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Microsoft announces Teams Essentials, a standalone version of Teams for SMEs


Microsoft has announced the launch of Teams Essentials, the first-ever stand-alone offering of Microsoft Teams specifically designed for small-midsize businesses (SMEs). The platform was developed in partnership with Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

At only $4 USD (Ksh448) per user per month, this teams option is the most affordable all-in-one solution in the market today. 

While the past 20 months have been challenging for all organizations, small businesses have been hit hardest. They’ve had to adapt nearly every aspect of how they operate and work with customers, often without access to critical tools and technologies. 

Teams Essentials will enable small businesses to serve their customers in new ways, grow their business and gain competitive advantages in several ways including easily hosting longer, professional meetings with colleagues, customers, and partners. It gives users access to its Microsoft online tools, i.e., Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Users will be able to connect to Teams Essentials using 3rd party email provider.

It will also enable them to take productivity to the next level with tools like calendar integration, group chat, and extended meeting limits up to 30 hours and 300 attendees at once. In addition, Teams Essentials enables SMEs to stay organized while also saving time by connecting existing tools in one place with powerful collaboration capabilities and an increased 10GB of cloud storage.  

While making the announcement, Jared Spataro, the Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 said: “We all know the shift to remote and hybrid work has presented ample challenges for companies of all sizes, but the unique challenges that small businesses face require unique solutions, and Microsoft is well-positioned to provide its SMB customers with the best possible tools to succeed.”

With Teams Essentials, small businesses from restaurants to retailers to professional services can easily meet, collaborate, communicate, and serve customers in new ways.

“We appreciate the fact that the world isn’t going back to the old way of working, so small businesses need solutions that are designed specifically for their unique needs to thrive in this new normal,” added Spataro. 

According to David Behr, CEO of Liquid Cloud and Cyber Security, “Teams Essentials is an entry-level focused version of the Microsoft Office Suite that extends the Teams platform to medium and small businesses, typically twenty-five users and below. Liquid is proud to partner with Microsoft to deliver this affordable solution that supports the collaborative nature of small businesses, promoting enterprise in Africa”.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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