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Microsoft Teams vs. Zoom: Can Teams replace Zoom?

Organizations weighing Microsoft Teams vs. Zoom conferencing must consider the long-term licensing costs, collaboration features and UX of the services.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing stay-at-home orders, Zoom became a household name nearly overnight. While there is a free version of Zoom, many businesses opted to purchase Zoom licenses as the free tier automatically ends calls after 40 minutes.

But, as businesses begin to reopen and employees return to the office, many IT departments must decide whether to continue paying for Zoom or adopt a similar tool that may be a better long-term fit. Many organizations comparing Microsoft Teams vs. Zoom may find Teams as the best tool to replace Zoom.

Zoom drew attention in the video and web conferencing world for two primary reasons. First is the simplicity of how meetings are set up, joined and operated. It works well for a wide variety of virtual meetings or webinars. The second reason for Zoom's popularity is the simplistic licensing model and low cost compared to stand-alone, legacy alternatives, such as Cisco Webex or Adobe Connect.

That said, Microsoft Teams is different from other Zoom competitors because the platform comes prepackaged with Microsoft 365 cloud subscriptions. These are subscriptions that most businesses already have for cloud-managed email and Office applications. Thus, many businesses could migrate to Teams and eliminate paying twice for conferencing services.

Teams is also more feature-rich compared to Zoom, which is both a blessing and a curse. Teams provides a complete enterprise-grade collaboration platform that not only includes video conferencing and online meetings, but also team chat, telephony, presence, document sharing, and integrations with Microsoft and third-party business applications.

While having these added features can be beneficial, keep in mind that they complicate both platform management and UX. That said, once Teams is up and running within your organization, it's a more than capable alternative to Zoom with little to no ongoing licensing costs.

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