Cisco WebEx
Industry Telecommunications software and services
Genre Web conferencing
Founded February 1995
Headquarters Milpitas, California (United States)
Key people
John Chambers (CEO) Frank Calderoni (CFO) Mark Chandler (CCO) Blair Christie (CMO)
Products WebEx Meeting Center, WebEx Training Center, WebEx Support Center, WebEx Event Center, WebEx Sales Center, WebEx Enterprise Edition, WebEx Connect
Revenue $US 380 Million (2006)
Number of employees
10,000+ (2015)
Parent Cisco Systems
Website www.webex.com

Cisco WebEx, formerly WebEx Communications Inc. is a company that provides on-demand collaboration, online meeting, web conferencing and videoconferencing applications. Its products include Meeting Center, Training Center, Event Center, Support Center, Sales Center, MeetMeNow, PCNow, WebEx AIM Pro Business Edition, WebEx WebOffice, and WebEx Connect. All WebEx products are part of the Cisco collaboration portfolio. All Cisco WebEx products are offered by Cisco Systems Inc.


WebEx logo used by WebEx as an independent company

Subrah Iyar and Min Zhu founded WebEx in 1996[1] under the name ActiveTouch.[2] Zhu had co-founded Future Labs (one of the first companies to produce multi-point document collaboration software) in 1991.[3] Zhu met Iyar, then a vice-president and general manager of Quarterdeck, when Quarterdeck acquired Future Labs in 1996. Iyar was named president of Future Labs, which had become a Quarterdeck subsidiary, and the same year Iyar and Zhu went on to co-found WebEx. On March 15, 2007, Cisco Systems announced it would acquire WebEx for $3.2 billion.[4]

David Thompson, the first vice president of marketing at Activetouch, coined the name WebEx in late 1998 as the company transitioned from its original software business model to relaunch as a Saas company in 1999. Traveling Software which changed its name in September 1999 to LapLink Software Inc.,[5] originally owned a software product called WebEx, which shipped to the public in June 1996. The LapLink product called WebEx was a utility to be run as a companion to be used for offline web-browsing, a feature subsequently integrated within most commercial modern-day Web browsers.[6]

Traveling Software registered the WebEx trademark in May 1996.[7] In 1999, after the original founder of LapLink returned as CEO, Traveling Software/LapLink.com sold the rights to the WebEx name to the company known as WebEx.[8]


Before the purchase by Cisco, WebEx was featured in the NASDAQ Global Select Market.[9]

Cisco acquisition

On March 15, 2007, Cisco Systems announced that it had agreed to pay $57 per share to acquire WebEx. The deal valued WebEx at about $3.2 billion, or $2.9 billion with WebEx's cash reserves factored into the price. WebEx's largest stockholder is Jan Baan with 9% of outstanding shares. In a press release Cisco said WebEx would "become a part of Cisco's Development Organization while maintaining its unique business model".[10] Cisco has also said that its long-term plan is to absorb WebEx at both a technology and a sales level.[11]

WebEx is not a free platform like WiZiQ or Moodle and fees are paid per "host" of a classroom or a meeting. Some organizations, however, have started to integrate WebEx with Moodle.[12][13]


At the time of the acquisition, all WebEx applications were built on the MediaTone platform and supported by the WebEx MediaTone Network (originally called the WebEx interactive network),[14] a global network intended for use with on-demand programs. The network was designed by Shaun Bryant, WebEx's Chief Network Architect,[15] and Zaid Ali Sr, Network Architect, to be one of the first SaaS platforms on the internet.

The company acquired Intranets.com in 2005, providing entrance into the small- and mid-size business market through the company's customer base of businesses with fewer than 100 employees. It acquired the ability to offer online collaboration tools such as discussion forums, document sharing and calendaring while Intranets.com provided access to the WebEx communications environment for its customers.[16]

On February 21, 2006, AOL and WebEx announced plans to launch a business version of AOL's instant-messaging software, AIM Pro, with additional features to help workers collaborate using conferencing tools offered by WebEx.

On September 26, 2006, the company announced plans to offer a web collaboration "mashup" platform called "WebEx Connect".[17]

On November 17, 2014, Cisco announced an evolution of WebEx called Project Squared.[18]

As of August 5, 2015 WebEx will no longer work with Windows XP.

Goldman Sachs securities fraud investigation

As a result of a securities fraud investigation initiated by the SEC and by various state Attorney General offices, Goldman Sachs faced charges of issuing unfair research, including coverage of WebEx, and IPO violations for the period 1999 to 2001. WebEx management allegedly dictated to Goldman Sachs analysts what the research should and should not include. WebEx maintains the management's information was accurate.[19] Another charge accuses Goldman Sachs of violating securities law in its allocation of shares in WebEx's initial public offering.[20]

Raindance lawsuit for patent infringement

On September 27, 2005, WebEx sued Raindance Communications, Inc., a competitor, for patent infringement. On October 14, 2005, Raindance filed a countersuit against WebEx for patent infringement. Both parties sought both damages and an injunction enjoining further acts they claim to be infringing on patents.[21] On March 31, 2006, the parties agreed to the dismissal of both actions, releases of claims for past infringement, payments associated with those releases, and cross-licenses to each other's patents. The agreement resulted in WebEx receiving $1.0 million from Raindance.[21]

See also


  1. "About WebEx". Cisco webex. Cisco. Retrieved July 7, 2010. When WebEx was founded in 1996 by Alessandro Capper, emerging digital communications standards [...] led to the development of video conferencing [...]
  2. http://www.activetouch.com
  3. Flannery, Russell. Forbes "Rice Fields Yield Internet Riches" November 4, 2004
  4. Trask, Amy (October 14, 2002). "File Bothell's LapLink under 'S' for survivor". The Seattle Times.
  5. Trask, Amy (October 14, 2002). "File Bothell's LapLink under 'S' for survivor". The Seattle Times.
  6. http://www.allbusiness.com/technology/software-services-applications/7237951-1.html. Retrieved July 31, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. Trademark Status & Document Retrieval at uspto.gov
  8. Trask, Amy (October 14, 2002). "File Bothell's LapLink under 'S' for survivor". The Seattle Times. Another product, WebEx, was the first offline browser and was developed by a California startup LapLink purchased in 1996. But when offline browsing became an issue in the browser wars between Microsoft and Netscape Communications, WebEx was caught in the middle. [...] LapLink dropped the product and sold the name.
  9. WebEx Selected for New NASDAQ Global Select Market WebEx press release June 27, 2006.
  10. http://investor.cisco.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=81192&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=974299. Retrieved March 16, 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. Cisco outlines WebEx integration plans – March 15, 2007 – IT Week
  12. Moodle WebEx integration .
  13. WebEx Moodle Integration plugin.
  14. Cisco DevNet. Developer.webex.com. Retrieved on 2014-02-27.
  15. http://entreprise.jigsaw.com/id70704_d80/webex_communications_inc_it_is_business_contacts.xhtml
  16. Solhein, Shelley (August 8, 2005). "WebEx tools get Intranets infusion". eweek.
  17. WebEx is expanding from connecting people to connecting process and applications in real time.
  18. http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/17/ciscos-new-project-squared-collaboration-tool-gives-webex-a-run-for-its-money
  19. SEC Litigation Complaint 18113
  20. SEC Litigation press release for complaint 19051
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