Due to the ongoing pandemic, many businesses have shifted to hybrid environments where possible, which means that online communication and collaboration is more important than ever. When it comes to Microsoft customers, most organizations tend to use Teams for this purpose. However, its licensing may be a bit on the expensive side for small business owners. To cater to that market, Microsoft has announced a cheaper offering called Teams Essentials.
Microsoft has described Teams Essentials as the "most affordable all-in-one solution" present in the market today as it comes with a price tag of $4/user/month, making it ideal for small businesses which rely heavily on online communication but are strained by budget.
Apart from the features offered by the free variant of Teams such as Outlook Calendar integration, invitations without sign-ups, and interactive meetings, Teams Essentials adds new capabilities on top such as extended meeting timings going up to 30 hours and the ability to host 300 people in a group call. Microsoft has highlighted that Google Calendar integration is coming soon as well.
Additionally, Teams Essentials offers a total of 10GB of cloud storage, which is double the 5GB capacity present in the free version of Teams. Subscribers also get dedicated 24/7 support from Microsoft via phone or the web.
Those interested in the offering can purchase Teams Essentials directly from Microsoft.