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Microsoft Teams is Not a Zoom Alternative; It’s Much More

Microsoft Teams is Not a Zoom Alternative; It’s Much More

June 30, 2021 in Microsoft 365/Office 365, Centriq News, Corporate IT Training, Microsoft Office / by Nate Chamberlain

Should we use Zoom or Microsoft Teams? This question comes up frequently these days as organizations work to evolve their digital workplace solutions and must decide between keeping their existing web calling platform (Zoom, WebEx, etc.) or making the switch to Microsoft Teams. 

While you certainly can use Microsoft Teams with Zoom and WebEx as integrated apps, the cost of maintaining both a Microsoft 365 subscription and a Zoom subscription can add up and take funding from other potential usesMicrosoft Teams, as a single/standalone app, includes/covers all the features found in both Zoom and WebEx (and much, much, more).

 

Interested in Microsoft Teams Training or M365 Training? We have options.

 

For those unfamiliar, Zoom is a popular meeting solutions application for users to meet with others, chat, and share screens online (whether entirely over internet, or in conjunction with a conference line). Microsoft Teams is part of Microsoft 365 and also offers the same functionality of Zoom (web calls with the same features and more, as can be seen in the table below). What is unique about Microsoft Teams, though, is that it is integrated with everything else your enterprise needs to communicate and collaborate throughout the day. This means Teams is directly intertwined with your email and calendar (Outlook), files (OneDrive and SharePoint), task management (Planner), and more. All of it is included in a single Microsoft 365 subscription at no additional cost. 

For this post, we’ll be comparing Enterprise-level Teams (M365 E5 subscriptionwith Enterprise-level Zoom. 

 

microsoft teams vs zoom (for online meetings)

If we ignore all of Teams’ features other than web meetings and chats (to most closely compare it to Zoom), we can see the following: 

 

Teams 

Zoom 

Audio and video calls 

X 

X 

1:1 chat & group chat 

X 

X 

Meeting recording 

X 

X 

Breakout rooms 

X 

X 

Live captions and transcriptions 

X 

X 

Custom backgrounds and blurring 

X 

X 

Different view/gallery modes 

X 

X 

Screen share capability 

X 

X 

Request control (remote) capability 

X 

X 

Attendance reports 

X 

X 

In-meeting app extensibility (polls, whiteboard, files, reports, etc.) 

X 

Coming Soon 

Mobile app 

X 

X 

Meeting artifacts organized automatically into their Teams 

X 

 

Integrated file storage 

X 

 

Participant limit 

1,000* 

500 

Sources: Zoom Meetings – ZoomZoom Video Conferencing Plans & Pricing | Zoom – Zoom, What’s new in Microsoft Teams – Office Supporthttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/limits-specifications-teams#meetings-and-calls, and first-hand experience. 

*See Participant limit section below for how this number can go up to 10,000. 

While not entirely comprehensive or overly detailed, this table gives you a good idea that essentially your meeting experiences in both apps are very comparable.

 

So, what is different about teams?

Microsoft Teams can be broken into two main areas: 

Communication (Meetings, chats, calls) – the very Zoom-like piece 

Collaboration (Groups, apps, files, sites, plans, and more) 

By choosing to go with Teams over Zoom, we know we get similar meeting experience but now those meeting recordings, transcripts, chats, shared files, etc. are all automatically organized into their respective Teams. 

Teams are essentially a group of people, their content, and their conversations. Each team is supported by a Microsoft 365 group (the actual group of people) that is used not dissimilarly to how we’d traditionally use distribution and security groups – we’re just adding on pre-connectedness to all apps and services a Team can use, such as Planner and SharePoint. 

 

participant limit and meeting types

Zoom’s Enterprise level allows up to 500 participants, while Teams can support 1,000. Teams also allows anyone after the first 1,000 attendees to still join, but in “view-only” mode up to 10,000 total attendees. This means any view-only attendees (1,001-10,000) can still watch/hear the meeting but can’t use their own video, audio, or chatYour first 1,000 to join, however, maintain full feature functionality throughout.  

You might also be interested to explore Teams’ unique meeting type options. In addition to regular web meetings, Teams has webinars (with custom registration pages) and Live Events (great for up to 10,000 attendees in listen/view mode with optional Q&A feature). 

 

file integration

Any files shared in ad-hoc 1:1 or group chats are automatically uploaded and shared from individual users’ OneDrives, centralizing those shared files for easy management. Any files shared in Teams (an official group) are stored in that Team’s SharePoint site (which supports all files for the team, whether from meetings or generally stored like traditional network drives might have been used in the past). 

 

pre-connected apps teams can use

When you create (or belong to) a Team, you are able to utilize productivity and collaboration apps within that team including: 

An Outlook shared calendar (for a single, shared place to manage team events or obligations)

An Outlook shared inbox (for a single, shared place to communicate with the whole team)

SharePoint site (required for file storage, but also able to be turned into a website-like or intranet-like experience for your Team)

Planner plan (for task tracking and communication across the team, similar to Trello)

OneNote notebook (for shared note-taking/consumption in a compiled format)

Stream channel (video hosting and creation tool with auto-transcription and facial recognition)

Power BI workspace (data visualization and reporting)

Forms workspace (group forms and quizzes that can be shared internally or externally)

While you likely won’t use every app for every team, you can think of Teams as a toolbox, and all of these apps as tools you can choose from to suit a specific need in the moment. Because the apps are pre-connected (ready to use in your team immediately), there is no need to worry about adding your team to security/permissions configurations. Simply create your new SharePoint site page, Planner plan, OneNote notebook section, etc. and get started! 

 

conclusion

Ultimately, it is going to come down to your organization’s size, budget, and needs. While we cannot recommend a one-size fits all solution, we have detailed what each platform brings to the table. If you want the all-in-one enterprise collaboration and communication tool, Microsoft 365 may make the most sense. 

Its ability to go above and beyond web meetings and chat sets it apart as the industry leader in modern digital workplaces. If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Teams or the entire Microsoft 365 platform, check out our training opportunities.