Video conferencing and collaboration tools were already widely used in the world of work, however with the new normal of remote working… the adoption rate among smaller businesses is growing fast. There’s a lot of different tools and services available now but it can be hard to choose which one is best for you and your business.
Let’s go through two of the most popular choices in today’s market; Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
**𝗡𝗼𝘁𝗲: this is not to be confused with Microsoft teams rooms or Zoom Rooms which are closely related and are used for shared collaboration spaces and small to large conference rooms. They are used for the physical set up of a room. This post goes through the product differences for general use by individuals and teams.**
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft teams is the collaboration and videoconferencing product offered by Microsoft. It is probably the most popular business collaboration tool on the market at the moment. What really sets Microsoft Teams apart from others is the fact that it integrates so well with the rest of the Microsoft stack. You can launch meetings from Outlook or Exchange Calendar and working together on documents couldn’t be easier.
- Full integration with Office 365
- Video conferencing with background blur
- Excellent audio with in-line transcription
- File and screen sharing
- Instant messaging one-to-one and in groups
- Fully searchable conversational channels
- Access from all devices
- End-to-end security
- Endless bots for integrating extra functionality
- Tabs to make finding information easy
What is Zoom?
Zoom set video conferencing as their product focus from the outset. While they do also provide the ability to share content and instant message, Zoom highlighted the importance of having easy to access video calling early on. It is thanks to this strategic direction that Zoom quickly developed and launched a tool that offers one-click video meeting capabilities – before many competitors had these capabilities. The simplicity of design and user friendly interface has become the unique selling point for the company and these elements are largely responsible for it becoming the video conferencing tool of choice for many businesses.
- HD Video and Audio
- Support to up to 1,000 video participants
- Up to 49 videos on screen
- Advanced Encryption for Chat
- Streamlined calendaring with integrations to Outlook and Gmail
- Role-based security
- Screen sharing and co-annotation
- Recording and transcription
- Team chat with groups
- Searchable history
- File sharing
How do they compare? – Video Conferencing Set-Up and Ease of Use
Zoom is so easy to use that you don’t even need to create an account to attend a meeting you were invited to, simply click the link and you’re in! When opening the meeting you will be prompted to download the app, but this is entirely optional as it can be run directly via the web app too. However the app does of course offer a more optimised experience and a wider range of control options. Zoom offers apps also for all major devices including; Android, Apple IOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple’s MacOS.
If you want to use Zoom to invite other people to meetings, then you need to create an account. When you create an account, you get a Personal Meeting ID as well as a unique meeting URL, which you can use at any time to start a meeting. It’s handy because you can send your link or Personal Meeting ID to participants without advance notice and get call set up and running in minutes.
Getting to the video conference function on Microsoft Teams isn’t as straightforward as with Zoom – although this is to be expected as the video conferencing aspect of this collaboration solution is just one of the many ways team members can communicate. The “Meet now” option is a tiny button found under the chat window in Microsoft Teams.
The way that Microsoft teams works is that you are set up in a ‘team’ so the people who you can easily call are those who are already connected to the system and subscribed to your team. It is still possible to run video conference calls with external users, however team members will need to be set up to have the authorisation to invite those outside of the team. This extra step just makes it slightly less user friendly in terms of collaborating with those outside of the company.
The Winner – Zoom
How do they compare? – Features & Functionality
Joining a Zoom meeting takes very little effort — if you already have the app installed it’s a matter of seconds and only really two extra clicks if you choose the web app instead. Zoom offers a waiting room feature for all guests who arrive ahead of the host, this also allows the host to check participants ahead of the meeting as an extra security precaution. You can also choose to not use the waiting room feature, in this way attendees can connect and chat with one another before the host arrives. Everyone has the control to enable or disable their video or microphone at any time. As the host you can also choose to mute all participants to avoid any background noise which is especially useful for when you use the meeting recording feature.
With Microsoft Teams it is really easy for users within an organization or a team to jump on a call from a text message thread. It is set up so that you can easily share screens and record meetings, however it is slightly more complicated when external users need to be invited. This is really only a few extra steps to set up but it may not be ideal if that is the main use for your video conferencing solution.
A nice feature however is how easily meetings can be recorded and then automatically assigned to projects, so team members can revisit them at a later date. This keeps meetings and chats of the same thread together and always available to those team members. For organisations like small and medium businesses (SMEs), as well as schools and universities, Microsoft Teams provides a multifaceted collaboration solution, however video calling is one of its least compelling features.
The Winner – Tie
- If you’re looking for a full suite of collaboration tools Microsoft Teams is for you, however if it’s just video conferencing that you’re after, Zoom is the best choice.
How do they compare? – Price
Zoom Meetings starts at €13.99 per month per host for the Pro plan, which works well for small teams, and can host up to 100 participants with meeting duration limits of 24 hours. At €18.99 (per host per month) Business package is available for a minimum of 10 hosts. Also available at the price of €18.99 per host per month is an Enterprise plan (minimum of 50 hosts) which can accommodate up to 500 participants per meeting.
The version of Microsoft Teams that comes with Office 365 adds all the tight integrations with other Office apps, plus 24/7 support, and business-grade tools for administration, security, and compliance. As with the free version, this version lets you have up to 300 team members. There is also the enterprise package, which is good for as many people as you need. The three versions of Office that include Teams are Office 365 Business Essentials: $5 per person per month; Office 365 Business Premium: $12.50 per person per month; and, Office 365 E3 (enterprise): $20 per person per month, all packages require a full year commitment.
The Winner – probably Microsoft Teams
In Conclusion – Microsoft Teams or Zoom
It really just comes down to how you work and what tool is best suited to your needs. If a fully comprehensive collaboration tool is the kind of thing you are looking to incorporate into your business than Microsoft teams is a great option that will also seamlessly integrate into the other Word Suite you are most likely already using. However, if you don’t need all the extra’s and you are really just looking for a high quality and user-friendly video conferencing solution than Zoom is the way to go.
If however, you are looking for both of these things, the newest trend is to use both – Teams as a collaboration tool to keep on top of projects and in the loop with colleagues and Zoom to ensure you always have top quality video conferencing easily accessible by clients etc – when you need it!
Looking to bring Microsoft Teams or Zoom to your Office?
Understanding your room, the communication challenges you are trying to solve, your way of working and your budget is all vital… so that we can design the right costed solution to meet these requirements – perfectly. The Best video conferencing hardware for your business is often a nuanced and tailored choice.
To use in an effective way in your office – understanding the above and the differences between products like Zoom Rooms and Microsoft Teams Rooms are key to your success in house.. To find out more – please get in contact with us!
Or if you know already which one you want, you can directly get a…