Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams vs Zoom: Which Is Best For Your Business?

This guide provides an in-depth comparison of Microsoft Teams and Zoom to help businesses decide which collaboration platform best fits their needs.
Dominic Kent
Dominic Kent is a content marketer specializing in unified communications and contact centers.
Microsoft Teams vs Zoom

Been racking your brains to work out the winner of Microsoft Teams vs Zoom?

Zoom is best-known as one of the leading tools for video conferencing in both the office and home.

Microsoft Teams is seemingly the perfect option for those already invested in Microsoft 365.

So, how do you decide which is best for your company? And what's best if you're thinking about using Teams instead of Zoom?

This in-depth guide into each platform should help you make up your mind.

And for those who don't want to choose between the two...skip to this section to learn about how you can have both.

Microsoft Teams vs Zoom: what’s the difference?

Microsoft Teams and Zoom are both collaboration platforms for meetings, calling, and messaging. The differences between Microsoft Teams and Zoom lie in the architecture that allows Microsoft to pull together the entire Microsoft 365 ecosystem and the dramatic differences in the user interface.

Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one collaboration platform covering meetings, calling, and messaging. It provides easy access and integration into other file storage and productivity apps like SharePoint and many other tools in the Microsoft 365 suite.

Zoom is now also an all-in-one collaboration platform too. Originally used purely for video conferencing, it now includes calling, messaging, and plenty of third-party integration to warrant it becoming a worthy competitor to Teams.

If you’re already familiar with Microsoft’s leading productivity tools, then Teams seems a natural fit. 

But, keep in mind that some of your users will already be using Zoom already. So, the decision isn’t quite as simple as first thought.

Microsoft Teams vs Zoom features

We've highlighted the top-level Microsoft Teams and Zoom features here.

Microsoft Teams vs Zoom features

You can read our full comparison of the major team collaboration apps here.

Microsoft Teams features

Basic Microsoft Teams features include:

  • Internal and external audio calling
  • One-to-one video conferencing
  • Multi-party video conferencing
  • File sharing
  • Screen sharing
  • Virtual backgrounds
  • Instant and asynchronous one-to-one messaging
  • Group messaging
  • Message threading
  • Document collaboration
  • Channel-based collaboration areas
  • Integrations with Microsoft 365 apps
  • Integrations with third-party apps
  • Emojis and GIFs

More advanced Microsoft Teams features include:

  • Searchable conversation channels
  • Bots to connect with external apps
  • Audio, video, and screen recording
  • Secure encryption protocols
  • Interop with Google Chat
  • Microsoft Immersive Reader
  • In-line translation
  • Bookmarking and slash commands
  • Company Wikis
  • Smart meeting join
  • PSTN integration
  • Live Events for webinars and broadcasting

Zoom features

Basic Zoom features include:

  • Zoom Phone for internal and external audio calling
  • One-to-one video conferencing
  • Multi-party video conferencing
  • File sharing
  • Screen sharing
  • Virtual backgrounds
  • Zoom Team Chat for instant and asynchronous one-to-one messaging
  • Group messaging
  • Message threading
  • Document collaboration
  • Channel-based collaboration areas
  • Emojis and GIFs

More advanced Zoom features include:

  • Webinars and town hall conferences
  • Integrations with leading tools including Microsoft 365 apps
  • Audio, video, and screen recording
  • Breakout rooms (on the Teams roadmap)

How to make breakout rooms in Zoom

Zoom breakout rooms let users split meetings into up to 50 sessions. Hosts can split participants manually or allow the system to do it automatically. 

Automatic splitting assigns the same number of people to each room. You can also let your participants choose a room themselves.

To make a breakout room in Zoom, an admin needs to enable the feature through the Zoom web portal. 

Click on the Account Management tab, then Account Settings to find the option. Toggle the switch next to Breakout Room to On.

If you want to pre-assign participants to rooms, check the box that gives hosts this permission.

Once breakout rooms are available, start an instant or scheduled meeting on Zoom then click Breakout Rooms.

Select the number of rooms you want to make.

Choose how to assign participants to rooms. You can pick between automatic or manual options, or let users choose their own rooms.

Click Create Breakout Rooms.

Zoom breakout rooms

Click on the Options tab to adjust the settings of a breakout room. You can choose whether to allow users to return to a main meeting at any time. Admins can also request breakout rooms to close after a specified time.

To broadcast a message to all breakout rooms at once, click on Breakout Rooms. Click Broadcast Message to All, enter your text, and click Broadcast.

Cost of Microsoft Teams vs Zoom

Microsoft Teams pricing

Teams comes as part of the Microsoft 365 subscription. There are four tiers that you can use to pay for Microsoft Teams, including:

  • Free: Microsoft introduced a free level to help it compete against Slack. The free version supports up to 300 people with unlimited search and chat messages. 
  • Business Essentials: This costs $5 per month per user. It provides full access to all the Microsoft Teams features and 1TB of cloud storage.
  • Business Premium: This costs $12.50 per user per month. It provides access to all Essential features, plus the Microsoft 365 suite (Word, etc).
  • Microsoft 365 Business plan: This costs $20 per month per user. It comes with access to all the features in Premium, plus advanced security. 

You need a minimum one-year annual plan with all Microsoft Teams packages. This means that you are a little more tied in with this technology than you are with Zoom.

Zoom pricing

One of the things that make Zoom so appealing is that it looks affordable. You can use Zoom without paying, thanks to the free tier. 

Pricing options include:

  • Free (Basic) Tier: Limited to 40 minutes on a group call and you can only have up to 100 participants. However, one-on-one meetings aren’t restricted.
  • Pro: For up to 100 participants, you can pay $14.99 per month per user for a 24-hour limit on your group sessions. 
  • Business: For a minimum of 10 hosts. You pay $19.99 per month per user for all the features of the Pro package for up to 300 people.
  • Enterprise: For a minimum of 50 hosts. You’ll pay $19.99 per month per user for all the features of Business plus hosting for up to 500 participants. You can host 1,000 participants with an Enterprise+ plan. 

Unlimited cloud storage comes with the Enterprise plan. If you want to access extra features, like Zoom phone, you may need to pay extra too.

Microsoft Teams Phone vs Zoom Phone

Microsoft Teams Business Voice

Business Voice is a VoIP option for Teams. Part of the Microsoft 365 portfolio, Business Voice provides telephony through the cloud. 

The enterprise-grade phone system supports calling through Microsoft’s cloud. There’s support for dial-in numbers, new phone numbers, and PSTN connections too.

With Microsoft Teams and Business Voice, users can access a full UC environment with Microsoft. You can unify your calendar, collaboration app, phone, and productivity tools in one platform.

How you implement Microsoft Teams Business Voice varies from business to business. For example, in telemedicine scenarios, you might need a specialist setup that you can't get out of the box.

Microsoft Direct Routing

Companies using Microsoft Teams can also use direct routing for telephony.

This involves using a third-party provider to add phone capabilities to Microsoft Teams.

With direct routing, companies can keep their existing phone service provider, and use SIP trunks to connect to Teams. 

Zoom Phone

Zoom Phone is the cloud phone solution for the Zoom platform. Available globally, the service offers an enterprise-class phone system.

You can provision and manage users, monitor call quality, and track usage data. Zoom Phone also comes with enterprise-class security and voice encryption.

Zoom Phone

With Zoom Phone and the Zoom platform, users can access a full UC service. You can make and receive phone calls, share content, and meet through video in the same place.

Zoom Phone also comes with access to high-level features like IVR, call-routing, and auto attendants. 

You can also access Zoom Rooms for hardware, with video conferencing technology from the likes of Polycom and Yealink.

Is Zoom better than Teams?

Zoom started life as a solution to expensive and complicated tools for traditional video conferencing.

Removing hours of exhausting set-up, Zoom makes visual collaboration a breeze. All you need is a web browser to get started. 

Zoom is best-known for its easy-to-adopt high definition video conferencing. It's perfect for in-house or external teams. You can even launch webinars and broadcasts through Zoom.

But, now there’s more to Zoom than video. 

Zoom has expanded its portfolio to include Zoom Team Chat and voice calling too.

Like Microsoft Teams, it’s become a powerful all-in-one option for communication. So should you be using Teams instead of Zoom?

For user insight into Microsoft Teams vs Zoom, we reached out for reviews of each platform.

Microsoft Teams vs Zoom reviews

Microsoft Teams reviews

Edward Eugen, Founder of 10beasts.com, says he prefers the Teams calendar but the Zoom UI.

“I like the calendar most. It’s integrated and makes scheduling meetings a breeze. Any conflicts are immediately clear. My least favorite thing is the UI. It’s hard to navigate and nothing that enough time can’t remedy, but I’d say Zoom has the edge when it comes to user-friendliness.”

Jessica Lipton, Founder of Elevate Delta 8 comments on the security aspects of Teams:

“Teams offers unmatched security of the Microsoft 365 Suite. Users are protected with 2FA, SOC 1, and SOC 2 compliance. While sharing is one of the key benefits of Teams, it can be a challenge to alter permission settings.”

Jessica Dong, SEO specialist for Store Space Self Storage says her least favorite thing about Teams is the aesthetics of the program:

"The colors and format presentation seem slightly outdated compared to Zoom."

Zoom reviews

Alex Mastin, Founder & CEO at Homegrounds, says his favorite feature of Zoom is Zoom Rooms: 

"For team-building exercises, it is perfect for splitting up teams into random rooms and getting them to work together on projects or brainstorming sessions during the creative process. "

Daivat Dholakia, Director of Operations at Force by Mojio, says:

"It's easy to connect, there are lots of in-meeting options, it's possible to record meetings, and there are plenty of Zoom integrations. But, Zoom chews through computer memory and phone battery and if you have the slightest hiccup in internet connection, it will just drop you."

Bill Mann of Restore Privacy mentions Zoom isn’t perfect, but:

"I love how easy it makes it for users to schedule and share invitations. Little time is wasted waiting to prepare our calls - something that’s not always the case with video call software."

Microsoft Teams vs Zoom security

Here’s what you can expect from Microsoft Teams and Zoom security as standard.

FeatureMicrosoft TeamsZoom
SAML-based single sign-on
2FA / MFA
Domain claiming
User/group provisioning via SCIM/JIT
Device management
End-to-end encryption
FedRAMP moderate

When trying to differentiate security features, we reached out to Patrick Watson, Senior Analyst at Cavell Group who said:

"As an outsider, it's hard to identify."

The Microsoft security stack is more well-established, in general.

Microsoft can offer multi-factor authentication to encrypt data, whereas Zoom has 2FA. Zoom acquired Keybase earlier this year, a security-focused messaging app that Zoom can use to boost encryption capabilities. 

To really dig into the security ins and out with Microsoft Teams and Zoom, we reached out to Graham Walsh, Enterprise UC Technical Director at Crestron EMEA. He kindly supplied this comprehensive guide to the security differences between the two platforms:

End user login security

The Microsoft Teams platform is wrapped into the whole Microsoft platform.

So when an Enterprise uses Microsoft Azure Active Directory, they already have their policies in place of who has access to files, folders, services, and apps.

So, your enterprise security is wrapped up in the wider enterprise platform. There are other identity providers that can be used with Microsoft too.

When it comes to Zoom security, it has a number of ways your logins can be done.

You can create your own username and password within Zoom, or utilize Single Sign On (SSO) and use your own identity for logging in. This will then bring enterprise security to your Zoom logins. 

It supports Google, Facebook, and your own SSO based on SAML or OAuth authentication methods.

These include Okta as well as other enterprise identity management platforms like Centrify, Microsoft Active Directory, Gluu, Okta, OneLogin, PingOne, Shibboleth, and many others.

Teams vs Zoom Meeting security

Microsoft Teams utilizes a URL link to join meetings. If you have an audio conferencing dial-in capability, you get a phone number and a conference ID.

For third-party video interop (Cloud Video Interop) then you get another conference ID to join via a SIP/H.323 video system. 

If a user wants to join a meeting, they need to be admitted via the lobby and know the URL or the conference ID. There is no PIN code for users to join as it’s difficult to guess a meeting URL ID.

Zoom utilizes a conference ID for every meeting. Previously all meetings were set to have this ID and without a PIN code, meaning anyone could join a meeting with just guessing a 9-12 digit meeting ID. 

Zoom Bombing was a term we all became familiar with in 2020 as people were sharing meeting codes online for meetings to be disrupted and many times with inappropriate content being shared.

Zoom has now enforced many security policies to prevent this from happening.

Teams vs Zoom Back-end security

As mentioned above, Microsoft Teams is integrated into the Microsoft 365 and Azure infrastructure. Microsoft Teams security architecture is based on the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), which is described in Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL).

There has been one security issue with Microsoft Teams and this was patched before anything was impacted.

Zoom has a security white paper detailing all their security practices.

The other noticeable issue with Zoom is they publicly announced that no feature development would be added to the platform, and only security & privacy fixes/features would be added to the platform. 

In June 2020, Zoom appointed a Chief Information Security Officer

Teams vs Zoom privacy

Microsoft says it uses user data to improve the services they provide to end users. This means that end user data is analyzed, but not sold to third parties.

Zoom has been in the press a lot for sharing user data with third parties such as Facebook when someone used the Zoom platform.

But that has since been removed. Zoom also updated its privacy policy in March 2020. 

Microsoft Teams vs Zoom security summary

In summary, both are great meeting and collaboration platforms. 

Microsoft Teams is tied massively into Microsoft 365 platform so can offer a lot more with Office suite. 

Zoom was perceived to be easy to use and just work and teach Granny how to use it. And most of the security concerns mentioned above have been solved. 

The only question that remains is what could happen/appear next? Is it an issue for Microsoft Teams or Zoom?

The above covers the blow-for-blow Microsoft Teams vs Zoom comparisons. Next, we'll cover your frequently asked questions to guide the less tangible things you need to know when comparing Microsoft Teams vs Zoom.

Is Microsoft Teams like Zoom?

Yes, Teams is like Zoom. But, like so many other things that are like something else, there are many differences. Some simple and some complex.

Both tools facilitate and improve collaboration by giving teams easy ways to communicate.

With Zoom and Microsoft Teams, you can share files and screens with colleagues. These applications also support video and audio conferencing, as well as one-to-one and group chat.

Microsoft Teams and Zoom do have their differences though.

Zoom started life (and is still traditionally viewed) as a solution to complex video conferencing. The tool makes it easier to have conversations through group and one-on-one video. Although chat and audio are available, most people use Zoom for video.

Microsoft Teams is traditionally viewed as an all-in-one solution for video, messaging, calling, and collaboration needs.

From day one, Teams took aim at replacing Slack as a messenger tool and locking together the entire collaboration experience.

Is Microsoft Teams safer than Zoom?

Both Microsoft Teams and Zoom offer great security options for startups and enterprises alike.

Security features available on Microsoft Teams and Zoom include:

  • SAML-based single sign-on
  • 2FA / MFA
  • Domain claiming
  • User/group provisioning via SCIM/JIT
  • Device management
  • End-to-end encryption
  • FedRAMP moderate

Zoom also offers the option to control session duration. With breakout rooms on Zoom, admins can choose when a room disappears.

Zoom waiting rooms also give admins a chance to add or remove permissions for team members. You can disable features like private chat, recording, and screen-sharing.

Why is Zoom so popular?

Zoom is one of the more popular video conferencing products today. Although it’s not the only collaboration tool and video chat app, it has massive appeal.

Zoom outshines many competitors for its ease of use. Users don’t need a lot of complicated setup to get started. All it takes is one click of a button to start a video conference. 

Zoom also appeals to budget-conscious individuals and companies. You can enjoy 40-minute conference calls with up to 100 attendees for free.

You also don’t need a login or account to access a meeting. With an intuitive interface, Zoom is great for beginners in video conferencing.

Zoom also has a few extra bonuses to consider.

There are waiting rooms so you can control who comes into your meeting.

Zoom has its own “Phone” solution to connect to your PBX.

The Zoom marketplace integrates with third-party apps too, like PayPal and Slack.

Although Zoom came under scrutiny for security when usage peaked during the coronavirus pandemic, it encrypts all video, audio, video, and screen-sharing data.

Who wins Microsoft Teams vs Zoom?

Microsoft Teams is excellent if you already use Microsoft software. And that's normally the swayer in this battle. With rolling updates and improvements each month, it's hard to look past Teams if you're a Microsoft house.

On the other hand, Zoom is likely to be a more attractive choice for those with a video-first culture.

You can easily start a call on Zoom without any training, and no downloads are necessary. And during the coronavirus pandemic, people even started using Zoom for personal use.

With added functionality like Zoom Phone and Zoom Team Chat, users who have already adopted Zoom in a shadow IT capacity are unlikely to give it up easily.

So, there might not be an outright winner in Microsoft Teams vs Zoom.

Here’s how you can have both

So, what if you can’t choose between Microsoft Teams and Zoom?

Maybe you want to use Microsoft Teams for your internal collaboration, but your users who’ve been using Zoom for video conferencing want to stick with it for phone and chat functions.

There are a couple of ways that you can do this. For instance, you can use the Zoom integration in the Microsoft Teams app store. This allows you to join a meeting in Zoom through Teams. 

But, this connection only supports meetings through Microsoft Teams and Zoom. You don’t get a connected chat system, which means that you end up with workplace silos between your Microsoft and Zoom users. 

Teams users can only message Teams users and Zoom users can only message Zoom users.

There is a better way.

Mio is working on interoperability between Microsoft Teams and Zoom Team Chat.

This means you'll be able to stay in Microsoft Teams and send messages to users in Zoom Team Chat.

Connect Zoom and Microsoft Teams

And the same is true vice versa! Your users who prefer Zoom Team Chat can stay in Zoom and message users on Microsoft Teams.

Learn more about Zoom Team Chat interop here.

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