Which is better Zoom or Teams?

Should I use Zoom or Teams? was one of the most frequently asked questions when we first went into lock down last March.

I believe Zoom was and still is really popular as it’s easy to use on your laptop or pc, tablet or smart phone.  Even those who struggle with technology have managed to use Zoom successfully.  Family quizzes are a classic example with old and young enjoying a bit of video conferencing!  Who’d have thought I’d be screen sharing over video with my Mum and Dad!  Crazy times indeed.

Zoom vs Teams - which is better

Is Zoom good for work or just for keeping in touch with family and friends during Covid?

Zoom is absolutely a corporate video conferencing tool!  It has some great conference features; easy to view video, chat with one or all participants, screen share, background effects, easy access to mute and video activation are just a few.

Zoom also has break out rooms allowing hosts to push participants off into their own mini conference for smaller discussions, then bring them back in at an allotted time.  Fab for networking groups, departmental meetings, workshop or training environments etc.

Is Zoom free for small businesses?

The free version of zoom will give you a 40 minute conference, anything any longer you need to have a paid version. Whilst Zoom is a really good product I think it is quite expensive, the cheapest version of Zoom comes in at around £12 a month plus VAT per user and that doesn’t get you break out rooms. If you can all share one account that’s not so bad but if you start to add that up per user it soon starts become a costly solution!

So what about Teams?

There has been a sharp uptake in Teams but this seems to be in the work space rather than the broader audience that Zoom has attracted.   Businesses large and small have Teams for no additional cost (basically free!) within their MS 365 / Office.  With staff thrown into home working there was no better time to give it a whirl!

The real difference here is that Teams can be used for more than a scheduled video conference.  It allows colleagues to call internally over the internet – a valuable tool when desk phones are in an unoccupied office!  You can also use chat / instant message outside of the conference call.  Scheduling conferences is easy and works really well with outlook too.

I could go on about all the other Teams features but I’ll save that for another day 😊 let’s stick to the Zoom / Teams conversation….  The point is my whole 365 suite is about the same cost as my Zoom account.  Yes, even me, fan of Teams has a basic Zoom subscription.  Its great for social gatherings as I’ve already mentioned, however, the ease of use is also perfect for my customers who, pre-covid lockdown, had never touched an internet phone or used video conference!

Is Teams as good as Zoom for conferencing?

I am super glad to be answering this question now we’re several months into 2020!  My honest answer in March was no!  Teams had some real limitations when comparing like for like conferencing with Zoom.

BUT – Teams has drastically improved the conference features giving us less and less reason to slope back to Zoom….I wouldn’t say Teams have copied Zoom (!) but here are some of the top new features in Teams that were poor in comparison to Zoom:

  • Background images and effects
  • 9 video tiles on the main window with others shown across the bottom (back in March you could only see 4 people at a time!)
  • Ability to pop out video from main conference window
  • Turn off participants microphones and video
  • Raise hand feature
  • Spotlight – make one video the main focus for the conference
  • Improvements to smart phone / tablet

Does Teams have breakout rooms?

This is the really exciting news for Teams!  Break out rooms are here on Preview and will be rolled out later this month!  (November 2020).

So, in my opinion, if you pay for MS 365 and are still using Zoom, it’s time to re-evaluate your needs.  Ask your team what they use in Zoom, what features are important and why, if they are now available within Teams, great news!  If not (yet) you can assess the value against the cost of the solution.

Good luck with your decision!  Get in touch if you need any help!

Useful links

Teams Training, Consultancy and Advice: https://cloud9bs.co.uk/microsoft-teams-training/

Features of Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/meetings

Features of Teams meetings: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/video-conferencing