Zoom vs Teams – which is best for business video conferencing?

Zoom vs Teams – which is best for business video conferencing?

Sometimes a brand becomes so closely associated with a task it performs, that the task is universally known by the brand name.

There are many famous examples.

If you want to search for something online, you ‘Google’ it.

If the carpet needs cleaning, you know it’s time to ‘Hoover’ it (even if your vacuum cleaner is a different brand).

Other examples include ‘Jacuzzi’, and even ‘Escalator’, which was originally a brand name.

And until very recently, if you wanted to arrange a video conferencing call, you would have suggested a Skype.

But names change and the verb ‘to Skype’ has rapidly disappeared. Forget Skype – 2020 was the year when the word ‘Zoom’ became mainstream and entered the public vocabulary. The new verb for connecting by video is ‘to Zoom’.

So, what happened to Skype, and is Zoom now the best way to hook up with someone via a video link?

So long Skype

So successful was Skype that, ten years ago, Microsoft splashed out $8.5 billion for the business. Yet, despite the enormous investment, Skype seemingly plays second fiddle to Microsoft’s own video solution, Microsoft Teams.

In fact, the business version of Skype is just weeks away from total elimination. In July 2019, Microsoft officially announced the wind down of Skype for Business with its end-of-life set for July 31, 2021.

The domestic version of Skype lives on, but how committed is Microsoft? In an interview with Tech Crunch, Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate VP for Modern Life, Search and Devices, said, “We remain committed to Skype. Skype today is used by a hundred million people on a monthly basis. The way I think about it is that Skype is a great solution today for personal use.”

But he continued, “Teams is really the more robust offering… in addition to doing video and chat calling, we also bring in rich communications and templates.”

It is hard not to draw the conclusion that Microsoft’s priority is Teams, which fits neatly in the Office 365 tech stack.

Tech Crunch describes Microsoft Teams as not just a unified communication product. It is a collaboration tool, a window into other apps and services (an “app hub”). What this effectively means is that Teams is a single pane of glass for people to communicate, collaborate, and ultimately work.

And so, quietly, without fuss, Skype fades away into the sunset.

Enter Zoom

Back in 2011, at almost the same time as Microsoft was acquiring Skype, Eric Yuan decided to leave Cisco to start his own video conferencing business.

Eric emigrated from China to America in 1997 at the age of 27, to start an engineering job with the video conferencing software company WebEx. Ten years on, Cisco bought out WebEx for $3.2 billion, and Yuan stayed on with the merged business. But he had lost his enthusiasm. He was despondent with the Cisco Webex video conferencing platform complaining that he “did not see a single happy customer.”

Yuan ditched his six-figure salary, raised $3 million in seed funding, and started out on his own. It was a risky move. Video conferencing was already becoming a crowded market, with Microsoft, Apple, Google and Cisco already active. But the gamble paid off – big time! Zoom was born.

Zoom vs Teams

Video conferencing for business has been on the rise for many years. With improved user experience and security, the video meeting was already becoming more prevalent. As well as saving money, businesses were recognising that flying long distances for meetings was hardly sustainable from an environmental perspective.

And then came the pandemic and home working was accelerated. Video meetings were no longer confined to long-distance conference calls. It was now keeping everyone in touch whether it was staff meetings, sales calls, or social bonding.

The prize for the most successful video conferencing channel became very lucrative.

Research in March 2020 found that with 300 million daily meeting participants, Zoom was the top platform in 44 countries, including the UK and the US.

In second place with 75 million active users every day, was Microsoft Teams, coming out on top in 41 countries.

So, which is best? The truth is there is little to separate the two.

Both have plenty to offer on their free versions.

Zoom wins on its simplicity of its interface and new users find it easy to get online. You can click a button and launch a Zoom meeting in a matter of seconds.

Teams is probably the best option if you are already on Office 365. Both have wide compatibility, whether it is Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS. But if you are already using Microsoft products, it is inevitable that there is a smoother interaction with Teams.

In terms of security, Zoom has had some bad press, but there is actually little to divide them on safety. Security is only as strong as your weakest link, so ensuring your business broadband or leased line provider has robust systems in place is the most important security measure you can take.

Another consideration is the number of users. Teams limits you to 300 viewers per meeting, but with a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can have up to 10,000 listen-only participants. With Zoom you will need to pay once you exceed 100 participants, after which your capacity rises to 1,000. The 1,000 maximum tips the scales to Teams for large scale events or bigger companies.

Although there are minor details that differ, there is no killer feature which makes it a no-brainer to choose one above the other.

So how to decide? This is the verdict of UC Today, an online Unified Communications publication:

“Microsoft Teams is excellent for internal collaboration, thanks to its robust set of integrations with the Office 365 environment. It offers easy chatting and channel solutions, great for keeping your team on the same page.

“Alternatively, Zoom is more appealing for those who often want to work with external collaborators, like contractors and suppliers, with fantastic one-click meeting join options.”

But the most important piece of advice we would give is to make sure you have powerful, robust and secure internet provision. Whether that is through a leased line or through our business broadband, we can ensure maximum clarity of sound and vision on your video calls. With our vast comms experience, you can have the perfect meeting whichever video conferencing option you choose!

Contact us for the best connection in your area.!