Your U of G Collaboration Toolkit: Which Tool Should I Use?

Your U of G collaboration toolkit includes Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams. Both tools are easy to use, intuitive, and free for U of G faculty, staff, and students! Collaboration - both on and off campus - made simple.  

Cisco Webex

What is it?  

Webex is an online conferencing tool that supports audio and video conferencing between up to 1,000 participants at a time. Webex allows users to hold online events and meetings and can serve as a team workspace. As part of the service, participants can also share their screen with other participants.  

Who can use it?

Webex has been enabled for all faculty, students, and full-time U of G staff. The host of a web conference/meeting is able to start and schedule meetings. Other people can participate in Webex meetings from their own devices but do not have the ability to start or schedule meetings.

How to access it?

When Webex is installed on your computer it integrates with Office 365. Meetings can be managed from within Outlook 2016. Webex also places buttons inside the ribbon bar of Word 2016 and Excel 2016 which allow for sharing files or starting and scheduling meetings (starting and scheduling meetings actually occur within Outlook). If you are a CCS Managed Desktop customer, Webex should be preinstalled on your computer. Webex is also available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store as apps for your mobile devices that you can download for free.

Why use it? 

Webex is supported on both desktop and mobile devices. It works well on both Windows and Mac. It provides best-in-class audio/video and has a very feature-rich collaborative environment. It also has telephone access functionality.

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Microsoft Teams

What is it?

Microsoft Teams is a group collaboration tool featuring chat, voice and video calling, integrated group file sharing, and access to Office 365 applications like Word and Excel for collaborative work. Access to Teams is included in your Office 365 license.

Who can use it?

All members of the University of Guelph, University of Guelph-Humber and affiliated campuses with Office 365 (Gryph Mail) accounts.  

How to access it?

Teams is accessible via your online Gryph Mail account by clicking on the “Waffle” or grid icon in the top left-hand corner of your Gryph Mail dashboard, selecting “All Apps,” and navigating to Teams.

Teams is also accessible via desktop applications for Mac and Windows, and via mobile and tablet applications available through the Google Play Store (Android) and the Apple App Store (iPhone).

Why use it?

Teams encapsulates all of the Office 365 collaboration and file-sharing tools for groups into one space that can be customized for every team, committee, and project. Teams allows groups of users to work on documents together, schedule voice and video meetings with up to 250 participants, upload group files, maintain a persistent chat channel (chat that doesn't disappear and can be reviewed at a later date), and incorporate other services like SharePoint and Planner for more robust project planning and document management. External users can be added to Microsoft Teams to enable collaboration with users from off-campus.

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Summary of Differences between Cisco WebEx and Microsoft Teams

Feature

Microsoft Teams

WebEx

Call-in access provided (long-distance charges may apply) On Request Yes
Real-time shared editing of Microsoft documents Yes No
Ability to move participants in and out of the Lobby

No*

Lobby is bypassed automatically.

Yes

More info about the Lobby

Works in conjunction with video conferencing systems* No Yes
Support for Facebook Live streaming No Yes
Feature activation request required.
Maximum number of participants (meetings) 250 1,000

Who can use it?

Hosts can schedule and invite others to participate in meetings.

All student, staff, and faculty can be a host or participant in web-based meetings. 

All student, staff, and faculty can be a host or participant. Users (internal or external to U of G) do not need a Webex account to participate.

Service enabled by default?

Yes

For faculty, students and
full-time staff only. 

Part-time staff and
org accounts need
to request access.

Requirements to record a session Active voice or video call required before recording can begin. None
Breakout Rooms No No
Video Gridview

Yes

Up to 49 cameras at once.

Yes

More info about Gridview

*Video conferencing systems are typically installed in conference rooms with a camera and microphone and allow users to connect to the video conference. Check with your unit administrator to see if there are video conferencing rooms in your area.