Cisco WebEx is a big deal in the video conferencing world, but there’s still questions and uncertainty around how much how much Cisco WebEx actually costs each year. We posted this article regarding the real cost of Cisco WebEx and over the course of a year, we’ve seen it generate tons of page views, social shares, and partner interest (thank you)!

So, you want it? You got it! Here are the latest and greatest updates and changes to the operational costs of Cisco WebEx as a video conferencing solution.

We’ll cover:

  1. A three part cost breakdown
  2. New pricing
  3. Competitive product updates
  4. Updates to CMR Integration Costs
  5. Updates New Addition of CMRs
  6. Total Cisco WebEx Cost Breakdown

The Three Costs of Cisco WebEx

There are three major components to Cisco WebEx pricing to be aware of:

COST #1: USER (HOST) LICENSES

There are three ways to structure your licensing purchase:

  1. Named Users: Use this model to know exactly who will be needing a video conferencing license. Typically this is pretty great for smaller company (<200 users).
  2. Enterprise License: Simply sync with Cisco’s Active Directory to give every user the ability to host a WebEx meeting.
  3. Active Users: This option seems to tailor to larger companies. By selecting the active user option, you will only be charged for the average number of users who host a meeting within a month-long timeframe. Depending on your business, this may be a cheaper option depending on your company’s level of video conferencing activity (call to discuss).

PRO TIP: User licenses averages 50% or less of the total WebEx costs!

Image Below: Cisco WebEx’s Pricing Page

Cisco WebEx pricing for 2016

COST #2: AUDIO 

I bet you thought this was included in the user licensing, didn’t you? The “audio costs” that come free are VOIP minutes, it’s a common misconception. However, users can use the “audio only” call option by clicking “Call with my Computer” the WebEx meeting tool. It may be a good idea to communicate this within your company, most people shut off their webcams for quick chats or if they are working from home from the comfort of their PJs.

!NEW! Call Me Minutes: You can buy these in packages from WebEx when you are buying user licenses. It saves users from dialing, but it’s not the cheapest option at $0.07-0.09/min. Other minute options depend on the negotiated rate you’ve worked out with your provider.

Cisco WebEx call me minutes breakdown for 2016

PRO TIP! Cisco Cloud Connected Audio is a new alternative to audio.So far, it does seem to be saving people a fair amount of money, especially if you have high call volumes.

COST #3: STORAGE

Incase you weren’t aware, Cisco WebEx sessions are recorded in a proprietary format and are considered “included” storage that comes with each user license (2.5GB). This makes sense overall. However, this structure could have negative benefits if you expand beyond your amount of allocated space.

WebEx Pricing Updates

The first things to know, is that Cisco has lowered their pricing on user licenses from $89/user to $69 since last year. That’s a pretty solid deal in the world of video conferencing. Think about it,  $69 a month, 100 people per meeting, and with support for video and recording and multiple types of phone calls. Cisco has also made sure to work in nuances here for those companies that don’t hold large meetings like this at a regular cadence. 

How WebEx is Staying Competitive

It’s obvious Cisco is paying attention to the market and their competition. By reducing pricing they can remain competitive against fully integrated vendors like HighFive, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, HipChat, Fuze, Zoom, and so on. Yet, being a cost-effective solution, doesn’t mean end-users will actually use the technology.

In an effort to keep up with new, fully integrated video conferencing solutions, Cisco WebEx has launched a ton of new updates. They’ve rejuvenated their look and feel, added loads of new features (that users love), and have scaled overall performance. They are able to serve an infinite amount of customers.

Finally, if you haven’t been tuning in, WebEx has been winning a lot of awards lately. We applaud you, Cisco.

webex-adoption-ebook

Updates to CMR Integration Costs

Often companies will have multiple Cisco video conferencing solutions plus WebEx. Cisco WebEx Collaboration Meeting Rooms (CMRs) give you one location to host both Cisco WebEx and Cisco Telepresence meetings seamlessly. Users love this. Unfortunately, this was a pretty costly integration which increased the cost per user to be more than the WebEx host license. In fact, CMRs were over $100 per month, per user in their initial phase of release. Yowza.

PRO TIP: There are some huge changes on the horizon given this latest CMR update from Cisco. Cisco CMRs will now be included in every WebEx Meeting Center license, making room for a whole lot more video use at your company! This new development drastically improves the return for WebEx licensing while lowering the price.

Now, for the updated numerical analysis you came for!

Cisco WebEx cost breakdown and formula for number of employees, webex usage, usage format, global footprint, phone service

*Note: I am not going guess the volume discount for Cisco (contact them directly), so I’ve included the full list price above. It’s quite likely you’ll be charged less.  

USER LICENSES:

Ok, let’s say you have 5,000 employees, and you want enough host licenses so that you don’t run out during busy days. We know that, failing to have a meeting due to lack of technical resources is worse for your business than spending a few extra dollars per month. So, let’s also say you go with 1000 concurrent host licenses, which means you can hold up to 1000 meetings at the same time. However, you know most meetings will be less than 25 people, but could go up to 8 participants per meeting. Again, you’ll want to be safe than sorry.

So, 1000 x $39 = $39,000/month licensing

AUDIO MINUTES:

If you have 5000 employees x 1 hour per day x 5 days x 4 weeks, that means you’ll need 100,000 hours of audio per month. This means you’ll need 6,000,000 minutes per month for internal only.

Now, let’s just say, 50% of those audio minutes are used for external lines. In addition, there is 1 customer on every other hour of meetings. This means you’ll be charged for their call in time to your meetings.

So, 3,000,000 + 3,000,000 (customer) x .02 = $120,000 per month in audio costs

STORAGE COSTS:

Now, we know each WebEx account comes with some recording capabilities, but you are also charged for storage (unless you have an internal media storage solution). This information is slightly tougher to get, but we dug in here for you.

If WebEx $7.20/GB, and we were able to find that 50GB is minimum total for network-based recording.

Knowing this, let’s say your users don’t record often. For numbers sake lets say, 1/100 WebEx hours are being recorded at your company. That equates to 1000 hours, which is about 250 GB of storage for video. To keep it simple, let’s focus on a one year period. This leaves us with 250GB x 12/mo.

That final equation would be, $7.20 x 250 x 12 = $21,600 in storage costs per month

Total Cisco WebEx Cost Breakdown

So, to sum things up, here is our cost breakdown for Cisco WebEx:

  1. Licensing: $39,000
  2. Audio: $120,000
  3. Storage: $21,600

The total WebEx cost of $180,600/mo. or $2,167,200/year.

Of course, you’ll want to remember that there are significant volume discounts. Plus, all previous negotiations should be taken into account.  Either way, it’s a significant investment to your business and you’ll want to ensure you’re spending this investment wisely.

Thanks for reading! If you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Cisco WebEx investment, check out our guide…

webex-adoption-ebook

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