Microsoft Teams vs Zoom: Which application is best for business?
The Microsoft Teams vs Zoom controversy has never been more prevalent. Video conferencing was popular before the COVID-19 crisis. But it has now, undoubtedly, reached new heights as both businesses and families shift to video calls.
As two of the most talked-about applications on the market there is much debate around which one is best for business use. We’ve put together this ‘Microsoft Teams vs. Zoom’ blog to explore this very question.
Zoom is a stand-alone application that has primarily focused its investment on video, whereas Microsoft Teams forms part of the Microsoft Office 365 family and smoothly integrates with other Microsoft services including Outlook and SharePoint.
1. Video and audio conferencing
Zoom offers HD video and audio meetings for up to 1000 video participants, and members can view up to 49 videos at once in a gallery layout. As for Microsoft Teams, you can host up to 250 participants, viewing up to four onscreen at any one time (with plans for an update later this month to increase this to nine).
Anyone can access Zoom meetings quickly and simply if they have the meeting ID (and password if one has been set). Once the app is installed it takes just a few seconds – or a couple of extra clicks through the web app. Hosts can set up a waiting room, or if no waiting room, guests can enter a meeting and chat with others before the host arrives. All meeting attendees can enable and disable their video and audio at any time.
Zoom Meeting also includes a unique Participant Reporting feature to check everyone who reported to the meeting. Hosts can even view each participants’ connectivity and see if their signal strength is strong eg for mobile devices.
Microsoft Teams is more geared to users within an organisation. All users are required to have a Microsoft account and a license for Office 365. In November 2019, however, Microsoft released guest access to Teams, allowing users on Enterprise licenses to invite external users to their Teams channels with just a few extra steps.
Screen sharing functionality on MS Teams is easy to use, and calls can be recorded and assigned to projects, making them easy to refer to later on.
Overall, since Teams is intended as a more comprehensive collaboration tool, its video conferencing functionality isn’t as slick as Zoom.
If you want more detail on videoconferencing options, PCMag.com has published this comprehensive comparison between the video conferencing goliaths.
2. Team collaboration tools
Microsoft Teams has a more comprehensive collaboration offer than Zoom, and its tools can be easily integrated with other Microsoft services like email and calendars. Tools are accessed via five tabs, which appear on all device platforms. These are:
- Activity (messages)
- Chat (conversations)
- Teams (all your channels)
- Calendar (can be integrated with Outlook)
- Calls (voice call history and voicemails)
However Zoom does provide some collaboration functionality, with video, audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars possible across all endpoints.
The huge surge in demand that Zoom has recently experienced exposed various security issues, including the problem of “Zoom-bombing”. However, the company has responded quickly by adding waiting room functionality so participants can be screened plus additional verification and security measures.
Microsoft responded by publishing a blog earlier this month detailing its security measures, which include deleting all data when subscriptions end and a commitment to not use Teams data to provide ads or track participant attention.
4. Access to services and availability of data
In light of the recent surge in demand, how robust is each service? Microsoft Office 365 has long been a core business staple, but the provider has struggled to scale up to meet new demands. Microsoft has had to restrict its resources to prioritise core services such as the NHS and Government. While these problems are resolved, Office 365 services remain vulnerable. If you have important data stored with Microsoft Office 365, you may not be aware that Microsoft doesn’t guarantee the availability of your data, even if service disruptions are caused by Microsoft itself. However, services like CloudCover 365 allow organisations to protect data across Microsoft 365 services (including Teams) through an online, browser-based portal.
Prices vary, with both offering a free version ($14.99-$19.99 per month per host for Zoom and $5-$20 per month per user with an annual commitment for MS Teams – although Microsoft Teams comes free with an Office 365 business package).
However, direct price comparisons are difficult, since Zoom is primarily optimised for video conferencing, whereas Microsoft Teams offers a range of other functionality.
Ultimately in the choice between Zoom and Teams, it comes down to your individual business needs. Some organisations are even choosing a blended approach, using Teams for internal collaboration and Zoom for working externally.
If you’d like to discuss your options with an expert who understands the whole marketplace and can advise on the best solution for your unique requirements, please give us a call.
Right now, to help any organisation that needs us, virtualDCS is offering:
- Free technical support – any business in the UK can contact us with questions about remote working. You can bypass our sales team and contact our support experts for free.
- Access to your work files from home – we have a simple solution to access and collaborate on work file shares, from home, without complex networking. We’re offering Nimbox free for 30 days to any organisation that needs it.
- Remote meetings with colleagues and customers – You can use Microsoft Teams free for 6 months, utilising video conferencing, shared whiteboards, instant messaging and more.
- A local support network – virtualDCS is a joint founder of the Yorkshire Coronavirus Business Support Group. We have collaborated with Fleek Marketing to create a support network for businesses during the crisis. With advice and industry experts covering topics from Cloud, to communications, Finance, HR, Employment Law and more.
Feel free to contact the virtualDCS team by calling 03453 888 327 or emailing enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk