Microsoft Teams Essentials Brings Teams to SMBs

If your organization has been hesitant to make the leap to the Microsoft Office suite of products, Microsoft has made it easy to try its star videoconference app. Microsoft Teams Essentials provides access to core meeting features of Teams without the typical Office app bundling that requires a more expensive Microsoft 365 subscription.

Microsoft Teams Essentials does not have Slack-like channels functionality – instead, it boasts a more simplified chat interface and a focus on meetings and video calls.  

Until now, small businesses had to choose the Microsoft Business Basic plan or rivals like Zoom, Slack, Google Workspace and others.  

The difference between Microsoft Teams Essentials and Microsoft 365 Business Basic plans primarily concern functionality and cloud storage. Essentials only offers 10GB of OneDrive storage compared to the 1TB available on Business Basic. Microsoft Teams Essentials also lacks meeting and recording transcripts capabilities, real-time translation, breakout rooms, and whiteboard integration.  

Microsoft Teams Essentials also does not have the teams and channels functionality of Teams, so it is more targeted toward organizations that rely on apps like Teams or Zoom for video calling and meetings. Private and group chat will still work in Microsoft Teams Essentials, though. Essentials also offers unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours and meetings with up to 300 people.  

Microsoft Teams Essentials also features existing and new capabilities like: 

  • Simple invitations that require only an email address. Users are not required to sign up, sign in or install Teams to participate in a meeting. 
  • Professional meeting tools like meeting lobby, virtual backgrounds, together mode, live closed captions and live reactions are available.
  • Never lose context or continuity with always-available chats in Microsoft Teams. 
  • In the future, along with Outlook Calendar integration, new Google Calendar integration makes it easy to schedule meetings in Microsoft teams.  

Also coming soon is the new small business group chat template, which will allow users to quickly start a group project and host meetings with anyone, assign tasks to teammates, and create polls to receive feedback quickly all in one hub.  

For more information about Microsoft Teams Essentials and the rest of the Microsoft suite of products, reach out to 2W Tech. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner and a technology service provider with an extensive line card of products and services.

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