- 9th February 2021
- Posted by: Phil Aston
- Category: Business, Microsoft, Office 365, Technology
In December 2019, Zoom reported a maximum of 10 million daily users hitting its platform. By the end of March 2020, that number had doubled.
This has led to terms like “the Zoom Boom”, and has ushered the video calling platform closer to the realm of transitive verb, just like Google (there’s a chance you’ve already uttered the words “I Zoomed him yesterday”).
As wonderfully useful as Zoom has been of late, it isn’t the only option. In fact, if you’ve decided to use it for your business, it may actually cause more problems than it’s worth.
Have you considered Microsoft Teams? Lots more people are; by October 2020 it had amassed 115 million daily active users – up 475% on the year previous.
Both Zoom and Teams have their place, but we have a feeling the latter might be a better option for many businesses. Let’s consider why.
The good news is that both Teams and Zoom offer free tiers which are blindingly easy to sign up for.
The free version of Teams allows up to 300 participants and 60-minute meetings (although these are currently ‘offers’ which will expire in June 2021). If you need more than that, you can upgrade to 24 hour meetings when you buy Microsoft 365 or Office 365, which currently start from £3.80 per user, per month.
Zoom offers just 100 participants and 40-minute meetings in its free tier, but that can be upped to 300 participants and 30 hours of meeting time if you decide to pay. Their pricing is also per user-based, and starts at around £9.99 per month.
If you’re looking for a free option, the ability Teams offers to hold one-hour meetings is far more tempting than that irritating 40-minute Zoom cut-off.
It’s a similar story with the price options, too. Teams is, arguably better priced, not least because it includes the entire Office suite of applications.
Features: Teams edges forward
Zoom is a perfectly competent platform if you want basic video calling. But with more people than ever working from home and relying on technology to be as productive as possible, Teams demands further exploration.
For example, Teams offers the ability to easily transfer files – one of the most common things you’ll find yourself doing during a video meeting. It also features a far more useful chat platform, which is easily accessible and doesn’t require new meetings to be started.
Teams also allows all participants to share their screen if they wish, whereas Zoom only allows hosts and ‘panellists’ to do so. Microsoft has even thought about features such as automatic closed and live captioning for accessibility.
One of the most useful features in Teams is the fact that you can easily schedule video calls directly from Outlook. With Zoom, you have to create the video meeting separately and then copy/paste the details into a calendar invite. With so many remote meetings taking place, these small conveniences add up to lots time saved overall.
Third-party software compatibility
This is another area in which Teams scores highly, simply because it is directly related to the software with which it can interact.
Teams has been designed entirely with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and every other Microsoft Office app in mind. By comparison, Zoom requires users to rely on other tools to achieve Teams-like functionality.
For instance, the aforementioned chat capability within Teams can only be achieved in Zoom if you pair it with something like Slack, but then you’re missing key integrations which enable you to immediately switch to video calling when required.
The simplification of Zoom may be a boon for some, but if you want raw power and compatibility with the software you rely on daily, Teams is the obvious choice.
Which one is right for your business?
Microsoft Teams really does have a lot going for it, and that user base is growing by the day.
Our advice is that if you want ultra-simplicity without the frills, and don’t mind the 40-minute cut-off point, the free Zoom tier will get you into the basics of video calling.
However, if you decide you want to start investing in this technology, Teams will provide a far better return in terms of productivity and user satisfaction.
If you’re still confused about what’s right for you, just get in touch with the Compex IT team and hit us with your questions.