right away.
After that, you should go into your Personal Room and personalise it.
Cisco Webex is a video conferencing service provided by Cisco
- Your Own Room
The Personal Room is where you can start or arrange meetings, as well as see the connection you’ll use to take others if they want to join you.
By clicking on the circle with your initials in it, we may customise how you would look to everyone. The term ‘Change’ appears as you choose. By selecting that option, you will be able to upload a photo that will be used to reflect you.
The picture will have a resolution of up to 720 x 720 pixels. Since the scale is far smaller than a standard phone frame, you would want to prepare one with a resize function, such as Microsoft Paint.
We’re ready to start a meeting once we’ve configured a suitable picture.
Everything that remains is to determine if the conference will be held using an online browser or a software programme.
- Desktop vs. Web
If you just want to have one meeting at a time, Webex’s Web edition is ideal. The desktop programme, on the other hand, has certain benefits for those who wish to conduct daily interactive conferences.
If they choose ‘Use Desktop Software’ and it is not already loaded on the device, they would be asked to do so.
The installation executable is thin, and with a decent broadband link, it should only take a few minutes to download fully.
After the application has been mounted, you may begin your meeting.
- Get ready to host
The Webex Meetings programme will show when you open it, and if you have an activated camera, it will show the image.
This preview model gives you plenty of time to reposition the camera, comb your hair, and do whatever else you think is appropriate to make a good impression on your coworkers.
Two buttons on the screen turn video and audio on and off. The icons in our picture are dark, indicating that they are both involved. If the symbol is red and has an X across that, it means it’s muted or turned off.
It’s up to you, so starting with all impaired and then making them successful as the participants arrive is always a good idea.
The menus at the bottom of the panel enable you to customise the music, video, and other hosting-related settings. If you choose to use a different microphone from the one built into the camera, or if you have dedicated conferencing hardware, these are handy.
If you’ve double-checked all, press the green ‘Start Meeting’ tab.
Cisco Webex is a video conferencing service provided by Cisco
- Space management As the moderator, you have similar influence over the conference room as the manager, dictating who should talk and when.
However, you can monitor a lot of other items in this app by utilising the icon bar at the bottom and the Participants list on the right. If you don’t see this list by chance, press the fourth button, which depicts an individual with a stack of paper to their right.
The list is especially useful for knowing who has arrived, monitoring their audio, and texting them individually.
Audio, video, allowing sharing, recording the meeting, opening the Participants list, opening conversation, accessing settings, and eventually exiting the meeting are all controlled by icons at the bottom.
Icons for the User Interface
Some buttons, such as those for audio muting, are toggles, while others, such as preferences, create a menu.
The settings dialogue also allows you to invite additional participants if you realise you’ve forgotten anyone important, as well as lock a meeting after it’s started.
Pull-down menus along the top of the page provide many more options, such as the right to pass off hosting to another person, exchange transcripts, and so on. If you need a function that isn’t available anywhere, it’s worth familiarising yourself with these menus.
- Sharing Webex’s sharing system has a number of useful features, and it’s worth learning about them.
When you click the third from the left share material button, a wide panel appears with a few of the potential sharing options. Files, browsers, configurations, and any programmes currently operating on the host device are included.
This menu can also be used to open apps and communicate the view of such applications with those in the conference. This functionality is particularly helpful when teaching someone how to use the programme or how to combine different applications.
For those who are teaching someone how to use apps, sharing applications is easy (Image credit: Cisco Systems)
The standard Webex gui is substituted by one that resides in the top centre of the page while you share the device in this manner. To switch to the standard gui, press the big ‘Stop Sharing’ button on the left.
Many of the same icons are present in this sharing gui, but there are a few extra ones that enable you to annotate on the file. Under the data button, you’ll find all the information you’ll like to share with others!
- Inviting others
As previously stated, there is an opportunity to invite a guest to a meeting when it is in progress on the configuration menu.
Selecting this choice will open a simple panel where you can enter the email addresses of anyone you wish to invite, and it will give them an email, or reminder, with a connection that will allow them to enter the space.
If you choose to use a different mechanism, click on a blue circle icon with a I in it, which is located just below the file menu lettering on the top left.
This will bring up a panel with the Room’s URL, a meeting number that can be shared with anyone who wish to attend, and a video address. If you have a membership plan, it will even have a nearby phone number that you may use to call in to the conference.
You should transfer this information to the clipboard and insert it into any notes, tweets, or emails you choose to use to get others to attend.
Get the conference to a close.
All good things must come to an end, and you will need to end this meeting at some stage.
The red circle symbol with an X in the centre is the method for doing that. If you press this and pick “Stop Meeting” as the host, the hosting will end and all members that are already related will be disconnected.
If you wish the conference to carry ahead without you, pass over the hosting position to someone else, and then click ‘Leave Meeting’ and leave without anyone being disconnected.
Another conference should be scheduled.
After one fruitful or unsuccessful meeting, another is eventually expected.
The best place to do this is in the Person Space, which can be found under the Meetings menu.
You will decide when the meeting will take place, the topic, a password (if necessary), and a full list of attendees by filling out this organiser.
If this is a recurring occurrence, you can even set it up so you don’t have to replicate the procedure.
If you’ve mastered this tab, you can move on to the advanced choices, which include the ability to pre-select attendee rights, build an agenda, and even define a registration form.
The amount of choices may seem daunting at first, but after you’ve hosted a meeting or two, you’ll find that some of them are extremely useful for bringing every meeting up and running with the bare minimum of setup.
We hope you found this quick overview of Cisco Webex’s core features to be helpful.
What exactly is Cisco WebEx?
Cisco WebEx is a cloud-based productivity package that keeps teams connected. This package, which includes WebEx Teams, WebEx Meetings, and WebEx Devices, combines Cisco’s web conferencing technology with the Spark team collaboration tool.
The package provides unified communications for any company, from SMBs to enterprise-wide requirements, including video meetings, file sharing, and team messaging. All meetings inside a business may be handled by either the Cisco WebEx Meetings or the WebEx Teams applications with WebEx. WebEx Hybrid Services installations are also supported by the product.
What Benefits Does WebEx Provide?
characteristics of webex
WebEx customers may choose from a variety of offerings. There are so many that it may be daunting for newcomers. Here are the main products to give a better understanding of the value WebEx offers.
Conferencing via video
WebEx Meetings is the company’s main product and has long been a popular video conferencing choice. Aside from HD video, screen sharing, and meeting recording, the WebEx app makes it simple to participate in — and even host — conferences while on the move.
Webinars WebEx Events allows you to hold webinars for up to 3,000 people. The program fully supports essential features like as polling, Q&As, and text chat, enabling you to make the most of every session. To keep everyone on the same page, the webinar features include whiteboarding, information sharing, and the option to share screens.
If you want to make the most of WebEx’s webinar capabilities, check out our most recent tutorial on how to create a webinar.
WebEx Training makes it simpler than ever to teach people from all over the world. Presenters may share slides, teach using a digital whiteboard, and even record sessions to create a resource library. It also has eCommerce capabilities, allowing you to charge for your instruction.
WebEx Support is one of the most comprehensive remote support systems on the market, allowing you to save operational expenses, fix issues more quickly, and offer real-time service to anybody in the globe. WebEx enables you to provide assistance to any client with an internet connection, regardless of time zone, via chat or their video conferencing service.
WebEx Teams may not be as well-known as other collaboration applications like as Basecamp or Trello, but it is still a viable option. This program allows you to quickly plan meetings, conduct online meetings through chat, utilize whiteboards, and exchange files. There is no better user interface for joining meetings with the press of a button.
Call of the Clouds
WebEx Calling has all of the main capabilities that you’d expect to see in a good cloud-based service. The program supports holding, calling, resuming, forwarding, transferring, and do-not-disturb mode. You may also employ a virtual receptionist to welcome calls.
WebEx’s Mobile Capabilities
WebEx is excellent since it is just as simple to use when on the move thanks to mobile applications available on both the App Store and Google Play. The iOS version has over 50,000 reviews and includes Siri functionality.
The Android version, on the other hand, is much more popular, with over 200,000 ratings. It has 4.4 stars on average, compared to 4.3 on iOS. Regardless of the operating system on your phone, WebEx smartphone applications guarantee that you will never be late for a meeting, even if you are out.
One of the interesting WebEx mobile app features is the ability to utilize them with smartwatches such as the Apple Watch. We don’t know what is more James Bond-worthy than engaging in a high-quality video conference call through a gadget on your wrist.
Pricing and Plans for WebEx
When choose between software, like with any other choice, pricing must be considered. For quite some time, WebEx has been recognized to be reasonably priced. Investigating more will assist you in determining which plan is best for your company.
If you opt to use WebEx, you may select from four different plans. This section will go over all of the important information about each one so that you can make an educated choice about which one is the greatest match for you.
One of the primary advantages of utilizing WebEx is that it has a full-fledged free plan. Let us emphasize once again that it is completely free, not simply a trial that you may use for a short period.
You will be able to host up to 50 people during your video conferences for free, without compromising video quality. While on the free plan, you’ll also receive 1 GB of cloud storage, which is a lot of space that other providers would usually save for premium users on top-tier plans.
The only restriction you’ll encounter while utilizing the free plan is that your meetings are limited to 40 minutes. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you usually conduct short conferences.
The “Starter” paid plan is the most affordable and is ideal for operating a small company or a small team. It will cost you $15 a month for each user, but there are some unique perks to the plan that make the investment worthwhile. It is simple to implement, regardless of business size, as a prelude to a more comprehensive strategy.
To begin with, you won’t have to worry about lengthy meetings exceeding the restriction since your new limit will be set at 24 hours. That is virtually limitless since it is very unusual for a video conference to go that long.
Your cloud storage will also get a big boost, with its capacity being increased fivefold to an even roomier 5 GB. You will also be able to create transcriptions as you record meetings, making it simpler to reflect on all of the subjects addressed during a particular conference.
Finally, by upgrading to this plan, you will get access to all WebEx-compatible applications by unlocking integrations and plug-ins. WebEx is designed to operate well with Microsoft Teams, integrating with Microsoft Outlook, Powerpoint, Skype, and other on-site or remote productivity tools.
The “Plus” version of WebEx is preferred by most mid-sized teams since it doubles the participant capacity from 50 to 100, making it simpler to keep everyone in the loop with a single conference rather than having to go over the same subjects several times owing to user-limit restrictions.
If you choose this plan, you will also be able to create unique URLs that will make it simpler for team members to join to a conference.
Users on this tier have access to customer assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which may be useful if you run across issues when hosting meetings. It’s a little more expensive at $20 a month for each user, but the expense is justified if your team needs the extra strength.
“Business” is the highest costly tier available to WebEx customers. While it is not suitable for all business sizes, the premium features and add-ons that it includes may be extremely helpful in some circumstances. Let’s start with the cost: $30 a month for each user.
There is also a monthly minimum of five licenses. You will not be allowed to utilize the plan if you do not fulfill the requirements. This is due to the fact that it was created especially for bigger teams.
This tier’s major selling point is its size, as you will be able to conduct conferences with up to 200 people and get a storage capacity of 10 GB. You’ll also get access to a number of branding features that are only available to users on this tier.
Regardless of whatever package you choose, we strongly recommend that you start with the 30-day free trial to evaluate WebEx’s capabilities before investing your money. Due diligence is essential for success in any endeavor, and this is no exception.
How Reliable Is WebEx Customer Service?
As you may be aware, live chat is an important component of any support department. According to studies, live chats have a 29 percent greater satisfaction rating than phone assistance. We were relieved to see that WebEx had made this functionality accessible on their website.
Unfortunately, no agents were available to talk with us or comment on the skills of their support department. After a few minutes, a notice appeared notifying us of the ticket’s lack of availability and closing it.
However, it may just be a case of bad timing. We can’t rule out the idea that they were just overwhelmed with tickets at the worst possible time. If you need urgent assistance, we suggest calling their hotline at 1-866 229-3239.
Another alternative for avoiding the live chat support problem is their help center, which has articles written by the WebEx support staff. These articles may assist you with a variety of issues ranging from troubleshooting to logging in.
If self-service is your preferred method of assistance, WebEx is for you. If you want to talk with a person, you may either wait for a time when the live chat is open or call in your issues.
Cisco WebEx enhances business communication and customer service.
As you can see, there are many advantages to utilizing WebEx. For starters, you’ll save a lot of time since looking for a suitable meeting place will be a thing of the past. Another advantage is the possibility to teach individuals from other continents — either for pay or orientation.
Finally, using the user-friendly mobile applications that support both iOS and Android operating systems, you will be able to conduct conferences with your team members whether you are on the bus, offshore, or at home.
For additional information on the advantages of turning digital and in-depth comparisons on some of the best choices presently on the market, please see our list of free video conferencing software as well as our full buyer’s guide to all online conferencing software.