Published On: December 12, 2020 by Blake Schwank
Zoom Vs. Microsoft Teams
What’s the Right Video Conferencing Platform for Your Business?
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and schools were forced to shut down their operations and adopt remote working. The shift from the traditional working environment to a remote working environment has increased the demand for video conferencing platforms that enable businesses to continue running. According to a Global Market Insights report, the global market for video conferencing is predicted to reach 20 Billion US Dollars by 2024.
With so many video conferencing tools flooding the market, finding the right fit for your school or business may prove daunting. This article will review the two most popular video conferencing platforms; Zoom and Microsoft Teams. We will delve into their unique features, ease of use, overall security, and cost, to help you pick the platform that can fit your business’s communication needs.
Let’s get started!
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing platform that enables organizations to organize virtual one on one meetings, webinars, live chats, and training. Zoom is compatible with any operating system and can be accessed on Android, Mac, iOS, Windows, and Linux. Zoom integrates a collection of third-party software, including Google Calendar, Dropbox, Slack, and Outlook.
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration and communication tool that is part of Microsoft Office 365. There are three ways to launch the Microsoft Teams application. You can access Teams through a web browser, a desktop application (Windows and Mac), or a mobile phone application (Android and iOS). Microsoft Teams also integrates a collection of Microsoft Office 365 applications such as Outlook, SharePoint, Skype, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
1. Ease of Use
- Zoom: At first, using zoom may seem complicated with all the lengthy links and meeting IDs required to set up meetings. However, when it comes to user experience, zoom excels in the Zoom Vs. Microsoft Teams debate. Zoom’s simple interface has end-users up and running the platform with no training or IT support.
- Microsoft Teams: Teams possess a bigger challenge to end-users. They need proper training to know how to interact with the different teams and channels, integrate file sharing, and use the other Office 365 applications integrated into Teams.
2. Video Calls and Chats
- Zoom: When it comes to calls, Zoom is built around the meeting ID sent out to attendees to join a meeting. This design provides a straightforward way for participants to join a meeting. They receive a link with a calendar invite to have them join the meeting at a particular time, and when they click the link, they can either join the meeting immediately or are placed in a waiting room to wait for the host to let them in.
Although Zoom enables users to start video conferencing meetings quickly, it gets less user-friendly when you want to view participant availability, chat, jump on a video call, and add or remove people from a meeting.
- Microsoft Teams: Teams provides various options when it comes to creating a video meeting:
- You can start a video meeting from the chat window by hitting the video icon, and it sends the call request over.
- You can schedule a video meeting from the Calendar tab by clicking on +New Meeting.
- You can schedule a meeting with someone outside your organization or with someone who doesn’t have Teams; you can schedule a meeting with Teams as your meeting location.
- You can also schedule a Teams meeting through Outlook by clicking on the Create Teams Meeting icon and choosing Teams as your meeting location.
Joining a meeting is much easier on Teams; you don’t need to copy, paste, or enter meeting IDs. Instead, all you need is an email you can send to attendees that routes you to the same meeting and creates a calendar invite.
Contrary to Zoom, Teams is designed around the participants and not the meeting. Chatting, adding other people to the chat stream, sharing documents, and collaborating on files is much easier on Teams.
3. Overall Security
- Zoom: Zoom is simple — making it more vulnerable. There have been many instances of ‘zoom bombing’ where uninvited guests can get access to your meeting and disrupt it. This is because Zoom doesn’t require advanced authentication other than the meeting ID and a password, both of which can be easily accessed by a third party. Although the ‘wait in a lobby’ while the meeting host admits you to the meeting adds a security layer, all these security measures must be manually selected every time a meeting is scheduled and are dependent on how the host configures the meeting.
- Teams: Teams, on the other hand, has a much higher level of security than Zoom. Teams will be set up securely within your Microsoft tenancy, meaning that your admin will set permissions for those who can access your cloud servers. This means that all Teams features will only operate within your organization. If you send out a calendar link or a link via email, clicking on the link will create a secure room for all the attendees, whether they have a Microsoft account or not. This means that there will be no ‘teams bombing’ unless someone you invited to the meeting decides to cause trouble.
Zoom: Zoom offers four distinct pricing tiers for your business subscription
- Zoom Free: With the free version of Zoom, users can hold an unlimited number of meetings, but group meetings with multiple participants are capped at 40 minutes in length.
- Zoom Pro: Zoom Pro allows hosts to create personal meeting IDs for recurring Zoom meetings, allows meeting recording in the cloud or on users’ devices, and caps group meeting durations at 24 hours. It costs $14.99/host/month and allows up to 100 users per call.
- Zoom Business: This tier offers cool features for businesses to brand their Zoom meetings with vanity URLs and company branding, dedicated customer support, and transcripts of Zoom meetings recorded in the cloud. It costs $19.99 per host/month, requires a minimum of 10 hosts, and allows up to 300 users per call.
- Zoom Enterprise: For businesses with 1,000 employees or more, this tier of Zoom offers unlimited cloud storage for recordings, a dedicated customer success manager, and discounts on webinars and Zoom Rooms. It costs $19.99 per host/month, requires a minimum of 50 hosts, and allows up to 500 users per call.
Microsoft Teams: The Pricing for Microsoft Teams can be confusing since your organization may already be paying for it. Teams are an added feature that is available in Office 365 licenses. Microsoft offers the following distinct pricing tiers for your business subscription.
- Microsoft Teams Free: The free version of MS Teams only supports chats. This is the best option if you are interested in trying out Teams.
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic: For $5 per user/month with an annual contract, you get mobile/web versions of Microsoft Office with slightly fewer features than the desktop application. With this package, you also get full access to SharePoint, Exchange, Teams, and OneDrive.
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard: For $12.50 per user/month with an annual contract, you get the full desktop application for all Microsoft Office 365 Suites, access to the cloud, and Teams.
So which video conferencing platform is better? This depends on the needs of your business.
Before you decide on the video platform your business will use, it’s important to analyze what features both platforms offer that align with your needs and budget.