Teams or Zoom: Does it have to be a choice?
An overview of video communication tools
The uptake in Zoom since the start of the pandemic has been phenomenal. Clever marketing and a useful product that’s free. What’s not to like?
Teams on the other hand has been slower to react to the demands of the work-at-home workforce and has lagged behind on features such as custom background effects.
It’s a bit like Mac or PC, Android or iphone; each has their benefits and disadvantages. What we have discovered when working with our customers, is that it doesn’t have to be one over the other.
Zoom is a cloud platform for video, audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across all devices. Easy to use and connect into, but unless you purchase a business licence the free version cuts you off after 40 minutes. Zoom’s free version gives the ability for meetings ranging from 1:1 up to 100 participants. It also provides video and web conferencing facilities, group collaboration features, and security. Zoom security has had bad press over the lockdown, but they have been quick to reassure and update their product.
Zoom is a young, agile company that doesn’t have to worry about legacy systems integrating and is the choice for most lockdown parties. It has integration with Facebook, Outlook and Dropbox amongst others. Many find that Zoom is easy to get up and running with no need for formal training.
Teams is much more than a videoconferencing facility. Microsoft’s collaboration platform combines meetings, chats, calls, and file sharing within Office 365 and gets everyone together in a shared workspace. There is a web version and an app. When downloaded the app is more functional and causes less headaches than the web version. The free version of Microsoft Teams includes limited chat and collaboration, productivity apps and services, meetings and calls, and a much more secure platform than Zoom.
What are the differences?
One major difference between the two is the really powerful Microsoft integration between Teams and Office 365. This enables seamless collaboration between different physical teams within an organisation and has built in search and integrations with other applications. There’s another advantage in that users can easily record and store Teams meetings/webinars on SharePoint.
Users may need a little help to get familiar with the interaction between channels and Teams, and all the other applications that can be combined. It can seem overwhelming at first. But don’t let this put you off. Teams offers a huge raft of collaboration which will benefit any organisation immensely, especially if remote working continues for quite some time.
Microsoft are working hard to enable existing features for all and add new features, competing more directly with Zoom. We find that most now have a 9 people video limit and the option to add a bespoke photograph to any background, for instance company branding.
Our clients generally use Teams over Zoom. As part of the 365 roll, clients already have access to Teams and it allows them to easily link all their business jigsaw pieces together. They are able to control and keep in touch with their remote workplace more effectively.
It’s sometimes a different story when it comes to external or larger meetings. More people are familiar with Zoom and prefer to integrate Zoom into their ‘suite’ of products than explore the opportunities presented by Teams.