Microsoft introduces general availability of Teams Essentials

Microsoft Corp. has announced the general availability of Teams Essentials, the first-ever standalone Microsoft Teams offering designed specifically for small businesses. Teams Essentials gives small businesses a professional and affordable meetings solution to support collaboration, connection, and productivity in a hybrid work environment.

Teams Essentials provides expansive limits and features for hosting professional meetings and collaborating in one place, with the facilities of unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours, meetings with up to 300 people, and 10 GB of cloud storage per user. This feature also includes existing and new capabilities available in the free version of Teams to meet the needs of small businesses, including simple and easy invitations which require only an email address. Users are not required to sign up, sign in or install Teams to participate in a meeting.

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Professional meeting tools and capabilities like meeting lobby, virtual backgrounds, together mode, live closed captions, and live reactions shall make the user experience more engaging. Besides, users will no longer lose context or continuity of communication with the always-available chat feature in Microsoft Teams. In addition to Outlook Calendar integration, the upcoming Google Calendar integration into Teams Essentials will make it easier to schedule meetings in Microsoft Teams. More exciting offerings like quick start to a group project and hosting meetings with anyone, assigning tasks to teammates, and creating polls to receive feedback quickly all in one hub with the new small-business group chat template (desktop and web only) are also coming soon to Teams Essentials, as Microsoft continues to enable digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge.

“The pandemic has redefined the way we communicate. Businesses have had to adapt nearly every aspect of how they operate and work with customers, often without access to critical tools and technologies. The new Microsoft Teams Essentials is built keeping this in mind. It is especially built for SMBs to easily meet, collaborate, communicate, and serve customers in new ways” said Md Yousup Faruqu, Managing Director at Microsoft Bangladesh.

“We know how difficult the past 20 months have been for small businesses. They’ve had to demonstrate extreme flexibility to adapt, often with limited access to tools and technology,” said Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President of Modern Work at Microsoft. “Teams Essentials is built specifically to meet the unique needs of small businesses, enabling them to thrive in this new era of work.”

According to LinkedIn data, SMB open job postings are up 81.9 percent year over year compared to November 01, 2020. More than ever, small businesses need the flexibility to hire from anywhere, and technology that opens the door to new employee workstyles, such as synchronous and asynchronous collaboration. Teams Essentials offers small businesses an affordable way to work, collaborate and grow. Customers can buy Teams Essentials directly through the Teams website or from a variety of Microsoft Cloud Partners to suit their needs. At 4 USD per person per month, Teams Essentials is the most competitively priced online meetings and collaboration solution in the market.

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