Teams Premium vs. Copilot: Battle of Workplace AI Productivity Titans!

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In this episode, Stephen Rose and Darrell Webster discuss the differences between Teams Premium and Copilot in Teams, including their features, similarities, and differences. They also answer common questions about which one to use and when.


Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of Unplug IT. I’m your host, Stephen Rose. Thanks for joining. Today, I’ve had a lot of folks that have been asking me the difference between Teams Premium and Copilot in Teams. And which one do I use where? Do I need them both? What’s the difference? What features overlap? So that’s what we’re going to cover this week. So stay tuned, because here we go.

Hey everybody, as promised today, we’re going to cover Copilot versus Teams Premium. What’s the same? What’s different? But I have a really exciting announcement. And that is,(…) not only is my good friend, Darrell Webster joining us, but he will be joining us permanently as a host, co-host for the show. So you’ll get some episodes coming just from him, some with both of us. But Darrell, I’m very, very excited that you’re joining us. Thanks. Take a moment. And for the audience, let them know who you are and a little bit about yourself.

Fantastic. Thanks, Stephen. Yeah, it’s really good to be part of the team. And, you know, we’ve worked a lot over the years together. So good to be finally contributing together regularly. So I’m a change management and adoption expert. I focus in on training. I know a little about technology as well. So I can, you know, help with aligning the needs to the people.(…) I’m in Microsoft MVP, because I’m quite active in the community.

So, you know, go back quite a number of years. I live in New Zealand. I’ve had to use technology to reach out and connect with the community. And I thought that I’d share my learning journey along the way. And so it’s taken me a lot of places. And it’s taken me to a point where I met Stephen. And here we are. Yeah. Awesome. Well, I’m really glad that you’re joining us. I think you’re going to bring a whole another level to the show. You have expertise in areas that are beyond me. So I’m excited for what’s next for us.

So let’s talk Teams, Teams Premium and Teams Copilot. And you’ve got the blue. So you’re going to be covering Copilot and Teams. I have the zero branding. So I’ll be the Teams Premium guy.(…) For me, at a 50,000-foot high level, the real difference between the two is reactive and proactive. Teams Premium has a lot of great reactive features in meetings. We’ll talk about those in a minute. Versus Copilot that really sort of has, yes, it has some of the reactive, but it really is, OK, now you’ve got all this stuff. What’s next? What can I pull together? What do you need to do to make good on that? Is that your takeaway as well?

Yeah, yes, certainly.(…) I like that Teams Premium is all about summarizing things and making sure that you’ve got a good recap of a meeting as one thing, plus all those other features you’re going to talk about. Whereas Copilot, I can drill in and analyze things through questions. Now, I think what’s interesting is, as I’ve chatted with customers, I’ve had some that have said, you know what,(…) Teams Premium is $7 a seat. Copilot is $25 to $30.(…) 80% of our people are great with Teams Premium for what they do.(…) The rest need Copilot.

I’ve had other companies where they go, everybody gets Copilot, and only a few people need Teams Premium. So there’s definitely some transparency between how different customers are looking at this. So why don’t we start with Copilot in Teams? I’ll let you kick that off and kind of walk us through the key functionality here and what might be in both. And then I’ll talk about some of the Teams Premium functionality that is unique to Teams Premium.(…)

Yeah, yes, certainly, Stephen.(…) Look, I think, you know,(…) Copilot in Teams, to me, is all about being able to have a conversation with the Teams content, in particular in this scenario with meeting content, and drill in and understand a lot more or summarize. So I’m just going to take you through a couple of these scenarios. We’ll use a couple of videos here just to be able to talk our way through it. One of the things is about getting caught up quickly.(…) So, Stephen, I’m sure you’ve come in this situation before where you might have joined a meeting slightly late, and you’re trying to catch up quickly with what’s been talked about already. Now, a number of these features, and I’m just sort of zero in this too, rely on us to be recording the meeting or at the very least have transcription turned on.

Because being that Copilot uses a large language model, it’s got to have some language to work with. And that’s where it gets it from, is the transcription.(…) And it is possible to have a meeting where you have transcription on for just the duration of the meeting,(…) and you can get the benefits in the meeting. But we’re looking here at using it after as well. So this is a quick catch-up of a meeting. We’re joining it quickly or early.

We can ask Copilot in the, in the pane there to just give me a quick recap of some of those bullet points of what has been discussed. And if I just scrub through this a bit here, it does do a great job of saying, “Here are the people that have been talking during the meeting. Here’s some of the things that they’ve mentioned.” And one of the really useful features here is that we get attribution.

So I can click in and I can jump to that position in the transcript about where things have been said, and I can read it in context.(…) Would you find that useful, Stephen? Do you have to be, do you have to record the meeting for this to come through and do you have to turn on transcription?(…) Yes, absolutely. Yeah. So as I said at the top there, you definitely have to record and have transcription running because it’s capturing those words. And that’s what Copilot is going to use to come back with a summary.

Okay, good to know. No, I love this functionality. I think it’s great, especially from multiple meetings to be able to walk in, know what was said, what kind of the key things are. I think that this is super important. Now you can do this with temporary transcripts where you can not record the meeting, but just have transcription on for the meeting. It will do some of this, but not all. So results may vary at least at this time. All right, cool. So what else will we get?

Yeah, look, this one’s quite interesting too, in that while you’re in the meeting, you might want to understand a bit more about what’s been said rather than just summarize.(…) Help me catch up with missing questions or understand some of the sentiments. So similar kind of thing. We’ve got Copilot open here, and we’re asking this question, “What are some of the biggest concerns or what are people excited about during the meeting?”

And we’ve also said, “Hey, Copilot, keep the summary short.” So it does give, again, a bullet point list here of who said what and what their concerns are, what they might be thinking about, what is top of mind. And you can then, again, using the, the, the source reference point there, jump back in to see it in context.

This is really, really useful for people of facilitating meetings and also analyzing it afterwards so that they can really get to the sense of the value of the meeting without having to watch through the whole thing and try and compile it for themselves.(…) Now, one of the great things that I love is with Teams Premium, I can only ask for information one meeting at a time. The thing that I love about Copilot is I could say, “I was on vacation last week.

Can you summarize all the key meetings, all the expected action items, etc.” That’s a really big difference between the two as we take a look at that.(…) Definitely.(…) Yeah, just that level of analysis. You know, back to your point about Proactive versus Reactive. This Reactive, in that I am, I’m asking for this content. I’m drilling into the detail versus just being, having it served up to me. This one’s really interesting, too, and it’s almost a mix of almost getting coaching and helping your meeting along. So during the meeting,(…) you know, here we are, we’re talking about a certain topic. We’re trying to come up with ideas, and maybe it’s sort of come to a bit of a pause because we’re having trouble brainstorming.

So we actually ask during the meeting in the Copilot panel, “Can you give us some starters, some points on a certain topic? Can you help us generate more ideas?” And so as we’re doing that, we’re bringing that into that Copilot chat.(…) And, okay, this is my experience of the meeting right there, so that’s what I see. But I can copy that and bring that over into the chat so everyone can see that, too. Or as a facilitator, I could start leading through those questions and look really intelligent, like I just came off with that off the top of my head.

And this is going to take a look at past meetings you’ve had with these people, the content that they’ve created, the emails and where you’ve interacted to bring all that together, all that content that’s up in the graph, correct?

Yeah, it can make all those sorts of connections and questions, too. And that’s certainly the pathway for Copilot as it becomes more and more developed, as it’s going to have more of those signals to bring into areas like Copilot for teams.

Meeting only, so there are some things.(…) Yeah, yeah, sure. Like, so apart from being within the team experience, there are things like being able to go back to the recap window and using that, or you can start to make use of Copilot, rather, it’s Microsoft 365 Copilot now, the chat experience in teams.(…)

So I can ask a question like, “Hey, Copilot, pointing to the specific meeting that I’m wanting to reference here, can you give me some key topics and summarize what was covered in a bullet-pointed list or maybe even a table, and so it can bring that all together?” That’s really powerful, being able to have that conversation with Copilot about teams’ content, and it’s still leveraging that capability of teams and Copilot.

Yeah, that’s, that’s super important as you’re, especially if you just want to prep for a meeting and what was done or kind of recap things, because let’s face it, meetings start to flow together after a while, and it’s hard to understand which one’s which. So that’s huge.

Definitely.(…) Now, I know that there’s a little overlap here, which we are going to talk about, but, you know, part of that standard summary that as we’re coming to the end of a meeting, we have Copilot give us a little prompt at the top, rather a bubble to say, “Meeting’s about to finish in 10 minutes, maybe you want to start wrapping it up.” And I really like this because there’s a behavioral thing, it means that we are going to start meeting, bringing this meeting to a natural close, and we’ve got Copilot to help with that.

So I can start that process off with Copilot and my experience of it, start to wrap it up and say, “Okay, everyone, we’re going to start just summarizing what we’ve discussed here, and we’re going to start talking about some of those follow-up items and action items.” So we can do that within the meeting, which is the Copilot capability, and actually bring that value in, discuss it, refine it as we’re talking through it as a team and have some really good action items to come out of that, which, you know, become a list there that can be brought into things like Planner and To-Do as part of the whole integrated experience.

I love that. All right. Any final words on Copilot before we switch over to Teams Premium?

No, let’s talk about Teams Premium. All right, let’s do it. So Teams Premium,(…) let’s talk about some of the things that are different. So one of the things that I love here is, you know, again, that view that I’m going to get in Teams that allows me to go in and go see, hey, what was shared?

What are the AI notes that were taken? What are the regular notes, mentions, the transcripts, the chats, and being able to go into and see what was assigned to me, what other people talked about? That’s huge, again, as I said, as you’re preparing for a meeting, looking at the last one that might have been a month ago and you’ve forgotten, or just, hey, I need to get caught up for Monday. Here’s some meetings.

What do I need to do to get ready? And that’s available across both. Let’s talk about the things that aren’t really there as we do this. And one of the big ones is the ability to see exactly where in the transcript I can type in my name and it will show me the video, the transcript, and exactly where my name came up. So I can know exactly where that conversation was. I can actually see here on the timeline every time I’m at mention.

So I know to go right there and see exactly what was being called out for me and what was being done. I can also see when things were being shared, when people left the meeting, when people came in, all of that is available to me visually. And for people that are visual learners, this is also extremely helpful. Darrell, have you used this feature yet? I’ve not had a chance to use it.(…) Yeah, definitely.

When I record a meeting like this, and I’m going back over it from a consulting perspective, I can really quickly get to that point where we have been discussing tasks, mentioning people. And because it’s right there in the timeline for the video, I can get the context immediately and make sure that I’ve got the point.(…) Awesome. Now, this is great.(…) One of my favorites, and this is something that has been a huge area of dispute, is the translation and captions. Sorry, I was going to say, which is wrong.

Yeah, the captions and the translation, not transcription. This was a feature in the free version, not the free version, but in the paid version of Teams that you could turn on translation. It would do translation of the slides, and it would give you translational capture of what somebody was saying. You can actually still do that today. In PowerPoint, in your present mode, you can actually turn on a language, and it will translate it into that language.

What it won’t do, though, is in the transcript, take what somebody’s saying in one language and translate it. But this is such an important feature for several reasons. Number one, if you have people where English is the second language, the ability for them to see things in their own native language could be very useful. Or to see it in English, but at the bottom of the screen and being able to see it as you’re speaking it is huge.

Same with slides. And it’s also important for diversity, equality, and inclusion. For DEI, there are people that have learning disabilities or may have auditory processing issues where reading is really the best way for them to be engaged in a meeting and to do this. And the fact that it was taken out, and now you have to pay for it as part of Teams’ premium, I’ve had a real problem with. It’s a great feature. It’s a really important feature for multinational corporations and one that I would have liked to have seen within the product. And I know you feel pretty similarly about that, Darrell, right?

Yeah, I do. You know, I’ve watched the product and how it has been brought out of what was included in the regular M365 subscription for Teams, brought in to bolster a paid subscription. That was a bit of a pity because it is, it is a feature that really helps more people to be included in that Teams and an org experience.

Yeah, agreed. Now, here’s something important. And that is if the person who is created the meeting and leading the meeting has Teams premium, this feature will be available to everybody. So it is not necessary that everybody have Teams premium, only the people that are creating and leading the meetings, which brings us into some of the next slides, which cover webinars, events, live meetings.

Some of the other things you’ll get is you get a green room, an area where you can bring people in and decide when attendees are going to join, chat with them, you know, before they’re on stage or the virtual stage. I love the green room and the ability to have private areas for people to go ahead and chat before the meeting or before the event kicks off.

There’s also the ability to be able to take a look at all of the different meetings and calls and locations and take a look at an activity and activity and what are the best hours when people are doing meetings, how users are using it, that ability for you to really dig into(…) how people are using the product and have that ability to be able to take a look at that, for example, during a live event. So we can see how many attendees are in the meeting as people are joining, leaving,(…) to really get a good idea on, hey, when were they raising hands? When did people start to jump off this product roadmap demonstration or whatever that is?

How many people had camera on? How many people did not for this? To really sort of understand engagement and what you can do to create more engaging meetings.(…) As part of webinars and live events, you can not only brand everything with your brand, but you can also send out custom emails like this, which drive people to go to a registration site, which you’ve created, and all of that can be done in Teams.

This is functionality that you see when you go into Teams and click on your events or meetings, you’ll see the option to create all this stuff. You can do some of this without Teams Premium, but the more engaging back and forth stuff is really some of the key pieces that a lot of folks have been looking for.(…) You know, hey, how do I, during a meeting, you know, be able to see exactly who was talking and who was live as the meeting is going on? This is great that I can actually get a post report or be able to take a look at during and as part of that post, who engaged when within the meeting is all pretty critical.

So I’m going to stop there before I dig into security with any additional thoughts on meetings and events and things that may be across both or just really unique features that are interesting to folks or something I might have missed.

I think, you know, we didn’t show it in the slide here, but one that I’m using myself, and I see it used more often with orgs that are using Teams Premium, is that branding of that meeting lobby experience. It’s really friendly to be able to join a meeting and see that, you know, nice background and as we come in, you know, we know that we’re definitely entering a meeting with certain clients or a business partner.

So I really like that, being able to add additional things to that experience so it feels more personalized.(…) Right.(…) Okay. And then security. If security is critical for you, they have a lot of security features they’ve added. One of the ones that I like, well, there’s there’s two, let’s talk about the one on the screen. The one on the screen is the watermarking, where you can watermark your call with that going on in the background. That watermark could be your company logo. It could be the name of the person you’re meeting with. It could be the date to allow you to track it back.

But if you’re going to be doing a confidential presentation, and you’re worried that people are going to grab screenshots, either with software or with their phone, this is a great way for you to be able to track it back to that specific meeting.

On that line, another great security feature, and I don’t have a have a graphic of it is templates.(…) You can actually create templates for different parts of the company. So you could say HR that all their meetings are encrypted, or they can share, they can’t share what they can do, as opposed to someone like sales, where their meetings are public, where you can say meeting invites can’t be forwarded, they have to type in a code to get in, they are recorded, not recorded, etc.

So you can pre choose a lot of what the parameters are for meetings, and what’s allowed and what is not allowed within the meeting based on security group, OU, global group, etc., that you can set this up for and have folks work within that. And then finally, I’m missing a graphic there. That’s interesting. And then finally, well, Stephen, there is this one.

I could try one in there to the meeting template.(…) And that is when you have a meeting template, one of the settings you can set up is to automatically record the meeting.(…) And yeah, we can do this meeting by meeting. But I do find this useful for Copilot, given that we have to record or have transcription turned on. It’s one way that if you are going to have a meeting, you’ve got a template, you ask people to use that one, so that you’ll, you’ll know that you’re going to be capturing the details for that meeting and leverage Copilot and Teams. Absolutely.

Okay. And the one I was going to add as part of security is that if you have E5 and are using labeling, or if you’re doing manual laboring, the E5 labeling basically says, take a look at this content. And based on the words within it, decide if this is confidential, general, okay for external use, etc. Or you can do, you know, manual, where when somebody first creates a PowerPoint, a word doc, you ask them, is this general, internal, etc.

What it can do is it can leverage during the meeting and say, Hey, first of all, here is this meeting’s encrypted, here is the encryption code that both people can match up and make sure that that matches,(…) which if you have people that were not invited, that came in, that code won’t match up. And you can also have an auto label where it will say, hey, as part of the transcript, I can’t reveal this, or this cannot be shared now, or automatically categorize that based on again, words that show up within the transcript. So it becomes a really good security feature.

And again, I do want to stress, these, this functionality only needs to be owned by the person who is creating or managing the meeting. One of the other nice things is with Teams Premium, you can have co producers. So you can have people that are responsible for picking speakers and doing that. And if they have Teams Premium, to be able to leverage all of that functionality. And that becomes a really key thing.(…)

So Darrell, back to you, we’ve not going to talk about the difference, we’ve got about five more minutes. What do you say to a customer says, Well, I like some of this and some of this, but I don’t want to pay for it all.

You know, where do they go from there? Because that’s what people are going to say is, well, I’d like some of that functionality, but I don’t need it all. Are there some third party ways to do it? Do I have to pay for it? What do you say to them at that point?

I, it’s really for me about making that simple list of what are my needs before I start making those choices and really getting quite clear on, on the priority of that, you know, if it’s something that I really need for all of my people, or I want to give it to some of my people so that they can have more effective meetings, we’ll be able to catch up more frequently.

And I prioritize that. And I just leverage, I look at that when I’m evaluated in the two products. There as, as you’ve seen, as we walk through this, there’s definitely some overlap. But if you’re wanting to have that more analytical way of being able to go back over a meeting and really investigate the content understand it, that’s the theme there is, is using Copilot for Teams.

If you’re wanting to have some more of those features around being able to recap, being able to look at, you know, where you’ve been mentioned in meetings, and even into some of the branding, the administration side of it, you’re going to want Teams Premium. And look, there is a case for both, I think, Stephen, don’t you reckon? Yeah,(…) I do. I mean, I have one company who said, you know what, 80% of employees are going to get Teams Premium.

So they can get into a meeting and catch up and they can see, you know, what happened and do all that. 20% are executives, and some of those folks are leadership. They need both, because after a meeting, they’re gonna say, Great, what does that all mean? What should I be doing next? What are next steps? What should I be reading? Or how should I proceed with this?

I’ve had other companies that said everybody gets Copilot and only a few people get Teams Premium. So there’s no rule around that. It is really what makes the most sense. But again, that difference is going to be that reactive versus proactive. If I’m on vacation for a week and only have Teams Premium, I’m going to have to ask it to summarize every single meeting that I missed, one at a time, and send those to me where with Copilot, I can say analyze every meeting that I missed, put it together, create all my action items by the meeting or ones that overlap and how should I look at this or and better organize what’s next? And that’s that proactive, what’s next versus reactive, what did I miss?

Both are great, though. And it’s opened up opportunities for your book for multiple meetings at a time, to be able to say, I’m going to do this one live and be more engaged as you’re watching the analysis of what’s being said, as opposed to rushing into it, your thought is on everything else and what you might be missing.

You’re able to really focus on that and know after the meeting, give me the summaries of those, go through and actually make better decisions later on which meeting do you want to attend and engage with them, which is one that you can just get the recap and it will give you everything you need.

It really is where you are on that RACI, on that RACI chart, are you just someone who needs to be in the loop or are you really responsible for moving things forward? This allows you to miss those in the loop meetings and see what’s going on so that you’re not losing out or having to spend a lot of time scrolling through or listening to meetings at double, triple speed.(…)

Yeah, I looked at, and Steve and I’d add therefore, probably what I see as great benefit for Copilot is as a consultant, often they need to be capturing the detail as well as facilitating that conversation and drawing some of that value out. And I don’t always have the luxury of having a second person from my team to help watch, observe, create notes and the like. And so Copilot truly becomes a co-facilitator for me so I can be recording things, I can focus in on the actual conversation and drawing stuff out. And then I’m using the content later with Copilot to extract the value.(…) Yeah, and everybody else is going to get similar stuff too.

That becomes an important part too, is those people that have Copilot, when they ask for that wrap up, are going to get similar things but a little more focused in on their needs. But it also ensures, yeah, I read that in Copilot and I asked it these questions. So where there may be confusion on intent, Copilot could make it more confusing or help to clarify that. I think it depends on how mature the Copilot model is.

And this all goes back to the conversation that we previously had on what you need to do to get Copilot to work the way that you want. If you’ve not had all your documents in there, if you have too many old documents, etc., you may not see this level of deep dive and AI and pass-through that you’re looking for until the model really starts to understand what you’re working on and how you’re doing it. So if it’s not working well for you, try it again a month from now and see if it’s better and getting more towards where you want to be. And that can make a big difference with this.(…) We talked about the pricing and all of that. Darrell, kind of final thoughts on this before we close out this show?

Yeah, I think this is true of all AI, certainly for Copilot. Always check those results. Always check those references. Don’t take things just at face value. Like my old math teacher used to say, you don’t just look at the calculator and take the number. Does it look like it makes sense? Check it out and make sure. Exactly.(…)

Yeah, no, I agree.(…) And I think, you know, the great thing is, is you could always turn on both and take a look at usage and how people are using it. But make sure that people understand how Copilot works. I’m dealing right now with several companies like we have it out there, and they’re using it for the obvious stuff. Oh, can you write me an email? Or can you take this Word document and turn it into a PowerPoint?

But not really digging into the analytics, often because they don’t know the prompts or questions to ask, etc. And that becomes a key area too, to make sure you get the value. You have to ask the right questions to get the right answers. It’s not just going to say, hey, I can read your mind and you want this. So that’s another thing too, that’s going to be a huge part of training. I encourage you to check out

They have tons of great training and preparation docs and content for you to get ready for all that. If you want to learn more about Teams Premium, just go to your browser and type in Teams Premium Microsoft or Microsoft Copilot, and it will take you to the main pages where you can learn more. I also encourage you to email us if you have questions or things that you would like us to dig into deeper.(…)

So for the new Unplugged 2.0 show, I am Stephen Rose. Thanks for joining us. And Darrell?(…) Close us out. Darrell Webster.(…) Awesome. Thank you for joining us, everyone. We’ll see you again soon.(…) See you all very soon. Take care. Bye-bye.