When to use Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype for Business

Product Overview: 

Microsoft Teams is your online chat-based hub for teamwork integrated with your Office 365 email account. It is an app that helps you and your team have real-time conversations using chat or video chat, securely share and collaborate on files, and plan meetings or projects with others at the University of Iowa.

Zoom is a web conferencing solution offered by the University of Iowa. Zoom can be used to meet with other people at Iowa, or people external to the university. Zoom integrates with ICON, allows users to meet in online meetings, share audio and video information, schedule webinars, use questionnaires in meetings, and much more.

Skype for Business is the telephony solution offered to the University of Iowa campus enabling faculty and staff to make and receive traditional telephone calls through the Skype for Business client. Skype for Business is a legacy video conferencing solution, with Microsoft Teams or Zoom being the recommended products providing a modern video conferencing experience. 


For information regarding data compliance for Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom, please refer to the Data Classification Guide to IT Services support article provided by the Information Security & Policy Office. 

Meeting Scenarios: 

Meeting Scenario Recommended Product
Academic (Online Classes and Teaching) Zoom
Office Hours Zoom
Large Departmental Meetings (10+ participants) Zoom or Microsoft Teams
Small Departmental Meetings (1-10 participants) Microsoft Teams, or Zoom
One to One Conversations Microsoft Teams

Product Comparison:

Features Microsoft Teams Zoom
Available To Students, Faculty, Staff Students, Faculty, Staff
Desktop App Windows, macOS, Linux Windows, macOS, Linux
Mobile App iOS, Android iOS, Android
Browser Support Yes Yes; the Zoom Client for Meetings is required. 
Supported Browsers Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox
Maximum Meeting Attendees 1000 300
Audio and Video
HD Video Capable Yes Yes
Join Meeting with Audio Only Yes Yes
Join Meeting by Phone (Domestic) No Yes
Join Meeting by Toll-Free Number No No
Meeting Captioning Yes; Live Captioning Yes; Live Captioning, Manual Captioning and 3rd Party Utilities
Make and Receive Telephone Calls No No
Chat Within Meetings Yes Yes
Chat Outside of Meetings Yes Yes
Content Sharing
Screen Sharing Yes Yes
Application Sharing Yes Yes
Annotate Shared Content No Yes
Whiteboard Yes Yes
Meeting Capabilities
Breakout Rooms Yes Yes
Polling Yes; using Microsoft Forms Yes
Cloud Recording Yes Yes
Local Recording No Yes
Join Before Host Yes Yes; off by default, can be turned on per meeting. 
Join Meetings from H.323 or SIP Devices No Yes
Outlook Calendar Integration Yes Yes; with the Zoom for Outlook plugin
Google Calendar Integration No Yes
    Article number: 
    Last updated: 
    February 15, 2023