The global health crisis has forced businesses in Canada and the rest of the world to adopt remote work arrangements. With team members physically apart, keeping in touch with one another online has been key to staying on the same page, collaborating, and delivering projects on time. To illustrate, they use chat apps to give each other reminders about tasks, use VoIP to hold one-on-one discussions between manager and subordinate, and hold weekly video conferences to update each other on the status of their project.
Some service providers have positioned themselves as a one-stop shop for business communication needs known as Unified-Communications-as-a-Service or UCaaS. As of late, a rivalry in the field of UCaaS has emerged: Microsoft Teams vs. Zoom.
UCaaS in a nutshell: A cloud-based all-in-one communications package that includes telephony, chat, online meetings, collaboration, and audio/video conferencing, among others.
How different are they from one another, and how would you know which one to pick for your business? Let’s do a quick examination of the two.
Microsoft Teams is ideal for Microsoft app users
If you’re already a user of Microsoft productivity apps like Word and Excel (but not yet a subscriber to Microsoft 365), then you’ll want to download the free version of Microsoft Teams. This is because Teams is a “Microsoft team player.”
That is, Teams is a collaboration platform that works well with MS productivity apps. If you’ve ever felt like pulling your hair out every time you had to minimize your video conference window to look for and share a file, you won’t ever have to do that with Teams. You can simply search, share, and collaborate on your Excel sheet, Word document, or another Microsoft-based file — all while remaining within Teams.
And if you’re a subscriber to Microsoft 365, good news — you already have the full version of Teams, so use it to make the most out of your subscription! Firstly, this version starts with 1 TB of storage per user, way more than the 2 GB allotted for each user of the free version. The full version also has advanced IT controls, intelligent video capabilities, and high-grade security and regulations compliance.
The full Teams version can also integrate with plenty of other non-Microsoft apps. By going to Microsoft Power Platform, you can also adapt your existing bespoke apps so that they’ll be usable with Teams, and create new ones that are specially made for the collaboration tool.
When used as a tool for secure internal collaboration, Teams is an excellent choice, though, on the paid version, guest access must be granted to communicate with external parties, adding some complexity.
Zoom trumps Teams when it comes to ease-of-use
Zoom’s rapid rise in popularity is due in large part to how easy it is to start a meeting and invite users. With practically no onboarding, new users can join and participate in Zoom video conferences, and can see up to 100 participants’ video on the screen at the same time (a clear advantage over Teams’ limitation of 9). And, similar to Teams, file sharing can be done during online meetings, though Zoom is not collaboration software in and of itself. Rather, real-time collaboration is done on the app that opens the shared file. This limitation actually helps make Zoom simpler than Teams, whose collaboration features add a level of complexity for users.
And unlike how many apps have to be adapted for the Microsoft platform to be integrated with Teams, Zoom is continually updated so that it can be integrated to other platforms. Zoom’s most notable integration is with Slack, and unsurprisingly, Zoom can be integrated with Microsoft 365 as well.
However, like others, XBASE has warned customers of the very serious security concerns related to Zoom (particularly the free version), to the point we’ve recommended against the use of Zoom for company purposes. While Zoom’s CEO has taken the unusual step of apologizing for these security lapses, and is working on fixing those problems through new features and acquisitions, it is important for businesses to know the risks and to choose a solution accordingly. Several organizations worldwide have opted to ban Zoom use on company devices.
Once Zoom’s security issues are resolved, why not have both?
While it’s good to examine Teams vs. Zoom on paper, an actual user trial would be more helpful in determining which of the two apps fits your business best. Or it may be the case that you need both! Perhaps you need Teams for internal collaborations, and you need Zoom for external communications. Have a trial run to help you discover your company’s communication culture, needs, and areas for improvement — and let XBASE help you with your evaluation process.
Organizations in Toronto and beyond rely on XBASE to help them determine and fulfill their IT requirements, especially now that remote working is posing many communications challenges. To learn how you can better support and manage your work from home staff, download our eBook today.
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