MS Teams Videoconferencing Platform
Our technical team has now completed its testing of the MS Teams platform.
While Teams does offer some of the features that both Zoom and WebEx have (such as sharing documents, unique Meeting ID and password settings and a chat feature), it has no breakout room functionality at this time, rendering it unusable for mediations. Further, each MS Teams licence has a limit of up to 5 guests per Microsoft account. This means that, for larger discoveries and hearings, every participant will have to create a Microsoft account in order to access the meeting.
Microsoft Teams’ greatest drawback, however, is the confusing user interface. It is unintuitive and difficult to navigate compared to Zoom or WebEx. We anticipate that this will lead to significant delays in proceedings due to increased technical assistance and troubleshooting for clients and counsel, who all bring varying degrees of technical know-how to remote proceedings.
Zoom Videoconferencing Platform – Security Update
Starting May 9, 2020, all meetings conducted with Free or Basic accounts (including previously scheduled meetings, new meetings and meetings started or scheduled using Personal Meeting IDs) will require a password. Since Reportex password protects all of our meetings, there will be no change to your joining experience for those who use Reportex to facilitate their remote proceedings.
On May 30, 2020, Zoom 5.0 will launch, enabling GCM encryption across the entire Zoom platform, providing increased protection for meeting data. As part of the Zoom 5.0 upgrade, Zoom will upgrade to Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit GCM encryption, which is a big improvement over its previous 128-bit AES encryption. After May 30, 2020, all Zoom clients using older versions will receive a forced upgrade when trying to join meetings as GCM encryption will be fully enabled across the Zoom platform; in other words, you cannot join meetings after May 30 without upgrading to 5.0. If you or your client have discoveries or mediations scheduled for May 30, please ensure that you update your Zoom client in advance.
Comparing the Zoom, WebEx and MS Teams platforms
|Feature||Zoom ‘Pro’ Licence||WebEx ‘Free’ Licence||WebEx ‘Training’ Licence||MS Teams|
|Freshly generated meeting ID and password created for each unique meeting||*||*||*||*|
|Apply a virtual background||*||*|
|Touch up your appearance||*|
|‘Waiting Room’ feature (to prevent unauthorized access)||*||*||*||*|
|Mute audio and stop video||*||*||*||*|
|Participants can change their display name after logging in||*||*|
|Host can change participants’ display name after logging in||*|
|Prevent participants from changing their display name after logging in||*|
|Lock the meeting to prevent participants from joining after a certain time||*||*||*||*|
|Non-hosts can invite other participants||*||*||*||*|
|Make another participant the host/presenter||*||*||*||*|
|Disable the chat feature||*||*||*|
|Ability to join a breakout room you are not assigned to|
|Leave a breakout room and re-enter the main session area unannounced||n/a||*|
|Show documents or screen within the platform without uploading to US server||*||*||*||*|
|Allow remote control of a document to another participant||*||*||*||*|
“Having Reportex manage the technical aspects of the virtual mediation was invaluable to me as mediator. Jake, the technical representative, was great, communicated with the parties, arranged all the rooms, gave me a tutorial on moving from room to room and dealt with any and all technical questions the parties had during the day, leaving me free to focus on getting the matter resolved.”
Marina Pratchett (Mediator)