Business collaboration tools reviewed
Online collaboration software has never been so popular. It’s everywhere, from family quizzes to work calls; more people than ever have been using video calls to bridge the gap caused by lockdown restrictions. However, for businesses who may not have already had a video conferencing system in place, the adoption has been rocky.
Zoom’s rocket to popularity during lockdown, was mainly through consumers using the platform for video calls with family and friends. However, that leaked into many businesses also starting to use Zoom as a result – unfortunately, these same businesses are now limiting themselves if they only stick with Zoom.
Microsoft Teams is a full suite of communication tools that includes video conferencing, video and audio calls, presence, document collaboration and chat. Like Zoom, its popularity skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic and Microsoft reported 75 million daily active users in April 2020. Teams reported 200 million meeting participants in a single day in April 2020, very quickly catching up to Zoom.
By using Zoom, a business is limited by its relatively feature-sparse platform. It’s a great video conferencing tool – but isn’t able to facilitate the kind of collaboration Microsoft Teams can.
Let’s take a look at the two platforms to see how they compare.
Zoom’s only strength is its video feature, which provides a cloud platform for video conferencing, audio calls and webinars. Microsoft Teams provides ad-hoc or planned meetings, chat functionality and calls, with the addition of shared workspaces and collaboration tools. During Teams calls, you can collaborate live with the sharing of whiteboards, content and desktops.
Zoom does video conferencing very well but requires you to purchase additional app licenses and then try to integrate them to work together. Zoom has a free version that is available to host up to 45 minute calls with up to 100 people. Microsoft Teams, however, has all features and functionality integrated from the start with no hassle of setting it up. Microsoft Teams also offers an unlimited video conferencing, chat and search functionality for up to 300 people in its free version with even more capabilities aimed at assisting students, teachers and non-profit organisations. But not only that, you also get free storage and access to the Office Online apps.
Microsoft Teams has always been the clear winner in terms of unified communications, allowing you to use either its own simple environment through the Microsoft Teams Calling for calling, or use Direct Routing to integrate it into either your on-premise or Cloud PBX, or existing SIP Trunks. Zoom’s solution is its Zoom Phone experience which has some good in-built features like intelligent call routing, IVR and auto-attendant, however, is still in its early days compared to Microsoft Teams Calling.
However, it simply can’t beat the full functionality offered by Microsoft Teams Calling:
Zoom has progressed recently with its adoption of the collaboration tool Slack, providing a collaboration experience that makes it more than just a video conferencing service. By adding ‘apps’, Zoom can be customised around a user’s need, which is intuitive and relatively straightforward in a world that is now accustomed to app-store browsing and selecting only what they need.
Teams, on the other hand, was built with collaboration at its heart. It offers powerful integrations across the full Microsoft 365 suite – providing collaborative functionality across tools like Word, PowerPoint, Excel and more. Everything is backed up through OneDrive and Teams is fully integrated with SharePoint to allow full collaborative working across the organisation. This all adds up to create a highly efficient, professional ecosystem that allows every size of business to easily manage its workload and workflow online.
In conclusion, Microsoft Teams is the superior communications tool – allowing entire businesses to collaborate easily and remain consistently productive. Whilst Zoom does offer adequate video conferencing, it does not provide a unified solution that presents opportunities for collaboration, cloud-storage, easy file sharing and more. For these reasons, we would recommend a Microsoft Teams integration for any UC solutions. If you’d like to learn more about what Teams could mean for your business, get in touch with Windsor Telecom today.