Microsoft Teams vs. Google Hangouts
Where will your Teams Hang Out?
In the age of team collaboration, there are few things more important than having the right tool to keep your employees connected. Whether you’re supporting an in-office group of professionals, remote employees, or workers on the go, a collaboration tool is sure to be part of your technology stack.
The question for most companies is, “How do I choose the right one?”
There are so many different options on the market today, and many of them come from leading brands like Cisco, Google, and Microsoft.
Today, we’ll be looking at how Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts can help companies to adapt and improve their workplace for the future of UC 3.0.
Microsoft Teams vs. Google Hangouts: User Experience
Before you can begin to reap the rewards of your collaboration tool investment, you need to make sure that your employees feel comfortable using it. That’s why user experience comes towards the top of the list for things to consider when buying new software.
Microsoft Teams is currently one of the most popular apps on the market for enterprise users. Not only is it an intuitive communication and collaboration solution, but it’s also built on the familiar Office 365 framework of productivity tools. If any of your team already uses Microsoft apps, then they’ll feel right at home with Teams.
Microsoft’s collaborative solution even comes with the option to tap into audio conferencing and calls, with dial-in numbers across more than 400 cities around the world. You can build Microsoft Teams into your communication strategy, with a direct routing or Teams Calling plan, and access the tool from any device. Countless Room systems, IP phones, and desktop devices are compatible with Microsoft Teams, and there’s even the option for smartphone access. Features include:
- Dial-in numbers for more than 400 cities
- Integration with Office 365 productivity suite
- Easy to access free tier
- Access from any device
- Simple UI for chat, meetings and more
Google Hangouts is the two-part tool available from Google’s Collaboration department. With Hangouts Meet, you get access to simple, straightforward meetings over video or audio at the click of a button. With Google Hangouts Chat, you can access instant messaging, file sharing, and task management in seconds.
Like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts is built on top of a well-known productivity suite – the Google G-Suite. If you’re used to using Google Docs, Sheets and more, then you’ll feel comfortable with Google Hangouts too. You can access the software on any device, and Google Hangouts also works with SIP and H.323 standards too. Features include:
- Smartphone apps
- Built on G-Suite
- SIP and H.323 interoperability
- Meetings and chat from Gmail
- One-click join for sessions
Microsoft Teams vs. Google Hangouts: Team Experience
Want to make sure that your teams work well together? Then you need a collaboration solution that aligns all of the departments of your workforce, quickly and easily. Microsoft Teams is excellent at doing just that. This enterprise-grade tool gets your teams on the same page using online meetings, group chat, one-on-one messaging, web conferencing, and more.
With built-in integrations to tools in Office 365 like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, getting people to work together on their favourite tools is easy. You can even customise your Teams desktop to suit your favourite apps. Like most collaboration apps today, Microsoft Teams comes with access to group chat, and video conferencing. You can access video with H.323 compatibility, and interoperable solutions from market leaders like Pexip, Polycom, and BlueJeans.
Microsoft even makes it easy to manage calls with Direct Routing and Calling Plans. If you want to upgrade your huddle room or meeting experience, you can check out state-of-the-art Microsoft Teams Rooms, built by leading vendors, with incredible speakerphones, headsets, and even the Microsoft Surface. Features include:
- Meeting room hardware and peripherals
- Instant messaging, video and audio conferencing
- File sharing and real-time editing
- Integration with Office 365 productivity tools
- Collaboration with leading hardware brands
Google Hangouts takes a slightly simpler approach to collaboration than Microsoft Teams. The Hangouts Meet application will allow you to launch video conferences easily, using H.323 standards-integrated web cameras and peripherals. Additionally, the Hangouts Chat service provides access to instant messaging, file sharing, and other crucial productivity features.
You can share and comment on content in real-time through familiar solutions like Google Docs and Sheets. What’s more, it’s possible to accelerate a conversation with a team member directly from Gmail too. Like Microsoft Teams, Google also invests in specialist partnerships with hardware providers that help customers to build incredible conference and huddle rooms. Features include:
- Certified Hangouts hardware
- File storage and sharing
- Video conferencing and instant chat
- Powerful search functionality
- Integrations with G Suite
Microsoft Teams vs. Google Hangouts: Customer Experience
Microsoft only recently began to make its way into the customer experience side of things with Microsoft Teams, when the company implemented call plans and direct routing. The Microsoft Teams Phone system allows you to handle all of your call control and PBX capabilities within Office 365 and Teams. Through Direct Routing, you can even choose who provides your lines to Office 365.
Microsoft Teams’ Calling features come with everything you need to manage phone systems in the cloud, including call hold, transfer, forwarding, and voicemail. You can also use the Office 365 portal to acquire and assign numbers to members of your team. Microsoft’s flexible approach ensures that companies can choose the telecom provider that works best for them, to create a Teams-enhanced UC experience for their workforce.
What’s more, on the back-end, you’ll have everything you need to help your teams collaborate more efficiently and solve customer problems faster. Microsoft Teams even offers bot integrations for your chat groups, so you can find customer information, track details, and get more done at record speed. Features include:
- Excellent back-end integration
- Calling control with voicemail, handover and more
- Direct routing or calling plans
- Bot integration for easier information management
Google Hangouts has no dedicated solution available for routing and managing calls through your collaboration service. Instead, the contributions that Google makes towards Customer Experience come from the benefits that your team get from a more cohesive backend environment. When your employees can find information easily with intelligent search and work seamlessly with their co-workers on their preferred apps, it’s easier to deliver fast resolutions to customers.
With G Suite Enterprise edition it’s also possible to get dial-in details for your Google Hangouts Team. This means that you can ask customers and clients to join you in a video conference, so you can guide them through the more complicated parts of dealing with a problem. There’s also bot integrations available with Google, to help you track down crucial details faster. Features include:
- Back-end collaboration tools
- Intelligent search
- Dial-in details
- Virtual whiteboarding
- Built-in bots
Microsoft Teams vs. Google Hangouts: Business Experience
Finally, when you’re considering the various experiences that you want to improve with your new collaboration tools, it’s crucial not to forget about Business Experience. You need an investment that’s going to support your bottom line, deliver security, and give you a reliable service for years to come.
Microsoft Teams is currently one of the most popular enterprise tools in the market for a reason. As the fastest growing service ever to arrive from Microsoft, the Teams app offers end-to-end security, administrative control, and complete compliance – all while integrating with your Office 365 tools. Teams encrypt all data and is compliant with the highest standards, including HIPAA, ISO 27001, SOC 1 and 2.
To help you get started, there’s plenty of support available online for Microsoft Teams users, including a comprehensive developer platform if you want to build your functionality out with APIs. There’s also a free tier of Microsoft Teams available, which offers a generous range of features to smaller groups and freelancers who aren’t ready for the full range of solutions available from Teams yet. Features include:
- End-to-end encryption
- Compliance with HIPAA, ISO 27001, SOC 1 and 2
- Microsoft Teams free tier
- Excellent support online
- Plenty of integration options
- State-of-the-art security standards
Google also takes its commitment to reliability and security seriously. You can upgrade your experience with Google Hangouts using bots and integrations, and you won’t have to compromise on safety thanks to Google’s privacy-first approach. There’s integrated support available for Google Vault if you want to record and store crucial details from conversations. Additionally, admins have plenty of control with things like single sign-on, two-factor authentication, and more.
Like Microsoft, Google offers plenty of documentation on how to use Hangouts for people just getting started. However, if you already use Google tools in your day-to-day workflow, then you shouldn’t have a hard time getting used to the video conferencing and chat options too. Features include:
- Range of integration options
- Single sign-on and two-factor authentication
- Vault add-on for content storage
- Plenty of online guidance
Do you think the simple strategy offered from Google Hangouts is right for you? Or would you prefer the comprehensive Enterprise solution provided by Microsoft Teams? Let us know in the comments below!