Transition from WebEx to Zoom
This article summarizes the similarities and differences between these two video conferencing products. WebEx was retired on June 30, 2017.
If you did not use WebEx in the past, this guide will be less useful.
This article applies to: Zoom
Both WebEx and Zoom have a dedicated Cornell website where you can access your account, schedule and start meetings or webinars, view vendor documentation, access vendor online support tools or contact information, and download software.
Both WebEx and Zoom will automatically provision an account for you the first time that you login to the site using your Cornell credentials.
Both WebEx and Zoom provide meeting scheduling using their respective Cornell websites. With the installation of additional software on your computer, both also allow scheduling meetings from Outlook calendar. Both schedulers allow you to specify a meeting topic, date, time, and duration. Both also include advance scheduler options that allow you to assign alternate hosts and schedule a meeting on behalf of someone else.
When scheduling a meeting from the Cornell Zoom website, there is no field provided to add attendees directly when scheduling. Instead you can add a copy of the invite to an email or calendar entry that you would then send to invitees. The meeting entry in Zoom provides a “quick copy” tool to facilitate this.
Recurring meetings also function differently in Zoom. Unlike WebEx, which provides for the scheduling of recurring meetings on a fixed schedule (daily/month/weekly), selecting the Recurring Meeting option in Zoom does not provide a calendar interface for the meeting. Instead, the Recurring Meeting checkbox in Zoom creates a non-expiring meeting identity and join link that can be reused and that you can then add to a recurring calendar entry you create in your preferred calendar tool. Zoom also provides add-on calendar tools so that recurring meetings in your calendar app can automatically have a Zoom meeting attached.
Browser & Calendar Integration
Both WebEx and Zoom provide additional software that can be installed to allow integration with browsers and calendars; Productivity Tools for WebEx; and app-specific extensions and plug-ins for Zoom. These allow you to, within Outlook calendar for example, schedule WebEx or Zoom meetings directly from calendar or attach a WebEx or Zoom meeting to an existing calendar entry.
Both require the installation of additional software to add this integration. This software also requires admin permissions on the computer it is being installed on. If you do not have admin privileges for your computer, you will need to request assistance from your local TSP.
With the launch of Zoom, IT@Cornell will begin replacing existing training opportunities for WebEx with equivalent trainings for Zoom. Both Zoom and WebEx also offer online how to videos and instructions from the vendor on their respective websites.
Zoom also offers weekly live training webinars from the vendor on a variety of topics. This includes an “Ask Me Anything” webinar where you can ask questions directly of the vendor as part of a live Q&A session.
Primary technical support for both Zoom and WebEx, for most issues, is provided directly by the vendor via phone support or on-line ticket submission. Support phone numbers and contact information for both products can be found on the Cornell website for each.
Zoom also offers live chat support from their website via the “Help” chat bubble icon that appears on the bottom right of most pages, there is also a link to live chat support in the support contact information.
Both WebEx and Zoom include mobile apps for iOS and android that allow you to start, join, and participate from mobile devices and tablets.
Joining or Starting a Meeting
Both WebEx and Zoom function very similarly for joining and starting meetings. To join a meeting, you need only click the meeting join link from a browser, email, or calendar invite. If the corresponding webconferencing application is not already installed on your computer, it should be installed automatically.
If you are the meeting host, go to the appropriate Cornell webconferencing site, login, and start the meeting from your list of meetings.
Once you've installed the Zoom software on your computer, you have the option of running the Zoom app directly, instead of going through your browser.
Personal Meeting Rooms
Both WebEx and Zoom offer a personal meeting room that provides a persistent meeting URL that allows for convenient quick start of casual meetings without the need to step through the meeting scheduler.
Zoom provides a Webinar capability that parallels most of the Event Center functionality from WebEx. The Zoom website will provide a “My Webinars” entry for scheduling and managing Webinars (Events) for authorized users.
Cornell’s Zoom contract provides for a finite number of Webinar licenses that will need to be assigned to users who wish to use the Zoom webinar feature. The number of licenses available also depends on the number of attendees of the Webinar. Cornell will be able to provide Webinar licenses for up to 100 attendees with little or no restriction, but Webinar hosts who require support for more attendees, up to 1000, may need to submit a license request each time they wish to plan an event.
Zoom does not have a separate training-specific application as WebEx does (the Training Center). However, the regular Zoom meeting capability includes break-out rooms, which are the main feature unique to the WebEx Training Center, so training capability is part of the default Zoom meeting sessions.
Both WebEx and Zoom allow audio connectivity via telephone or using the computer (VoIP) or both.
Telephone options for Zoom will, by default, be restricted to toll calling, with no call-back capability for Zoom audio. However, both these features can be enabled by request. See our Request Large Meeting, Webinar, or Premium Audio article for details.
Both WebEx and Zoom include the ability to record meetings locally as a standard feature.
Zoom uses a standards-based video format for recorded files, so users will no longer need to use additional tools to convert recordings from a vendor proprietary format. We plan to have all Zoom recordings automatically ingested into Cornell’s Video on Demand service for convenient video streaming and hosting. Users will be able to download copies from the Video on Demand service. (This feature will not be available when the service launches.)
Both Zoom and WebEx allow for similar sharing of content. Each includes the ability to share your desktop, share a specific application, use a whiteboard, and both allow annotation across all options.
Persistent Desktop App
Both Zoom and WebEx offer persistent desktop applications that let you manage and start meetings from your desktop.
For Zoom, the desktop app is included as part of the basic installation that takes place the first time you join or start a meeting. The desktop application also includes additional features. These include live chat/IM with other Cornell Zoom users, contact management, and contact presence/availability.