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Help Desk - Which video conferencing or webinar tool should I use? Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Google Hangouts Meet, Cisco Webex , Microsoft Teams, Zoom
There are a number of web conferencing tools available to UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students. This document compares the major features of five web conferencing tools: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Google Hangouts Meet, Webex Meetings, Webex Events, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.
Please also look over this policy about collaboration technologies and recordings as they relate to students in particular. If the technology you want to use is not listed in this policy, do not use it for instructional purposes.
Google Meet is available to faculty, staff, and students through the UW-Madison G Suite. You must activate a UW Google+ account to use Meet. For details about Meet, click here.
Cisco Webex (Meetings / Events / Trainings) is available to faculty, staff, and students. This software can be installed on all UW-Madison owned systems and is accessible for download either via the Campus Software Library or via the UW-Madison Webex portal. For more information regarding Webex, click here.
Microsoft Teams offers chat, calls, and meetings and is available to faculty, staff, and students through the University's Office 365 license. For more information, click here.
Zoom is now available at UW-Madison, starting with the Fall 2020 semester. For more information, see UW-Madison Zoom-Getting Started. See Zoom announcement in IT news.
Non-UW-Madison tools: Due to FERPA, HIPAA, and other data privacy considerations, campus policy prohibits the use of other, non-sanctioned web conferencing software such as Skype for any University academic or business purposes.
|Features||Blackboard Collaborate Ultra||Google Meet||Webex Meetings||Webex Events||Microsoft Teams||Zoom|
|Max. # simultaneous video (Visible at a time)++||250 (4)||100 (16)||1000 (25)||1000 (25)||250 (16)||300 (49)|
|Max. # simultaneous audio||5||100||1,000||1,000||250||300|
|Max. # participants||250 regular room. For Large Events up to 500 (or, see Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - What to expect with large attendance events (250+ participants))||100 (250 through 9/30/2020)||1,000||1,000||10,000 (several live event settings must be configured first; see here for instructions)||1,000 (requires licensing configuration, process to be determined)|
|File sharing capabilities||Yes||No##||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Screen sharing capabilities||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Breakout rooms (Total Number)||Yes (20)||No||Yes||No||No||Yes (50)|
|Cost||Free to UW||Free to UW||Free to UW||Free to UW||Free to UW||Free to UW|
|Integrated with Canvas||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|Remembers content||Yes (some)||No||Yes (some)||Yes (some)||Yes||Yes (Some)|
|Browser based (no download required)||Yes||Yes||Yes^||Yes^||Yes^||Yes^|
|Live/closed captioning integration for captioners (e.g. CART)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Students can create a session||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Live streaming||N/A||No||Yes||Yes||Yes (Live Events)||Yes|
|Allow external participants (non UW-Madison)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bandwidth Requirements||BBC Ultra||Google Meet||Webex Meetings||Webex Events||Microsoft Teams||Zoom|
|Application integration||Canvas, My UW-Madison Portal||G Suite (Docs, Sheets, Drive, and more)||Microsoft Outlook, Cisco Jabber, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, IBM Cloud, Microsoft OneDrive||Microsoft Outlook, Cisco Jabber||Microsoft Suite (Email, OneDrive, and more)||Microsoft Office 365, Box, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Microsoft Sharepoint, Microsoft OneDrive, Eloqua|
|Platform||Web, Mobile (iOS and Android)||Web, Mobile (iOS and Android)||Webex Teams, Webex Desktop, Web, Mobile (iOS and Android)||Webex Desktop, Web Mobile (iOS and Android)||Web, Mobile (iOS and Android)||Web, Mobile (iOS and Android)|
|Blur background||N/A||No||Yes||Yes||Yes (Mac OS/Win desktop clients)||Yes (iPhone only)|
|FERPA Data Allowed||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|HIPAA Data Allowed+||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (configuration requirements)|
|Training||Moderator Training||Google Meet Training||Getting Started: Webex Meetings||Getting Started: Webex Events||Video Training Guides||Zoom Video Training|
|Accessibility and Usability||Blackboard Accessibility and Usability||Google Accessibility and Usability||Webex Accessibility and Usability||Webex Accessibility and Usability||Microsoft Accessibility and Usability||Zoom Accessibility and Usability|
## While Google Meet has no native file-sharing feature, you can share files through Google Drive.
^ These all have a desktop, browser, and mobile version. Attendees can choose to join via any option. Setting up the room and accessing the full functionality of the product requires the desktop version.
+ HIPAA regulations apply to businesses and individuals in the health care industry such as health plans and health care providers. These are called “covered entities,” meaning they are covered by HIPAA. UW-Madison is a “hybrid entity” because it includes units that perform HIPAA-covered functions (such as providing health care) and units that do not. As a hybrid entity, UW-Madison has designated units that perform covered functions, and individuals or units that perform support functions on behalf of those designated units, as its “Health Care Component.”
++Max # Simultaneous Video/Audio refers to the maximum amount of participants able to stream video or audio at the same time.