Comparing Collaboration Tools


The University of Alaska provides a number of collaboration services to the university community. Students, staff, and faculty can take advantage of one, some, or all of these tools. If you are not sure which one to choose for a specific task, please review the feature comparison chart below.

While many of these services offer similar features and capabilities, none of them are a 100% replacement for the other. When deciding which collaboration tool to use, consider your needs for that specific event/meeting, and/or group and then select the most applicable one, be aware that the tool you select may change over time, or by event, as the needs change.

Feature Comparison Chart

Zoom Google Chat Google Meet
Best Uses / Purpose Online synchronous meetings (designed for teaching) Individual and Group communications: text chat, online voice calls, video conferencing, and meetings (integration with Microsoft tools) Online synchronous meetings Online synchronous meetings (integration with Google apps) Online synchronous meetings (integration with Google apps)
Ease of Use Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate
Ease of Joining a Meeting Directly through web browser, no additional software download required. Directly through web browser, no additional software required.

Can optionally download and use the Teams app.
Directly through web browser, no additional software required.

Can optionally download and use the Zoom app.
Directly through web browser, no additional software required Directly through web browser, no additional software required
Creating a Meeting Collaborate Course Room (open session) is already created in LMS. Schedule meeting button in Teams chat, or Teams calendar; Google Calendar add-in. Schedule meetings from; LMS Tools; Google Calendar add-in.   Schedule meetings from Google Calendar, Google Classroom, or Google Meet app.
Integration with LMS Yes, Blackboard Tools No, share a link in Blackboard Yes, Blackboard Tools No No, share a link in Blackboard
Number of Participants 250 25,000 in a team;
1,000, 2-way meeting participants;
20,000 view/listen-only participants
300, 2-way Participants  8,000  50
Individual Meetings / Groups Yes Yes Yes  Yes Yes 
Invite Guests Yes, check guest access and copy/share the guest link Yes, invite them by email address Yes, typically via link or Google calendar invite   Yes, typically via link or Google calendar invite
Breakout Rooms / Sessions Yes  Yes Yes No Yes
Phone Conf. Bridge Included Yes Available to UA Employees, contact UAA Tech. Support Center for assistance.
Toll-fees apply.
Yes, toll-fees apply No Yes, toll-fees apply
Quick, Easy Instant Messaging Yes Yes Yes Yes No
File Transfer via Chat Window No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Screen Sharing Yes Yes Yes No Yes
White-boarding Yes Yes Yes No No
Audio/Video Calls Yes Yes Yes No, Launches Google Meet Yes
Record Meeting Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Virtually Raise your Hand Yes Yes Yes   No
Office Hours Open session Set who can bypass the lobby Enable waiting room feature for private one-on-one support Open session Open session
Collaborative Tools Yes Yes; Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Online Yes; annotation and co-annotation Yes; Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides No
Chat with Event Attendees Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Supports Live Events/Webinar Yes; 500 attendees Yes; 10,000 attendees; duration of event 4 hours

* Through December 31, 2021 Microsoft has temporary increased the limits for live events:
20,000 attendees,
Up to 16 hours per broadcast
Yes; up-to 500 view-only attendees.

Requires requesting a one-time use webinar license, or if interested departments may purchase a license for their use
No No
File Storage Yes Yes, Up to 25 TB per team No Yes Yes
Live Automatic Captioning No live captions; can upload caption file for recordings Yes*

* Preview feature available in English (US) only
 Yes  N/A  Yes
Security Secure; access is through a Learning Management System (LMS) couse Secure; can require registration, allows disabling forwarding Can add a password to meetings and recordings    
Security Documentation     Securing Your Zoom Meetings   Google Meet security information
Recommended Network Bandwidth Audio: 48 Kb/s
Video: 360 Kb/s
Audio: 76 Kb/s
Video: 3.9 Mb/s
Audio: 80 Kb/s
Video: 4.0 Mb/s
  Audio: 300 Kb/s
Video: 4.0 Mb/s

Need additional help or have issues

For support, requests may be submitted anytime by Requesting Support for the Chat, Learning Management System (LMS), or Video Conferencing service as applicable. Support Requests are worked by Priority based on the Impact and Urgency of need as well as the order they are received by the IT Employees with the knowledge and permissions to assist with the request.

For immediate assistance please review the Contact Us page for ways to contact the appropriate support group.

Print Article


Article ID: 147
Wed 5/27/20 2:16 PM
Wed 5/29/24 8:28 AM

Related Articles (4)

Google Chat allows you to quickly and easily communicate with one person, or an entire group. From direct messages to group conversations, Chat helps teams collaborate easily and efficiently.
Use Google Meet to hold video conferences with people inside or outside your organization. You can join from a computer, or mobile device.
Microsoft Teams is a unifying experience that brings together people, conversations and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. It’s naturally integrated with the familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on the Microsoft Office 365 global, secure cloud. This article will help you learn more about what Microsoft Teams is, how to use it, and how it will benefit you in your daily computing needs.
Zoom provides easy to use remote conferencing services that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration.

Related Services / Offerings (1)

UAA’s video conferencing services enables communication and collaboration with conferencing hardware and software systems throughout the world.