December 1st, 2021, Microsoft announced the availability of Teams Essentials, a new product built for small businesses. In this article, you’ll learn what is Microsoft Teams Essentials, how it compares to other editions of Teams, and about pricing and availability.
Microsoft Teams Essentials provides small businesses with unlimited group calls for up to 30 hours, group chat, file sharing, and calendaring. And for just $4 USD a month, which Microsoft claims is the most affordable all-in-one collaboration product on the market.
Teams Essentials is designed for small businesses of all kinds, whether you are running a restaurant, a retail business, providing professional services, or running a dental practice.
The pricing is also aimed at attracting nonprofits, religious organizations, schools, and community groups. Microsoft says that Teams Essentials can be used by those with or without a Microsoft account.
The Microsoft Teams free edition is designed to get small businesses started with Teams. But it is limited to 2 GB of file storage per user and 10 GB of shared storage. Microsoft Teams Essentials extends the limitations of the free version of Teams to provide longer meetings and more storage capacity.
With Microsoft Teams Essentials, you get the following features. The features in bold are exclusive to Teams Essentials over the free edition.
Teams Essentials is available directly from Microsoft or from some Microsoft Cloud Partners, including Crayon, Deutsche Telekom, and Vodafone (IT).
Because Microsoft Teams Essentials runs on the same cloud infrastructure used by other Microsoft products, Azure, you can be sure Teams Essentials comes with the same security, reliability, and performance provided to large enterprises.
Teams Essentials fills a gap for organizations that need a bit more than is offered by the free version of Teams but can’t afford a full business subscription to Microsoft 365 to get more features. Hopefully, Microsoft Teams Essentials will prove to be the sweet spot of affordability and functionality for cost-sensitive businesses and nonprofits.