Microsoft Teams vs Zoom: Which Tool is Best For Your Business?

Businesses are leveraging video conferencing tools more than ever before and therefore Microsoft Teams and Zoom are making headlines daily. We'll compare Microsoft Teams vs Zoom here so that you can make the decision on what's best for your business,

In this article, we'll look at the most popular software for video conferencing on the market today: Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Both have been making headlines since the world went remote, 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.

Microsoft Teams vs Zoom: What do they 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:

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The Differences Between Microsoft Teams vs 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.

Communication

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.

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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.

Security

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.

Considering migrating to Teams? We'd love to help.

Celebrating #NationalSelfieDay with the Face-to-Face Future of Remote Video Conferencing

Happy National Selfie Day!

By Maddie Murray
What could be better than having a day fully devoted to taking pictures of yourself?! For us at Managed Solution, we couldn't think of anyway better to celebrate this glamorous holiday than by sharing some of our best selfies. Flattering angles and superb lighting only!

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With selfies sweeping social media and most of the internet, it's no wonder face-to-face interaction online is becoming more popular. Along with advancements in hardware and software, video conferencing is now becoming increasingly popular for business interaction in the workplace. Encouraged by young, tech-savvy millennials, those in leadership today are very enthusiastic about technology and want to use it where possible, as leaders of the future will be dependent on technology and therefore will expect to utilize it throughout their daily lives. According to a joint survey performed by Redshift Research and sponsored by Cisco, 87 percent of young respondents would prefer to work for a more “video-enabled” organization over one that limits its investment in video conferencing. In addition, 84 percent of respondents believe that they would rely on virtual meetings with video for one out of every four interactions at a minimum.

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In a recent Q&A session, Lovina McMurchy, general manager of Skype Advertising, stated that Skype averages 8 billion hours of social video calls each year—this has been the case since 2011, when Microsoft acquired the company. The growing trend of video calls will continue to change how people interact with one another and combat some of the stigma associated with choosing video conferencing over face-to-face meetings.
In addition to the growing social use associated with video conferencing, it is now becoming more commonplace during the modern interview process. Global companies often seek global talent, but traveling out-of-state for a job interview isn’t always the best approach. Because of this, a recent study conducted by PGI suggests that 66 percent of job candidates prefer video interviews over traveling to meet a potential employer. This is even becoming more common with local candidates that might need to meet a large team whose schedules do not align.
Video conferencing has also become a popular feature of quality enterprise business solutions. By integrating video conferencing services with enterprise systems, employees are finding new and unique ways to run virtual meetings that go beyond traditional methods. In the same Redshift Research survey about video conferencing, respondents were asked about future features that would help them improve meetings with enterprise integration. Fifty-four percent of respondents showed interest in customizing the viewer’s experience with social media sharing tools. Twenty-one percent would prefer real-time language translation and pop-up bubbles that provide LinkedIn and Salesforce information on meeting participants.
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Video conferencing services let participants communicate on many levels beyond a traditional conference call. Through viewing facial expressions and body language, participants are able to experience different non-verbal cues, which often make up 93 percent of standard communication. Through virtual reality, participants can take virtual meetings even further.
By wearing a headset like the HoloLens, which combines both virtual and augmented reality into one experience, meeting participants can all sit in the same room together, no matter where they are physically located. This is accomplished via holograms that can be viewed through the headset.
With traditional video conferencing, participants only look into a camera and onto their screens to see one another. This often leads to missed eye contact and a continued feeling of separation. With technology like the HoloLens, participants can turn their head to the left to look at the hologram of the person sitting on their left. They can turn to their right to interact with the person on their right. In addition, they can share projects and manipulate them in real-time as a team. All of this can be done in a virtual environment set in the physical world.
These are just three trends of many set to change the way we interact with one another through video conferencing. As technology continues to evolve, virtual meetings will quickly become the norm and the board room conference phone will become nothing more than a retro paperweight.
Learn more about the future of video conferencing and Microsoft here.

3 common myths about HD video conferencing

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Myth 1: Installation is a pain.

Video conferencing via the cloud doesn’t require any major hardware or software purchases. Everything is provided online, so installation is easy.
Some services automatically detect your devices, including headset, mic, speakers, and camera, for quick and easy calls with little to no setup required.

Myth 2: The costs are prohibitive

Actually, many of today’s top video conferencing services are low-cost, especially when implemented company-wide. Meetings can happen without plane travel, hotels, cabs, and meals. And that translates to big savings.
Cloud services often offer affordable monthly pricing plans that can be scaled according to the number of users without sacrificing security.

Myth 3: Connecting everyone is hard.

In fact, connecting is easier than you think. You can hold an HD video2 conference from your favorite device3 and accommodate up to 250 people on a single call. Everyone is connected, no matter where they are.

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87% of remote users feel more connected when video conferencing is used.

Communication is stronger when you connect. There’s no substitute for seeing the other people in the meeting.