Steve Vickerage |
Apr 14, 2020, 13:28 PM
We have been writing about Microsoft Teams (aka Teams), which is bundled with many Office 365 packages, since its inception a few years ago. We have encouraged the adoption of “Modern Workplace” tools, and many customers have found Microsoft Teams (Microsoft fastest growing application ever) to be very helpful, enabling their employees to stay connected and collaborate efficiently, from anywhere.
Since the COVID pandemic really started to affect all our working lives, more and more companies are now pushing themselves to quickly adopt Teams, and similar tools and services that help them work remotely….
“Since January 31, we’ve seen a 500 percent increase in Teams meetings, calling, and conferences there, and a 200 percent increase in Teams usage on mobile devices. Despite this usage increase, service has been fluid there throughout the outbreak.” (1)
On a personal note, I can tell you that Teams has been instrumental in our company’s ability to keep our business running smoothly during this crisis.
Microsoft Teams is sometimes compared to Zoom, which may be the most familiar video conferencing tool out there today, similar to traditional products you may have heard of, like Webex or GoToMeeting for example. These conferencing tools can be used to do a video call or hold a Webinar, but Microsoft Teams does all of this …. and so much more (see below). Before we get into comparing features, the most important factor that all users should consider when deciding on Teams vs Zoom, is security!
“Given the soaring usage of the Zoom platform during the coronavirus lockdown, and the near-doubling of its stock price since the beginning of February, Zoom has come under intense scrutiny from security professionals and privacy advocates. And boy, have they found stuff.” (5).
Many users have complained about “Zoom meeting bombs” where uninvited hackers enter your meeting and create awful and alarming interruptions. In some cases, user’s passwords have been compromised, and/or data has been stolen. See the links at the bottom of this article for more references about this topic. Zoom may be OK for personal use but for your business, assuming you value security, Teams is the way to go.
Security aside, from a feature comparison perspective Microsoft Teams offers so much more than being able to hold a video conference or a webinar.
- Teams has integration with Office 365/Microsoft 365 (Outlook and the Office suite, Sharepoint and Onedrive) including AI integration with Outlook for meeting suggestions.
- You can customize your Teams interface to allow for quick access to other services, portals, and applications, minimizing the need to bounce around several windows/apps.
- You can add Phone system capabilities and use Teams as a softphone, with your own number and extension, voice mail, calling plans etc.
- The list goes on … see this document for a more thorough comparison of Teams vs Zoom.
Many of you may already have Teams with your existing Office 365 package but if not, it is very easy to upgrade your plan to start using Teams, if interested.
To help address the COVID crisis, for any client that is new to Office 365, Microsoft is offering an E1 licenses, which includes Teams, free for 6 months (up to 3000 users). If you have an existing Office 365 package that does not include Teams you can sign up for a “stand-alone Teams license” also*.
Give us a call with any questions about your current licensing, and access to Teams, should you have any questions.
* Note that the stand-alone Teams license does have a few limitations with Exchange/Outlook integrations, and kiosk users will only have read only access until upgrading to a Hosted Exchange license etc. Give us a call and we can walk you through your specific options.