Virtual Meetings 101: Microsoft Teams Versus Zoom

As businesses and organizations move to get their teams working effectively from home, one of the most important considerations is how to easily set up and facilitate virtual meetings and conversations. There are a lot of tools that can help. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are of the most popular choices.

It’s important that your organization implements the best remote tool for your needs. No matter what solution you select there are security measures to consider. Knowing your data location and providing governance rules set your team up for success.

In this post, we’ll compare the free and paid versions of Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Take a look for some insight into the best use cases for each platform!

What Is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams provides your team all of the tools they need to work and collaborate remotely. Teams offers one to one and group chatting, video and audio calling, and file sharing and collaboration. All of these features are free! You do not need to be using Microsoft Office 365 to access Teams; you can sign up with any email address.

Check out what else you can access with your free subscription:

What Is Zoom?

Zoom is a remote conferencing service that is a great tool for virtual meetings. Zoom is easy to set up and very user friendly, which makes it a great option for personal communications.

Check out what features you can access for free with Zoom:

So What’s the Difference?

On the surface, Microsoft Teams and Zoom are very similar. While Zoom requires minimal setup to get started, Microsoft Teams offers more features and custom options such as channels, audiences, and app plugins.

The biggest difference between Microsoft Teams and Zoom is where your data is stored. Microsoft Teams automatically stores your data in the primary location you have selected for the email address you signed up with. That means if your organization has a Canadian address, your data will be stored on a Canadian server. This is true even if you sign up for a free version of Microsoft Teams.

As stated in their privacy policy, Zoom data is located in the United States when you sign up for their free account. This can post an issue to organizations with data security restrictions, including government, education, and health care institutions.

Zoom services generally store data in the United States, though through our global data centers, data may come in from wherever users are located. We may transfer your data to the U.S., or to third parties acting on our behalf, for the purposes of processing or storage. Our customers may choose to have their data stored outside of the U.S; for example, they may choose to have their data stored in their geographic vicinity.  We may store local data locally in order to comply with specific local laws and regulations. By using Zoom, or providing personal data for any of the purposes stated above, you consent to the transfer to and storage of your personal data in the U.S., or other location as directed by our customer. In certain limited circumstances, courts, law enforcement agencies, regulatory agencies, or security authorities in those other countries may be entitled to access your personal data.

Zoom Privacy Policy

What Choice Is Right for Me?

At the end of the day, choosing between Microsoft Teams and Zoom (or one of the many other remote tools that exist) depends on what you need. If you want an easy way to spin up a virtual meeting with a small group of people and you’re not worried about where the video recording, shared files or chat logs will be stored, Zoom is a good option. Zoom works particularly well for chatting with family and friends while practising physical distancing.

If you need a place for your project teams or departments to collaborate on files, hold virtual meetings, and chat between team members, we recommend Microsoft Teams. Teams is especially helpful if you’re concerned about security policies.

Need help making your choice and implementing your solution? Get in touch!