Skype for Business vs WebEx

Last updated: May 12, 2021

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Skype for Business
Get messaging, audio and video calls, online meetings, and sharing all in one app. Meet with up to 250 people – even if they’re not on Skype for Business. All they need is a phone or Internet connection. See contacts’ online statuses, schedule meetings, and start conversations from Office apps.
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WebEx
Cisco Webex is your one place to call, message, meet. Build stronger relationships with face-to-face meetings and real-time collaboration using whiteboarding, screen sharing and more. Showcase the best you with video conferencing that is simple but powerful.
Skype for Business vs WebEx in our news:

2021. Cisco to acquire startup Socio to bring hybrid events to Webex



Cisco buys startup Socio, which helps plan hybrid in-person and virtual events. Socio provides a missing hybrid event management component for the company to add to its Webex platform. The goal appears to be to combine this with the recent purchase of Slido and transform Webex from an application mostly for video meetings into a more comprehensive event platform. Socio was founded in 2016 and raised around $7 million in investment capital, according to Crunchbase data. It has a prestigious list of enterprise customers that includes Microsoft, Google, Jet Blue, Greenpeace, PepsiCo and Hyundai.


2020. Cisco is buying Slido to improve Q&A, polls and engagement in WebEx



While Zoom continues to hold a lot of mindshare (and market share) in the world of videoconferencing, Cisco’s WebEx division today announced an acquisition to underscore its own intention to keep its hat firmly in the game. It is picking up Slido, the company that lets people moderate questions and interactions from a larger group participating in virtual conferences as well as in live events. Slido’s solution is to let people ask questions in a margin to the main event, so to speak, and then people can upvote the questions they like to give them higher priority. Moderators can also set up polls and simply read feedback in real time to get a better sense of the room. This can help cut down on chatter in the main video screen while still letting audiences speak out and respond.


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.


2018. Cisco Spark & Webex combine into single collaboration platform



Cisco has unified its two, largely separate, collaboration packages – Spark and WebEx – into a single platform that supports a single set of features. The move makes sense because Cisco had been developing the somewhat similar packages separately, and there was some confusion about that in the market and sales channels. No more. Webex Teams combines collaboration features in Cisco Spark and WebEx such as whiteboarding, persistent messaging, roster, meeting controls, content sharing and so on. Before, the Cisco Spark management tool – Control Hub – provided some basic analytics for Cisco Spark. WebEx customers used a different tool – Site Admin – with a separate set of analytics capabilities. Now the Control Hub supports customers using both WebEx Meetings and WebEx Teams, and provides analytics functions for WebEx


2017. Microsoft Teams will replace Skype for Business



Microsoft announced that its new groupchat Teams will become its core communications platform for users running Office 365. Until now, Skype for Business was the company’s product for this. According to Ron Markezich, the company’s corporate VP for Office 365, Teams will become the “hero and primary experience for all voice, video and meetings.” Over time, Teams will replace the current Skype for Business client. Microsoft obviously knows that enterprises don’t move fast, so for those who don’t want to do away with their existing PBX systems and calling capabilities to the cloud, it’ll launch a new version of the Skype for Business server in 2018. For those who do make the transition to Teams, Microsoft promises lots of new calling features and meeting enhancements with outbound and inbound calls to and from regular phones, support for voicemail, call holding, call transfers and other standard telephony features.


2016. Skype for Business is available on Mac



Microsoft announced the launch of Skype for Business for Mac Preview  – the business-focused version of Skype’s communications services aimed at a commercial client base. I.T. administrators and individuals can sign up to test the new desktop software, which introduces features like Outlook integration, additional security, and calls that allow for up to 250 people versus Skype’s 25 max. However, Microsoft says invites will roll out first to I.T. admins before becoming more broadly available.


2015. Cisco to acquire video conferencing provider Acano



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.


2015. Microsoft begins rolling out Skype For Business (to replace Lync)



Microsoft’s Skype for Business, which is designed to replace the company’s older enterprise communication tool Lync, has become publicly available. The company is also now rolling out Skype for Business Online to its Office 365 customers who currently use Lync Online. With Skype for Business, enterprise customers will have access to software that greatly resembles Skype’s consumer-facing client application in look-and-feel, but it comes with enterprise-grade security and compliance features that allow an IT organization to better administer and control the software’s use internally within an organization. Skype for Business conversations are authenticated through Active Directory and encrypted, and IT can manage the company’s user accounts and deployments. The system also interoperates with companies’ PBX systems or legacy video teleconferencing systems, if need be.