Security, support and reliability
Video conferencing is a critical component of any enterprise communication and collaboration strategy. It’s important to assess whether your video conferencing solution provider meets your business requirements for security, maintenance, support, reliability and performance.
Security and transparency
The data security practices and policies built into the apps and services you use to run your business are critically important and can have real consequences if they aren’t prioritized by the vendors that you partner with. The July 2019 Zoom security exploit gives a clear example of how purposefully trading security for convenience and associating your brand with security breaches and vulnerabilities can create hesitancies in your partners’ and clients’ willingness to do business with you.
Lifesize has emphasized security and privacy since launching our cloud service in 2014. The Lifesize service, room systems and client software employ WebRTC. Encryption is a mandatory component of WebRTC and applies to both signaling (via DTLS) and media (via SRTP/AES-128). Additionally, Lifesize supports single sign-on (SSO), allowing you to extend your own password retention, complexity and controls consistently to all your Lifesize meeting rooms and users. Learn more about Lifesize Security.
Zoom operates around the WebRTC standards by communicating through a proprietary downloaded app on each participant’s device. Zoom disables security and media encryption by default because it impacts call performance, effectively forcing customers to choose between security and quality. Additionally, according to a July 2019 security disclosure, Zoom's Mac client installs and runs code to bypass security features in the Safari browser. Businesses that choose Zoom for video conferencing should consult Zoom’s support documentation for how to enable encryption and ensure end users settings comply with security policies.
How does Zoom compare to Lifesize?
||128bit AES in flight, 256bit AES at rest
||256bit AES in flight and at rest
|Single Sign-on (SSO) authentication
|Video calls encrypted by default
|Source code transparency
||Built on open source WebRTC standards
||Proprietary code base installed on local devices
Warranty and replacement lifecycle: Lifesize Icon vs. Zoom Room kit
Zoom Room kit deployments utilize off-the-shelf generic computer processing and consumer-grade Windows, iOS or Android tablets as system controllers, which on average reach obsolescence in 4.25 years. Additionally, the continual evolution of apps and software on these devices is effectively a form of built-in obsolescence, with support for apps only extending one or maybe two OS versions back, with developers needing to keep current to remain within the relevant app store.
Conversely, Lifesize Icon series conference room systems provide investment protection due to long managed lifecycles (10+ years) and automatic software, firmware and OS updates delivered and managed centrally via the Lifesize cloud service.
|Expected Upgrade Cycle
||Single vendor, automatic updates via the cloud
||Multi-vendor, varies by component in the solution
||DSS subscription covers product for entire lifecycle including 24-hour replacement
||1-2 year hardware warranties, varies by component in the solution
The Zoom Rooms application integrates with a number of hardware manufacturers, each of which offer different support and warranties. Buyers should research the differences between each hardware component; however, most room kit bundles come with a 2-3 year limited warranty. While Zoom does provide additional helpdesk services to help customers with diagnostics, the hardware components are not covered.
Through Lifesize’s Device Software Subscription (DSS), all Lifesize Icon meeting rooms systems are covered by a comprehensive warranty, including a 24-hour device replacement service and priority support.
Reliability and performance
Both Lifesize and Zoom provide access to a global network of data centers to allow for global communication, however, the underlying architectures vary in how they connect calls end to end.
Lifesize employs a modern, global cloud architecture designed from the ground up to meet the functionality, security and continually evolving communication needs of our customers. Delivering real-time collaborative video and audio communications in HD and UHD (4K) requires a no-compromise infrastructure design approach along with application and protocol intelligence to handle the inevitable client-side variations associated with internet bandwidth and connectivity. Our solution intelligently splits different workloads into central and regionalized tasks with resources strategically positioned across the globe to provide proximity and presence worldwide. The same mindful dispersal of resources geographically also increases resilience and reduces the potential impact of localized failures, while keeping in mind regulatory, legal and privacy concerns.
Unlike Zoom, Lifesize also offers customers a financially-backed, guaranteed service level agreement (SLA) of 99.9% uptime.
The Zoom service is built on a proprietary code base, which Zoom claims allows it to provide quality and features not supported by WebRTC. However, in a side-by-side comparison it’s unclear that Zoom’s proprietary code offers any performance gains, while also limiting customers visibility into the code running in their organization.
According to its website, the Zoom cloud runs on a “proprietary global network” with a “geographically dispersed presence allowing our users to connect directly to the Zoom Cloud though a locally-designated point of presence.” Zoom does not disclose the location of its data centers; however, following a lengthy January 2019 outage, Zoom attempted to shift blame to its vendor while acknowledging issues with its underlying architecture.