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Microsoft reveals price decreases for Teams Rooms, new free tier

Under the new plans, businesses with certified hardware can use the service at no extra cost

New gallery layout on Microsoft Teams, showing on two TVs on a wall

Microsoft has announced an overhaul of its Microsoft Teams Rooms licensing, with new pricing to cater to a wider range of business sizes.

In a post on its website, the tech giant stated that from September 1, Teams Rooms will be offered in two tiers, ‘Basic’ and ‘Pro’. Teams Rooms Pro will be priced at $40 per room per month, while Teams Rooms Basic will be offered for free to any customer who has purchased a certified Teams Rooms device.

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Teams Rooms is Microsoft’s hardware and managed service solution for Teams, in collaboration with certified providers of video conferencing hardware. It is currently offered at a ‘Standard’ or ‘Premium’ tier, which cost $15 and $50 per month respectively.

Microsoft identifies small and medium businesses (SMB) as the target audience for the Basic tier, which it states includes “scheduling, joining meetings, content sharing, and collaborative whiteboarding, as well as basic security and management capabilities out-of-the-box”.

Basic tier licences each cover one device per room and are only available as part of the setup process for certified devices. Customers are permitted up to 25 Basic tier licences per tenancy. Microsoft argues that this justifies offering the service at no additional cost, as it represents “a great opportunity for upsell to Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro”.

Similarly, Microsoft states within the blog post that providing the Basic tier for free gives its certified Teams Rooms partners a larger and more informed customer base, with increased upsell opportunities.

“The new licensing model will help improve the journey for your SMB customers with a low-friction path to the Teams Rooms solution at no cost (Teams Rooms Basic), increase sales and your monetization opportunities (Teams Rooms Pro), and clarify common questions about the use of user licenses, management value, and enhanced hybrid features.”

Free trials of Teams Rooms Pro are also available, to give customers first-hand experience of its benefits. Commercial customers will be allowed up to a one-month trial period, while charities, educational facilities and government customers will be afforded 60 trials.

In another change, Microsoft will be updating the managed services for Teams Rooms devices. AI-powered platform management will be included with Teams Rooms Pro SKU, with Microsoft promising round-the-clock monitoring, configuration of update rings, diagnostics and in-depth analytics into incidents. In line with this change, Microsoft will be phasing out the use of service engineers for incident management from October 1.

Current Standard and Premium customers will be allowed to use their licences until expiration but will have to choose one of the new SKUs at point of renewal.

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