As of today, December 1st, 2021, the new Microsoft Teams Essentials license is available. This acts as an independent license and addresses companies without an existing Microsoft 365 cloud infrastructure. The target audience are SMEs with up to 300 employees. For just 4 CHF, Teams Essentials is an independent solution that promotes collaboration and online meetings.
One of the biggest selling points will be independence from the mail system. That means it will no Exchange Online required. But existing mail systems, Exchange On-Premises, but also 3rd party systems can be used together with Teams Essentials.
The Microsoft Teams Essentials license includes functions:
- 10GB cloud storage per user
- Meetings with up to 300 participants
- Unlimited group meetings, until 30h
- Possibility for teams telephony (add-on required)
The features for meetings are not restricted, as with the classic teams license there is a lobby, live reactions and descriptions as well as the possibility of virtual backgrounds in each meeting.
With Intune just like any other software distribution, company-specific virtual backgrounds can be distributed: Teams Background / Backgrounds - Intune | scloud
On the other hand, the following features have been announced specifically for the new license, which will be activated in the coming weeks:
- Google calendar integration
- Special group chat template for SMB customers
The official announcement from Microsoft can be found here: Introducing Microsoft Teams Essentials - Stories