With Covid 19 and social distancing affecting the way we work, users need a quick, easy and efficient way to stay in touch with colleagues.
We compare two of the most popular business communication apps and ask: which is best for talking, designating and collaborating remotely?
Zoom, a relative newcomer to the company comms scene, has had some significant growth since quarantine rules took place; 13 million active users per month, according to a CNBC report. This sees 2020’s adoption rate of the app already surpassing its total for 2019.
Microsoft Teams, meanwhile, is Microsoft’s dedicated work and conferencing app. As part of the Office 365 environment, it already has a huge adoption rate among businesses – and with Covid-19 forcing more people to work from home, it enjoyed an extra 12 million users in a single week once quarantine rules came into effect on March 18th.
We can’t ignore the popularity of both apps, and neither can any organisation currently enforcing remote working. If you’re yet to decide which is best for your business, we’ve broken down the features of both to help you make a better decision.
Zoom is designed purely for conferencing, offering a focussed package that concentrates only on simple, HD video conferencing. As a simpler video conferencing system – especially so for casual users – it’s a popular option for those who just need fast access to other co-workers. Free versions of Zoom exist, but aren’t currently suitable for any business with more than a handful of employees; instead, companies will want one of Zoom’s premium packages. Each has its own list of features as well as support for more participants and longer maximum conference times. It’s worth noting that these prices are on a per user, per month basis, with those registered able to orchestrate meetings with their package bonuses included.
Zoom is all about the chat functions, so its options are singularly focussed towards maintaining comms simply and efficiently. That’s not to say its tools are lacking, with options for private meetings, calendar scheduling, meeting recordings and screen sharing. Zoom’s multiple-screen interface also make it an easy way to see all users in a chat at once during any video conference. It also benefits from integration with common online apps and services, with its calendar function allowing for easy integration with Outlook or Gmail.
With one-click sharing, Zoom is a convenience-first option that could make conversations with external vendors or parties much simpler and swifter. It may not have the expansive capabilities of other specialist chat apps, but for those who want to get down to ‘brass tacks’ quickly, fewer applications are as accessible.
All in all, Zoom’s rising popularity has much to do with its wide array of chat options, its ease of use and growing third party support.
Teams is the more elaborate option, designed not only to support your projects, workflows and cloud solutions, but to offer the same chat functions we’ve come to expect from its soon-to-be-defunct forebearer, Skype for Business.
While Teams subscriptions follow a similar per user, per meeting setup to Zoom, subscription prices are actually part of your Office 365 Business and Enterprise editions, of which Teams is included as standard. For those already using Office 365, this makes it a cost-free option, as well as one that takes better advantage of your existing apps.
Alongside voice, video and team meeting capabilities, Teams is designed to create a hub of shared work, file access and storage. All conversations and files shared within your group are saved indefinitely, while any Office 365 files (such as Word documents and Excel spreadsheets) can be opened from within Teams; users can even edit files in tandem during conversations. By connecting your Teams environment to your SharePoint drive, your shared files remain accessible and up-to-date across the business, even as you and many other members of your group work on them.
As you might imagine, Teams sacrifices much of Zoom’s simplicity to create an all-encompassing approach to work, projects and files. While this means it lacks the ease of Zooms ‘video-first’ approach, it also ensures far greater business continuity; your cloud-saved files are exactly where you left them and are accessible to all Office 365 users working remotely.
For growing businesses working on large-scale projects or whose teams consist of multiple employees, Microsoft Teams helps to keep business continuous even while working in isolation.
Which is Best for Your Business?
Zoom’s popularity isn’t hard to grasp; it’s a quick, easy and effective solution that anybody can wrap their head around. It’s a more then suitable option for businesses who regularly converse with external vendors, or whose business liaisons are strictly conversational.
While Teams is the more complex option, it’s well-equipped for growing enterprises, with functions designed for business continuity. With so many organisations already relying on their Office 365 Business or Enterprise editions, having Teams included within the subscription also makes it a cost-effective choice.
As your work continues to migrate out of the office and into your users’ homes, think about how often you’ll need to stay in contact, how complex your needs are, and how many of your projects rely on cooperation and continuity of work.
While Zoom and Teams offer similar solutions on the surface, their extra features and focusses truly set them apart – choosing the right one might be more crucial than first meets the eye.
Whatever your options, Mirus IT remains on-hand to help implement your remote working solutions – so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Would you like to understand more about Microsoft Teams?
Feel free to download our eBook The Ease and Efficiency of Microsoft Teams
It details the full extent of Teams’ collaborative, cloud-empowered capabilities.
Download your copy here.