We take a look at Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex and Zoom
Search engine giant Google is now an undeniable leader in the collab space. Since its first foray into the cloud in 2008, Google has launched a slew of cloud-based collaboration apps, covering your every need. Part of the G-suite umbrella, this includes tools for document management, spreadsheets, and video/audio calling.
The video/audio calling service was originally called Google Hangouts Meet and was available only as part of the larger G-suite solution. But this year, Google recognized the need for a dedicated cloud communication app as millions of people switch to WFH for COVID-19. It rebranded Googe Hangouts Meet as just “Google Meet,” and Meet is now available as a standalone solution.
And, Google has made Meet’s premium features free of cost, considering the pandemic.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Google Meet, there are a host of solutions out there, from some of the leading UC providers in the market today. For a truly informed decision, make sure to try these three Google Meet alternatives:
Microsoft Teams is part of Microsoft Office 365 solution – which is a complete suite of productivity tools for enterprises on the cloud.
Typically, you can access Office 365 in three versions: Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise (Enterprise has its own sub-tiers). Teams is a chat and collaboration tool that is part of all of these three paid versions. In functionality, it closely resembles Google hangouts, so your decision might come down to which ecosystem you’re already using.
Microsoft is also doing its part in the fight against COVID-19, making Teams free as a standalone app, independent from Office 365.
Anyone who is new to Microsoft 365 can sign up for Teams (free). This includes useful features like 10GB of shared storage, 2GB of personal storage, up to 500,000 users, and 250+ integrations/services. You also get basic collaboration capabilities – something that’s missing from Google Meet.
Cisco started a UC revolution when it acquired Webex in 2007. Webex covers nearly every aspect of cloud-based collaboration, from hardware to software, and value-added services. Cisco Webex has witnessed a massive uptick in demand with WFH becoming the new normal, so you’d have to share your requirements to get a custom quote.
In terms of features, Cisco Webex is right up there with the big players. You can use the platform fora wide range of use cases, from business telephony to online meetings, and even cloud-based contact centres.
As a Google Meet alternative, you should probably consider the Cisco Webex Meetings product. It supports multi-device video conferencing, seamless screen sharing, call records, and large meetings compatible with up to 100,000 participants.
And if you’re looking for something more collaboration-friendly, consider Cisco Webex Teams – this one is more on the lines of Microsoft Teams, with file storage, chat, built-in meetings, and online whiteboards.
During the pandemic, Zoom has become almost synonymous with video calling. Its usage rates have outpaced even larger leaders, possibly owing to its powerful free version. Inevitably, this has led to security concerns, infrastructure issues, and even the occasional outage.
“Our company that used to be a 100% enterprise-focused, is now powering the world. It’s powering governments, education, social activities… And then when the other shoe dropped, it’s like we need to get ready for that,” said Zoom board member Santi Subotovsky.
So, Zoom is a surefire Google Meet alternative to try in your quest for the best collab tool! It supports up to 100 participants for free, going up to 1000 participants in the most premium version. Meetings can run as long as 24 hours, and you can get unlimited cloud storage so that you can store, search, and retrieve calls for later use.
There are also several add-on plans like SIP room connectors, toll-free dialling, etc., that makes Zoom an excellent alternative to Google Meet.
If you use Gmail, you have probably seen the Meet button pop up on the left side. That’s because Google is eager to push its premium product, in this highly competitive market. Google Meet is extremely convenient and comes with stringent measures for security. The company has configured Meet to minimize the risks of hijack. Meet’s 2-step verification process, data encryption, and standards-based compliance make this a definite YES in terms of security.
But before you adopt, we’d recommend checking out each of these Google Meet alternatives which have their own take on the collaboration experience.