Chat, Audio and Video Conferencing

Microsoft Teams

The university licenses Microsoft Teams for collaboration and communication between university members but also with external people (say for interviews, seminar talks etc).

To login to Teams go to https://teams.microsoft.com and type in "<sso>@ox.ac.uk" as your username (where <sso> is your central university SSO account username), which will then redirect you to the university's single signon page where you can login.

If you are not part of a formal team setup within the system then you can still use the group chat and video call functionality between university members, by adding them to your chat. You should also be able to schedule a meeting which then allows you to add participants including people from outside the university.

Further information documentation on Microsoft Teams is available on 

https://help.it.ox.ac.uk/nexus365/teams-how-do-i

You can use Teams from within a web browser or with a client application on your device. Note the audio/video conferencing functionality in a web browser works in Google Chrome but not in Firefox.

Also see

Other products/services

There are numerous other tools and services that offer chat, audio and/or video conferencing. If/when you use MS Teams you are using a product that has been vetted and approved by the university, to meet security, confidentiality, data protection and GDPR requirements. If/when you use other products you should first carefully consider the purpose of the use, what degree of confidentiality is required and whether that product is suitably secure.

Video Enabled Collaboration Software - University Policy Statement

  • Skype - a key benefit is as a long standing product many people are familiar with it, have the client installed and have an account; you can have up to 50 people on a single 'call' in a speaker or grid view mode
  • FaceTime - limited to Apple device users
  • Whatsapp
  • Mathematical Institute Jitsi Meet Virtual Venue  service - same as the public service mentioned below except it is hosted by the department so has additional security and better GDPR/privacy compliance. It has a quick start guide at the bottom of the main page, and there are more detailed departmental use instructions available too
  • Public Jitsi Meet service - completely free, secure and open source, feature rich web based video conferencing service (also with Android and iOS clients); very easy to use; no hard limit on the number of people in a call although in practice likely to struggle above perhaps 35 people in a video call; best performance with chrome browser where it can use a simulcast feature
  • Whereby - free accounts with your own 'room' for up to 4 person call; paid version can show up to 12 people at once and have up to 50 people in a call; very easy to use simply by sharing the short URL of your 'room', can be done entirely in browser (or with an Android or iOS client)
  • Zoom - free accounts for unlimited duration calls with up to 3 people, or 40 minute limited calls for more; paid version can support many more people in a call and show up to 49 people at once; each participant first needs to install the zoom client on their device; various reports of past security issues with the service and also concerns around how others can potentially record the stream if you do not disable it, and the zoom privacy policy allows them to share your data! See the university guidance on Zoom before proceeding to use it.

Conference Calls in Real Life Sketch