Acano vs WebEx

Acano's platform-enabled audio and video meetings, screen sharing and chat help you connect and collaborate with your team.
Web conferencing lets you connect with anyone, anywhere, in real time. WebEx combines desktop sharing through a web browser with phone conferencing and video, so everyone sees the same thing while you talk.
Acano vs WebEx in our news:

2018 - Webex Teams gets BroadCloud Calling integration

Webex Teams, a service for continuous teamwork with video meetings, group messaging, file sharing and white boarding, has added cloud calling via the integration with enterprise-grade cloud-based PBX phone system BroadCloud Calling. The addition of calling to Webex Teams’ content sharing and messaging capabilities makes it a “single UC (unified communications) application, which was the original vision of UC. Webex Teams was launched earlier this year when Cisco merged its two collaboration platforms – Webex and Spark – into a single platform.

2018 - Cisco morphed Spark into Webex

Cisco announced that its Spark team messaging app will be rebranded and rolled into its Webex platform.The move follows a decision to ditch the Cisco Spark brand, which will become Webex Teams. The app will include all of Spark’s collaboration features, including persistent messaging, whiteboarding, simple guest access and content sharing.  Cisco also launched a new Webex Meetings videoconferencing app, which will replace Spark’s meeting app. Spark video meetings had previously operated independently from Webex, hosted in the public cloud rather on Webex data centers. As a result of the changes, both Webex Meetings and Webex Teams will run on the Webex infrastructure backbone.

2018 - Cisco acquired Accompany to add AI to Webex

Cisco has agreed to acquire startup Accompany, which uses artificial intelligence to build databases of people and relationships at companies. It's like a personal assistant, giving executives the context they need before conversations and meetings. Cisco plans to incorporate Accompany technology into its collaboration products, for example by introducing company and individual profiles into Webex meetings. Cisco says it will pay $270 million in cash and stock in the deal. Thus Webex becomes more smart if compared vs Microsoft Lync

2015 - Cisco to acquire video conferencing provider Acano to strike back at WebEx

Cisco announced that it will buy video conferencing service Acano for $700 million. Cisco already offers that same kind of service - WebEx (that it acquired in 2007 for $3.2 billion). In addition, they launched a more modern alternative to WebEx they called Project Squared, last year. But Acano is offering much more sophisticated than what Cisco has been providing and really fills out its video portfolio. Acano will enhance the company’s ability to make connections in a heterogeneous environment. In other words, it helps make video conferencing work, even when there are multiple vendor tools involved — and across multiple devices from mobile to a big screen in the board room. “Acano’s portfolio includes video and audio bridging technology and gateways to enable customers to connect different collaboration solutions from disparate vendors across cloud and hybrid environments.

2012 - Free Webex is already available to compete with Google Hangouts

As Cisco promised, its web-conferencing service WebEx is becoming free. True, the number of free conference hosts (i.e. users that can create and manage online meetings) was reduced from 3 to 1. But the free disk space was increased up to 1 GB. The free online meeting can support up to 25 people simultaneously and provide the variety of tools: screen-sharing, whiteboard, remote control, file sharing, presentations, VoIP, video in HD-format, recording. You might be surprised that the service is currently in Beta status (after all, WebEx has been the web-conferencing market leader  for many years). The fact that it's not just the free version. It's a new version of WebEx, which in addition to web-conferencing adds a workspace for collaboration before and after online meeting.

There you can not only plan meetings and invite participants, but also share files before the online meeting and discuss them with your colleagues. And after the virtual meeting you can share the meeting record as well as files created during the meeting and continue the discussion. So, despite the beta status - you can be confident in the quality of the web-conferencing tool.

You can register a free WebEx account here.

2011 - WebEx adds free version, online office workspace to catch up with Skype

Finally, the most popular Web-conferencing service Cisco WebEx is getting closer to small business. At the Collaboration Summit in Miami Cisco has introduced the new version of Webex and the subscription free plan for 3 people and 250 MB of space. In addition to basic functions (screen-sharing, whiteboard, online presentations, document collaboration, VoIP and instant messaging) the free version also provides video conferencing (but not in HD-quality). Of course, there are several other web-conferencing services that offer free version, but WebEx differs by high quality and extensive functionality. According to the Cisco representatives the free version is already available, but we couldn't find it on the WebEx site. So, let's wait. We also have to wait till Q1 2012 for the new version of WebEx, which includes the very interesting feature - online workspace.

Even before Cisco bought WebEx, it included not only the web-conferencing tool, but also the virtual office WebEx WebOffice. It's an intranet-collaboration SaaS service that includes file storage, tasks, calendar, discussions, contacts, mail and of course it was integrated with WebEx online meetings. Long ago it was the best solution on the market, but then Google Apps, Zoho and others appeared and WebEx WebOffice was lost in the crowd.

Now Cisco is trying to unite web-meetings and collaboration from the other side - to add online office tools to the WebEx web-conferencing service. The next WebEx version will feature the new shell - WebEx Meeting Space, designed for collaboration before and after meetings. It includes activity stream, file storage, online chat, meetings calendar and scheduler. For example, in this workspace you can schedule a meeting, send invitations to attendees, share some files in advance and discuss the upcoming meeting in comments and live chat. And after the meeting - you can upload the meeting video, the resulting documents and discuss the meeting results in the comments.

Here is a video showing how it works.

2009 - Cisco announced upgrades to its WebEx SaaS meeting portfolio

These upgrades include applications that support new features for
e-training, virtual events, and remote support promising an enhanced
user experience, expanded device support and expanded global reach. The
company introduced its new WebEx Node for ASR 1000 Series, which is
based on the ASR 1000 Series aggregation services routing platforms.
The WebEx Node allows the edge router to act as a point of presence
(PoP) within an enterprise network for meeting attendees on that
network, thereby reducing bandwidth requirements and enhancing video
and voice over IP (VoIP) performance, while utilizing the global load
balancing and availability features of the WebEx Collaboration Cloud to
ensure optimal performance for customers within the enterprise network.

2009 - WebEx Brings Online Meetings to the iPhone

While today's Apple Keynote was slightly underwhelming,
a lot of other companies have made up for this by releasing their own
products during MacWorld. One of the more exciting applications that
launched today was WebEx's new native iPhone application (iTunes link). Thanks to this, you can now join meetings hosted on Cisco's popular WebEx service directly from your iPhone.

When you host a
WebEx meeting, you can now choose to add a special iPhone link to the
inviations that allows others to join from the iPhone. While we haven't
been able to test this, the application should also work on the iPod
touch, though you would obviously have to use another phone for the
actual call.

application has most of the features you would expect from a
full-featured online meeting client on the desktop. Users can view the
shared content, see a list of participants, and chat with other

The FAQ on WebEx's iPhone site explains the feature of the app in more detail.

Some Limitations

One limitation of the WebEx iPhone app is that you can't schedule
meetings on the phone, though you can start pre-scheduled meetings.
Another limitation is that you can only attend meetings, but not
actually  present from the iPhone.

Productivity Apps on the iPhone

The iPhone is clearly getting more of a foothold in the enterprise,
even though early concerns about security slowed its adoption.
Productivity applications, too, are getting more popular on the phone.
Just yesterday, we reviewed Soonr, which lets you access and share your documents right from the phone.

2008 - WebEx adds Mac support to remote desktop service

Paying users of WebEx"s remote desktop service now have the added bonus of Mac support. The service has been upgraded to be cross-platform in time for next week"s Macworld Expo and throws in a couple other goodies like a remote Webcam viewer (so you can spy on your home computer from the office and visa versa), and a guest pass system that lets you send someone a one-time coupon to use your computer from wherever they are.

It"s kind of surprising it"s taken WebEx this long to get a Mac version of its remote client service together, but with Mac"s marketshare climbing past 7 percent last month (according to Net Applications), it"s clear bigger companies are starting to pay attention to the pleas of Mac users. As a start, WebEx released an iPhone-compatible version of the PCNow service in late August of last year that included mobile file access, and integration with Skype and Outlook. Similar services like LogMeIn and the Java-based RealVNC have been offering cross-platform services for quite some time now, although competitor Citrix seems content to rest on its laurels with a still PC-only version of its GoToMyPC service.

WebEx"s PCNow retains its starting rate at about $13 a month for one computer, which goes all the way to $60 for 10 machines. There"s also a 30-day free trial if you want to give it a spin. Personally I think casual users who only need a remote desktop service to grab the occasional file, or get a lengthly download started are probably better off with LogMeIn Free, which Rafe and I both use on our home machines with great success.

2007 - Webex's MeetMeNow gets video upgrades, MS Office integration

Webex"s core product MeetMeNow was quietly updated last night with some new features. New on the list is support for Webcams (both PC and Mac), which will automatically be detected and let the conference host know who"s got video-conferencing capabilities. They"ve also condensed all video into one area of the interface, where the host can choose which cameras get broadcasted to others in the meeting. It"s a quirky system, and not nearly as advanced as some of the collaborative services that offer up multiple user Webcams at the same time like Octopz, or even chat service ooVoo to a degree, but it"s fully capable of serving up video with audio to everyone in your meeting, which the company hopes will give them an edge over some of their competitors.

As host you can control everyone"s video feeds through a drop-down menu.(Credit: CNET Networks)
Surprisingly, video chat is not a mainstay for many of these SMB business conferencing services. While Adobe"s Acrobat Connect service offers multi-user video conferencing as part of the package, Citrix"s GoToMeeting, Yugma, and Vyew do not. The one thing that really sticks out with Webex"s implementation of video is that as a host you can"t preview someone"s Webcam before switching them live for everyone to see. It"s a business-friendly feature that could help avoid awkward nose-picking incidents, but is sorely missing. We also found that in order to share your cam with everyone else, and begin transmitting, the host first needs to pick you out from the drop-down menu of folks with Webcams (which incidentally is separate from the general user list) that queues up that oh-so-familiar Adobe Flash Webcam security message--a process that would be nice to be initiated by attendee and not the host.

With the update, Microsoft Office users are also getting new quick-launch buttons to start conferences from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that show up in the add-ins section. While this is just a quick launcher, it doesn"t tie down the conference to just that app, or even set it to automatically share the application.

After giving this a spin a few times, I"ll echo what Rafe has said in numerous posts about Webex being less friendly to users than desired. Both of us run dual monitors in the office, and for some reason the service just can"t handle it. Trying to move it over simply makes the conference manger disappear. Furthermore, separating the user chat and the video feeds (which it does) is splitting the focus of people in your meeting and forcing them to switch back and forth while trying to keep up with whatever you"re sharing on the screen. While there"s a "pop-out" option for the video module, why complicate the basics and clutter up people"s screens with one more floating window? What this product needs is a nice and simple UI overhaul. The core technologies are still there, and screen sharing works great and as advertised. Adding video is definitely a nice start, but as mentioned above, putting everything into one communication tab and tightening up the host controls a little more would really make things shine.

With the new features the service remains $49 a month, with annual subscribers paying $39 instead. To give it a spin, the service offers a 14-day trial that only requires your e-mail address.