Comparing Cost and License Models for Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex and Zoom


June 12, 2023

In the world of UCaaS, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Cisco Webex have emerged as the top solutions. Pure IP is proud to be a certified partner to offer global PSTN connectivity for all 3.

Each platform has unique features, but the core functionality has become very similar. So much so that if you do a feature comparison, most features will have a tick for all three solutions. The platforms are constantly innovating but are quick to catch up with each other feature-wise.

Features and user experience are critical to your platform decision, but so are cost and licensing. In this blog, we compare the prices and licensing models for Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Webex and point out some key differences you should know.

All prices are listed in USD and include any annual discount. All prices are sourced from public first-party information, but prices frequently change, so talk to the vendors for the latest pricing and options.

This blog will help you understand the different Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Cisco Webex options.

Microsoft Teams Licensing

Microsoft Teams is almost always procured as part of Office 365. There is a standalone Microsoft Teams Essentials SKU, but for a business or enterprise Microsoft Teams is going to be part of either Office 365 Business or Office 365 enterprise, typically E3 ($276 PUPY) or E5 ($456 PUPY) SKUs.

Microsoft Teams Costs and Licensing

Just because Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365 does not mean all the features are included. Microsoft Teams Licensing breaks down as follows, and all licensing is per user:

•    Microsoft Teams (the core product)
•    Teams Phone Standard - $96 PUPY
•    Microsoft Teams Premium - $120 PUPY

Microsoft Teams, the core product, includes all the core functions. Teams Phone adds the ability to make and receive PSTN calls (but not the phone number and service). Teams Premium is a per-user licence that includes advanced features like advanced webinars, eCDN, security watermarking and AI meeting recap.

Microsoft Office 365 E3 includes only the Teams core product. You will need to add Teams Phone if you want to make phone calls. E5 includes Teams Phone as standard.

Microsoft Teams Phone Connectivity

Microsoft Office 365 E3 includes only the Teams core product. You will need to add Teams Phone if you want to make phone calls. E5 includes Teams Phone as standard.

Teams Phone license allows you to add a phone number and phone service, but it does not include them. You will need to add 1 of the following for each user (you can mix and match whatever combination you like

  • Microsoft Calling Plans – Domestic calling plans from $144 PUPY
  • Operator Connect – varies by operator
  • Direct Routing – varies by operator
  • Teams Phone Mobile – vary by operator

Contact Pure IP for pricing for Microsoft Teams Operator Connect and Direct Routing.

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Microsoft Teams PSTN Audio Conferencing

PSTN Audio Conferencing was an add-on licence but is now included in all Office 365 SKUs. However, it does need to be enabled.

Microsoft Teams PSTN Room Systems and Devices

  • Microsoft Teams Shared Device License – $96 Per Device Per Year
  • Microsoft Teams Rooms Basic - free for up to 25 Rooms
  • Microsoft Teams Rooms Premium = $480 per room per year

Microsoft Teams Shared Devices add-on license allows offices to designate devices as shared devices, including common area phones, Teams displays for hot desks, and Teams panels for meeting spaces.

Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro includes advanced management, remote configuration and device analytics. Microsoft also offers a Basic free Rooms license.

Zoom Costs and Licensing

Zoom started primarily as a meeting platform but now offers Phone, Mail and Calendar, Team Chat, Events and Webinars, Contact Center and Whiteboard. These can be purchased a la carte or Zoom offer a "Zoom One" bundle of services.

Zoom One

Zoom One has several SKUs, from a free Basic plan to Pro, Business, Business Plus and Enterprise (a custom pricing agreement)

  • Basic – Free
  • Pro - $149 PUPY
  • Business - $199 PUPY
  • Business Plus - $250 PUPY
  • Enterprise – per customer pricing agreement

All SKUS include meeting functionality. Business adds SSO and managed domains, and Business Plus adds Phone and unlimited regional phone calls.

Many features are also available as add-ons to any Zoom One SKU.

  • Large Meetings, up to 500 participants, $600 PUPY
  • Zoom Webinars -$690 PUYY
  • Audio Conferencing - Audio Plan starts at $100.00/month and is billed based on the per call per country

Zoom Phone

Zoom Phone can be bought as part of the Zoom One bundle or on its own:

  • Zoom Phone PAYG - $120 PUPY plus calls
  • Unlimited Regional Calling - $180 PUPY
  • Pro Global Select- Unlimited domestic calling in one of the 40+ countries and territories supported
  • Optional add-on: unlimited calling to 19 countries/territory - Starting at $120 per year

Zoom Phone can also be connected to a certified PSTN provider like Pure IP, providing global PSTN connectivity at competitive rates.

Zoom Rooms

Zoom offers a Room System license for $499 per room per year, with discounts available above 49 license's.

Conference Room Connector, which allows connecting legacy endpoints including Polycom, Cisco, Lifesize and others to Zoom, also costs $499.

Cisco Webex Costs and Licensing

Cisco Webex has the simplest licencing model of the three providers. It offers a Webex suite or separate licenses for Meetings, Calling (Phone) and Webinars and Events.

Webex Suite

Webex Suite includes conferencing, calling chat, file sharing, and whiteboarding.

  • Free Plan
  • Suite $270 PUPY
  • Enterprise – negotiated pricing

Webex Suite includes a Call Plan.

Webex suite also includes Slido and Vidcsat. Slido is a Q&A and polling platform that helps users to get the most out of meetings and events by crowdsourcing top questions and engaging participants with live polls and quizzes. Vidcast is a video messaging tool that allows users to record and share short video messages. Vidcasts can be used for a variety of purposes, such as status updates, idea sharing and training.

Website Suite can also be paired with a calling plan from a certified provider like Pure IP.

Download our Complete Guide to Webex Calling here >>

Webex Individual SKUs: Meetings, Calling and Webinars and Events

Webex also offers individual SKUs. Each has a limited free plan.

The Meet Plan is $144 PUPY, Webex Call Plan $183 PUPY, Webex Webinars starts at $675 PUPY for 1,000 attendees.

Webex Room Device Subscription

Cisco Webex Device subscription provides registration of a Cisco Webex device to the Cisco Webex cloud or to Cisco on-premises infrastructure. In addition, it includes software upgrades for your Cisco Webex device, ensuring the latest and most secure experience.

The cost of a Cisco Webex Device subscription depends on the type of device you purchase and the length of your subscription. Pricing is not available publicly.

Comparison Considerations

All three solutions push towards a UCaaS and collaboration suite model, offering better value if you buy the suite.

It is worth noting that while all three solutions have similar features, some of the capacity limits vary quite widely. Meeting participants, for example, with all business or enterprise license's. Teams support up to 1,000 participants. Zoom tops out at 300 participants without paying for an add-on or moving to Enterprise. Webex tops out at 200 participants before you need to move to Enterprise for up to 1,000 participants. They all include different levels of cloud recording capabilities too.

Approaches to device licensing also vary, so knowing how many physical devices you need for users, common areas, and rooms should factor into your total costing model.

If you already have Office 365, some of the core cost of Microsoft Teams is covered within that suite, but it is always worth considering the solution's total cost.

Are Calling Plans from the Vendor or a Certified Telephony Partner Better?

Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Webex all offer the capability to take your user phone numbers and service from a certified provider. While the native options from Microsoft, Zoom and Cisco might be great for your needs, certified providers can often provide broader country coverage and different pricing models to fit your usage requirements better. Pure IP is certified for Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Webex and can provide cloud PSTN connectivity in 47 countries and local PSTN connectivity in many more.

If you would like advice from us on whether Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Webex might be suitable for your needs or understand the pricing of our cloud telephony options for these platforms, get in touch with our team.


Tania Morrill

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