Businesses are leveraging video conferencing tools more than ever before and therefore Microsoft Teams and Zoom are making headlines daily.
In this article, we’ll look at the most popular software for video conferencing on the market today: Microsoft Teams vs Zoom. Both have been making headlights due to current events around COVID-19, and we’re going to compare them to let you know their similarities and their differences so you can make a better decision on what’s best for your business.
What do Microsoft Teams and Zoom have in common?
These two tools have a lot of similar functions, but the details are where they differ. At a high level, some of the similarities include:
Video Conferencing: Both tools are built for video conferencing and can be used for audio conferencing as well
Video Conferencing Features: Booth tools have the ability for creating breakout rooms, whiteboarding, screen-sharing, keyboard and mouse control sharing, and chatting.
Integrations: Both tools have hundreds of integrations to choose from and even more can be added with the use of Zapier
The Differences Between Microsoft Teams and Zoom
While both have some of the same main features, they do differ a lot when you dive into the details. Let’s take a look at what makes these two tools different.
Teams and Zoom both offer video conferencing either 1:1 or large groups as well as chat/instant messaging. Teams allows for 250 users to join where Zoom’s plan starts at 100 and you have a choice to upgrade your plan or add additional licensing to include up to 500 users.
Teams also has the ability for more customization within your communication options. In Teams you can create different Teams and Channels to organize your different groups. For example, you could have a Sales & Marketing Team with Channels like “Marketing Collateral” and “Sales Training & Resources.” Zoom only allows you to create Channels without subgroups. Within each, you can choose to add who you wish and make these Channels private or public. In Teams, you can also @ mention different groups and subgroups for specific messages to notify the people within those groups. Both tools feature both group chats or one to one chats, and they allow you to set a status of whether you’re available, offline, or away and customize an away message. You can also schedule meetings both out of the native application or within an integrated calendar like Outlook.
For virtual events like webinars, both have the ability to deliver. Teams webinars are included in its paid plans, whereas Zoom requires additional licensing for this. When creating a webinar in Teams, it’s similar to creating a meeting and you invite people the same way. Zoom creates a registration page for your webinar where people can sign up and automatically get emailed their unique attendee link. Teams allows for up to 10,000 attendees and Zoom’s starting plan allows for 100 attendees and goes up as you get a higher tiered plan.
Storing & Sharing Files
You can store and share files within both applications, however Teams, again, is much more customizable and much more organized when it comes to storing and sharing files. Teams allows you to edit documents (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc) directly within the application itself. Zoom does have a place for shared files, but you can really just store and access them while Teams acts as a collaboration hub for all users. Because Teams natively integrates with the rest of the Office 365 applications, it increases the ease of use of your tech stack and makes it the ultimate collaborative workplace. Both have search functionality to find previous chats or files, but Teams is second to none and can search content within files as well as the file name, making it a much quicker process to find what you’re looking for. In the end, Zoom’s file sharing is comparable to sending a file via email, whereas Teams’ major functionality is file-storing and file-sharing as it sits on top of SharePoint.
Microsoft natively bakes in security to all its application so naturally, Microsoft Teams is going to be hard to compete with at the security level. That said, while Zoom’s security features aren’t as robust, both tools provide security layers. Zoom offers SSL and advanced encryption and has enabled features like blocking or removing participants and restricts certain users from being able to share screens or rename themselves. Zoom, like Teams, also has waiting rooms or “lobbies” to approve people to be let in and you can also enable passwords for meetings.
Teams absolutely has an edge here, though, largely due to its integration with the Microsoft Admin Center, allowing for Microsoft admins to control security and compliance policies across all applications within their suite of products. Teams offers features like two-factor authentication, channel controls, and data loss prevention. Additionally, Microsoft has Advanced Threat Protection, communication compliance, secure guest access, cloud app security, sensitivity labels and more. If you’re in a highly-regulated industry or are concerned about compliance and security (as all businesses should be), then Teams without a doubt has the advantage here.
Pricing & Free Versions
Both tools have a few different pricing plans and have freemium versions available. Teams freemium includes video and audio conferencing, scheduled meetings, 1 to 1 chat, file sharing, screen sharing, and data encryption. Zoom’s free version allows for video and audio conferencing (only up to 40 minutes), scheduled meetings, screen sharing, and chat.
Teams pricing plans range from $0 to 12.50/user/month whereas Zoom ranges from $0 to $19.99/mo/host
In the end, Zoom is a great tool if all you’re looking for is video conferencing or webinar delivery. Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, brings all business applications and tools of a workplace together and allows for ultimate collaboration — and video conferencing is just one feature benefit of its all-encompassing solution. However, if you do need just a conferencing tool, Teams does deliver that, so it really is up to what your business is looking for. In the end, when all things considered, especially (and most importantly) security and productivity, Teams takes the cake.