This article is part of a larger series on Unified Communications.
In 2021, Cisco announced it was discontinuing its Jabber platform. Jabber provided group chat, a softphone, screen and desktop sharing, screen capture, video conferencing, and standard chat functionalities. While Cisco is pushing users to Webex, businesses looking for another option should consider this list of the best Cisco Jabber alternatives to find a comparable solution with the features they want most.
Here are the best Cisco Jabber alternatives and the standout features that might make them the right fit for your small business:
- Microsoft Teams: Overall best Cisco Jabber alternative for a fully featured collaboration platform or seamless integration with Microsoft products
- Google Workspace: Best free or low-cost Cisco Jabber alternative for small team collaboration or connectivity with multiple Google products
- Slack: Great option for businesses that need a Cisco Jabber alternative with a high number of app integrations
- Facebook Workplace: Top choice for social media-friendly organizations looking to increase employee interaction
- Mattermost: Best alternative to Cisco Jabber for businesses looking to self-host a collaboration app
Cisco Jabber & Best Alternatives Compared at a Glance
Cisco Jabber and Alternatives
Starting Price for Paid Plans
$4 per user, per month
4.66 out of 5
$6 per user, per month
4.54 out of 5
$6.67 per user, per month
4.54 out of 5
$4 per user, per month
4.25 out of 5
$10 per user, per month
4.23 out of 5
Microsoft Teams: Best Overall Cisco Jabber Alternative
When it comes to the best Cisco Jabber alternatives, Microsoft Teams is the top overall option thanks to its wide array of collaboration features. With Teams, there’s a free plan, pricing is just $4 per user, per month, and the solution has integrations with more than 1,200 first- and third-party applications.
While the number of integrations isn’t quite as high as you get with Slack, most businesses should be able to connect their favorite software programs to Microsoft Teams. The presence of a free plan is also a major advantage―Cisco does have a free plan for Jabber, but it requires on-premise use.
Teams’ free plan is also very extensive when it comes to features. Similar to video conferencing providers like Zoom, the free plan grants video conferencing. Unlike Zoom, which only allows for 40-minute conferences, Teams video meetings provide a full hour for co-workers.
With Microsoft Teams, there’s also 5GB of cloud storage per team and 100-participant limits. By comparison, this is at the top end for attendee counts with paid unified communications as a service (UCaaS) providers like Dialpad.
Microsoft Teams also puts a major focus on conversations with colleagues, which is why this solution was one of our favorite team chat apps. Every Teams user can create up to 200 smaller channels so that tasks can be organized and teams can communicate freely. An unlimited number of guests can be invited to each channel.
Teams also has a high intrinsic value for new businesses because each paid plan comes with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Since this includes Microsoft Office products, employees will have the tools they need to easily create documents, spreadsheets, or slide deck presentations as needed.
Microsoft Teams Pricing at a Glance*
- Microsoft Teams (free): A free plan for meetings up to 60 minutes, up to 100 participants, 5GB of cloud storage per user, file sharing, data encryption, and unlimited chat functionality
- Microsoft Teams Essentials: $4 per user, per month for unlimited meeting up to 60 hours, up to 300 participants, 10GB of cloud storage per user, and 24/7 web and phone support
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5 per user, per month for meeting recordings with transcripts, 1TB of cloud storage per user, business-class email, and mobile and web versions of Office apps
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50 per user, per month for desktop versions of Office apps, webinar hosting options, attendee registration, reporting tools, and customer appointment management options
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium: $20 per user, per month for data controls, advanced security, and protection against cyberthreats
*Pricing is based on annual billing.
Microsoft Teams Features
- Breakout rooms: Microsoft Teams’ breakout rooms allow large meetings to divide into smaller groups where participants can collaborate and then rejoin the main meeting afterward. This gives team members a chance to speak out if they are not comfortable bringing their ideas to a large group of people or need to have private side conversations.
- Meeting recording and transcription: Sometimes team members are not able to participate in a meeting. Teams’ meetings can be recorded and transcribed so those not able to attend can see what occurred at a later time.
- Customizable backgrounds: Having customizable background options that you can use during a meeting can increase engagement and help to keep unwanted messes from being seen.
Google Workspace: Best Cisco Jabber Alternative for Google Users
One of the most significant selling points for Google Workspace as a Cisco Jabber alternative is its seamless interconnectivity with Google’s software ecosystem. Included with your subscription is access to multiple connected Google apps, including:
- Google Meet
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
- Google Chat
- Google Docs
- Google Sheets
- Google Slides
- Google Forms
This interconnectivity provides an easy alternative to Jabber, and each piece of software is quickly accessible from any of the others. For example, when setting up a video conference using Google Meet, the software will automatically schedule it using Google Calendar.
Also, while Jabber has Outlook integration, it’s very useful to have the built-in connectivity of Workspace with cloud-based software like Gmail, Sheets, Docs, and Slides. Also, despite having a slightly higher cost, Google Workspace compares favorably to options like Microsoft Teams thanks to its inclusion of business email with all plans.
Google clearly publishes the pricing information for most plan tiers, which is not something Jabber does. Its monthly cost is also lower than competitors like Slack ($6.67 per month) and Mattermost ($10 per month). Cloud-based file storage is also very extensive with Google Workspace―you’re granted 30GB per user at the Business Starter level.
Google Workspace Pricing at a Glance*
- Free: A free plan with team messaging available to anyone with a Gmail address
- Business Starter: $6 per user, per month for 100-participant video meetings, 30GB of cloud storage per user, custom and secure business email, access to all Google Workspace apps, digital whiteboarding, and security and management controls
- Business Standard: $12 per user, per month for 150-participant video meetings, meeting recordings, 2TB of cloud storage per user, breakout rooms, and standard support that can be upgraded to enhanced support
- Business Plus: $18 per user, per month for 500-participant video meetings, meeting recordings, meeting attendance tracking, 5TB of cloud storage per user, enhanced security and management controls, and advanced endpoint management
- Enterprise: Contact sales for pricing to unlock S/MIME encryption, in-domain livestreaming, noise cancellation, advanced security management, enterprise endpoint management, and enhanced support
*The free plan is a Google Chat option, while the paid plans are Google Workspace.
Google Workspace Features
- Gmail Chat: Google chat can be used as a standalone application, but chatting can be done through your email if you have an active Gmail account.
- Google Workspace Apps: Similar to Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace includes software to manage spreadsheets, documents, and presentations, called Sheets, Docs, and Slides, respectively. These apps are browser-based and can be worked on simultaneously by multiple contributors.
- Meeting recordings: Meetings that are recorded are automatically saved to Google Drive to be accessed later.
Slack: Best Cisco Jabber Alternative for Integrations
When it comes to integrations, Slack is the standout Cisco Jabber competitor with more than 2,400 available integrations. This is significantly higher than the number of Jabber integrations, which typically include Webex, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Jive (now GoTo Connect), and SummitAI.
On the customer relationship management (CRM) software front, Slack integrates very well. Some of the best include Zoho CRM, Salesmate, Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, and Pipedrive. Check out our five best CRMs that integrate with Slack to learn more. With this easy connectivity, it’s simple to use the one-click call options built into the platform.
Slack has a user base of over 10 million and has become one of the most popular collaboration platforms, especially after its recent acquisition by Salesforce. Still, it’s not the best for video conferencing-reliant companies, at least not by default thanks to its low maximum attendee counts (15). But Slack makes up for this by integrating with video conferencing provider Zoom, which allows you to join meetings from Slack or make outbound calls from Zoom Phone.
Slack Pricing at a Glance*
- Free: A free-forever plan that provides unlimited private and public channels, storage to 10,000 team messages, 1:1 voice and video calls, file sharing, and 10 integrations
- Pro: $6.67 per user, per month for full message history with search functionality, unlimited integrations, voice and video chat with up to 15 participants, screen sharing, and 10GB of storage per team member
- Business+: $12.50 per user, per month for built-in single sign-on (SSO) functionality, real-time active directory sync, advanced security features, 99.99% uptime, and 24/7 support
- Enterprise Grid: Contact sales for enterprise-level security and compliance, collaboration support for up to 500,000 users, streamlined administration controls, and tailored support from a customer success team
*Pricing is based on an annual contract.
- Slack Huddles: This feature allows you to turn your chat into a video call so that you can collaborate more easily.
- Workflow Builder: Automate small daily tasks that need to be done without lifting a finger, like welcoming someone to the team or sharing updates.
- Advance search functionality: Sometimes you need to look back on previous conversations, and this feature allows you to filter through all of your conversations, regardless of how long ago they were held.
Facebook Workplace: Best Cisco Jabber Alternative for Social Teams
Love it or hate it, there’s no real escape from Facebook when it comes to business communication. Almost 3 billion users are on the social media platform, which is why the company’s team collaboration solution, Facebook Workplace, can be a great Jabber alternative for your employees.
With so many people using Facebook in their spare time, adoption is easy in a business environment. Workplace looks and feels just like standard Facebook―you’ll even find the buttons in the same places and the same interactivity features.
For example, employee achievements can be “liked” just like they can be liked on the social media platform. This provides a very interactive experience for your employees. Additionally, employees can also comment on company updates, and the platform provides an easy means to keep employees abreast of company events.
Another feature of note with Facebook Workplace is the polls function. When there’s a new company issue, employees can weigh in using the simple and instant polling feature. While this can be useful in larger situations, it also helps when colleagues are trying to nail down where to meet after work.
In addition, like with Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Jabber, there are multiple integrations for solutions like Microsoft Office, BlueJeans, Google Docs, and Salesforce. However, Facebook Workforce is unusual as far as pricing. While most providers offer scalable tiers with additional features, Facebook Workforce offers a Core version and add-ons (Enterprise Live and Enhanced Admin and Support).
Facebook Workplace Pricing at a Glance*
- Workplace Core: $4 per user, per month for live video, knowledge library, groups, video chat, polls, integrations, bots, and surveys
- Enterprise Live: $2 per user, per month for advanced peer-to-peer technology, live videos, and the ability to stream to larger audiences
- Enhances Admin and Support: $2 per user, per month for priority customer support, additional sign-on options, and advanced admin options
*Pricing is based on one main plan with two additional add-on options to customize your experience.
Facebook Workplace Features
- Engagement: When conversing with your team you can comment, react, and share videos and images easily. Highlighting text is even possible.
- Knowledge library: This is an intranet of information that an entire team or even a company can share. Information is even available on mobile devices.
- Polls and surveys: This gives co-workers the chance to have their voices heard and opens up the floor for topics to discuss at the next company meeting.
Mattermost: Best Cisco Jabber Alternative for Local Server Installations
Like Jabber, your team can install Mattermost on a local server. This allows for a greater sense of security and customizability with this Cisco Jabber alternative, especially compared to solutions like Slack and Facebook Workplace.
Mattermost is also entirely open source, so it’s easy for your development team to tweak it and add or remove features as needed. Additionally, the development community has multiple plugins in development or developed so that customizing this app for your business is easy.
By default, the appearance of Mattermost is very similar to Slack. There’s a built-in project management tool, Kanban boards for detailed task allocation, and custom alerts. Alerts allow you to personalize your notification settings so that your favorite channels immediately notify you of new developments. Like Microsoft Teams, there’s support for slash commands so that navigation is pretty simple.
Still, it’s important to note that Mattermost might be a little too developer-reliant for some smaller businesses. Most of the functionality is non-native to the application, so you’ll need to manually install many of the features that are present by default in a team collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams.
Mattermost Pricing at a Glance*
- Starter: $0 per user, per month for unlimited 1:1 and group messaging, unlimited boards, one customizable playbook, prebuilt and customizable templates, and audio and video integrations
- Plan 2: $10 per user, per month for guest accounts, advanced team permissions, read-only announcement channels, unlimited playbooks, and retrospective summary reports
- Plan 3: Contact Mattermost for pricing for custom admin roles, custom terms of service, automated compliance reports, performance monitoring, private playbooks, and 24/7 support with less than a four-hour response time
*Pricing varies based on whether Mattermost hosts your servers in their cloud or they are hosted elsewhere.
- Playbooks: Mattermost playbooks can be customized and designed to make repetitive tasks more streamlined for employees.
- Custom data control: Customizable database management tools allow you to monitor the performance of agents as well as compliance steps that need to be taken for sensitive data.
- Multilingual team chat: Interact with your team in the language of choice. Each 1:1 and group chat can be set to a different language.
How We Evaluated the Best Cisco Jabber Alternatives
With Jabber entering the end of life/end of support, it was absolutely critical to nail down the team collaboration providers that provide the best alternative features. For this reason, we took a look at pricing, general features, more niche features that some businesses might use, and other more expertise-based criteria, like popularity, ease of use, and value for the money.
Here’s a breakdown of how we measured each provider:
15% of Overall Score
A good collaboration provider is going to cost a bit more, especially as they usually charge per user. For our pricing criteria, we evaluated the pricing structure of each Cisco Jabber competitor. We also determined if each alternative had a free pricing tier that could benefit smaller companies and solopreneurs.
40% of Overall Score
General features for a team collaboration solution include things like conversation channels, a browser app, task management features like Kanban boards, mobile apps, and integrations. These are the bread and butter for companies, so this weighed heavily in our evaluations.
25% of Overall Score
For more advanced (niche) features, we took a look at whether Cisco Jabber competitors had user presence, file and document sharing, native video conferencing, and security features like transport layer security (TLS) encryption.
20% of Overall Score
We always consider the number of features of a given app as well as the app’s popularity. This goes across platforms from desktop to mobile applications. In addition, we also considered ease of use, and we took a look at professional and expert reviews.
These Cisco Jabber alternatives provide the UCaaS tools companies need to maintain collaboration, even in busy environments. It’s important to understand that each has its specific advantages. For example, Facebook Workplace might be best for companies looking for a more social collaboration structure, while Slack is better for companies needing integrations.
Based on our criteria, with a score of 4.66 out of 5, Microsoft Teams stands out as the best Cisco Jabber alternative overall. Not only is it well-supported as a part of Microsoft 365, but it has excellent video conferencing, supports multiple languages, and has custom backgrounds. It also has a free plan for smaller businesses to use for collaboration.
Curious about how well Microsoft Teams will work for your business? Check out the 30-day free trial of Microsoft 365 Business Standard, which includes Teams, today.