Microsoft Teams Insider

The Clearest Explanation of Microsoft Teams Premium I have heard with Microsoft Digital Technology Specialist Jason Waite

March 20, 2024 Tom Arbuthnot
Microsoft Teams Insider
The Clearest Explanation of Microsoft Teams Premium I have heard with Microsoft Digital Technology Specialist Jason Waite
Show Notes Transcript

In this podcast episode, Jason Waite, Digital Technology Specialist at Microsoft, discusses the features, benefits and use cases of Microsoft Teams Premium. 

  • 3 main use cases for Teams Premium: intelligent meeting recap, governance, advanced webinar and advanced virtual appointments
  • Value of intelligent recap in Teams Premium for summarizing meetings using generative AI
  • The benefits of applying sensitivity labels to meetings
  • Importance of broad adoption and proper deployment to maximize the value of Teams Premium

Thanks to Pure IP, this episode's sponsor, for your continued support of the Empowering.Cloud community.

Tom: [00:00:00] Welcome back to the Teams Insider podcast. This week, Jason Waite takes us through Teams Premium. He does a great job of explaining not just what the features are, but what the use cases are for those features and who Teams Premium is for. Thanks to Jason for the time and many thanks to Pure IP, this podcast sponsor.

Really appreciate their support of everything we're doing at Empowering Cloud. On with the show.

Tom: Hi everybody. Welcome back to the pod. Been looking forward to this one. This is one of the hottest topics of 2024, certainly with Teams and Microsoft, I think we're going to get into Teams Premium. And to do that, I thought the best person would be Jason. Jason, I want to go into a little of your history as well, but could you just give us a bit of an intro?

Jason: Certainly. Yeah. Thanks for having me, Tom. Jason Waite Microsoft. I work within Teams. This is what I talk about all day, every day. I talk Teams after a long history of another ecosystem,

Tom: and I come from the same background.

With Call Manager.

Jason: I don't always know if it's okay to mention it, it's confusing. What are the rules?

But yeah, lots and lots of years in Call Manager and session board. Well, Let's be honest, not session border control cubes. All right. That is pretty far behind me at this point, but as you can see from my shelf, if anybody's viewing rather than listening it's a big part of my history. So it made the shelf as it were.

Tom: Yeah. Yeah. And I love the shelf. You've got all your background there. Yeah. Same thing for me. It's been it's been probably 13 or 14 years now, but yeah, back in the Call Manager days, I think it gives you a good base in all the hardcore voice stuff, to be fair.

Jason: Yeah. And that's the most technical element, I think, right? If anybody out there is evaluating Teams and they want to understand how can this tool. Help the organization. How do we get there? What do we need to know before we take the plunge phone is that piece that you really need to make sure you quantify?

I'm pretty proud to be honest. I had a lot of experience with esoteric mechanisms and Call Manager and I felt like I never really needed to use a lot of them. But to the point of Teams, the benefit I see is that I've yet to fail mapping a use case from Call Manager to Teams Phone. So I'm really proud of that.

Maybe you have had some rough experiences with a very specific customer requirement. And you'll have to, you'll have to tell me about those sometime, but it's comprehensive in, in what the functionality looks like today.

Tom: Yeah, I think we've got another pod we can do on the history. Yeah, but today is Teams Premium

Jason: Yes. 

Tom: So, um, Let's no. No, I want to do it. Actually. We'll definitely do it. But so Teams Premium like it's being pushed a lot of the moment like there's a lot of functionality in there I think some people find it quite confusing.

So i'm hoping you can decode it for us a little bit

Jason: Yeah. It's gotten even maybe a little more confusing with the advent of microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365.

Tom: You got all the microsoft's in there good Yeah

Jason: You have to get the whole thing. It's the rules. It's gotten a little more complicated due to Copilot and the decision a couple of months ago to include intelligent recap in Copilot folks are a little confused now, which license do I need?

Which licenses do all of my users need? And we were trying to tell this story where we carve out personas and we decide, Hey, Teams Premiums better for a marketing persona and Copilots better for somebody who is running a lot of meetings, especially things like recurrent meetings, leaders, right?

Being able to use an AI assistant to tie all those recurrent meetings together is really valuable. But I'm doing this differently now. We make no secret of the journey Teams has been on. It's getting a little, I'm not even going to say it's getting older because it's an evergreen solution.

We're in a different world now with that, right? But Teams is about to turn seven. And. You and I discussed a little bit, there's been one price increase in E3 a couple of years ago, but broadly speaking, there's been really no direct monetization of Teams

Tom: no, and it's, it is quite a different product from, launch. It wasn't even an audio video. It was just chat. So I look at it now.

Jason: I don't, I think last I looked, it was a billion meeting minutes a month or something. The amount of media flowing in and out of the solution, it, it comes with a cost, right? That infrastructure costs money. The data costs money. Think this is pretty transparently an attempt to monetize Teams.

And fortunately, it does provide some robust functionality for that cost. But at some point it had to get monetized. So what it is, I break it into three different pieces, right? The first piece. And I'll start from, let's say, least exciting to most exciting governance in a generative AI world, right?

We have to bring meetings into our data governance story. And we can do that with Teams Premium because Teams Premium allows your sensitivity labels to apply to meetings. Simple enough. It provides a couple other things that are related, things like watermarking on your shared content, on your video, that sort of thing.

But that's a pretty important piece. Not the most exciting, but crucial at this juncture. Second thing is Webinar, Town Hall. This has been in flux, right? We're moving away from live events. That's finally a secret that's been let out of the bottle. Live events is gonna be sunset. Town Hall will replace it.

There's some advanced Town Hall functionality provided with Teams Premium, but more to the point, the story For the entire lifespan of Teams, Premium has been focused on webinar, your customer facing sessions. Do you want analytics? Do

Tom: and the webinar story is really strong. The price point for the webinar is really good value. If you compare it to the market as well, I

Jason: right, and that was to me again, peeling back the curtain, being a little more honest than maybe I'm supposed to be. That was the weakness. I'd have customers come to me and say, Hey, we're on go to webinar today. And we want to consider Teams for our webinar platform. And two years ago I was like, this isn't going to be a very productive conversation.

I'm sorry.

Tom: Yeah. Yeah. We need green room. We need this media control. We need it to link up to our CRM and we didn't have any of those boxes.

Jason: It just wasn't there. And now today with Teams Premium, you, you do have green room. You do have some advanced analytics and automated registration reminders, Hey your events coming up in a week, all that kind of stuff that was just missing. It's there now, right? With Teams Premium.

The third thing is, and I guess as a, I'll do a part two as well on this point Virtual appointments. Sometimes we forget about advanced virtual appointments, but they're super cool, right? Very briefly. I like to explain this because it's a little complicated, but you can simplify it. It's basically an extension of bookings where you can pull resources together and then automatically schedule them using a bookings page, right?

But it's the other end of it as well as getting the person who booked the meeting into the meeting easily. You have a new customer, you're trying to do customer acquisition. You're trying to do an initial consultation. I don't know. Think of the first touch point with a customer. And the first thing you're going to tell them is go download a Teams client.

No, that's, you don't have to do that, right? That's the cool thing about advanced virtual appointments is they get a text message, they tap the text message or they click that wherever they are. It doesn't matter, right? We opened a web RTC session in a web browser. They just dumped into the meeting, right?

There's no client download needs. It's fantastic. So that's the part two, we're getting more exciting. I promised you that. The third one is of course, intelligent recap, right? Intelligent recap is huge. It was the first taste we had of generative AI summarizing your meeting for you, giving you, takeaway items.

What do I need to actually do as a result of this discussion we had and the decisions we made? Oh, and by the way, what were those decisions? I don't remember. Teams Premium gives you that intelligent recap. Which is an intelligent expansion of the existing recap, right? Recap is a thing in base Teams, but with intelligent recap you don't have to have taken good notes.

You don't have to go then read the giant transcript. Some of these transcripts get super long. I didn't even think about it, especially with somebody who talks as much as I tend to, you can end up with like a hundred pages of transcript. It's pretty nutty. So that's a nice bit of functionality. But again, the story got complicated by Copilots.

What I always say about intelligent recap versus Copilot is the benefit of intelligent recap is that you don't have to do anything. There's zero barrier to entry. You don't have to ask the right question, right? Not everybody is going to be a fantastic prompt engineer in the world of generative AI, but you can still get the benefits of a large language model, summarizing meetings and such just by going to the recap.

It's there, right? You have a Teams Premium license. The meeting falls in under the right category in terms of, it got transcribed and recorded. You're going to get that automatically generated AI summary. 

Tom: Yeah. And you said it earlier as well. So Teams Premium is 10 per user per month. So that gets you into the AI journey on one of the most important workloads, which is meetings, I think most productive for a lot of people. And then it's, if you're jumping. Up, then you're in 30 for Copilot. So you get a lot more with Copilot.

You're going across the whole stack. But they're it's nice now, I think it's clean now that you get that as part of Copilot. But if you want webinar, if you want the extra meeting security, you still need Premium and Copilot at that point.

Jason: Yeah, no, you do. And that's why it's a better together story. I've just been so surprised when I talk to customers and I'm showing them Copilot. It's dominating the conversation. I'm showing them the skills that Copilot has across the productivity stack. Look what it can do in PowerPoint, right?

It's an exciting conversation to me. I don't like to manually animate slides and such. I've consistently seen that customers actually want me to get through to the meetings part. The meetings piece is the most, it's easiest to appreciate. It's the most readily valuable part of Copilot. And now that we're bringing in the data governance story as, it's taken center stage with Copilot.

Hey, we need to really get a handle on our data estate. What better way to do that with the sensitivity labels of Teams Premium with the meeting templates, right? Meeting templates are enormous. You can set up all the way meeting options essentially, right? You're meeting options. Set those meeting options with templates so that your users don't have to think, okay, hang on, is this customer facing?

Are we going to be talking intellectual property? It's super sensitive. They don't have to think about that. They just click the template. The meeting gets set up properly in the meeting options and they're off to the races. I've with customers recently, I found it most productive to map this directly to personas.

I'm telling them, Hey, Teams Premiums for these four people primarily, right? You've got your people hosting webinars. If they're hosting webinars, you've already mentioned green room, enhanced registration functionality, reminder emails, control with attendees, see all these things bubble up for your marketing folks maybe sales as well.

But let's stick that primarily on marketing. You've got your people who are pooled resources. They need to run a specific job function. That initial consultation with new customers is a great example that is broadly applicable, right? Advanced virtual appointments. That's a great function for those folks.

Any kind of pooled resources, nursing staff or telemedicine, there's all sorts of examples. And then people who schedule a ton of meetings, internal meetings, town halls executive assistants. Leaders in the organization, just generally speaking, let's make their experience better and give them the templates,

Tom: Yeah, the uniformity of the templates is brilliant of like I don't remember what our policy is around Is it lobby on or lobby off? Is it you know Do we allow to record these meetings or we're not allowed to record these meetings? Whereas if you have the meeting types defined you don't have to worry about because the level of policy We've getting on our meetings is getting bigger and you overlay all the sensitivity stuff.

You mentioned bigger still

Jason: Exactly. And I had a really weird ask from a customer several months ago. Now, I guess the time flies when you're having fun. They were saying they want to be able to control the publishment of the recording. Of their internal meetings because they have an exuberant CEO and he goes off the rails sometimes and they don't necessarily want everything to be in that recording in perpetuity and it took me a moment to realize, oh, wait, this is what we were talking about with town hall publishing the recording.

That's exactly what it's for. Right? It's not an isolated case. So great example, right? That's another persona for it. There's executive admins, etcetera. The last one is, Anyone who attends lots of meetings, as I say, not everybody's going to be a prompt engineer. So if you attend a lot of meetings, you want to be able to get maximum value from that meeting without asking Joe down the hall.

Hey, what did we talk about? What was the decision? Just use that intelligent recap, right? That you can automatically do through the proper meeting templates as you deploy this as a complete solution as a complete enhancement of the Teams meetings experience. So that's the way I'm telling the story at this point.

And in a way, it's for everybody on that basis. Sales legal, they're going to need to have those meeting experiences, finally controlled meeting templates, sensitivity labels. It all comes back together, honestly.

Tom: Yeah, I appreciate how you've explained that because it can be confusing. It's a, I feel like it's a skew with a jumble of features as you've explained for different use cases. So if you don't talk about the use case, it's who's this for? Because the people that need secure meetings don't need webinar and the people that need intelligent recap don't need the virtual appointments.

And it's like you end up down that road, whereas you take it from a, and I have the same conversation with the customers. I'm like, forget that it has everything you're looking for. $10 of value for that use case for that user like and if you don't have it, you don't have it you don't have to have Premium.

But here it is a webinar is always where I start because that's just such a good ROI for me

Jason: And on the ROI conversation, broad deployment is how you realize the value all up, right? Stop necessarily focusing on how each individual that gets it is going to get that ROI, deploy it broadly, deploy it thoroughly and properly with the templates, with the sensitivity labels, with all of these things in mind, and you're going to get that value out of it.

You really are.

Tom: I noticed actually on the ROI I just last week as we record and Microsoft added an adoption site specifically for Premium So there's starting to be some good content around how to leverage this investment That's one of the things it and organizations just struggle with is getting the information out there

Jason: yeah. And of course the burden of proof for ROI is increasing as well. I always identify anecdotes before I deliver them. I'll admit they're anecdotal. People aren't really satisfied with that anymore. They want to see what does the adoption actually look like? And so that's where Adoption Hub comes back into the conversation.

We've got the same thing for Copilot, the Copilot dashboard, right? It's a good story to really explain what value this is driving. But again, this, at the end of the day, it does feel a little bit like just a series of, Hey here's our biggest, newest enhancements across all the different slices of Teams, but it's better than the advanced communication story.

Tom: Yeah, that was a bit of a mess. And the other thing I think you can bear in mind, obviously you can't comment on futures on this, but like from my perspective, it's pretty evident if you look at the roadmap, like the These features are going to continue to go into Premium. So we're on a road now

Jason: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Tom: If you get value out of core and you use core fantastic, but if you want the real time analytics, it's seven days in Premium, it's two days in core, like there'll be all these little, like little things that were Premium is Premium as the name suggests.

Jason: Yeah. Town hall capacity. There's a lot of little things sneaking in there that can be enormous for certain customers. I had one the other day that did for whatever reason. Need to have more than 10,000 users in a town hall. There you go. Now. I know it's in my segment that's a little rare, but Yeah, Teams Premium has your back there doubling the capacity and to your point all these little enhancements that come along you'll see them stuffed into Premium.

That's just the way of it. So It's for broad adoption. It's for all rooms of the house all user personas. It really is could we maybe make a decision of, M365 Copilot versus Teams Premium for certain ones? Yeah, that's probably could, but the value really is there for an entire organization, all the knowledge workers.

Tom: And what are you seeing on the customer journey for that? It's still a relatively new SKU. Are you seeing customers say, we'll apply it to this subset of users to start to test it out? Or are you seeing actually once we've done all the maths, we'll go broad? 

Jason: It's really interesting. It's, they're relying on me pretty significantly to tell the story. Customers come to the table, not understanding what this is. And so the way they leave that conversation really depends on how I tell the story when they actually do transact. You do see just because of methodology that has always been best practice in IT.

 You do see pilot users, pilot groups, but pretty quickly we see folks realize that this isn't something you need to roll out in a tiered approach. This isn't a change management concern. And so broader adoption is really fast on this one. Yeah.

Tom: Yeah, I guess you're right. It's not impacting the experience if they don't go find the features, but then you've got to consider the You've got to put the effort into the adoption. That's the thing that worries me. Same thing worries me with Copilot. I see, I'm working with a lot of organizations that bought their 300 seats, and I'm like, you've got to put significant resource into training and adoption here, or they just won't get the value.

Particularly more, I would say more so with Copilot, even than Premium, because with Copilot, you can't expect users to just know what it's capable of.

Jason: Yeah. If if you're sold on the intelligent recap segment of Teams, Premium. You're going to realize that automatically, right? That's fine. Generally $10 for intelligent recap. Folks look at that and ah, maybe it is, maybe it's not. We do have to tell the rest of the story. We have to draw in the rest of the context.

And then same thing with Copilot to your point, Copilot tries to self adopt, but that's, you gotta have an adoption strategy. You really do. Especially if you want to reach all the rooms of the house. We've got to talk about graph connectors. We've got to talk about plugins for those other line of business apps.

That's a, that's an integral part of the story. Maybe another episode for that one. But anyway,

Tom: Awesome. Jason, thanks. Oh, that's the clearest I've heard it explained. So I appreciate your approach of going a use case first. And if people want to find out more from you, what's the best thing to do?

Jason: what we always say is reach out to your Microsoft account team, right? They know how to get to the me's of the organization. And hopefully we can tell a good story that resonates with the way you're trying to do business. That's my chief recommendation. Other than that, I always point back to you, Tom, right?

Tom talks

Tom: I can take that.

Jason: Yeah.

Tom: Awesome. Thanks, Jason. We'll definitely do another party that we'll dive into Copilot or we'll do the the joint Cisco to Teams transition story.

Jason: That's a fun one itself. Yeah. Thanks for having me. Thanks so much.

Tom: Cheers.