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Recently there has been a great shift in workplace dynamics due to the coronavirus pandemic. Companies are encouraging employees to work from home and most of the companies plan to move ahead with this arrangement as a new normal. One of the major cons companies see in employees working from home is lack of connection and I think this is where a platform like Microsoft Teams really adds value.

What is Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app that helps your team stay organised and have conversations—all in one place. The Teams service enables instant messaging, audio and video calling, rich online meetings, mobile experiences, and extensive web conferencing capabilities. Also, Teams provides file and data collaboration and extensibility features and integrates with Microsoft 365 and other Microsoft and partner apps.

Making Teams available for everyone

The list below shows the Office 365 subscription Teams is already part of. If you have one of these subscriptions, you already have Teams.

Small business plansEnterprise plansEducation plansDeveloper plans
Microsoft 365 Business BasicOffice 365 Enterprise E1Office 365 EducationOffice 365 Developer
Microsoft 365 Business StandardOffice 365 Enterprise E3Office 365 Education Plus
Microsoft 365 for BusinessOffice 365 Enterprise E5Office 365 Education E3
Office 365 Enterprise F1

If not, here are some simple ways to get Teams right away.

Individuals

  • If you have an email address through work or school, sign in using this link.
  • If you’re using an email address like Gmail or Outlook, you can sign up for the freemium version of Teams by following this link.

IT professionals

The self-service links above work great for individuals, but if you’re an IT professional who wants to roll out Teams centrally, here’s what to do.

  • If you work for a business that isn’t currently licensed for Teams, we’ve got you covered with a free Office 365 E1 offer for six months. Contact your Microsoft partner or sales representative to get started today. (Note: the same offer is available in the Government Cloud, but not available in GCC High and the Department of Defense.)
  • If you work in education and want to set up teachers, students, and administrators on Teams, use Office 365 A1. This free version of Office 365 is available to all educational institutions. Sign up by following this link.

Helpful FAQ’s from Microsoft Site

Q. What is included in free version of Teams?

A. The free version of Teams includes the following:

  • Unlimited chat messages and search.
  • Built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups, and full team meetups.
  • 10 GB of team file storage plus 2 GB per person for personal storage.
  • Integrated real-time content creation with Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
  • Unlimited app integrations with 250+ business apps to choose from, including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello.
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft’s secure, global infrastructure. Details here.

Q. What features are not in the free version?

A. Several Teams features are only available in the paid version in Microsoft 365. The full-featured, paid version of Teams includes:

  • Additional storage, with plans starting at 1 TB file storage per user.
  • Rich file collaboration in the Office desktop apps.
  • Meeting scheduling and intelligent video capabilities.
  • Additional first- and third-party app integrations.
  • Advanced IT controls.
  • Enterprise-level security and compliance.

Q. Is there a user limit in the freemium version?

A. Beginning March 10, we are rolling out updates to the free version of Teams that will lift restrictions on user limits.

Q. Can I schedule meetings in the freemium version?

A. In the future, we will make it possible for users to schedule meetings. In the meantime, you can conduct impromptu video meetings and calls.

Q. How can IT admins access Teams for Education?

A. Teams has always been free to students and education professionals as a part of the Office 365 A1 offer. Access it here.

Q. Who’s eligible for the free version of Microsoft Teams?

A. Anyone with any corporate or consumer email address can sign up for Teams today. People who don’t already have a paid Microsoft 365 commercial subscription will have access to the free version of Teams. If a user at an existing Microsoft 365 commercial customer tries to sign up for free, they will be routed into the managed Teams experience for their organization. If the user doesn’t yet have a license for Teams as part of their organization’s Microsoft 365 plan, they will be routed to the Microsoft Teams Exploratory experience for free until January 2021. Learn more about Microsoft Teams Exploratory experience.

Reference Link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/03/05/our-commitment-to-customers-during-covid-19/

We will cover the Teams Architecture in-depth in another post…

Thanks for reading!!! 🙂

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