There are a lot of things to take into account when choosing the right collaboration tool for your workplace.
The truth is there is no correct answer. They each prioritize different features, and which is best will depend on what your company values the most.
Let’s take a brief look into each of them, so you can make an informed decision at the time of choosing.
One of these tools will be (especially as work from home gets more and more popular) the pillar of your business communication. Directly affecting your output, productivity, and employee relationships.
In 2011, Microsoft paid $8.5 billion dollars for Skype Communications. You might think they’re crazy for spending that much money just to launch a separate product some years later with the same core functionalities.
Well, you’d be wrong. To be fair, most of us were.
Microsoft knew exactly what they were doing, they wanted a first-row seat into the ins and outs of peer-to-peer communication. And that’s exactly what they got.
Microsoft Teams is based on years of experience and lessons from Skype, and then some more. It’s safe to say they know a thing or two now.
Teams are branded as a collaboration tool more so than a communication one. Its main benefit is clear: it integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Not only can you communicate with colleagues via text, audio, or video, but you can also create, share, and collaborate using Office directly on the Teams app.
You can create a group and connect it straight to a SharePoint site, upload some Microsoft Office documents, and let your team know in the chat. Then, they can edit those files and instantly jump on a video call if they have any doubts. All within the Teams app, nothing else. Talk about convenience.
While Zoom exploded in popularity during the past year because of the pandemic, they have actually been around for the past decade. In 2011, Eric Yuan and 40 of his peers left Cisco Webex to start their own company, Zoom (originally named Saasbee).
Zoom focused almost exclusively on video calls (the company is named Zoom Video Communications after all) and for a good reason, they do it extremely well.
Their software is free, fast, and easy to use. Setting up and starting a call takes just a few seconds. To join a call, not even an account is required. No wonder it’s the most popular option amongst individual users.
For corporate users though, it offers much more.
Things like HD video and audio communication, text chat, meeting room software, VoIP phone systems, and webinars are some of the features Zoom has to offer to your business. We must admit they do each one of those extremely well, arguably better than anyone else, for an almost unbeatable price.
The downside is that their products are strictly focused on communication, not collaboration. Exchanging files, versioning, and creating groups or workspaces are not features you will find in Zoom.
Do you prefer Microsoft Teams collaboration focus or Zoom’s communication focus? If you can’t decide, Cisco Webex can help with both.
Webex was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007, and while not as popular as the former two, it brings a lot of great features to the table. Suffice to say Cisco’s 35+ years in the networking and communication business are clearly visible in their Webex products.
Formerly divided into 3 different products, the new Webex App integrates messaging (both direct and team groups), meetings, and both video and audio calling in one single package.
And while it does look a whole lot like Microsoft Teams in regards to functionality (without Office 365 integration of course) it does add some new goodies like polling, events, and a virtual assistant.
Cisco System’s proven reliability and its strong worldwide network of approved vendors make it a no-brainer for some multinational companies. More than 87% of Fortune 500 companies and over 100,000 businesses worldwide are Cisco customers. This is not a coincidence, Cisco’s extremely robust security protocols put it at the top for companies where data and intellectual property safety are the top priority.
Which Do You Think Is Best?
As we said, it’s difficult to universally recommend a product. If you use Google (G Suite) as your email provider, then Microsoft Team’s high cost is certainly not worth it as you’ll be missing on its most important features.
If your company is extremely focused on security, then Webex will certainly have a stronger offer versus Zoom.
You get the drill.
We would recommend choosing according to your needs and not necessarily based on the look and feel of the software. With that in mind when making your decision, it will be hard to make a wrong choice amongst these 3 great tools.