3 min read

Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex: Understanding the Difference

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When it comes to workplace communication platforms, there are many factors that organizations must consider when choosing a workstream collaboration that best fits their needs. With many platforms now available in the marketplace, including Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex, navigating through which platform works best for your organization can be an overwhelming process. However, understanding the differences between these platforms can assist in making a more informed decision about which is right for you.  

Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex both deliver high level team collaboration and web conferencing solutions, uniting video conferencing, chat messaging, and voice calling capabilities all in one intuitive interface. However, while Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex appear very similar in competencies, they both offer individual solutions unique to their platform and comparing core features of these platforms can enable you to materialize the best choice.  


As workplace collaboration and unified communication platforms enter the marketplace, the number of features that make each platform unique can be harder to pinpoint. While both Teams and Webex share one-on-one and group chat capabilities, video conferencing, file storage, and screen sharing abilities, what exactly makes these platforms unique?   


 Microsoft Teams includes a next generation voice platform that is tightly integrated with Microsoft Office 365 and offers cloud-based telephony in which Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint, and a host of other Microsoft tools provide applications within the platform. Microsoft Teams Calling Plans are available through a few systems, including Direct Routing and Operator Connect: 

  • The Microsoft Teams Phone System enables customers to bring their current voice services into the Microsoft Cloud through Direct Routing. Direct Routing ensures the ability to leverage CallTower’s preferred rates and unlocks the full potential of a Microsoft Teams Phone System 
  • Operator Connect allows Microsoft Teams administrators to open the “Operators” tab in the Teams admin center to connect calling services, acquire phone numbers, and assign users. Operators will provide technical support and manage the voice network and infrastructure. Operators can also enable PSTN voice services in regions currently unavailable through Microsoft Calling Plans. Implementation of voice services can be online in a matter of hours. 

As for Cisco Webex - it leverages Jabber, Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager and Hosted Collaboration Suite platforms which offers Webex Calling and on-premise/single-tenant platforms for both small and midsize businesses and larger organizations. Telephony services with Webex are available through both Webex Calling and Webex Dedicated Instance:  

  • Webex Calling is a complete collaboration experience with a fully integrated and simple to use app for calling, meetings, messaging, and more, available anywhere, on any device. Powerful next gen calling. Webex Calling is available globally on a proven, extensible platform, trusted by millions and protected by end-to-end security 
  • Webex Dedicated Instance takes advantage of Webex services to deliver an enhanced experience to customers who need to support older Cisco endpoints, local survivability solutions, or preserve integrations part of critical business workflows. With Dedicated Instance customers have access to all the Unified Communications Manager security features for Endpoints and UC applications like encrypted media, secure SRST, secure OTT registration use MRA. DI supports the same worldwide enterprise-grade, feature-rich calling Webex Calling capabilities for customers who want to preserve their UCM experience. 


Both Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex not only provide a multitude of security features and compliance levels, but they also offer several tools and options for organizations to remain secure beyond traditional setups. 

 Microsoft Teams, being built on the same enterprise-grade cloud as Office 365, guarantees organizations the same security as the rest of the platform. Additionally, it delivers features such as a security and compliance center that provides an extra layer of protection because their tools are integrated throughout the Office 365 Suite.  

Cisco Webex also provides high grade levels of protection for their platform. However, Cisco differs from that of Microsoft as it gives more control to individual users of their platform versus allowing administrators to set security measures for the entire organization. End users can control their own encryption keys which may require additional training efforts to those who may not be as well versed in managing communication platform security systems.  


With Microsoft making its primary mission to heavily integrate Teams with Office 365, this integration has made collaboration, access, and storage within the Teams platform ultra-powerful when combined with their messaging, voice and meeting platforms enabling organizations to perform at a high workstream collaboration level.  

Cisco Webex utilizes their proprietary meeting applications in addition to several applications from third party vendors. It is important to keep in mind that in addition to the Cisco Webex platform, users will still need to incorporate productivity tools such as Microsoft 365, Google, etc.  


 Both Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams provide exceptional collaboration applications. While Microsoft Teams is tightly integrated with Microsoft Office 365 in terms of productivity and collaboration, Cisco Webex Teams is part of a larger Cisco meeting and conference narrative. If your organization already utilizes the Microsoft platform, Microsoft Teams may be fit naturally. If your organization utilizes Cisco Voice, it may make sense to utilize Cisco Webex Teams. If there is not a focus on either platform currently, or your business utilizes both solutions, the best course of action would be find a partner that specializes in Voice and Collaboration to help your determine what works best for you.  

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