Cisco Webex Calling Review 2021 [Pros & Cons]

If you’re looking to move your call system to the cloud, one of the options you’ve likely come across is Webex Calling.

Webex Calling Review
When it comes to cloud-hosted calling, one of your options is Cisco Webex Calling.

This is Cisco’s option for cloud-hosted calling. It includes basic business phone functions and audio and video conferencing capabilities through a secure cloud connection. Since it is part of Cisco’s solutions, it easily integrates with other Cisco software and devices.

As a Cisco partner, this is the cloud-hosted calling option we at The KR Group present to customers looking to move their phone system to the cloud.

Having implemented this solution with many customers, we’ve seen what is good and bad with Webex Calling, and in this article, we’ll take an unbiased approach to the reasons you should and shouldn’t consider Webex Calling.

What our customers like about Webex Calling

There are many features of Webex Calling that our customers like — and so do we. These include:

  1. A single user interface
  2. Simple deployment
  3. Straightforward reporting

These are also things that aren’t available with an on-premises solution, such as Cisco BE6K. 

Pro #1: Webex Calling features a single user interface

One of our favorite things about Webex Calling is how straightforward it is for administrators to use.

All of the managing options are in the same portal, including features such as voicemail, Contact Center Express, and extension calling.

This is different than Webex Calling’s on-premises alternative, Cisco BE6K, where unless they take the time to set up an additional management server (Prime Collaboration Provisioning Server), you’re going through separate processes to view each option.

Webex Calling not only has a single interface to configure, but it looks like any other user interface you’ve interacted with. It’s intuitive and shouldn’t throw you any curveballs.

Pro #2: Webex Calling’s deployment is simple

The single interface means deployment is more straightforward, but this point goes beyond that.

When it comes to phone configuration, a Webex Calling administrator doesn’t even need to go to the user’s desk.

As long as the administrator has completed provisioning, they can send the user the phone and generate a 16-digit code for 24 hours. The user enters the code, which takes care of firmware and registration in the background. Then your user’s phone is ready to go.

If you’re using a device, such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, your users simply download the Webex Teams app, like they would with any other app.

As a note, a more straightforward deployment has a direct impact on cost, since the amount of labor required from your IT consulting company is significantly less than an on-premises call system.

Pro #3: Webex Calling features straightforward reporting

If reporting is important to you, Webex Calling does a good job. Not only is data collected without additional configuration on your part, but it also shows up in an easy-to-understand format.

Again, this is a difference from BE6K where you need a third-party tool to make sense of the data collected.

With Webex Calling, you can see graphs and charts about the usage of your Webex Teams and Meetings licenses.

What our customers dislike about Webex Calling

Webex Calling review
While there are many great features of Webex Calling, there are also a few problems.

While overall, Webex Calling is a great option for cloud-hosted calling, we’d be remiss not to mention some of the problems with this solution.

A couple of the shortcomings of Webex Calling are:

  1. Lack of granular control
  2. Can’t troubleshoot problems
  3. You’re reliant on a good internet connection

If you are considering Webex Calling, these are all things you should know.

Con #1: Webex Calling lacks granular control

The simple user interface and general usability of this phone system mean there are fewer options when it comes to customization and control.

While Webex Calling periodically updates what you can control, the point of a hosted phone system is to keep things simple, and granular control is not the goal.

You’ll find most of your configuration options exist in a drop-down menu, and if granular control is highly important to your business, you should consider this in your decision.

All of your options for configuring phone capabilities are limited to the drop-down menu. There is no way to add your own customized features, and in general, the possibilities might be restrictive for some companies.

While Webex Calling periodically updates what you can control, it is still lagging behind on-premises alternatives.

Con #2: Webex Calling doesn’t allow you to troubleshoot problems

The straightforward user interface is also a problem when it comes to troubleshooting your Webex Calling system.

Unless it is a physical problem, such as your desk phone won’t turn on, your administrator doesn’t have the insight into what is going wrong. Even if they can identify the problem, they don’t have the capability to reconfigure anything.

Even your Cisco partner will be restricted on troubleshooting any technical issues.

This means a call to Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center or IntelePeer will be needed to resolve more complex issues.

Con #3: You’re reliant on a good internet connection

Even if you’re excited about the benefits and feel confident in the ability to overcome the problems, you might still not be a good candidate for Webex Calling if you have a slow internet connection.

The worst part? This con is often out of your control since it depends on what internet service is available where your employees are located.

This not only means you need to check the internet connection at your office, but if you have remote users, their home internet connection matters, too.

However, you can easily check this by visiting the Cisco Webex Network Test page, where your administrator or user can specify what type of connection they’re using and let the test determine if everything would work for hosted calling.

You may be able to work around mild bandwidth issues. Still, if you have very low bandwidth or an unreliable connection, you may need to consider an on-premises solution if you can’t upgrade with your internet service provider.

Having an adequate internet connection is imperative because it is what enables your users to connect to Cisco’s data center and actually use your cloud-hosted phone system.

Should you consider Webex Calling?

After reviewing the pros and cons of Webex Calling, is this solution right for you?

If you’re looking for a user-friendly interface, simple deployment, and automated reporting and you don’t have to worry about your internet connection or need granular control and the ability to troubleshoot problems, Webex Calling should meet your calling needs.

However, we know most customers don’t fit into that exact scenario. It’s more likely that you find a mix of pros and cons applicable to your business’s needs.

If you’re still unsure if Cisco Webex Calling is for you, download this free infographic for an overview of this solution’s capabilities. 

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