By David Rosenthal
Microsoft Teams Premium is Here! Find Out How the Leading Collaboration Platform is Getting Even Better.
In just a year, the number of daily active users on Microsoft Teams, the world’s most popular and powerful digital business communication and collaboration platform, nearly doubled. By the end of 2022, there were 270 million users taking advantage of Teams on a daily basis, up from 145 million in 2021.
That growth is due to the depth of features, integrated security, and high quality user experience that Teams offers businesses of varying sizes and from across industries. Yet, some organizations still need more — and now Microsoft is delivering it in a major update: Teams Premium.
The first Teams Premium features began rolling out in December of 2022 and general availability began on February 1, 2023 (though some features won’t be released until Q2 of this year). Special introductory pricing is $7 per user per month for Commercial customers based on an Annual subscription term.
More Personalized, More Intelligent, and More Secure
Microsoft Teams is already the leading solution on the market thanks to its advanced meeting capabilities, but Teams Premium takes everything the platform already does and elevates it with new and more powerful features. Plus, Teams Premium is so comprehensive it can save businesses money by replacing fragmented and overlapping solutions with one platform that does everything they need at one low price.
Every company has its own unique brand. Teams Premium offers customization options that put a corporate brand on display in every meeting. Meeting lobbies, custom backgrounds, and together modes for employees can all be custom branded with a consistent visual brand identity.
Additionally, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all meeting. That’s why Teams Premium includes features to automatically customize meetings for their intended purpose. Whether it’s a client meeting, a brainstorming session, or a help desk call, it’s fast and easy for IT to set up pre-configured options for all types of meetings that adhere to company policies.
Smarter AI Tools
Getting the maximum value out of meetings can be a challenge unto itself, and that’s why Microsoft is infusing smart automation and AI-powered features in Teams Premium that monitor, record, and annotate meetings. It’s like giving every employee their own personal virtual assistant to take notes, highlight the key information, and remind them of their responsibilities.
The standard edition of Teams can already be configured to record most user interactions and meetings, but Teams Premium adds Intelligent Recap which puts an end to sifting through endless transcripts and scrubbing through long audio and video recordings.
Intelligent Recap Features
- Suggest action items
- Automatically generate chapters and insights
- Highlight when a user’s name is mentioned
- Indicate when a screen was shared or a user left a meeting
The new AI capabilities in Teams Premium also extend to the search functionality and translation. For search, the system will suggest speakers based on its analysis of which employees commonly work together. Live translation for captions offers AI-based real-time translation for 40 languages, and Teams Premium meeting organizers can offer live translated captions for all attendees — even for people that aren’t Teams Premium users themselves.
Stronger Security and Compliance
Teams Premium helps keep confidential and sensitive business information — like the content of board meetings, financial planning, and unlaunched products — away from intruders and prying eyes. The biggest new security feature added to Teams Premium is the ability to add digital watermarks that deter leaks and assist in breach investigations. Teams administrators can also now limit who can record a meeting or digital conversation.
Microsoft 365 E5 users get the added security of integrations with their existing Microsoft Purview Information Protection. Any security labels they have created can be automatically applied to new meetings. Administrators can easily edit or update their labels as needed in the Security and Compliance Center.
Exclusive Teams Premium Features
Advanced Virtual Appointments
Standard Teams includes Virtual Appointments, a simple way to schedule and manage appointments. Teams Premium upgrades this functionality with Advanced Virtual Appointments with more options to manage the end-to-end appointment experience, such as SMS text reminders and custom branded virtual appointments that can be accessed by mobile devices even by users that haven’t installed any version of Teams.
Advanced Virtual Appointments centralizes the process of managing appointments and reduces the burden of administration with smart tools like appointment queuing. From a single dashboard, admins can see all schedules, queues, and associated analytics to optimize their bookings.
Teams Premium natively tracks metrics for attendance and participation, giving organizations the data they need to extract actionable insights from their activities and improve the user, customer, and employee experience. The system can track information like wait times and no-shows and visualize usage trends at the employee, department, and organizational level.
The base version of Teams supports webinars of up to one thousand attendees and includes many robust features like co-organizer roles, interactive Q&As, attendee reporting, and Dynamics 365 marketing integration. Teams Premium adds even more host and event management controls, as well as a new, streamlined webinar registration system with a waitlist. Enabling the waitlist keeps the webinar open even after it hits capacity and lets in new users if spots open up.
There is also a new virtual green room feature for webinars organized on Teams Premium. Much like physical green rooms, the small spaces in venues reserved for performers as they wait for their cue, Microsoft’s virtual green room is a place to manage the behind-the-scenes before a big presentation. Attendees can also be afforded interactive waiting rooms where they can socialize, ask questions, and review content.
Enable and Protect Your Team
Work has changed. There’s no longer just one way of doing things. Work now happens in-person and remotely, synchronously and asynchronously, and distributed workforces need effective tools to stay connected and aligned in their missions. Microsoft Teams is designed to help them to do just that while providing employees the flexibility they want to work when and how works best for their role. And the new features in Teams Premium mean the best workplace platform is now even better.
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