Teams and ZoomYou’ve heard me previously describe Microsoft Teams as a collaboration platform.  More than an app, it’s an environment you can live in most of the workday.  Teams combines chat, audio, video, file sharing, and document co-editing/co-authoring into a single environment.  This is great if you’re using all the elements of the Microsoft Teams “stack”.  But what do you do if your organization uses Zoom for video conferencing?  How do you integrate Zoom with Teams?

Fortunately, Microsoft and Zoom have worked together to provide a way to integrate Zoom with Teams (see a previous blog post about this here.)  Let’s go through some of the capabilities that you can tap when you integrate Zoom with Teams.

Prerequisites

First, make sure you have the right prerequisites to be able to integrate Zoom with Teams. First, you will need the Zoom bot.  To access that, you’ll need a Zoom Pro, Business, or Education plan.  You will also need a way to log into your Zoom account.  It could be your Zoom email, a Google login, or single sign on via Azure Active Directory, Okta, or the like.  Of course, you’ll also need a Microsoft Teams account.

This link describes how to integrate Zoom with Teams.  Note that you go first to the Zoom marketplace and then download and install the Microsoft Teams app.  Once you do this, you add the Zoom meetings bot to a team.  By the way, you can also disable the native Teams video icon in the left rail navigation if you like.  You can then add Zoom into the Teams left rail navigation.  You can also just use Zoom from the tab that’s added to the Teams UI.

Working with Zoom in Teams

Once you have the Zoom bot installed and the Zoom is running in Microsoft Teams, you can do the things that you’re already familiar with in Zoom.  You can

  • Start a meeting
  • Schedule a meeting
  • Share your screen with another user

Any meetings you schedule will show up in your Outlook calendar as well as in the Teams calendar.  If someone schedules Zoom meeting with you, you’ll receive a Teams notification and be able to join the meeting by following the link in the notification message.

Zoom has also done a nice job enabling access to Zoom commands by typing @Zoom followed by a Zoom command such as start or help.  This is especially handy if you want to start an instant meeting.  You just type @Zoom start and you’re starting a Zoom meeting.

Is Integrating Zoom with Teams Worth it?

I’ve noticed that Zoom, more than other video conferencing services, has achieved a certain level of “stickiness” with users.  The most common comment I hear is “it just works”.  If I worked at Zoom, I would consider that a compliment.  If your users like Zoom and you find the cost reasonable, then I would argue that you’re better off integrating Zoom with Teams than switching to a different video conferencing service.

Using Zoom video within Teams takes a few more clicks then using the native Teams video application.  But the additional steps for the user or not too burdensome.  The fact that you can schedule a Zoom meeting and have it show up in your calendar, as well as join a Zoom meeting from your calendar or from the Teams chat space, is probably what would matter most users.

If your organization is committed to using Zoom, then you should check out this way of integrating Zoom with Teams.  Put another way, the fact that you’re using Zoom for video conferencing is no reason to delay using Teams for its other collaboration capabilities. Why not have the best of both worlds?

 

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