If you’re part of a large business or organisation, you may already have Microsoft Teams as part of an Office 365 subscription — and you'll no doubt be very satisfied with it.
The service provides a virtual space in which a given group, or 'team', can collaborate, share and discuss work through chats, calls and video — with easy sharing of documents, photos and other attachments. Launched in 2017, it provides an accessible and user-friendly way for staff to work together, even if they’re based in different offices, are working from home, or are from different organisations altogether.
It’s a great way to stay organised and stay on top of your tasks and objectives as a team, and works seamlessly with the Office 365 environment — as a result, it’s very popular.
Well, now small businesses can get in on the act too. And for absolutely nothing.
Microsoft has adapted Teams to ensure that everyone can make the most of its many advantages. Starting now, Microsoft Teams is available as a free version in 40 languages — perfect for start-ups, independents and freelancers for whom a full Office 365 subscription may not be necessary, or cost-effective.
What does the free version of Teams offer?
For up to 300 people — which is more than adequate for a small business — free Microsoft Teams will offer:
- Unlimited messages on chat
- Search functionality
- Integrated audio and video calling for single staff members, up to groups and entire teams
- 10gb of file storage for the team
- An additional 2gb of personal storage (per person)
- Integrated content creation with other Office Online apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote in real time.
- Unlimited integration with 140 other business apps. These include Adobe, Evernote and Trello
- Communication and collaboration with anyone inside your organisation, or outside of it. All backed up by Microsoft’s secure infrastructure.
This is a useful and generous offer from Microsoft, and any collaborative staff would do well to take advantage of the excellent functionality of Teams — it’s the perfect place to see out a project from start to finish, or even start a new business from scratch.
That said, there are a couple of caveats.
What doesn’t the free version of Teams offer?
There’s a few elements from the full Office 365 version that you won’t find here — you’ll need to upgrade to a paid version in order to access them.
- Exchange email hosting and custom email domain
- Office 365 services such as OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer and Planner
- Scheduled meetings
- Meeting recordings
- Audio conferencing and phone calls
While you may consider these absences a price worth paying, it is definitely worth considering an upgrade if necessary. Scheduled meetings and meeting recordings are particularly useful tools, and businesses at the larger end of the small-business spectrum may particularly benefit. In which case, however, it may be worth your while to subscribe to a more comprehensive Office 365 package.
If you'd like to find out about Microsoft Teams and its benefits, why not download our free guide, Microsoft Teams: Enabling Intelligent Communications, here.