Microsoft Teams Premium Add-on License
In a step-away from writing about operational and programmatic functionality of Microsoft licensing and how changes may impact organisations in the way they ought to approach software asset management processes and methodology, the recent announcement of the forthcoming general availability release of Microsoft Teams Premium add-on license, I believe, warrants a specific, product-focused piece.
Microsoft stated in their FY23 Q2 earnings report that the number of Teams users has reached a worldwide total of 280 million daily active users. (Microsoft, January 2023)
This is based on the number of users that have entitlement to Teams as part of a paid Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription.
At the same time, a new paid-for add-on subscription, Microsoft Teams Premium, was also announced as soon to be generally available.
Microsoft Teams Premium is a Teams add-on license that allows organisations with Microsoft 365 subscriptions to:
“Enhance their Teams experience with benefits like:
- More personalised and intelligent meetings and webinars.
- Enhanced protection for meetings.
- Advanced management and reporting capabilities for IT.
- Advanced Virtual Appointments.”
(Microsoft, March 2023)
So, whilst the adoption of Teams was no doubt accelerated during and because of the pandemic, the continuation and business-as-usual practice of retaining Teams within organisations has not waned.
The rate of adoption, however, may be seen as ‘slowing’:
1. The number of Teams daily active users in April 2021 was reported to be 145 million. (Microsoft, 2021)
2. This increased to a reported 270 million daily active users in January 2022. (Microsoft, Jan 2022)
So, the number of daily active users does, based on Microsoft’s own reported data, seem to have plateaued.
The release of a paid-for, add-on to Teams may be seen as a move to monetize Teams features in-play already or perhaps as a means of extending the features and functionality of Teams to a ‘premium’ level.
But the first thing to consider is if Teams Premium is applicable to the needs of the business and its users.
Firstly, the standard functionality within Teams remains unchanged:
Users can host and attend Teams Meetings with the same Teams standard look and feel experience and use standard and custom meeting backgrounds (at user level) and read live captions during both meetings and live events.
Similarly, users will retain ability to view recordings of meetings, view meeting transcripts and view and use files added to meetings with their existing Teams entitlement as part of their Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription.
The features remaining as-is for Teams users include: requiring attendees to register, assign a co-organiser, limit the number of people who can register, allow registered users to bypass the lobby, turn-on Q&A for webinars with less than 1000 attendees, view attendance reports and integrate with Dynamics 365.
Teams users will still be able to manage meeting lobbies, retain end-to-end encryption for one-to-one calls, moderate meeting chats and control who can present in meetings.
So what extra does Teams Premium provide that the current entitlement doesn’t?
Users with a Teams Premium license can: Customise meeting templates for their organisation, add branding to meeting lobbies, customise meeting backgrounds for the organisation, customise ‘Together’ mode scenes for the organisation, read live translated captions during meetings and (yet to be released), translate post-meeting transcriptions.
Entitlement will include: Setting-up a green room for webinar presenters, managing attendees’ view, send email reminders to registrants, create a webinar wait list, manually approve registrants and limit the day and time when people can register.
Teams Premium users will enjoy the ability to add watermarks to meetings, enable end-to-end encryption for meetings with up to 50 attendees, control who can record meetings, prevent copy/paste in meeting chats and for those with Microsoft 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 E3 and Advanced Compliance add-on, assign Microsoft Purview Information Protection labels for meetings.
Whom to license with Teams Premium add-on?
This will very much depend on the role and responsibilities and functional requirements of a user, on a user-by-user basis. To enable the use of the Teams Premium functionality within an organisation does not necessarily require all users to be licensed with the Teams Premium Add-on subscription for them to benefit from the features it provides.
However, a note of caution: some of the features included with Teams Premium are not new and have been made available as part of the standard Teams user entitlement and are now being ‘promoted’ to a Teams Premium feature, following a grace period of either 30 or 60 days after Teams Premium is generally available (February 2023), including: Live translated captions, PPT live chapters, timeline markers in Teams meeting recordings for when a user left or joined meetings, custom organisation Together mode scenes and for Virtual Appointments: SMS notification, scheduled queue view and organisational analytics (in Teams Admin Centre).
It is important it is known what features users are using, or may need, before deciding whether to add Teams Premium to user accounts or not.
And at what cost?
Microsoft Teams Premium Add-on license for users with an underlying Microsoft 365 subscription will be, following the end of an initial promotional discount, approximately €9 / £8 per user, per month.
Any product labelled ‘premium’ gives the perception it offers something over and above what people may consider as ‘standard’.
This is obviously wholly subjective and Teams Premium Add-on will undoubtedly include functionality that some users and organisations require as a core component feature to fulfil their role or responsibilities.
With any new releases and changes to Product Terms entitlement, the key is to understand requirements and align the most suitable technology to meet these needs.
As a Microsoft Direct (Tier-1) CSP partner, Azure Expert Microsoft Service Provider (MSP) and Microsoft licensing specialists, we can advise and guide you on the appropriateness of Teams Premium Add-on licensing, and all Microsoft licensing, for your business and offer the full CSP lifecycle for optimal cost management and license compliance.
Contact us if you have any questions or go to our website for more information.
About the author:
William Nelson is a Sales Specialist with the License Management Practice at Version 1.