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Do I Need a License for Microsoft Teams?

Keeping your company strong while working remotely has never been more important than it is right now. In this post we discuss your options for Microsoft Teams licensing, so that your users can connect no matter where they are.

Understanding licenses for Teams doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, if your company is already using Microsoft 365 or Office 365 (Business Basic, Business Standard, Business Premium, E1, E3, E5), you’re in luck. You already have access to Teams. However, add-ons and licensing can add a whole new range of possibilities for your users.

Without add-on licenses you can:

  • Use video sharing
  • Communicate with other Teams members (internally and externally) peer-to-peer or in conference calls
  • Have voice only calls (one-to-one or group)
  • IM or chat (one-to-one or group)
  • Work collaboratively on files, create separate teams and channels, and use other functions available through Teams

Add-ons are important for reaching people outside of Teams. When connecting to those in the public switched telephone network (PSTN), you’ll need to consider these add-on licenses:

  • Phone System: $8 user/month
  • Calling Plan Domestic: $12 user/month, $24 user/month Domestic + International
  • Audio Conferencing: $4 user/month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Voice: $20 user/month

The plan you have determines the add-on licensing options accessible to you. However, all enterprise level subscriptions have add-on licenses available.

Phone System license ($8 user/month)

To have any PSTN connectivity, you will need this license. The Phone System license is similar to a cell phone. It allows you to have a voicemail, but you must also have a provider to have a phone number, or to place or receive calls. To use the Phone System without Direct Routing, you must have a domestic calling plan.

One benefit to having Microsoft 365 E5 or Office 365 E5 is that users with those subscriptions already have access to the Phone System add-on. You can also use Phone System Direct Routing by having other combinations of add-on licenses, such as Office 365 E3, Phone System, and Audio Conferencing.

With the Phone System add-on, you can select a name from your address book and easily make a Teams call. Users can place or receive calls with a mobile device, headset connected to a laptop or PC, or any Teams compatible phone.

The Phone System add-on is needed to purchase both the Audio Conferencing and Calling Plan add-ons. Microsoft 365 E5 and Office 365 E5 include the Phone System license. To make or receive a call from outside the organization, purchase a Calling Plan for PSTN connection. To use Direct Routing, users will need the Phone System and Audio Conferencing add-ons. They will also need Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Plan 2, if included in licensing.

Calling Plan Domestic ($12 user/month)

When used in Office 365 with Phone System, the Calling Plan add-on can fill all the holes in your company’s current voice setup. It provides the basic and much-needed ability of making and receiving phone calls, as well as giving users an individual phone number. When considering Teams add-ons, it is a must-have item.

No matter what subscription you have, Calling Plan is always an add-on license. Depending on the needs of your company, different Calling Plans can be assigned to different users within the organization. You can also make and receive international calls with the Domestic and International Calling Plan for $24 per user per month.

Audio Conferencing ($4 user/month)

Audio Conferencing is helpful for those that need unique access codes for each meeting they will be holding. Although, the add-on is not needed for all participants attending the meeting. It also allows those connecting through PSTN to attend meetings, which can be helpful in a variety of situations. If internet access is limited and products like Skype for Business have failed, users can use Audio Conferencing. Furthermore, if the meeting is audio only, participants are connecting through bluetooth devices, or users are looking for improved audio quality, Audio Conferencing can assist with these issues. Overall, Audio Conferencing can provide convenient solutions for many meeting problems you may be experiencing.

You must have Phone System to use Audio Conferencing. Microsoft 365 E5 and Office 365 E5 include Audio Conferencing.

Microsoft 365 Business Voice ($20 user/month)

Microsoft 365 Business Voice is a convenient bundle that combines all the power of the Phone System, Domestic Calling, and Audio Conferencing add-on licenses. Companies with 300 or less users who already have a Microsoft 365 plan should consider Microsoft 365 Business Voice.

Can be added to Microsoft 365 subscriptions with 300 or fewer users. The qualifying plans are Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, Business Premium, E3 or A3; Office 365 F3, E1, E3, A1, or A3. Microsoft 365 Business Voice cannot be bought on its own, it is only an add-on.

When you mesh your cloud system with your phone service, you get:

  • More built-in security
  • Saved space from less on-site equipment
  • Control over how many lines you have each month
  • Consistency for your users
  • Integrated conferencing tools

When using Microsoft Teams, the licenses you choose are crucial. They can make all the difference in the experience of your users, and thus your organization. If you still have more questions or need further assistance, reach out to us. In The Cloud Technologies is here to guide you in all your Teams endeavors.