The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to quickly transition to remote working, and applications such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom have rapidly become an essential part of people’s daily working lives. In the first two months of 2020, Zoom added more users than the entirety of 2019* and Microsoft Teams more than doubled its daily active users from March to April 2020.**
This has unsurprisingly raised many debates about the features and benefits of each, particularly in the key areas of security and pricing. In essence, both enable online meetings, chats, calls, screen sharing and file sharing, offering powerful all-in-one options for communication.
The most obvious difference between the two applications is primarily Microsoft’s integration between Teams and its 365 application, to bring everyone together into a shared workspace. Zoom on the other hand started life as an alternative solution to expensive video conferencing tools but has expanded to include Zoom Chat and voice calling.
In this blog, we will explore both applications, to help you decide which may be the best solution for your business.
User interface and ease of use – Zoom has built its reputation on an intuitive, simplified interface that doesn’t require a connection to any existing software. Microsoft Teams requires a little more onboarding, as users need to get up to speed on how to interact in different channels, incorporate file sharing and use all of the other 365 applications baked into Teams.
If all you want to do is create video/audio conference calls from a computer, Zoom is certainly easier to set up and use. However, Teams users are rewarded with a much wider suite of apps, meaning that you can work on all your documents without even having to leave the Teams interface.
Features – Teams is focused around perfecting internal communication, whereas Zoom is focused on video and audio conferencing. Teams includes a whole host of standard and productivity features, so that on top of a robust chat service, video meetings, audio calls and file and screen sharing, you also have a suite of features that help businesses to work smarter. This includes the ability to stream information from services you frequently use (such as Twitter) into your conversation channels, meeting transcription, the ability to bookmark content and virtual meeting whiteboards.
Zoom makes for easy conferencing, and provides features such as multiple screen sharing to support web-based presentations, as well as being known for high-quality video and audio. Both solutions now show up to 49 call participants in a 7×7 grid, but in Zoom you can also scroll through pages in gallery view to see up to 1,000 thumbnails of participants.
Teams really is a holistic solution for businesses in terms of its breadth of features, especially with its connection to the wider portfolio of Microsoft 365 tools. Zoom is primarily a video calling and meeting app and needs to be used in combination with other productivity tools and apps to achieve the same level of functionality.
Pricing – Both Microsoft Teams and Zoom offer access to free versions, although these both have limitations. Teams has a duration of up to 60 minutes per meeting or call on its free version and Zoom’s Basic offering hosts up to 100 participants, with group meetings for up to 40 minutes.
Teams business packages range from £3.80 to £15.10 per user, per month. However, if your company already has an Microsoft 365 subscription there are no additional costs for Teams, making this a more obvious choice. Zoom has three packages ranging from £119.90 to £240 per year, per licence.
Which works out cheapest depends on the size of your team and what wider functionality you need. Because Zoom doesn’t have its own email, document sharing or secure file storage in the cloud, if users want these features they have to purchase further third-party apps. This makes Zoom likely to be a more expensive option overall.
Telephony – This is the area where there is the biggest difference between the two applications. Zoom allows you to use a web link, or a dial-in number for those joining from phones. However, Teams has advanced integration with true calling capabilities, due to being designed to replace existing telephone systems.
If you want the ability to add legitimate telephone capabilities (including receiving calls and voicemail), then Teams is a much better choice for your business.
Integrations – Generally speaking, Microsoft Teams has been designed for offices that are already using Microsoft 365. But, recent updates have included a whole host of integrations to allow the platform to work well with other leading communication software tools. Zoom, on the other hand, was always designed to work in conjunction with a variety of other third-party apps. Therefore, both have a similar ability to integrate. Although, for the existing Microsoft user, Teams has the obvious benefit of integrating with the 365 environment.
Security – The Microsoft security stack is more well-established and offers multi-factor authentication to encrypt data, whereas Zoom has two-factor authentication. Microsoft has established and advanced security capabilities, meaning data is protected from malware in attachments, accidental sharing via chat or files, and suspicious user activity and has support for more than 90 regulations and standards, helping businesses comply with national, regional, and industry-specific requirements.
The significant increase in Zoom usage during the pandemic brought increased attention to its overall security. The platform has proved easy to hack and Zoom has previously admitted to collecting and sharing users’ personal data.
In contrast, Microsoft Teams promises not to collect or use data in any way that doesn’t pertain to the apps you are using, which means no scanning of emails, computer documents, uploads etc. and it deletes user data after a subscription has expired or been terminated. Therefore, the more security conscious among you will probably want to opt for Teams.
Overall, Microsoft Teams tops Zoom in many areas because it offers a more complete solution for your business’s organisation, productivity and social needs. It is much more of a communication hub, as opposed to a video calling service. Its 365 integration also makes it an obvious choice if you already use Microsoft software, with rolling updates and improvements each month.
At Direct Voice and Data, we can analyse the software, hardware and telecom needs of your team with a free agile worker assessment. Our On-Demand Office then offers a bespoke solution to help your team thrive in whatever environment they’re working in, with all your services bundled into a flexible financial solution to suit your budget.
To find out more, you can contact us on 0800 84 999 84.
* source: according to estimates from analysts Bernstein
** Source: Based in data from Statista