The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many organisations to embrace video conferencing and audio solutions to replace their traditional face-to-face meetings.

Schools, businesses, even family, have had to discover and implement these solutions with little to no help from the organisations or their regular IT provider. In a rush to get ‘stuff done’, many people have become unwitting participants in a game of cat and mouse with hackers and people who just want to cause mischief.

The company now associated forevermore with this is Zoom. Zoom was started in 2011 and is by no means news to the video conferencing and audio solutions market. In a crowded market full of established players, they created a successful business built around simplicity and ease of use.

This strive for simplicity allowed the developers to take chances and ‘break now, fix later’. This approach was successful and typical of many IT startups of the time.

So what happened?

In February and March of 2020, with the World descending into a lockdown, organisations that had never considered a video calling service needed to find a solution fast, and one that allowed staff to work quickly and remotely from anywhere. As is often the case, good marketing creates a buzz all of its own. Before long, Zoom saw daily user numbers increase 10 fold. Zoom had a free tier that worked for many people and was easy to use and setup. In less than 2 months, Zoom had gone from a niche player to a generic way to describe a video meeting, much in the same way we use ‘Google’ to describe web search. What could possibly go wrong?

The Rise of Zoom Bombing and more….

Having a whole new phrase being used to describe your product is normally a good thing. All publicity is good publicity? Zoom found out that this isn’t always the case.

Zoom Bombing is when uninvited participants attend your meeting. Sometimes clothed. Sometimes not. Anything from a business meeting to a Yoga class was fair game. Earnings reports and confidential staff meetings could be listened to by unauthorised users.

People quickly discovered that simple to use and secure don’t always appear in the same sentence.

Before long, Zoom became a byword for lax security and over-ambitious claims. From the CEO having to clarify what ‘daily average users’ meant to a redefinition of ‘End to End Encryption’, the company was on the defensive.

Scrutiny can, however, lead to positive change. In the last month, Zoom has hired new teams to address the security issues, implemented many new features to improve the product and addressed some of the dubious claims about users and security.

Why does this matter?

In IT, competition often creates opportunities and breaks down barriers to ways of working. Having multiple competitors in a market can accelerate innovation.

Microsoft Teams has evolved rapidly since February with the product roadmap being brought forward at a fast pace. Improvements like ‘Hand up’, custom backgrounds, improved quality, easier setup are all part of the new Microsoft Teams experience.

Microsoft Teams is provided as part of an Office 365 subscription at no extra cost. Staff can safely send out meeting requests to non-MS Teams members, control access to meetings, record presentations and more.

Recommended by Managed IT Service Providers, Microsoft Teams is the go-to video calling and conferencing solution for all businesses who want a secure, robust and easy to use solution.

Contact Future IT Services for more information on how to set up and implement your MS Teams environment.

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