Since the start of the great shift to working from home, we have all become very familiar with two essential collaboration & communication platforms: Zoom and Teams. Naturally, this has led to an obsession of pitting the two against each other in a battle of which is best.

Of course, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. But when you delve a little deeper to determine the right fit, can they really be directly compared against one another?

Weighing into the debate

On the surface, it seems obvious to compare them as they serve the same purpose: they are both cloud-based, video and audio-conferencing platforms to virtually meet with other people. They allow users to communicate from anywhere and on any device, with additional functionality such as live chat, screen sharing, webinar hosting, and even integrated telephony. They both have their edges, so let’s break it down to distinguish the differences.

Zoom – the Pandemic disruptor.

Zoom has been around since 2012 but really took off when the pandemic struck. Its primary purpose is to be a seamless video conferencing service for both colleagues and friends, with the ability to support large audiences. It is entirely scalable to individual needs, therefore can suit businesses with small or large capacities. Its biggest benefit is its simplicity. It is very user-friendly; from scheduling a meeting to hosting it takes no time at all. Over the years, Zoom has kept it simple by solely focussing on improving the chat and video conferencing functionalities.

Teams – the Newcomer.

Then we have Teams. First launched in 2017 after Skype for Business was announced to be discontinued, Teams was relatively new on the scene, until similarly to Zoom, the pandemic caused users to skyrocket. As a Microsoft product, it easily integrates with the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite, which was a huge selling point for all Microsoft lovers. The platform enables easy collaboration, with other Office 365 applications integrated, so teammates can share and edit files live, chat to teammates, host meetings or events, amongst many other things. Since its launch, Teams has been a huge influencer in many businesses transitioning to the modern workplace and adopting collaboration tools that boost employee productivity. Microsoft’s dedication to consistently updating and improving its features, functionality, and security, has made it a favourable platform for many businesses worldwide.

So, this leaves us with lots of questions: is Zoom easier to use than Teams? Is Teams more secure than Zoom? Which is more cost-effective? They are both great meeting and collaboration platforms, it just depends on how businesses tailor them to suit different requirements.

Putting it to the public

We decided to ask the audience. In a recent LinkedIn poll, over 70% said they preferred Teams over Zoom. Clearly, a strong winner. This could be down to the nature of our audience, who are generally Microsoft users (although we would like to think it’s because people generally prefer Teams!). But as a long-term solution, we have to agree Teams is most fitting. Here’s why.

The Teams argument

As proficient Microsoft users and a Gold Partner, Teams is a no-brainer. It’s simple: the integration with Microsoft 365 and ease of use really makes it the full package. You are not just getting a communication platform with Teams; you are getting so much more. Switching between other Microsoft applications is seamless, with no software juggling in sight. Queue the skyrocket in productivity! For us, it really is the perfect platform, as collaboration has never been easier. Especially with Teams instant messaging whilst being away from our colleagues - the days of email chains are well and truly over.

That’s not to say that whilst Teams has its strengths, it does have its fallbacks too. The issue of Teams sprawling is causing some chaos amongst long-term Teams users, which happens when users are allowed to create Teams on-demand with no governance or process in place. Whilst this is freeing for people to collaborate and create teams as they please, it presents lots of governance and security issues for the wider business. You can end up with rarely used or dead Teams, empty channels, or multiple channels for the same thing, and data sprawled out in multiple locations, which is hard to keep track of and often difficult to backtrack on.

The variety of applications and features can be also challenging for new users, and not everybody is looking for a sophisticated experience. Some people just want the basic video-calling experience, which leaves Zoom to be the easier choice. For businesses that are largely call-based, Zoom seems like a preferred fit because it does exactly that. This brings us back to the original debate, and why it’s difficult to par them off against each other.

When all is said and done.

Both are great platforms and have strengths in different areas. This is not one round Teams, another round Zoom. It is whatever works for each individual business.

Whatever your preference, both platforms are enabling us to do some incredible things. Work has quite literally never been easier. Not to mention the advantage of reduced commuting costs; yet another reminder of where life would be without them - we dread to think...

If you’re rooting for Teams, make sure you apply a solid structure and governance policies from the get-go. Build an infrastructure that incorporates pre-built templates with defined team structures, this will create consistency. You could set up a request process with approvals or strict classifications to set boundaries as well as maintaining lifecycle management controls to ensure nothing is left lingering on servers, and things are archived or deleted at the right time. Having these processes in place will keep things tidy, structured, and allow for users to enjoy their experience so much more.

And if you are batting for the Zoom side, take advantage of its simplicity and reliability. If it’s just audio and video conferencing you’re after, there’s no question about it. Although it offers far fewer features and integrations, it earns serious points for ease of use.

So, maybe just this once, we can stop comparing and instead make peace with one another. Broadly speaking, there is no real winner because the truth is that it is subjective to each individual business.

For us at T-Tech, Teams is our winner, not that we’re biased or anything!

To get a demo on the full Teams package with integrated telephony, book a meeting today.

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