We’ve chatted about Teams a variety of times in this newsletter and blog. Since its debut (and even more so since COVID forced business to think about disparate office staffs), it’s been the de facto method for holding meetings both internally and externally. Microsoft debuted Teams Premium earlier this year, a paid-for license on top of the regular Teams Standard plans that you’re probably using today. When it first came out, we weren’t super-impressed with it as the features we didn’t feel were fully fleshed out enough to deserve the roughly $10/month cost. But now that more of its AI-Powered features are a bit more fleshed out, and now that they’ve started moving some features that were part of the Standard version into the Premium version, it might be something to look at for your business.
First off, what’s being moved to Teams Premium that was available in Standard previously, per Microsoft:
- Live Translated captions
- Custom Together mode scenes
- Timeline markers in Teams meetings recordings (join/leave meetings)
- Virtual Appointments:
- SMS notifications
- Organizational analytics in Admin Center
- Scheduled queue view
You may not have been using any of those features previously, but wanted to throw it out there that they were now part of Premium.
But the bigger news is what is new in Teams Premium, and it’s all about AI. From Microsoft’s post, here are the biggest take aways for the Premium version.
AI-Powered Meetings: Since Microsoft Copilot isn’t generally available yet unless you have an enterprise agreement with Microsoft, the AI Features in Teams Premium are the closest you’re going to get at the moment. Using GPT from OpenAI, new features in Teams Premium will make your meetings far more productive. With Intelligent Recap in Teams Premium (more info here), you’ll get automatically generated meeting notes, recommended tasks, and personalized highlights to help you get the information most important to you, even if you miss the meeting. AI-generated chapters divide the meeting into sections so it’s easy to pick and choose the content most relevant to you. Personalized and speaker timeline markers—that only you can see—call out when you joined or left a meeting in the meeting recording, so you can quickly click and listen in on what you missed and also show who spoke and when. You’ll also get AI-generated notes and AI generated tasks and action items automatically suggested for you, based on the content of the meeting. If you have workers or clients that natively speak different languages, live translation (for captions) is available and has real-time translation for 40 spoken languages.
Personalization: The new Teams Premium allows you to customize the branding further in your Teams meetings. Branded meetings let everyone see the logo and colors of your company when you join the meeting, and allow your brand colors to be infused in the meeting itself, as well as select brand-approved organization backgrounds and organization together mode scenes. You can also create meeting templates – like a client call, brainstorming meeting, or business review – to enable quicker setup and scheduling of meetings.
Webinars: If you run Webinars for your clients (or potential clients) in Teams, Teams Premium introduces more features to enable a better webinar experience through advanced capabilities to streamline event workflows with registration waitlist and manual approval, facilitate behind-the-scene actions through virtual green room for presenters (separate from attendees) before the event begins, and manage the attendee experience so they only see shared content and participants brought on-screen.
Virtual Appointment Experience: Teams Premium introduces more capabilities to the existing Teams virtual appointment features include SMS reminders, custom waiting rooms, queue view, analytics, surveys, and more. If you have virtual appointments with clients, the features in Teams Premium are definitely something to consider.
Security: Teams Premium introduces some more controls to make sure sensitive meeting information is not given to the wrong folks. It introduces more controls over meeting protection, watermarking of videos, recording controls, encryption options, and more.
Those are just the major headlines. All in all, there is a lot to like about the new Teams Premium. For the visual folks out there, here’s Microsoft’s promotional video:
And here is a quick overview video on using the Intelligent recap feature in Teams Premium:
Interested in checking out what Teams Premium can do for your business? Contact us today.