Both platforms have their unique advantages and disadvantages, and from our experiences and research we’ve determined for most of our clients it actually makes sense to use both.
In the midst of a shutdown unlike anything we have seen before, video conferencing sites have exploded in popularity.
In the vertical of video conferencing platforms two have distanced themselves from the rest: Microsoft Teams and Zoom. It would be remiss not to mention Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime or OoVoo – all of which are or were at one time popular video chatting services. In terms of current applications within an American professional organization it is typically a coin flip between Microsoft Teams and Zoom, whose total users jumped from 10 million in December 2019 to 200 million in March 2020.
The two platforms have been thrust into “essential” level status as tools for workplaces and many business leaders aren’t entirely familiar with the options available.
Microsoft Teams comes included with MS Office 365 and integrates quite well within the system, making Teams a suitable option for in-office use and communication. Microsoft Teams is optimized for secure, internal collaborations. Calls with Teams can have up to 20 users on at once.
Zoom, on the other hand, is more of a jack-of-all-trades video conferencing tool that can be used for both internal communication and external personal use. It can handle up to 49 users on a single call as well as breakout rooms for users to split into smaller groups. Zoom offers a free service with up to 100 participants however it is limited to 40 minutes per call. For unlimited calls and webinars the pricing increases starting at $14.99 per host per month.
Zoom made headlines recently due to concerns of security. Some Zoom encryption keys were generated in China which caused concerns for many users as to who had access to their data.
Another concern with Zoom was the prevalence of so-called “Zoombombers” entering private video conferences at will. Zoom does in fact have ways to prevent that exact kind of malicious activity and always has; however the default privacy settings on Zoom are set to open instead of closed. These can be adjusted to give meeting hosts the ability to set up passwords for meetings and review new guests in a waiting room before they are allowed on the call. Zoom addressed these issues with software updates in April. We recommend checking your settings in Zoom to make sure that the security measures are up to your company’s standards.
A reason many organizations use Teams could be out of convenience, as the service comes free along with MS Office 365 and integrates smoothly into company calendars and email accounts which makes scheduling and sharing files a breeze. Like Zoom, there are waiting rooms and passwords to keep out unwanted guests and keep your data safe.
Companies have unique challenges and needs so there is no blanket answer to which service is better. If your company is already using MS 365 then you already have Teams to integrate into the rest of the Microsoft apps. If you are looking to use video conferencing outside of work or are curious to see how Zoom performs then download the free version and give it a try. At VelocIT we prefer to remain agnostic in regard to our video conferencing tools as our clients use several different platforms. It’s very commonplace for companies to use Teams internally and Zoom for communicating with clients and vendors. For the majority of our clients it does make sense to use both to their advantages as the two services compliment each other quite well.
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