Zoom vs. Skype for Business – Dealing with the Dilemma
Which UC environment do you need?
The decisions you make around the communication and collaboration tools in your business can make or break your company today.
If your teams can’t connect well, then everything from productivity and efficiency to customer experience in the business landscape suffers.
Fortunately, there are vendors out there that are investing in new solutions, designed to support the new UC 3.0 environment. In this modern era, experiences are at the heart of everything. Whether it’s a customer experience designed to build loyalty with your target audience or a team experience that keeps your employees productive, your UC solution must put meaningful moments first.
Zoom and Microsoft Skype for Business are two leading providers of meeting and collaboration tools in the age of 3.0. Let’s see how they stack up against each other.
Zoom vs. Skype for Business: User Experience
User experience will always be a critical consideration whenever a business introduces new technology into its stack. If you can’t convince your teams to adopt the updated services and solutions, then your investments are ultimately pointless.
Fortunately, Zoom makes encouraging user adoption easy, with a simple-to-use environment that’s ranked number 1 by customers around the world. Zoom offers an all-in-one solution for communication and collaboration through the cloud. The business recently added a UCaaS offering with their Zoom Phone integration too.
Through Zoom, any user can quickly and easily join conversations and meetings at the click of a button. Zoom offers toll-free numbers across more than 55 countries and dedicated dial-in numbers too. You don’t need any special hardware or software downloads to get started. Simple click a link and start communicating. User experience features include:
- Cloud-based communication and UCaaS
- Simple click-to-join features
- Dedicated dial-in numbers
- No need for hardware or downloads
- Web browser and smartphone access
- VoIP in 55 countries
Skype for Business is one of the best-known conferencing and collaboration tools on the market today. Designed by Microsoft, the application allows team members to communicate seamlessly from any device or OS. All you need to do to bring your team together is share a personalised link.
Skype for business supports online meetings for up to 10 people without a subscription, and it integrates with a host of Microsoft Office 365 applications. You can schedule meetings and launch conversations from your Outlook inbox and share files directly from Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Skype for Business also works alongside Microsoft Teams – the most popular Microsoft application in history.
Available over the cloud, the tool ensures that anyone can get started with their collaboration and conferencing solutions instantly – free from unnecessary complexity. User experience features include:
- Integrations with Office 365
- Click-to-join meeting features
- Access from any device or OS
- Microsoft Teams access
- Microsoft Teams Calling plans available
Zoom vs. Skype for Business: Team Experience
Both Zoom and Skype for Business have team collaboration and productivity at the heart of their offerings. The solutions are designed to bring people together more effectively in the digital age through file sharing, screen sharing, video, web, and audio conferencing.
Zoom takes simple meeting solutions to the next level with click-to-join conferences that are easy to access on any web browser, or through your smartphone. HD video meetings with Zoom can support up to 49 videos on a single screen, and there’s even support for audio meetings via Zoom Phone too. There are countless tools for collaboration offered as part of the Zoom experience, including file-sharing, screen sharing, personal and group chat.
To enhance your huddle and meeting rooms, Zoom also offers Zoom Room packages, designed to support exceptional team working spaces. Integrate with your existing tools using SIP connections and H.323 connectivity and use the Zoom Room Connector to add extra features like digital signage, scheduling displays, interactive touchscreens, and more. Team experience features include:
- Zoom Room bundles
- One-tap conferencing
- Calendar integrations
- Webinars and video conferencing
- Displays, instant signage, and whiteboarding
- File sharing and screen sharing
- Zoom Chat for Team Collaboration
- Audio and video conferencing
Skype for Business is another leading tool intended for the modern collaborative environment. Through Skype, you can record meetings, share screens, and even annotate your PowerPoint presentations with team members in real-time. Because the Skype for Business solution integrates with the rest of the Office 365 productivity suite, it’s an excellent way to collaborate using the tools you already rely on each day.
Instant messaging is built-in, as well as whiteboarding features for annotations. For companies that want to unlock the benefits of video conferencing and other enhanced meeting solutions, there’s also the option to upgrade to Microsoft Teams. Teams is the most popular Microsoft app of all time, and it comes with access to Meeting spaces for live events, webinars, presentations, and more.
For your huddle rooms and conference spaces, Microsoft Teams also provides Microsoft Teams Rooms, which deliver hardware through partners like Poly, Logitech, and Yealink. You can also connect to Polycom, BlueJeans, and other solutions through H.323 compatibility. Team experience features include:
- Access to Microsoft Teams
- Integration with Office 365 productivity suite
- Instant messaging, audio and video conferencing
- Live events, webinars, and presentations
- Whiteboarding, screen sharing, and file sharing
- Microsoft Teams Rooms hardware and integrations
Zoom vs. Skype for Business: Customer Experience
For Zoom, the centre of its customer experience solution is built around the new UCaaS offering, Zoom Phone. The Zoom Phone solution makes it easier for companies to manage their audio needs through a phone solution that comes from a familiar collaboration and video conferencing provider. With Zoom Phone, you can access everything from auto-attendant features for inbound calls, to intelligent IVR, voicemail, and call recording. If you need contact centre, like Microsoft Zoom partners with 3rd party CX technology vendors such as Five9 and Twilio.
Zoom also makes it easier for team members to collaborate seamlessly and come to conclusions that help them to better serve their audience through collaborative back-end tools. Today, Zoom offers a full UC&C solution for its customers, delivered via a flexible, as a service strategy.
Zoom also makes provisioning easy for resellers and business leaders, thanks to a central administration portal, and interoperability with a range of standards-based VoIP endpoints. Customer experience features include:
- Back-end collaboration
- One-click recording
- Easy integrations
- Interoperability with standards-based endpoints
- Zoom Phone with call management
- Intelligent routing and auto attendant
- Easy provisioning
When it comes to accessing solutions for Customer Experience through Microsoft, businesses can use Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business, however right now Microsoft Teams based CX solutions are limited in functionality. Through Teams in Office 365, organisations can enable a cloud based Phone System with a direct routing or calling plan, depending on their preferences. If you have a preference for on-premises or a hybrid-cloud deployment then Skype for Business Server offers better functionality right now.
The Microsoft Teams Phone system enables PBX capabilities and call control within the Office 365 productivity environment. This allows users to replace their on-premises telephony with Microsoft solutions. The calling plan gives you full access to calling capabilities in teams, such as intelligent routing and number management. With Direct Routing, you can choose the telecoms provider that you want, which means there’s no need to change your entire technology stack. Bear in mind, many customers (right now at least) prefer the advanced calling and routing capabilities of Skype for Business Server over Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft also offers the option to monitor your calling and customer experience system from the Office 365 environment. Microsoft Direct Routing solutions provide interoperability with a range of third-party systems through the cloud, including call centre systems, analogue telephone adapters (ATAs), and PBXs. Customer experience features include:
- Intelligent routing and customer contact integrations
- Direct routing or Microsoft Calling packages
- Microsoft Teams phone system
- Simple phone system management within Office 365
- All-in-one call solution on the cloud
Zoom vs. Skype for Business: Business Experience
Before you can choose between Zoom or Skype for Business, you’ll need to ensure that your UC solution comes with the reliability and security you need for absolute peace of mind.
Zoom is committed to giving its users a highly resilient and reliable solution for their meeting and UC needs. Conferences and calls are equipped with end-to-end encryption, and role-based user security features are available for complete admin control. Zoom users can record audio and save it to the cloud, complete with searchable transcripts which support compliance with regulations like GDPR.
Zoom is packed full of security and privacy features and comes with HIPAA compliance, SOC2 compliance, and various other certifications built-in. Business experience features include:
- Transparent and affordable pricing
- End-to-end encryption
- HIPAA compliance
- SOC 2, TRUSTe, EU-US Privacy Shield, FedRAMP compliance
- Full customer guidance and support
- Single sign-on, role-based security and password protection
Skype for Business from Microsoft also approaches business success and security with care. Microsoft promises a 99.9% uptime, and 24/7 support if you have any trouble with your tech. When it comes to safety and compliance, you can rely on encryption for all of your messaging and conferencing, whether it’s on Microsoft Skype for Business or Teams.
Skype for Business also provides role-based access control, which allows you to maintain your preferred standards of control. Additionally, Microsoft Teams is compliant with a host of privacy and security standards, including SOC 1 and SOC 2, HIPAA, ISO 27001, and many more. You can also try Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams for free before you commit to a fully-paid package. Business experience features include:
- Role-based access control
- Free tier to test out the services before you buy them
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- 24/7 support
- SOC 1, SOC2, EUMC, ISO 27001, ISO 27018, and HIPAA compliance
Which route will you take? Zoom, or Skype for Business?