Microsoft Teams Essentials

Microsoft introduce Teams Essentials, a standalone Teams offering aimed at small businesses.

It’s $4 per user per month available through CSP partners or directly from Microsoft’s website and allows unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours with up to 300 participants.

This site is useful for seeing how Teams Essentials compares to other plans aimed at smaller businesses such as Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Standard:

Find the Teams Essentials announcement here:, and resources for partners selling Teams solutions here:

General availability of Operator Connect Conferencing

Microsoft announce the general availability of Operator Connect Conferencing and add the licences to the Product Terms.

With Operator Connect Conferencing capabilities, organisations can add phone numbers from a third-party operator to their Audio Conferencing bridge, and use those numbers to join Teams meetings. Meeting organisers either need to be licensed with an Audio Conferencing licence (which is included in Office/Microsoft 365 E5), or with a $0 Operator Connect Conferencing licence which can be assigned to anyone already licensed for Teams, and is available through an EA or CSP.

Find the announcement here:, and details on the licensing here:

Teams Phone with Calling Plan

The “Phone System” product, previously known as “Cloud PBX”, has been renamed once more, this time to “Teams Phone”.

In January 2022, there will be a “Teams Phone with Calling Plan” offering which will replace two existing products: both the “Microsoft 365 Business Voice” SKU aimed at businesses with less than 300 users, and the “Teams Calling Essentials” product aimed at larger businesses. This new voice bundle includes just the cloud-based phone system and a domestic calling plan since the originally included Audio Conferencing product will now be included in Office 365/Microsoft 365 licences – see our blog for more details on that:

Licensing-wise, it remains a User SL added onto various Office 365/Microsoft 365 pre-requisite licences, and is priced at $15 per user per month in the US, UK and Canada, and at $20 in an additional 30 markets.

Find the announcement here:, and a useful FAQ here:

Power Platform Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (December 2021) Power Platform Licensing Guide which includes two changes. Firstly, Power Apps users now have the ability to create, read, update and delete Dynamics 365 Field Service work orders (see page 5). Secondly, the Power Apps per App and per User licences now include 250 and 500 AI Builder service credits respectively (see pages 4 and 5).

Download this updated guide here:

Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (December 2021) Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide.

There aren’t major changes: just the addition of Intelligent Order Management capacity where it’s included with other licences (Commerce and Supply Chain Management), and confirmation throughout that the Project Operations app is required for time, expense and invoice functionality. As usual, there’s a change log on page 59 if you need the details of the amendments.

Find the updated guide here:

Microsoft Security product name changes

There are some name changes to Microsoft Security products from November 2021. Here’s the summary:

Power Platform Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (November 2021) Power Platform Licensing Guide with just a minor change: the allocations of Power Platform Requests have been removed from the guide and are now detailed here:

Note also that these allocations have been substantially increased to be at levels that are significantly higher than typical usage for most customers.

Find the updated Licensing Guide here:

Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services

Microsoft announce that Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services is generally available.

This is an add-on licence with a variety of qualifying licences required, which enable different capabilities to help retail banks to enhance customer and employee experiences, and to drive loyalty and customer growth.

It’s a tenant-wide licence available through the EA at $20,000 per month, deployable from the UK or the US. There’s a useful datasheet here: and you can find the announcement here:

Privacy Management for Microsoft 365

Microsoft announce the general availability of Privacy Management for Microsoft 365.

This product helps organisations to safeguard the personal data they hold, and to make it easier to respond to subject rights requests – when individuals ask to see the specific pieces of data an organisation has collected about them.

From a licensing perspective, it’s an Add-on to Office 365 E1/E3/E5 costing $5 per user per month, with Privacy Management – Subject Rights Requests costing $200 per request. These requests are available in packs of 1, 10 or 100 and are active for 12 months after purchase. Privacy Management for Microsoft 365 is a tenant-level service and so this is a good resource:

Find the availability announcement here:

Viva products and suite generally available

Microsoft announce that the Viva products (Connections, Insights, Topics, and Learning) are generally available.

Viva is an Employee Experience Platform (EXP), and the individual products can be licensed standalone at $4 per user per month, with the exception of Viva Connections which is included in Teams.

Alternatively, there’s the Viva Suite which is a license for all components at a price of $9 per user per month until September 2022 when it will increase to $12.

Microsoft recently acquired which will be included as the fifth component of the suite in 2022, and this product focuses on objectives and key results. In addition, Enterprise Agreement customers can also buy the Viva Suite with Glint – a LinkedIn product which helps customers get visibility into the health of their organisations and to measure employee sentiment in real time. This combination is at a special price of $12 per user per month until September 2022 when it increases to $15.

Find the announcement here:, with links to a whole host of additional resources at the very bottom of the page.