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Zoom vs Microsoft Teams vs Webex. Which one is right for you?

As I am sure you are all well aware we have seen a major shift in the way we interact in a working environment.   With most teams working remotely it has never been more important to have a reliable online platform to stay connected whilst working to maintain a positive workplace environment.  But with so many platforms available to us all boasting amazing features, which is the right one for your team? Well we have identified the top three most popular platforms currently used by organisations so that all the information you need to make an informed decision is found right here, in one convenient and easy location!

ZOOM

The Need to Know

A powerful, cloud-based video conferencing product, Zoom is designed for easy-to-use webinars, remote meetings, video and teleconferencing, basically it does it all!  Offering unparalleled simplicity, designed to drive adoption of a video-first culture; you can join a meeting anywhere, from any device, and access video for both internal and external communications.  Organisations such as Dropbox, Match and Ticketmaster all choose Zoom for its quality screen-sharing and video tools, not to mention affordable pricing.

 Why It’s Unique

Zoom’s collection of features streamlines remote communications with a well-organized visual interface, active-voice detection and simple mouse-over controls. With a variety of a la carte extras including improved storage, toll-free dialing, webinars and integrations with numerous services and apps (including but not limited to Slack, HipChat, Salesforce, Blackboard, Google Chrome, Microsoft Outlook and Dropbox), Zoom is easy to integrate into your business with one of its four plans.

Pocket Value

  • Zoom Basic is free to use. Basic hosts a maximum of 100 participants and offers unlimited one-on-one and group meetings for up to 40 minutes.
  • Zoom Pro, at $21 per host, per month, is ideal for smaller teams. Zoom Pro has all the features of the basic plan, plus an admin control feature and custom personal meeting ID.
  • Zoom Business is for both small and medium businesses and runs $28 per month, per host. It supports a minimum of 10 hosts and comes with all the features of the Pro plan.
  • Zoom Enterprise, also $28 per month per host, is ideal for large companies with a minimum of 100 hosts. Enterprise includes all the features of the Business plan, and can accommodate up to 200 participants. Zoom Enterprise offers unlimited cloud storage and a devoted customer success manager, as well as executive business reviews and bundle discounts on additional features.

Quick Facts:

  • Price – Free packages available. Or paid packages starting from $21 per month
  • Capacity – 100 maximum (before plan changes)
  • Recording – Yes
  • Integrated – Yes
  • Breakout rooms – Yes

MICROSOFT TEAMS

Need to Know

Microsoft Teams is a video conferencing solution that creates a shared workspace by combining chat, meetings, file sharing and business apps. Cover all aspects of business Microsoft Teams boasts features such as:

  • Online Meetings — Host web conferences, teleconferences and video meetings. Make use of features like scheduling assistance, note taking, desktop sharing, file uploading and chat messaging.
  • Live Broadcasts — Go live with Microsoft Teams’ live events to reach a wide audience. Host all-hands meetings, webinars and presentations with up to 10,000 attendees internal or external to your organization.
  • Meeting Spaces — Join all your meeting spaces in a single touch with Microsoft Teams Rooms from our partners Logitech, Crestron, Polycom, Lenovo, HP and Yealink.
  • Audio Conferencing— Join meetings from a phone or use Microsoft Teams to dial anyone directly. Meetings include a dial-in number spanning more than 90 cities globally, making it easier for mobile users and those without a reliable internet connection.

Why It’s Unique

Probably the most popular business collaboration tool on the market, the thing that really sets Microsoft Teams apart from the crowd is the fact that it works so well with the rest of the Microsoft Stack. You can launch meetings with up to 250 people or present webinars for up to 10,000 people at once directly from Outlook or Exchange Calendar.  The workplace communication hub integrates with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office apps for seamless presenting and file sharing. The app has a similar feel to Slack — you can talk to team members privately or in specific channels, and you can call attention to the whole group or just an individual with the mention feature.

Pocket Value

  • Microsoft Teams entry level plan is free to use and has access to all the basic features.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic, at $6.99 per month (annual commitment), sees the addition of several features such as extra storage space, and access to a range of administration and support tools.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard is for both small and medium businesses and runs $17.20 per month (annual commitment). The key difference between business basic and business standard is desktop access to the Microsoft suite.
  • Office 365 E3 is the most advanced package available priced at $29.00 per month (annual commitment). With all the features of the other Microsoft Team packages, plus a few extra such as more advanced security and allowing users to have access on up to 5 devices this is the most accessible package by far if your team requires flexibility.

Quick Facts:

  • Price – Free for limited features. Or paid packages starting from $6.99 per month (annual commitment)
  • Capacity – 300 maximum (Before plan changes)
  • Recording – Yes
  • Integrated – Yes
  • Breakout rooms – Yes

WEBEX

Need to Know

Since Cisco acquired Webex in 2007 it has consistently been adding new features and frequently updating its interface to keep pace with other communication tools.  Like Zoom, Webex allows users to join a meeting on desktops, Android, or iPhones, and offers excellent HD audio and video quality. Much like it’s various counterparts, Webex provides you with the ability to record meetings, however it also offers whiteboard capabilities that allow meeting attendees to contribute in a collaborative space all at once, which adds an interactive element that can sometimes be missed in similar platforms.

Why It’s Unique

Webex promises a visually pleasing experience with the capability to customize your preferred video layout — meaning that you can choose how the screen looks to you and whether or not you want to be able to see all of your coworkers in numerous video feeds across your screen.

In addition to seeing the names and photos of other people in the virtual meeting room with you, Webex offers users the chance to create a more thorough profiles for yourself through their People Insights feature. Featuring facial recognition, users can learn more about other peoples’ professional roles, history with the company, background, and more.  These are great tools if you are conducting remote interviews, or meetings with external clients or suppliers.

Another great feature of Webex is that it immediately emails transcripts/recordings from the meeting out to everyone who attended the meeting after it ends, so everyone has easy access to meeting minutes.

Pocket Value

  • Webex Personal is free to use. Basic hosts a maximum of 100 participants and offers unlimited one-on-one and group meetings with no time restraints.
  • Webex Starter priced at $18.95 per host, per month, is ideal for smaller teams. Featuring all the features of the personal plan, plus extra recording features and increased storage and integration.
  • Webex Plus is perfect for medium sized teams and runs $24.95 per month, per host. It supports up to 100 hosts and comes with all the features of the Starter and Personal plan, with a few extra bonuses such as a customisable URL.
  • Webex Business, is the most comprehensive plan coming in at $37.95 per month per host, with a minimum of 5 licenses per month. Ideal for large teams or businesses it allows you to host up to 200 participants and gives you access to 10GB of cloud storage. It also allows you to add your own branding and customisation to the platform to really help your organisation stand out in external meetings.

Quick Facts:

  • Price – Free for limited features. Or paid packages starting from $18.95 per month
  • Capacity – 100 maximum (Before plan changes)
  • Recording – Yes
  • Integrated – Yes
  • Breakout rooms – Yes

By using any one of these platforms, you are assisting your team in staying connected and involved even during these ever changing times we find ourselves in.  While each will help you achieve your goal it is important to consider their unique features and the configurations that sets each platform apart. Whatever platform you choose, the most important thing is that you select a platform that is right for your team and their needs.