A robust Collaboration tool is the centerpiece of any digital workplace. Today, organizations need to go beyond voice calls to deliver a multimedia employee experience that can facilitate idea exchange and team building.
Collaboration platforms combine voice calls, video conferencing, file sharing, screen sharing, chat, whiteboard, breakout rooms, and more into a single interface. Platforms makes these capabilities available via the cloud to help companies streamline the implementation and maintenance of these technologies in a scalable and flexible way.
You’re probably familiar with the names of these Collaboration platforms: MS Teams, Zoom, and WebEx. But how do they stack up and which one is right for your business?
Pros and Cons of Microsoft Teams
Previously called Skype for Business, MS Teams has gained a lot of traction among enterprise users thanks to its integration with Office 365 and other Microsoft applications.
Pros of Microsoft Teams
Free with the 365 Business Package, Teams’ easy integration with Office 365 delivers a seamless experience for those who already use other software within Microsoft’s ecosystem. It offers robust collaboration features such as chat, personal meeting room, collaboration within and outside of meeting time, meeting recording, whiteboard capabilities, mobile compatibility, auto-generate close caption, etc.
Teams has a better security track record than Zoom. It integrates enterprise-level security into its software so you don’t have to rely on your employees or IT department to configure settings. Also, attendees can join meetings from a browser, instead of having to install software onto their devices.
Cons of Microsoft Teams
Teams doesn’t have an annotation feature and the user interface for breakout rooms isn’t intuitive. The number of channels is limited to 200 public and 30 private per team. Also, some users find that the transition from Outlook isn’t as smooth as expected and others say that the file structure is hard to navigate.
Pros and Cons of Zoom Meetings
During 2020, Zoom has become synonymous with online video calls. Besides business meetings, it’s used by many for personal gatherings and social activities.
Pros of Zoom Meetings
Zoom is intuitive to use. You can easily set up meetings, share your screens, live chat, and record meetings. It has all the basic collaboration features, such as chat, personal meeting room, annotation, screen share, meeting recording, whiteboard capabilities, mobile compatibility, etc. You can also add capabilities with third-party add-ons.
You can host and record a webinar, which can be streamed live and/or distributed later. Zoom also allows you to stream meetings to social media. Moreover, you can use the new Zoom Chat client to create persistent chat rooms between colleagues.
Cons of Zooms Meetings
Unlike Team, users can’t connect to a meeting from a browser. Instead, you need to download the software to your device. Also, security is a concern after the proliferation of “zoom bombing,” during which unauthorized users gain access to meetings. (The company has taken action to strengthen security of the application.)
Pros and Cons of Cisco WebEx
Founded in 1995, WebEx has grown into a full-fledged suite of collaborative digital tools with a focus on serving enterprise clients, especially those in the Cisco technology ecosystem.
Pros of Cisco WebEx
WebEx has a simple user interface and offers collaboration features you can expect from other collaborative platforms — including chat, annotation, screen share, personal meeting room, meeting recording, whiteboard capabilities, mobile compatibility, transcript, etc.
It’s quick and easy to set up a meeting, change presenters, and create whiteboards to support collaborative or interactive groups on WebEx. The platform can handle large events such as training sessions, webinars, and town hall meetings.
Cons of Cisco WebEx
The user experience isn’t as intuitive as other platforms unless you’re already familiar with the Cisco ecosystem. Some legacy features live behind separate interfaces while some users find the software confusing to use. Recently, attackers were able to exploit a security flaw to join a meeting as ghosts and access information of meeting attendees. (Cisco has deployed a patch on the cloud, which did not require user actions.)
Which Collaboration Platform is Right For Your Business?
MS Teams is best for team collaboration, storing project content, and supporting asynchronous communication associated with a specific meeting. Zoom is best for interactive events, collaborative sessions, the “everyone has a voice” type of meetings, and working with people outside of your organization. Meanwhile, WebEx is best for hosting training events, webinars, presentations, and classroom-style meetings.
Your Collaboration platform provider should have a technology roadmap that incorporates new technologies to support the future of work. For example, by using AI-driven and machine learning technologies to automate workflows and create meeting minutes, or having the right security protocols in place to support BYOD (bring your own device) policies.
Moreover, user adoption is key to the successful implementation of a Collaboration platform. Choose an application that balances robust features with ease of use. It should integrate seamlessly with your existing tools so employees can easily share information during meetings and collaborative sessions.
We help our clients select and implement the right platforms for their businesses to build a productive work-from-anywhere culture. See how we can help you create a collaborative digital workplace of the future below.