Microsoft launches free consultation service for UK small businesses

A line of people outside the Microsoft Experience Centre in London
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has launched a new free service to help small organisations understand their technology needs and their best options when it comes to devices and software.

The tech giant’s Business Consultation service allows small organisations in the UK to book a one-on-one appointment to connect online with a product expert through video, chat, or audio call. The expert will listen to their needs, answer their questions, and provide personalised solutions. Alternatively, they can also have an in-person consultation at the Microsoft Experience Centre in London without having to book an appointment.

After finding the Microsoft product for the organisation, the tech giant also hopes to help it through every step of the setup and deployment process.

Microsoft is introducing this as it found that businesses with one to 25 employees need help with reaching new audiences, taking their business online, basic IT needs, and upskilling, according to research from the tech giant and the Boston Consulting Group. The study revealed that around 40% of businesses with one to 25 employees cite challenges in selecting digital solutions. 73% of them prefer human assistance when choosing products and value post-purchase support.

The company has also partnered with InSignLanguage to provide British Sign Language interpreters for the consultations in Microsoft Teams, while captions can also be used during the conversation.

“We recognise that organisations across the UK may need more personalised support as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and ways of working change,” said Joy Attuh, senior hub manager at Microsoft UK. “The free Business Consultation service can help with digital transformation plans by deploying cloud-based technology tools and services such as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics to empower employees and unlock growth. Microsoft will be there every step of the way to answer questions and guide customers to find the solutions they need.”

Consultations are available to businesses between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. They last up to an hour but follow-up calls can be booked.

This comes after Microsoft launched a standalone tier of Microsoft Teams aimed at small businesses in December 2021. Teams Essentials offers unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours and can support up to 300 participants for £3 per user, per month. Each user will also have 10GB of cloud storage. It’s being offered as a standalone service with no need for users to subscribe to an Office 365 bundle.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.