Digital

Deciding on the best video conferencing tool: Skype vs Zoom

- November 11, 2020 3 MIN READ
Man working from home in a video call

Around 4.2 million Australians are working from home and many are expected to continue doing so indefinitely. That’s a lot of meetings, hallway chit-chats and water cooler conversations missed! Though not a quick-fix, video conferencing tools can bring back some of this interactivity.

Choosing the right communication tool going forward

Whether you’re only just embracing a cyber workspace or committing to it long-term, video conferencing tools are a must. In fact, setting your team up with the right technology can boost productivity and approximate the human touch lost in digital translation. Both Skype and Zoom’s impressive list of features provide this and may help you decide which is best for your business.

Skype

Whether you’re using Skype for personal use or Skype for larger businesses, now Microsoft Teams, Skype overcomes many of the roadblocks of online communication. The base Skype video conferencing tool may be more useful for small businesses. Whereas, Microsoft Teams, with its ability to organise large numbers of participants into channels, is great for bigger organisations. Still, both are “built for businesses to connect anywhere, anytime.”

MAIN FEATURES

  • Work together from any device with the screen sharing function
  • Communicate with video chats or instant messages with @mentions
  • Schedule calls in advance to keep pace with all of your meetings
  • Share files up to 300MB by dragging them into the conversation window
  • Blur your background to enhance your one-on-one talks
  • Co-author shared files live with Microsoft Teams
  • Make teams private or accessible organisation-wide
  • Available on mobile, tablet, desktop and Xbox
Snapshot of Skype’s video conferencing feed and chat box

Skype helps bridge the gap between face-to-face communication and working from home (Image courtesy of skype.com)

 

HELPFUL TOOLS

  • Live Subtitles: Don’t lose track of what’s being said by others, even with a poor internet connection
  • Together Mode: Break down online barriers by placing your team in a simulated workplace background
  • Skype Translator: Translate your conversations from 60 languages into 11 available languages

PLANS & PRICING

Skype:

Personal Use: 50 people (Free)

Skype for Business:

Teams: 300 people (Free)

Microsoft 365 Business Basic: 300 people (AU$6.90/month)

Microsoft 365 Business Standard: 300 people (AU$17.20/month)

Office 365 E3: 10,000 people for online events (AU$29.00/month)

Pay as you go:

Skype Credit: Purchase credit to suit the amount of calls you need to make

 Skype to Go: Make international calls at very low rates

*For a thorough comparison of Microsoft Teams, available with Microsoft 365 subscriptions, click here. Prices accurate on 10/11/20.

Zoom

Zoom, much like Skype, provides many ways to communicate. From live video feeds, to chat boxes to phone calls and messages, Zoom strives for “simplified video conferencing and messaging across any device.” In addition, Zoom is integrable with other office platforms like Slack. Overall, Zoom prioritises interactivity to ensure users feel engaged.

MAIN FEATURES

  • Share multiple screens at once and co-annotate
  • Record and store videos locally or in cloud storage
  • Schedule or start meetings from your calendar services
  • Create transcripts to wade through meeting notes
  • Collaborate further with interactive tools like Zoom whiteboard
  • Support also available through training resources, remote work tips and live demos
  • Share multiple desktops simultaneously in the same room with Zoom Rooms
  • Available on mobile, tablet and desktop
Screenshot of Zoom’s video feed and chat function

Zoom is an interactive communication tool making remote work feel less remote (Image courtesy of Zoom app)

 

HELPFUL TOOLS

  • Meeting Analytics: Get reports on attendee engagement to improve how you present to your team
  • Zoom Webinars: Host between 100 and 10,000 interactive participants with online video webinars
  • Zoom Hardware: Purchase Zoom conference rooms or the permanent remote work solution, the Zoom for home device (separate from plans and pricing below)

PLANS & PRICING

Zoom Meetings:

Basic: 100 people (Free)

Pro: 100 people (AU$20.99/month)

Business: 300 people (AU$27.99/month)

Enterprise: 500 people, more licenses (AU$27.99/month)

Enterprise+: 1000 people (Contact Zoom for pricing)

Zoom Video Webinar:

Starting at AU$56/month for 100 attendees and ranging up to AU$9086/month for 10,000 attendees

Zoom Rooms:

AU$69/month for up to 49 licenses

*Free trials also available and for a full price comparison, including licensing details, click here. Prices accurate on 10/11/20.

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Now read this

How to Zoom like a pro in 8 easy steps

 

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