When it comes to technology, Microsoft and Google have competed in almost every front. Both have made huge strides in machine learning, cloud computing, and productivity software. And in terms of VoIP solutions, both tech powerhouses are also neck and neck. Google’s Hangouts Meet and Microsoft’s Skype for Business have plenty of similar calling and video conferencing features; but depending on your company requirements, you may prefer one over the other.
While Hangouts and Skype both offer enterprise-grade security, 1080p HD quality video, and screen sharing capabilities, there are some slight differences. For starters, Skype for Business users can set up and record online meetings for up to 250 participants and broadcast meetings for up to 10,000 attendees. With call forwarding and auto-attendant features, Skype ensures you never miss calls and streamlines caller management. What’s more, it has Skype Translator, a plugin that instantly translates voice and text.
Hangouts Meets, on the other hand, supports up to 30 people per session and lacks broadcasting and voting capabilities. It does, however, have intelligent built-in features like auto screen focus and muting so that participants get the right amount of attention when they’re sharing ideas with the group. You can also invite participants to the call by simply sending the URL link of the Hangouts session.
Hangouts sports a simple green circle to indicate that a contact is online. Skype offers similar features, but the difference is that you have more status options to choose from such as Available, Busy, Away, Do Not Disturb, and In a Call.
Integrations and add-ons
Being a Google product, Hangouts has tight integrations with powerful G Suite apps, including Gmail, Sheets, Maps, YouTube and Google Calendar. With Calendar, Hangouts can schedule appointments and set call reminders within the app. Using YouTube, you can even broadcast your presentations live.
Meanwhile, Skype for Business is heavily integrated into Office 365. This means you can initiate calls with colleagues working on the same Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file. Outside of Microsoft, Skype also integrates with Slack and other unified communication solutions.
The biggest difference between Google and Microsoft’s VoIP product is pricing. Hangouts is offered with every G Suite subscription plan (Basic, Business, Enterprise), and usually starts at $5 per user per month. By comparison, Skype for Business can be purchased as a standalone solution starting at $2 per user per month. Keep in mind, those with Office 365 Business subscriptions also get all the Skype features listed above.
What works for you?
Based on these features, it should be easy for you to decide which platform is suitable for your business. Hangouts is clearly built for startups and small companies that need a low cost communication solution. It supports only up to 30 people per call, and while its features are a bit limited compared to Skype, it does offer companies with fewer than 50 employees what they need.
In contrast, Skype for Business and its robust features are designed for small and large businesses alike. Of course, if you’re still unsure about either product, you should opt for a trial run and make up your mind then. Otherwise, contact our team today so we can recommend a VoIP solution that fits your business.