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Teams versus Zoom. Which is the best videoconferencing solution?

Zoom AV set up in boardroom

Before the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic there was already a move towards more remote working, fueled by the rise of The Millennials and developments in technology, but things were moving slowly. Video conferencing was dominated by vendors such as Cisco, Polycom and Avaya. 

But once lockdowns hit, a famous 20th century quote seemed pertinent. “There are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks where decades happen” Lenin 

During the  pandemic the growth in video meetings was incredible and two cloud-based solutions became pre-eminent. Microsoft Teams and, in particular, Zoom, which became the generic term for video conference meetings. 

Zoom saw an incredible increase in meeting participants of 2900% and many businesses adopted Zoom either by design or as staff defaulted to Zoom. 

Zoom Daily Meeting Participants table

Microsoft Teams also saw huge growth. Prior to the pandemic Microsoft Teams had been growing but not at great pace. Skype for Business was still widely used and IT departments were cautious about turning all of Teams’ functionality on straight “out-of-the-box” . Lockdowns changed all that and caution was thrown out of the window as organisations sought business continuity and demanded that IT departments act fast.

Microsoft Teams users table

In this article we cover the following as we compare Zoom Rooms and Microsoft Teams Rooms:

Features and benefits comparison 

So the business landscape has changed forever. Hybrid working has become the norm. Many employees and jobseekers are now choosing not to travel to the office 5 days a week. Businesses are now looking to make office spaces more focused towards meetings and collaborative working and less towards solo, desk-working. Huddle spaces, small meeting rooms, boardrooms and large townhall spaces are being created to address different meeting uses. And having the right design and installation of AV equipment is crucial to the success of these spaces.  

During the pandemic Zoom worked fast to address some security concerns and Teams increased its video panes from 4 to 9 and then ultimately 49. After the pandemic Zoom and Microsoft Teams were the names on almost everyone’s lips. But which rooms are better? Zoom Rooms or Microsoft Teams Rooms? 

MVS Audio Visual is experienced working with both, so here’s a comparison at the time of writing: 

Comparison table of Teams vs Zoom

Why Zoom?

Zoom is a video-first platform primarily designed for real-time communication via audio, Zoom Phone, video, Zoom Rooms, Webinars and Events, including break out rooms. Below we highlight the key benefits that have made Zoom Rooms such a popular solution for enterprise video conferencing:

Pros of Zoom 

Simplicity 

Meeting participants just want to get on with their business. But all too often there are delays caused by difficulties getting onto a video conference call. Ease of use is one of the key reasons that Zoom has gained widespread adoption in enterprises around the world. Zoom enables video conferencing, cloud conferencing, wireless content sharing, virtual meetings, file sharing and audio or video chat, on any device, typically with just one simple click. Even the least tech savvy employee can Zoom. And that simplicity reduces the cost of adoption and rollout, reducing the burden of IT management.

Application Integrations 

From the outset Zoom took an open and flexible approach to meet varying customer needs and wants. It’s hardware agnostic, so customers can leverage legacy investments and integrate with over 1000 apps. These include Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, HubSpot, Zoho, Pardot, Marketo, Eloqua, Zendesk, Slack and Google Workspace. There is integration with Outlook, so you can start, schedule and join Zoom Meetings from Outlook. And Zoom integrates with Microsoft Teams! 

Scalability 

As demonstrated by its growth during the COVID pandemic the Zoom Platform has proven its ability to scale to meet the needs of a changing workplace. Meetings can allow up to 1,000 participants with 49 visible per screen – 147 across 3 screens! Webinars up to 50,000 participants. And Zoom provides local PSTN access in over 40 countries, plus BYOC (Bring your Own Carrier) capability.

Innovation

Zoom led the way with cloud videoconferencing, with features such as Smart Gallery and voice activation for Zoom Rooms, and is continuing to innovate to provide customers with more value. Zoom Phone is evidence of this, providing the ability to conduct calls on any device and elevate calls to a Zoom Meeting and Zoom Room. As part of the single Zoom platform and with BYOC and extensive local PSTN access it not only provides users with a seamless experience, but it also offers IT reduced complexity and significant cost reduction opportunities.

Hardware compatibility

Another important factor in Zoom’s widespread adoption, and contributing to its ease of use, is compatibility with all major operating systems and devices. Put simply, Zoom is highly likely to work ‘out of the box’ with your work devices, whether you’re running Windows, Android, Chromebook, IOS or Linux, on a tablet, phone, laptop or desktop. If you’re looking for a communication solution that is convenient, readily updated, quick to setup and easy to use, Zoom is hard to beat.

Zoom Rooms

Traditionally, video conferencing rooms are notorious for being overrun with cords and cables and for eating into valuable meeting time with tech issues. Zoom Rooms are wireless. Say goodbye to tripping over wires or scrambling to find the correct cable to get your presentation started. With Zoom Rooms, you can initiate a meeting with one click or through your calendar software. Voice commands and touch screen controls also help users to take full advantage of today’s technologies. As Zoom Global Integrator Winner 2020, MVS are experts in Zoom Rooms. Find out more here.

Zoom Conclusions

If you’re looking for a simple to use, easy to deploy, reliable cloud platform, for video and audio conferencing, chat, phone and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems, Zoom should be on your consideration list. Zoom Rooms extend the power of the software, to deliver a market-leading software-based meeting room solution, used globally in huddle, training, meeting, board and conference rooms.

MVS Audio Visual are a Zoom Gold Certified Integrator and one of the UK’s leading specialist suppliers of Zoom Room solutions. To discuss your video conferencing needs, to arrange a free onsite inspection or hardware demo, contact our expert AV team today on 0203 4111 630.

Why Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft has been developing it’s Office 365 solution to provide users with a one stop shop for key user requirements . Microsoft Teams was rolled out in 2017 primarily to compete directly with Slack. Microsoft’s collaboration app has since evolved to compete with other audio and video conferencing tools which have soared in popularity with the shift to hybrid working. Whilst Teams featured easy video chats for one-on-one or group calls, at launch, Teams lacked many integrations and features that make Zoom with its best-of-breed approach, so efficient and effective. Today Teams provides users with a single pane to do whatever they need to do and the video conferencing capabilities are getting close to Zoom’s.

Below we take a look at Microsoft Teams key features to see how it measures up against Zoom:

Pros of MS Teams

Comes bundled with Microsoft 365

If your company has chosen the Microsoft platform and already has an Office 365 subscription then there are no additional costs for MS Teams, so purely from on a cost-basis it makes sense to look at making your meeting rooms Microsoft Teams Rooms.

One of the most common concerns that our customers have about Zoom is cost. Whilst the core Zoom solution is relatively inexpensive, many of its features are an ‘add-on’, which when used, can result in the cost of Zoom quickly rising.

Integration of collaboration tools

The recent updates to MS Teams have included a whole host of integrations to allow the platform to work well with other leading communication software tools. At Teams’ core is the chat tool, with an integration of tools all-in-one place, from a ‘channel’, you can now easily make a video or audio call, work on files without leaving a chat, schedule a meeting or share a task with people. A key strength of Zoom is how easy it is to communicate and collaborate. Microsoft has worked hard to match the collaboration features of Zoom with smart integrations that make for easy content sharing.

Handy extensions to the chat tools

MS Teams has recognized a demand to integrate popular third-party apps into your chat channels. Using Teams doesn’t mean you have to change your existing workflows or drop the tools that you already use. Apps like Trello, Google Drive, Dropbox and even Zoom are easily added to your chat channel in MS Teams.

Seamless Collaboration, Backups and File Search

Other key features which make MS Teams a contender in the all-in-one conferencing marketplace are the tools that enable participants to easily share content during a meeting. Each channel comes with its own file storage and one-click features make it easy to find, share and work collaboratively on files.

Powerful Administration with Helpful Bots

To help with repetitive everyday administration tasks, Teams introduced ‘Bots’. Admins can easily create their own bots, or utilise the many existing bots, to save time and take care of everyday tasks in the background whilst they work.

MS Teams Conclusion

Microsoft has put a lot of focus in developing Teams video conferencing capability to compete with today’s market-leading video conferencing solutions and is arguably right up there with Zoom.

As the world of work has changed towards hybrid working, improvements in VC capability on top of other developments within Teams and the wider Office 365 suite, Microsoft is a compelling proposition. So if you’re a Microsoft customer and you’re looking to upgrade your meeting room VC, Microsoft Teams Rooms make sense.

Our expert team of AV designers and installers have been integrating Microsoft Teams systems for clients across the whole of the UK. To discuss how Microsoft Teams could benefit your meeting room AV set up, call us today on 0203 4111 630.

Why not both?

Both Microsoft Teams Rooms and Zoom Rooms make video conferencing easier and more productive, but what happens if you are a Microsoft customer and most of your customers are Zoom users, or vice versa?

Some of our customers are adopting both. One scenario we’re often asked to implement is a divisible room solution. When the room is divided they have a Teams Room and a Zoom Room. When the room is opened out it provides a large meeting space where meeting participants can face the Teams end or Zoom end as necessary. Different sized rooms have different considerations however. Making sure all meeting participants can be seen, hear and be heard in both room settings requires expert design and installation. Fortunately MVS Audio Visual loves these challenges.

And if you’re looking to use Teams telephony, the additional licensing cost implication opens up a whole new conversation. Using Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phone for video meetings and phone with Microsoft Teams may well be an attractive alternative.

Extending Teams and Zoom Rooms to other video conferencing solutions

Whilst this article primarily addresses the pros and cons of Microsoft Teams and Zoom, not everyone will have the budget to adopt both, but it is more than likely that many of you will have requirements to allow visitors, partners and customers to connect and control your chosen Teams / Zoom Rooms hardware.

This is often termed BYOM or Bring Your Own Meeting. MVS is experienced in extending the capabilities of both Teams and Zoom Rooms using wireless solutions like Barco Clickshare and Mersive Solstice, or the Logitech Swytch.

Talk to the experts

Our team of experts are available to provide free initial advice and site visits to allow us to design the perfect meeting room AV solution for your business. If you are looking to take advantage of the efficiencies that Microsoft Teams and Zoom Rooms offer, please contact us today.

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