The Benefits of Microsoft Teams Premium

Meetings come in all shapes and sizes, don’t they? Whether it’s a Teams Meeting with your colleagues, a one-on-one brainstorming session, or a company-wide update, each serves a unique purpose. We’ve become quite used to Teams Meetings, and now, Teams Premium marks the next stride towards meeting excellence.

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What is Microsoft Teams Premium?

Microsoft Teams Premium is an add-on to your current Teams license, with a monthly cost of £5.80 per user. It grants selected users access to a range of extra features which upgrade the existing Microsoft Teams capabilities, such as AI, advanced meeting security, and personalization. This upgraded version caters to the changing needs of businesses, providing tools to streamline meeting management and boost productivity. These premium features allow organizations to leverage AI for more engaging and efficient meetings, enhance security measures, and deliver a personalized experience tailored to each user’s preferences.

The Features and Benefits  of Teams Premium

Let’s explore the wide array of Microsoft Teams features and advantages offered of the Premium subscription to understand the exciting future of effortless virtual collaborations and meetings.

1. Intelligent Team Meetings and Webinars 

Microsoft Teams Premium enhances your meetings by introducing an intelligent recap feature powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 model. This feature captures meeting notes and highlights, allowing participants to focus on listening and sharing rather than note-taking. 

After the meeting, each participant receives a breakdown of key information in meeting chapters, based on the AI’s analysis. Additionally, Teams Premium includes personalised timeline markers visible only to you, indicating when you joined or left the meeting. This feature helps you catch up quickly if you missed part of the meeting due to a late arrival or early departure.

2. Advanced Meeting Protection   

Just like how you safeguard sensitive content in SharePoint, this Teams premium feature allows you to apply sensitivity labels to your Teams meetings for automatic controls. These controls cover aspects typically managed by the meeting organizer, like who can skip the lobby queue, be present in the meeting, or record it. With sensitivity labels, you can manage chat, including the ability to copy chat content. Teams Premium also utilises sensitivity labels to safeguard your invites to sensitive meetings from being wrongly shared. By labelling an invitation as “Highly Confidential,” encryption measures are added automatically for enhanced security.

Watermarks

You can make use of sensitivity labels to enforce watermarks. A watermark is a subtle image or text overlay on the content to maintain the confidentiality of visual content shared during a meeting. Using watermarks enables you to create branded meetings that deter unauthorized screenshots of sensitive content by displaying the name or email address of each meeting participant. This clearly signals to attendees that any leaks of sensitive information can be traced back to them. There are several configurations available for setting up your watermarks, which, by the way, need to be established prior to your meeting commencement. If you add a watermark to shared content, it will disable the ability to record the meeting or utilize organization together mode scenes, large gallery view, PowerPoint Live, the Whiteboard, and shared content from cameras. Applying a watermark to everyone’s video feed will also disable the ability to record the meeting, use together mode, or view a large gallery.

End-to-end Encryption 

Microsoft employs industry standards to bolster the security of all Teams meetings, regardless of whether you utilise the Teams Premium add-on. However, Teams Premium offers an additional layer of protection for your meetings through real-time, end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to safeguard the transmission of voice and video data. E2EE is not activated by default in Teams Premium, but you have a couple of methods to enable it. You can activate it using a Teams admin-enhanced encryption policy or utilise a sensitivity label or a custom meeting template to automatically apply end-to-end encryption to meetings that require heightened security. Once activated, meeting organisers will have the encryption option available when arranging their Teams meetings.

3. Advanced Features for Virtual Appointments and Virtual Meetings 

The standard version of Teams, which comes with any Microsoft 365 licence, lets you schedule and join virtual appointments with both colleagues and external guests using the Bookings calendar. However, Microsoft Teams Premium takes virtual appointments to a whole new level. With Microsoft Teams Premium, you get access to a more polished booking calendar. This enhanced feature simplifies scheduling and enriches virtual appointments with advanced functions, such as SMS notifications to remind attendees of their appointments, reducing the chances of missed meetings.

Moreover, a custom waiting area provides a more tailored and professional waiting experience for attendees before their appointment commences. To further streamline scheduling, Teams Premium introduces a queue for both scheduled and on-demand appointments. This function prevents double bookings by displaying all virtual appointments in one convenient location, ensuring a smoother process for both organisers and attendees.

In addition to these practical enhancements, Microsoft Teams Premium offers valuable insights. With this extra feature, organisations can view a meeting analytics dashboard, providing information on usage patterns and history. Data such as no-show rates, time spent by participants in the waiting area, meeting lengths, and more are readily available. This data, accessible at both individual and departmental levels, offers a deeper understanding of how virtual appointments contribute to the business. It also helps in pinpointing any issues impacting meeting outcomes, enabling organisations to make informed decisions to enhance the efficiency and success of their virtual appointments.

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4. Smarter Teams Live Events and Webinar Features

Microsoft Teams Webinars have always supported webinar registration and tracking. The new Teams Premium enhances these capabilities with advanced registration features:

  • Waitlisting: This innovative feature streamlines event workflows with registration waitlist and manual approval. You can set the registration start and end times. After the registration period closes, anyone trying to register is automatically placed on a waitlist. Organizers can then manually approve or reject registrations from the waitlist as spots become available.
  • Registration Summaries: Organizers now receive a summary for each event, showing the registration status and attendees at different stages of the registration process. This improvement helps organizers manage registrations efficiently and follow up with participants to complete their registration.
  • Virtual Green Room: An impressive addition is the virtual green room, created for behind-the-scenes collaboration among presenters. This exclusive space, separate from attendees, enables smooth management and interaction among presenters for a professional event experience.
  • Customization Options: To enhance the webinar experience, Teams Premium allows adding presenter bios and integrating an organization’s visual branding into the event. Teams admins can more effectively manage what attendees see, tailoring their view to offer a distraction-free environment, showing only selected content and participants chosen by the presenters to avoid distractions like attendees leaving the event or losing video connection.

5. Custom Templates, Themes, and Meeting Guides to Work the Way You Do

With Teams Premium, you can create meeting templates to make governance simpler by automatically enforcing compliance and business rules that are typically the meeting organizer’s responsibility. The premium add-on also enhances your Teams meeting experience with custom meeting themes.

By automating these controls using a template, you can avoid the risk of the organizer forgetting to configure the necessary controls for sensitive meetings. Moreover, custom meeting themes allow you to establish a branded meeting environment by incorporating custom backgrounds showcasing your organization’s brand images, colors, and logo. The ability to create meeting themes can be extended to all business units within your tenant, enabling individuals to craft their own unique meeting experience. 

Teams Premium introduces new meeting guides that enable you to swiftly set up meetings tailored to your requirements, such as one-on-one discussions or brainstorming sessions with larger groups. Meeting guides should be customized and managed by IT and end users. Their main objective is to streamline the process for meeting organizers by allowing them to apply relevant teams meeting options. Organizers can choose from the available meeting guides and have the guide automatically set up the meeting.

What Is Included In Teams Premium?

If you opt for the paid version of Teams, you’ll get access to all the features in the free version plus some extras like guest access, advanced security, and dedicated customer support. Guest access lets you invite people from outside your organization to join your team and interact with your team members. Advanced security ensures only invited guests can access your data.

A paid Microsoft Teams subscription includes:

  • All free version features
  • Unlimited group meetings lasting up to 30 hours
  • Up to 300 participants per meeting
  • 10GB of cloud storage per user
  • Round-the-clock phone and web support

Most Microsoft 365 paid subscriptions come with Teams and its features. Depending on your Microsoft 365 subscription, you may enjoy added benefits with Teams, such as:

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

  • Collaborative annotations in Teams meetings
  • Live translations for captions in meetings (available in over 30 languages)
  • Team meeting recordings with transcripts
  • 1TB of cloud storage per Teams user

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

  • Webinar hosting
  • Client appointment management
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What is the Difference Between Teams Standard and Teams Premium?

This premium-tier add-on builds on the current Teams experience with extra capabilities that extend the Teams features available in the standard version.  The difference between Teams Standard and Teams Premium becomes quite noticeable with the latter’s introduction of advanced capabilities aimed at enhancing the Microsoft Teams experience. 

Teams Premium offers various upgrades across key areas, such as more personalised and intelligent meetings and webinars, increased meeting security, advanced IT management and reporting capabilities, and enhanced Virtual Appointments. This added functionality is available in Teams Premium to users with an Office 365 or Microsoft 365 subscription.

Now available to all, Teams Premium brings in intelligent recap features, set to be rolled out in the first half of 2023. Priced at £15.10 per user per month in New Zealand, it targets the rising need for more effective and feature-rich virtual collaboration tools.

A notable enhancement available with a Teams Premium subscription is the integration of GPT 3.5, paving the way for Microsoft to embed more advanced AI capabilities throughout its technology portfolio. Particularly in Teams Premium, this AI upgrade introduces the “intelligent recap” feature, automating tasks like creating meeting notes, suggesting action items, and adding chapter markers to meeting recordings. This significant progress could transform post-meeting activities, allowing participants to focus on other tasks and enhance productivity.

FAQs

What does together mode in Microsoft Teams Premium do?

In Microsoft Teams Premium, Together Mode transforms virtual meetings. It places participants in a shared virtual space, creating a sense of everyone being together in one room. This feature uses a Custom Together Mode scene, intelligently positioning video streams within a scene setting. Microsoft Teams Premium provides the Scene Studio for creating custom scenes, simplifying the process by managing app package creation in the background, resulting in a “scene-only” app. To enhance the experience, it’s recommended to use these scene-only apps for more engaging and visually consistent meetings, promoting unity and collaboration among participants.

Does Microsoft Teams Premium have captions?

Yes, Microsoft Teams Premium offers live captions during meetings, boosting accessibility and inclusivity for participants who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have varying language skills. These captions also assist individuals in noisy or quiet settings, ensuring smoother conversations. This feature is part of Microsoft’s dedication to making virtual meetings more engaging and productive for everyone, demonstrating their commitment to accessibility and user-friendly experiences.

What is the difference between participant and attendee in Microsoft Teams?

In Microsoft Teams, distinguishing between ‘participant’ and ‘attendee’ is key to effectively managing meetings. Assigning the presenter role to specific participants grants them rights to present and perform actions such as recording the meeting. Attendees, on the other hand, remain polite and attentive, absorbing the valuable information shared by presenters. This differentiation guarantees orderly meetings with defined roles that promote seamless communication and collaboration, enriching the overall meeting experience for everyone involved.

 What license do I need for Teams sensitivity labels?

Office 365 Enterprise E3 users and above have the option to manually add sensitivity labels to their Office files and emails. Administrators can set up these labels to automatically apply to Office files and emails for Office 365 Enterprise E3 or Office 365 Enterprise E5 users. This feature is crucial for organisations aiming to bolster their data protection strategies by classifying and safeguarding sensitive information, irrespective of its location. By using sensitivity labels, users can ensure proper handling of sensitive data, staying compliant with internal policies and regulatory standards.

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