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Microsoft Teams review

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A collaboration hub that works best with other 365 products.

A platform to chat, collaborate and call, Microsoft Teams is a powerful and complex communications tool. It was built around its existing suite of apps — so it may not appeal to companies that are deeply entrenched in other business software.

Quick take

  • Choose this software if you already use Microsoft 365 or are ready to adopt it as your primary platform.
  • Consider something else if you’re hoping for a no-frills solution to one specific need.

Details

Features Direct messaging
Public chat channels
Video
Price starts atFree, and paid plans start at $6/month
App Integration Yes
Tech SupportPhone
Email
Live chat
Monthly Plan$6

Microsoft Team’s response to coronavirus

Microsoft Teams is offering a free six-month trial to eligible organizations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To get started, you’ll need to reach out to a Microsoft account rep for a promo code for its E1 license.

How does Microsoft Teams work?

Microsoft Teams is a platform that combines instant messaging, video conferencing and file collaboration to facilitate digital communication between teams. It’s built to support businesses of all sizes, from small startups to Fortune 500 stalwarts, along with self-employed individuals and more.

In essence, it combines that chat functionality of Slack with the video conferencing power of Skype and the collaboration sensibilities of Google Drive.

Microsoft Teams features

Microsoft Teams is meant to serve as your hub for all things communication, helping you manage your daily schedule and collaborate in real time with its app. Here are some of its other standout features:

  • Bots gallery. Poll coworkers, deliver reports, answer FAQs and more.
  • Up-to-date safety standards. Compliant with ISO 27001, HIPPA. SOC 2 and the EU Model Clauses.
  • External federation. Got clients that use Slack or Webex? You can message them through Microsoft Teams — without switching apps.
  • Customizable user interface. Configure tabs according to what’s most helpful to your team members.
  • Filter content by @ mentions. So you only see messages that directly concern you.
  • Bookmark tool. Save specific pieces of content for easy access later on.

Microsoft Teams pricing and fees

Microsoft Teams is free — but you’ll get extra perks by purchasing a 365 package.

Here’s how the tiers compare:

Free version of Microsoft TeamsBusiness BasicBusiness StandardE3
Cost monthly$0$5 a user$6 a user$20 a user
Apps and services includedN/A*It only includes web access to each app, NOT the desktop version

  • Exchange
  • Excel
  • OneDrive
  • Powerpoint
  • Sharepoint
  • Teams
  • Word
  • Yammer
*It includes the web and desktop apps, along with mobile and tablet access

Same as Business Basic, plus:

  • Access (PC only)
  • Outlook
  • Publisher (PC only)
Same as Business Standard
Storage2GB a user, and 10GB of shared storage1TB per user1TB per user1 TB per user
Users500,000 for each organizationUnlimited users for each organization (requires an Enterprise license)Same as Business BasicSame as Business Basic
Microsoft Teams features
  • Guest access
  • 1:1 and group online audio and video calls
  • Screen sharing
Same as free version, plus:

  • Schedule meetings and send invites
  • Record meetings
  • Phone calls and audio conferencing (offline)
  • Admin tools
  • Usage reporting
  • Configurable user settings
  • 99.9% financially backed uptime
Same as Business Basic, plus:

  • Plan schedules and daily tasks
  • MikeIQ tracking and reporting
Same as Business Standard, plus:

  • Each team member can install the apps on up to 5 PCs, 5 tablets and 5 phones
  • Audio conferencing and phone system available as add-on
  • eDiscovery with in-place search, hold and export
  • FastTrack deployment support

Note: Its “Office 365 Business” package isn’t included on this table, because it doesn’t include Teams.

Take a look at this video to see some of Microsoft Teams’ features and functionality in action:

How do I sign up for Microsoft Teams?

Here’s what you’ll do to sign up for the version of Microsoft Teams intended for businesses:

  1. Start on the Microsoft Office home page and select Products.
  2. Click Microsoft Teams.
  3. Click Buy Now.
  4. Enter your address and click Next. If you don’t have an existing Office account, it’ll prompt you to create one.
  5. Complete your profile and enter your payment information to complete the process.

Sign up now

Pros and cons

Microsoft Teams is built to integrate with Microsoft 365 — that could be a pro or con, depending on the tools that your company currently uses. For example, if your collaboration is based in Google Drive, Teams might not make sense. On the other hand, if you’re a new company looking to get started with a cutting-edge collaboration platform, the decision may come down to price.

Weigh the pros and cons before making a decision:

Pros

  • Customizable user interface
  • Ability to collaborate on documents without leaving the app
  • Free version available to anyone

Cons

  • Less convenient if you don’t frequently work with Microsoft products
  • Hyper-organized tabs and channels can feel overwhelming

How do I contact Microsoft Teams support?

Microsoft Teams’ support team is available 24/7. When you purchase a Microsoft 365 membership, you’ll have access to customer service channels that aren’t available to the public via phone, chat and email.

If you’re using the free version, call get in touch with its US customer service team by calling 800-642-7676.

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Data indicated here is updated regularly
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Bottom line

Microsoft Teams is a comprehensive collaboration platform — though it may be best suited to companies that are prepared to use Microsoft 365 in its entirety. If you’re looking for a tool with different features — whether for video conferencing, IM or task management — compare other business software products.

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