Zoom Feedback Requested

Posted on January 5th, 2022 by

The pandemic has forced us all to adopt new tools and methodologies in order to remain successful in our work/academic endeavors. One of the most popular and useful new tools has been Zoom. Unfortunately, Zoom places a considerable burden on our already strained resources. Not only is it an expensive system, but it also takes a considerable amount of time and effort to support. With COVID-related funding being reduced or eliminated, we will be forced to make some difficult decisions in the coming months. To aid us during this process, we are hoping to solicit your feedback regarding the necessity of maintaining our current licensing agreement with Zoom.

As it stands, all community members can access Zoom via their Gustavus account. We also support Google Meet, which has many of the same features, including breakout rooms, but is provided as part of a bundle of services that we receive from Google. As long as we rely on the Google suite of tools and products, we’ll most likely have access to Google Meet for virtual conferencing. Below you’ll find a quick feature comparison of these two services, Zoom and Google Meet. 

Feature Zoom Google Meet
Participant Capacity 1000 500*
Meeting Time Limits 30 hours 24 hours
Screen/App/Doc Sharing Yes Yes
Chat Yes Yes
Breakout Rooms Yes Yes
Closed Captioning Yes, third party app Yes
Record Meetings Yes Yes
Default Security/Privacy Good/Good Better/Good
Ease of Use Good Better
Cloud Storage for Recordings 1 Gb/user 15 Gb/user
Meeting Transcripts Yes Yes, Chrome extension
Attendance Reports Yes Yes
Intelligent Noise Cancellation Yes Yes
Audio/Video Preview Screen Yes Yes
Workspace Integration (email/calendar) Yes Yes
Meeting Filters Yes Yes
Polls Yes Yes
Whiteboard Yes Yes, with Jamboard
Adjustable Layouts Yes Yes
Pin/Spotlight Individual Participants Yes Yes
Virtual Backgrounds Yes Yes

*Capacity expanded to 100,000 when live streaming a meeting

As you can see, our two options now provide very similar feature sets. And with Zoom/Meet usage on a steep decline overall, we’re hoping to start a conversation that will help us determine when to scale back our reliance on Zoom, and by how much. Granted, Zoom was a well-known tool on this campus before the pandemic, and we anticipate that it will remain a fixture for certain events, and particular offices, long into the future. We will continue to support it in those limited instances, but we will eventually need to reduce the number of licenses that we currently pay for, and that’s why your honest feedback is important.

Complete this brief survey

Ten quick questions to help inform our future decisions. This survey will remain open through February, and we strongly encourage you to share your thoughts.

Zoom Usage Survey

Facilitate a discussion

We’d like you to facilitate a discussion with others. If you’re worried about how any proposed reduction may impact your team, office, or department, please feel free to talk about your experiences. It’s a difficult time to be prognosticating about what the next weeks or months may hold, but rest assured, we will continue to be responsive to your feedback. Below are some prompts to help you get started:

  • Is a virtual meeting tool an important part of your teaching/learning/work success?
  • Is Zoom currently an important part of your teaching/learning/work success?
  • Given the ongoing availability of viable alternatives like Google Meet, would you support reducing our reliance on Zoom in order to save costs?
  • Would you be interested in receiving more training on Google Meet?
  • Would you use the free version of Zoom with its limitations, if the paid for version was not available?

With your partnership and collaboration, we’re confident that this process will be in alignment with the needs and sentiments of the campus community! Please send any thoughts or questions to g-zoomreview@gustavus.edu.




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