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Microsoft launches Teams Pro Service Plan for certain Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans
Jürgen Ohlsen

Microsoft launches Teams Pro Service Plan for certain Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans

April 20, 2021

Two months after Microsoft announced the introduction of a Teams Pro licence, there are now new details about the changes. Find out in our article what exactly is behind the announcement.  

In February, Microsoft published a message via the Microsoft 365 Message Centre of the customer tenants announcing the introduction of a "Teams Pro" licence - much to the surprise of the reading administrators, who took note of the information combined with many question marks.

Although Microsoft had the opportunity to resolve these question marks at the Ignite 2021 conference the following month, there was no comment or further information. Finally, on 6 April, the message centre message was updated with the code MC238782 to explain what exactly the announcement was supposed to mean.

Microsoft startet Teams Pro Service Plan für bestimmte Office 365- und Microsoft 365-Pläne

In summary, this is how we understood the release:

  • Microsoft is adding "Teams Pro" to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 E3/E5/A3/A5 plans, as well as Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Business Premium plans. Businesses whose users already have these subscriptions will automatically receive "Teams Pro" at no extra cost. Message centre message MC238782 also said that "Teams Pro" would be added to user accounts with eligible plans from mid-March, however this was not yet reflected in the plans available for us to view in mid-April.
  • "Teams Pro is a service plan, not a licence. You can't buy a dedicated stand-alone plan for it, as Microsoft is bundling this new service into the products mentioned above. A product like Office 365 E5 has a unique part number and consists of several services or service plans, e.g. SharePoint Online or Planner - then also Teams Pro. Each of these controls access to features.
  • Microsoft uses the Teams Pro service plan to control access to "certain future Teams features". It has not yet been announced exactly which functions these will be.

Only qualified plans will receive "Teams Pro" features in future

Presumably, Microsoft wants to create some flexibility in controlling various features in Teams. The Office 365 E3 and Office 365 E5 plans, for example, include the Microsoft Teams roster. This is used for both SKUs and apart from the "Live Events" feature (which is probably not that interesting for small businesses), there is no differentiation in the Teams features available to customers of the Enterprise plans and the Business plans.

Microsoft startet Teams Pro Service Plan für bestimmte Office 365- und Microsoft 365-Pläne

By introducing the Teams Pro service plan, Microsoft can restrict access to certain new features to users with said Enterprise E3/E5/A3/A5 - and Business Standard or Premium licences. Companies subscribing to lower-cost licences that include Teams would then be faced with the decision to upgrade to gain access to exclusive "Pro" features. Ultimately, a lucrative way for the vendor to generate additional revenue via upgrades that would otherwise not be necessary.

Teams Pro vs. Teams Advanced Communications

A word about the Teams Advanced Communications add-on. The introduction of the Teams Pro service plan may raise the question of what will happen to the Teams Advanced Communications add-on and whether Teams Pro will replace it. The answer is "No!". Teams Pro becomes part of a licence as a service plan, while Teams Advanced Communications is a stand-alone, bookable item through which additional functions are controlled.

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Jürgen Ohlsen

Head of SAM
+49 89 307 730 37

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