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Online Meetings - Should you use Teams, Skype, or Zoom?

NOTE: As of November, 2020, all Skype for Business users have been upgraded to Microsoft Teams Voice.

 

WWU has the following options for hosting online meetings.  Please follow this guide to learn about your choices, and to help you determine which system is the right fit for your needs. See also: Teams vs. Zoom Comparison Chart for feature comparisons.

Microsoft Teams 

The app is available at our Office 365 portal (https://office.com) or via browser at https://teams.microsoft.com. See also: Get Started with Microsoft Teams 

Pros:  

  • All WWU students, faculty, and staff are automatically licensed.
  • Allows users to instant message with one (Chat) or more people (Meet Now) with one click.
  • Allows users to schedule online meetings.
  • Can add ability to meet via Teams to existing Outlook meetings.
  • Allows users to create teams, channels, and persistent chats for instant messaging, file sharing, and screen sharing.
  • Integrates with many Office 365 applications, like OneNote, Sharepoint, and Planner.
  • Is available as a desktop app, mobile app, via browser at no cost.
  • Supports inviting guests from outside WWU.
  • Hosted in the cloud, so it does not rely on the main campus network to function.
  • WWU voice traffic is all moving from Skype and PBX to Teams by end of 2021.
  • Teams Voice users can create meetings with dial-in conference services as well as standard internet-based sessions.

Zoom 

Available via licensing from ATUS Software Services.   
Zoom Conferencing

Pros: 

  • Intuitive user interface for easily creating, managing and attending web conferencing.
  • A Zoom account is not needed to attend a Zoom session.
  • Engineered for use in variable bandwidth environments giving it consistent performance when used with consumer grade internet connections.
  • Allows users to utilize participation features such as:
    • In-session chat
    • Breakout rooms
    • Participant feedback (yes/no, hand raise, faster/slower, clap, need a break, away)
    • Screen Sharing (desktop, applications, whiteboard)
    • Polling
    • File Sharing (via cloud services or via the chat)
  • Allows users to schedule online meetings.
  • Can add ability to meet via Zoom to existing Outlook and Teams meetings.
  • Integrates easily with Canvas for online instruction.
  • Can save recordings of Zoom session to the cloud or locally.
  • Is available as a desktop app, mobile app, via browser.
  • Supports inviting guests from outside WWU.
  • Used by many of WWU’s external partners, such as state agencies and K12 school districts, and most of Washington State’s universities and community/technical colleges.
  • Provides dial-in conference services as well as standard internet-based sessions.
  • Hosted in the cloud, so it does not rely on the main campus network to function.

Cons: 

  • Conference room systems and other audio-video equipment at Western are intentionally selected for Microsoft Skype/Teams compatibility, but not Zoom compatibility.

Recommendations 

For Staff who wish to schedule online meetings: 

  • Use Teams, unless you need a traditional dial-in conference phone number for your meeting and you have not yet been upgraded to Teams Voice. 
  • Use Zoom if you want to leverage the participation features, an intuitive user experience, or a traditional phone connections.

For Faculty who wish to hold lecture or discussions online: 

  • Use Zoom if you want to leverage the participation features, the Canvas integration, or for a intuitive user experience.
  • Use Teams if you want to create a work group for your class, invite the students to join it, and utilize the integration with Office 365 tools.

For Faculty who wish to hold meetings or office hours: 

  • Use Teams, unless you need a traditional dial-in conference phone number for your meeting. 
  • Use Zoom if you want to leverage the participation features, an intuitive user experience, a traditional phone connections, or Canvas integrations via scheduled or recurring meetings or other calendars/tools. 

For students who wish to collaborate online: 

  • Use Teams, unless your instructors have already established a collaboration space online via another platform. 
  • Use a free Zoom account for sessions under 40 minutes.