With the rise in popularity of remote work, employees today want greater flexibility in their working environment; in fact, 81% of employed Americans expect their employers to continue supporting remote work as more and more people return to the office. In order to retain their team, and attract future talent, CIOs should be implementing digital tools to support communication and collaboration between remote employees and clients.
Microsoft Teams is one of the best options out there, offering secure file sharing, multiple chat capabilities, and document collaboration. The platform offers both free and paid versions. But which of the two does your business really need?
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a powerful collaboration and communication tool that provides users with an integrated workspace to work, chat, and hold meetings with a wide variety of tools and features such as file sharing, video conferencing screen sharing, and more.
As a primarily communications platform, the chat features include text chat, group messaging, audio calls and meetings for up to 100 participants. Teams also incorporates robust collaborative tools and capabilities, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint document sharing, screen sharing during meetings to host presentations, and the ability to upload, store, and share files. All these capabilities can be done on any device, from any location with an internet connection, making Teams the ideal platform for remote workers.
Features of Microsoft Teams Free
Teams is available through a free sign-up, without the need to subscribe to any Microsoft 365 packages. It provides basic communication and collaboration features, such as audio and video conferencing, task management, and third-party application integration.
However, the free sign-up does come with limitations, such as capped cloud storage and time restrictions on meetings.
The free sign-up includes:
Features of Microsoft Teams Paid
Microsoft Teams Essentials is the single-app paid subscription to Teams, delivering greater capabilities to users than the free version, without the need to subscribe to a Microsoft 365 package. It allows users to create an unlimited number of channels, includes advanced audio and video conferencing capabilities, and 24/7 support from the Microsoft help desk.
However, Teams Essentials caps cloud storage at 10GB per user, and does not offer transcripts of meeting recordings. While ideal for businesses with only basic communicative and collaborative needs, organizations that require more cloud storage or advanced meeting options should look at the next set of Teams packages.
This subscription includes:
Microsoft 365 offers several subscription packages which include Teams with all the features offered in the free version, along with more advanced features. The two most popular subscriptions include:
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
Assessing your business requirements
When assessing your business’s requirements, it is important to consider both your current and future needs. For instance, the free sign-up only offers basic features. This can be quite limiting for those businesses who need more advanced features to get the most out of their collaboration. File storage is also available, but is capped at 5GB per user, which may become restricting if you anticipate needing more cloud storage or a team expansion in the future.
Similarly, if you regularly hold or attend large group meetings and need to allow for more than hour per meeting, or recording transcripts, then the more advanced subscription options may be the best choice.
Find the right Microsoft Teams plan for your business needs
Microsoft Teams is a powerful collaboration tool that helps you stay organized and connected with your team. With several subscriptions available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your needs.
The Microsoft specialists at BCS365 can help you determine which Teams package will be best for your business, deploy the solution, and fully manage it for optimal security and performance.