Is Microsoft Teams better than Zoom?
The Microsoft Teams vs Zoom challenge
Employees worldwide continue to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic and there are numerous discussions around remote working becoming the norm in a post-pandemic world. Yet while there are lots of perks in working from home, many miss the professional, neutral environments of office working, as well as the social interactions with colleagues and customers.
With all this in view, Microsoft Teams has challenged Zoom – a globally popular digital video conferencing platform – with a whole host of new features that intend to give users the feel of a real-life working environment.
Initially announced at the last Microsoft Ignite 2020 conference, let’s take a look at the latest updates to Microsoft Teams and how it is set to give Zoom a run for its money!
Virtual coffee shops, auditoriums and breakout rooms
Using a simulative new feature called New Together Mode Scenes, users can now feel closer together in Microsoft Teams by having meetings in virtual coffee shop, auditorium and conference room environments.
Team-building events, as well as corporate meetings along with town and village hall events, can now be hosted via Microsoft Teams, using a new breakout rooms feature. Those conducting the events can split up participants into smaller groups for brainstorming and workshop training sessions. They can then close the breakout room when the sessions have ended and bring all the participants back together into the main meeting or event for valued discussions and feedback.
Dynamic content viewing experiences
If you are worried about lowered attention spans during remote PowerPoint presentation sessions, then a new feature called dynamic content viewing experiences intends to help with this. Presenters can transpose their own video feed, live on to the foreground of the slide that they are sharing with their audience, to keep things lively and engaging.
Automatic meeting recap content
We all know how helpful and necessary catch-up notes and presentations are, especially if we are unable to attend a meeting. Very soon, Microsoft Teams will take the minutes of the meeting for you and more!
In the Chats tab of the meeting, a recap featuring a recording, transcript and shared content will be made available automatically after the meeting to all invited guests. To make things even more convenient, the recap will also be posted to the participants’ Outlook calendars.
Safer, smarter meeting room experiences
Whether the working environment is fully remote or hybrid (i.e. partial working at offices), or whether the meeting rooms are large or small, both meeting organisers and users can stay abreast of the status of the real and virtual meeting rooms.
With Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows, cameras placed in meeting rooms with in-built, people-counting technology, communicate data that generates alerts in Microsoft Teams to users when rooms are full, or over-capacity, as set by IT administrators. This new feature has been designed by Microsoft specifically for organisations to help practice social distancing measures
Additional encryption layers to boost security in Microsoft Teams
Already available in SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and OneDrive, Microsoft is soon to launch Customer Key support in Teams. This will enable users to add a layer of encryption using their own keys, thereby boosting security levels. Learn more about improving Microsoft Teams security in our previous blog.
New search experience coming to Microsoft Teams
Users will be able to quickly find messages, contacts, answers and files using Microsoft Search within Teams to help users prepare better for meetings and calls, however advanced or last-minute!
Improvements on the Microsoft Teams apps for iPhone and Android devices
There are some really cool new features with the Teams apps on Android and iPhone!
On the Android app, users can:
- upload images to galleries and search inside chats and channels
- allow users to generate meeting invitation links for free (and send to those with and without Teams accounts)
- add a Safe Key setting
On the iPhone app, users can:
- see eight participants (2×4) on the same time on an iPhone and nine (3×3) on an iPad because of a new boost to the grid view
- keep tabs on upcoming meetings with a new agenda view, which they can use to join, edit or share with their contacts
- reduce the amount of data their phones use while they are on video conference calls
What Teams has and Zoom doesn’t: deep integration with Microsoft 365
Zoom is all about video conferencing on desktop and mobile devices; and that’s the long and short of it.
Microsoft Teams, however, is part of the Microsoft 365 suite of professional applications and services that enable organisations do what they do efficiently, regardless of their sector or location.
The integration between Teams and Microsoft 365 is set to deepen with a new Advanced Communications offering that is on its way soon.
To make things easier for employers managing largely remote workforces, they will be able to monitor staff wellbeing and productivity levels via insights that will be made available in Teams and SharePoint Home sites in Teams. Healthcare organisations and frontline workers will also be able to take advantage of sector-specific insights when using Microsoft Teams.
With this strong M365 integration and the new improvements being rolled out on mobile devices, Microsoft Teams is set to become the definitive alternative to Zoom in the months to come.
Have you embraced any of these new features? Let us know in the comments below. And if you need any help with your Microsoft Teams set up, get in touch today.