Microsoft and Google have been competing on almost every front. Both have made huge strides in machine learning, cloud computing, and productivity software. In terms of VoIP solutions, the tech powerhouses are also neck and neck with Microsoft’s Skype for Business and Google’s Hangouts Meet. These VoIP tools have several calling and video conferencing features in common, but depending on your company’s requirements, you may prefer one over the other.
Hangouts and Skype both offer enterprise-grade security, 1080p HD quality video, and screen sharing capabilities, but there are still some slight differences.
Skype for Business users can set up and record online meetings for up to 250 people and broadcast meetings to up to 10,000 attendees. Skype ensures you never miss calls and streamlines caller management with its call forwarding and auto-attendant features. It also has a Skype Translator, a plugin that instantly translates voice and text.
On the other hand, Hangouts Meet supports up to 30 people per session and lacks broadcasting and voting capabilities. However, it has intelligent built-in features like muting and auto screen focus, which shows the participant who’s currently talking on the main part of the screen so they get the attention when they’re sharing ideas with the group. You can even invite participants to the call by simply sending the URL link of the Hangouts session.
In Hangouts, a simple green dot indicates that a contact is online, while in Skype, there are more status options to choose from like 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. Hangouts can schedule appointments and set call reminders within the app using Google Calendar. You can even broadcast your presentations live on Youtube.
Skype for Business is integrated into Office 365. This allows you to initiate calls with colleagues working on the same Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file. Skype also integrates with Slack and other unified communication solutions.
The biggest difference between the two VoIP tools is pricing. Google offers Hangouts with every G Suite subscription plan (Basic, Business, Enterprise), and it usually starts at $5 per user per month. Skype, on the other hand, is a standalone solution starting at $2 per user per month. However, those with an Office 365 Business subscription also get the Skype features listed above.
What works for you?
Knowing the similarities and differences between the two apps, it should be easy for you to decide which platform suits your business. Google built Hangouts for startups and small companies that need a low-cost communications solution. Skype for Business, with its robust features, is suitable for small and large businesses alike.
If you’re still unsure about either product, you can opt for a free trial to help you in making the decision. Otherwise, you can contact our team today so we can recommend a VoIP solution that’s perfect for your business. There are "many" other great solutions out there!