Is Microsoft Teams Right For Your Business?
Today we’re going to talk about Microsoft Teams and how it may be the right meeting and collaboration tool for your company. To help make your choice easier, we’ll compare it with two other extremely popular tools, Slack and Zoom.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Let’s begin by discussing what Microsoft Teams is. Firstly, ‘Teams’ is a business communication platform that integrates ‘meet, chat, call, and collaborate’ in one place.
Video and audio conferencing are, of course, a central feature. Per Microsoft, the maximum number of participants in one meeting is 250 for private meetings and 49 for public meetings. An exciting part of Teams is the ‘automatic transcription’ option, which includes the speaker’s name, a time stamp, and the speech content, and is searchable after the meeting. The chat feature is similar to what you’d find in your everyday instant messaging app. You can even send GIFs, stickers, and emojis. Your team may also call one another using advanced features such as call transfers and group calling. Cloud voicemail is also available.
Integration With Office
Perhaps the most significant feature of Teams is Office integration. Microsoft Teams integrates seamlessly with all Office applications and many other Microsoft software products. You can find, share, and edit files in real-time using Office apps such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. In addition, users can download over 700 productivity, project management, and industry-specific apps from the Microsoft Team Store.
Why Microsoft Teams?
If you haven’t yet chosen a collaboration app, you may wonder what advantages Teams has over others. As money may come into play, we should mention that Teams is absolutely free with both Microsoft 365 and Office 365. So, if you own either one of these programs, your decision just became much easier. Likewise, if you use Microsoft applications like Word, PowerPoint, or Excel on even a remotely consistent basis, Teams should be an easy choice.
But how does Teams compare feature-wise to other players? Let’s do a quick features comparison with Slack and Zoom.
Number of Meeting Participants
Microsoft Teams permits up to 250 users to join a meeting at once. Zoom’s Enterprise plan allows 1000, its Business Plan 300, and 100 for its Free & Pro plan. Slack’s maximum capacity is 15 regardless of plan.
We’ve already covered the unsurpassed integration of Teams with Microsoft Office, something that no other collaboration app can rival. But what about if you don’t care about Microsoft Office?
Both Teams and Slack allow for drag and drop file sharing – an incredibly convenient feature. However, Teams’ maximum upload limit is 15 GB, while Slack’s is 1 GB. Zoom maxes out at just 512 MB.
Now that we’ve covered the main features let’s turn our attention to other software capabilities you may be interested in. Here’s a shortlist of features that are exclusive to just one or two providers.
- Attendance management: Zoom
- Automatic transcription: Teams
- Blurring background: Teams
- Video call recording: Teams and Zoom
- Virtual background: Teams and Zoom
Here’s the big one for many people, so let’s get right to it. Please remember that Microsoft offers Teams for free for both Office 365 and Microsoft 365 users.
Please note that Each of the plan prices is cited using the per-user ‘billed annually’ rate:
Microsoft Teams: Free, $5/month (Business Essentials), and $12.50/month (Business Premium)
Slack: Free, $6.67/month (Standard), $12.50/month (Plus), custom price (Enterprise Grid)
Zoom: Free, $14.99/month (Pro), $19.99/month (Business & Enterprise)