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WebEx Meetings Premium Review

Cisco WebEx Meetings Premium is a web conferencing service for instant and scheduled meetings.

Being intended as the successor of the well-established WebEx Meeting Center, the online meeting application offers a broad range of functionalities, and the host can switch between whiteboard, imported documents, and screen sharing. This is possible because WebEx has separate tags for these options. In general, the user interface of WebEx Meetings is very similar to the predecessor solution (WebEx Meeting Center) and therefore, hosts can easily switch to the successor. The latest version of WebEx also incorporates additional online meeting collaboration functions like being able to: attach files to meetings and manage them in a file library, post comments, and share meeting notes and recordings.

Moreover, participants can activate their webcams during meetings and have a video conference. Per default the webcams are displayed on the right margin of the console so that participants can continue working on the whiteboard or on imported documents. Videos can also be displayed full-screen should the other online meeting functionalities not be needed. Active Speaker technology automatically places the current speaker's webcam in the center, which can give you a headache if you are having a discussion with the other participants.

There is a downside to the large number of features. Users have numerous setting options and the arrangement of functionalities on the user interface makes the tool less user friendly.

Bottom line: Cisco WebEx Meetings offers a large number functionalities, making the solution a bit too complex and demanding higher learning effort from beginners. Once users have gotten the hang of it, they will really enjoy virtual meetings with this tool.

Platform Support

Runs on Windows XP or later, runs on Mac OS X 10.5 or higher, Linux only runs on Firefox, Browser based for participants requiring Java

Pricing

"Premium 100": Monthly subscription for hosting meetings with up to 100 participants including 9 licenses for hosts: USD 89 per month (UK: GBP 60 per month; Europe: 69 EUR per month)

"Premium 25": Monthly subscription for hosting meetings with up to 25 participants including 9 licenses for hosts: USD 49 per month (UK: GBP 32 per month; Europe: 38 EUR per month)

"Premium 8": Monthly subscription for a single host and meetings with up to 8 participants: USD 24 per month (UK: GBP 16 per month; Europe: 19 EUR per month)

License options

Single license for unlimited meetings. The maximum number of participants depends on the license model

Voice over IP and phone costs

Integrated VoIP and telephone conference call service (with local toll dial-in phone numbers)

Criterium Rating

Functionality

Grade {0} Rich set of features

Usability

Grade {0} The rich set of features and options for configuration require a higher learning effort for beginners

Meeting Setup

Grade {0} After installing the add-on-feature for Outlook, planning is simple and intuitive.

Software Installation

Grade {0} Easy to install; optional add-ons available

Cost Transparency

Grade {0} Pricing and license options are publicly available; cost structure is transparent and easy to understand

Security

Grade {0} 128-bit AES encryption

Platform Support

Grade {0} Runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, Mobile Device Support: iOS, Android, and Windows RT
Overall Score 4 Stars 9.24 / 10

External resources

Review updated: Jul 2013
Price information updated: Jul 2013