Should I use Skype for Business, Teams or Zoom?
After months of telecommuting for classes and work, we’re all getting familiar with Ohio State’s collaboration tools available to us for working, teaching and learning. We recently added a videoconferencing feature to Teams, in addition to the chat, instant messaging and collaboration tools you may already be using.
Which tools should you use? Each has pros and cons. This article may help you decide which tool is best for your needs. However, if a feature is popular in one tool, other tools are quick to integrate that feature into their offering as well. You’ll see in the chart below, that many tools have similar features.
|Features||Skype for Business||Microsoft Teams||CarmenZoom|
|Video and Audio Features||Easy to use for both audio and video calls. Participants may not be able to see everyone who is on a video call.||Easy to use for both audio and video calls. Participants may not be able to see everyone who is on a video call. Now supports a gallery view, allowing you to see up to 9 participants.||Easy to use for video calls, and supports a gallery view -- "Brady Bunch" mode -- that allows participants to see one another on one or more screens. With correct settings, you can see up to 49 participants on one screen.|
|How to Access the Tool||Most departments already have Skype for Business, so you can log in with your name.# and Ohio State password.||Teams is part of Office 365, so anyone with an Ohio State login can use it with their name.# and Ohio State password||Ohio State has an enterprise account, so you can log in using your name.# and Ohio State password.|
|Available to Attendees Outside the University||Attendees can participate even if they are not affiliated with Ohio State.||Attendees can participate even if they are not affiliated with Ohio State.||Attendees can participate even if they are not affiliated with Ohio State.|
|Mobile Features||Mobile-friendly; mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices||Mobile-friendly; mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices||Mobile-friendly; mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices|
|Integration with Other Tools||Integrated with other Office 365 applications and tools and supported for business use at Ohio State.||Integrated with other Office 365 applications and tools and supported for business use at Ohio State.||Integrated with CarmenCanvas and designed/supported for academic use at Ohio State|
|Captions||Not supported.||Real time captions and subtitles are available, but you must enable them. Learn how to use live captions in a Teams meeting.||Automatic captioning for meetings recorded to the Zoom cloud.|
|Security||We have configured Skype for Business for the best possible security, without limiting features. The tools only automatically admit Ohio State users into a meeting, though a guest link can be sent to attendees outside the university. When setting up a Skype for Business meeting, you can use meeting options to further secure your meeting space.||Users decide who can join your meetings, and who should wait in the lobby.||We have already published instructions to avoid abuse of host features and Zoom bombing. You can prevent the security concerns that you may have seen reported in the media.|
|Encryption||If you join using the app or your computer, Skype-to-Skype voice, video, file transfers and instant messages are encrypted.||If you join using the app or your computer video, file transfers and instant messages are encrypted.||If you join using the app or your computer, Zoom-to-Zoom voice, video, file transfers and instant messages are encrypted.|
|Options for Joining Meetings||You can join the meeting from any phone, land-line or cellular, and join a meeting by entering the access code. The app is not required to join the meeting.||You can join the meeting from any device using the app or web page. Dialing via phone, land-line or cellular, and join a meeting by entering the access code is not currently available, coming soon.||You can join a meeting from any phone, land-line or cellular. This limits available features, but the app is not required.|
No Tool Is Perfect: Things You Should Know
Teams, CarmenZoom and Skype for Business can all encrypt voice, video, file transfers and instant messages. All three run through Ohio State servers and uses our preferred level of encryption, which is end-to-end. End-to-end encryption allows only the sender and receiver to access data. This is a recent update for Zoom, which used to have only “transport-level security (TSL).” This type of encryption sends all content through the server of the host company (Zoom) and content can be accessed by that company. Zoom now uses TSL only when users have free accounts. This lesser level of encryption will only impact you if you have meetings with someone outside the university or medical center, and only if they do not have a paid account with Zoom and are using the free version.
We have outlined known issues with Zoom bombing. Your best defense is to learn what settings you need to adjust to prevent abuse by participants or uninvited guests. Skype for Business, Teams and Zoom allow you to use a “Waiting Room” feature so the host can control who is entering the meeting. The host can “lock” the meeting once all attendees have connected.
Refrain from accessing university Private (S3) or Restricted (S4) data when working from a personal device. If you are not sure what level of data you are using, a free activity on Cybersecurity for You explains S3 or S4 data. Do not save university data directly to your personal device or hard drive.
When using Zoom and recording locally to your device, private messages that you had access to are recorded as well. If you choose to record locally and then share a recording and the chat transcript, it will include those messages that you intended to be private between you and other participants. Recording to the Zoom cloud (which is recommended) will only record the chat messages sent to everyone.
Wexner Medical Center
The medical center has opted out of Teams and other Office 365 programs (because they have different security requirements), so Teams is not a viable option for collaborating with medical center teammates. The university and medical center are working together to create a common platform in teams that will make collaboration easier.
Find more resources about CarmenZoom and Skype for Business online.
Skype for Business
So in many cases you will find that one tool isn’t necessarily better than another – sometimes it’s just a matter of personal preference.
As our learning and security teams outlined in its statement last week, you should always be thoughtful about information you are using with any of these tools and observe the precautions outlined by Ohio State’s Enterprise Security Team.
We’re Here to Help
If you have any technical difficulties, contact the IT Service Desk for additional help. The IT Service Desk offers 24-hour support, seven days a week, via email and phone.