November 07, 2022

Teams Rooms Licensing: Is it time to make some changes of your own?

Matt McAuley
Collaboration Specialist
Licensing changes are rarely smooth. Case in point the Microsoft Teams Meeting Room Licensing changes that took effect on September 1, 2022. At first glance, the new licensing model appears to be a welcome upgrade – there’s a new free tier, and they’ve dropped the pricing on the higher tier.

However, look a little closer, and you might realise why IT managers are struggling to understand the reasoning for some changes. Near-essential features have been removed from the free lower tier. For the majority who now require top tier, a little number crunching reveals they will have to make room in their budget for something in the area of a 25% increase in licensing costs.

Microsoft has said the changes simplify licensing and deliver “the collective benefits of our advancements in both hybrid meeting experiences and device management.”*

An alternative solution is less than viable in most environments given there are few comparable options, and it’s a big cost to change when companies are already enmeshed in the Microsoft collaboration and communication universe.

So, whilst this new licensing is likely to affect your organisation there is a silver lining – these changes can act as a catalyst for you to look at ways to utilise Teams Rooms better to improve productivity and drive more ROI.

Before we get into that though, there are important changes to understand.

What is Teams Rooms? Microsoft Teams Rooms is an ecosystem of Microsoft Teams software and partner-built devices – microphones, cameras, soundbars, and desk phones – used for collaboration and videoconferencing sessions in meeting rooms. Microsoft charges customers to operate those rooms over and above the cost of Teams.

What are the new licensing options?

Microsoft Teams Room Basic. It’s free for up to 25 devices and includes only the basics, such as single screens, scheduling, joining, content sharing, whiteboarding and some essential security and management capabilities. This license is suited to sole-traders and small SMBs who do not need the management or advanced features.

Microsoft Teams Room Pro – It’s AU$54.90 per device per month. Along with everything in Basic, Pro includes enhanced in-room meeting experiences such as AI-powered audio and video conferencing, multiscreen support, and device management capabilities. This license is suited to mid-to-enterprise deployments or smaller organisations with larger room counts or more advanced needs.

Microsoft Teams Rooms Basic

Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro

Maximum number of licenses 25 Unlimited
Microsoft Teams Yes Yes
Audio Conferencing Yes Yes
Whiteboard Yes Yes
Teams Phone Yes
Microsoft Intune Yes
Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1 Yes
Skype for Business Plan 2 Yes

What has changed?

The most significant change is in the functionality offered in each tier. Unlike the previous licensing structure, which had no difference with the in-room experience regardless of the license – both included all in-room features, with Premium offering a higher level of support. However, the new licensing structure has pared back the basic features, with advanced features only available with the Pro tier. We expect the majority of our customers will now require the top tier.

(Note: pricing below is in USD, please make the appropriate conversions for your circumstance)

Before September 1, 2022

After September 1, 2022

Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard

$15 USD / device / month

Microsoft Teams Rooms Basic

$0 USD / device / month

Includes Teams Meetings Rooms experience,
basic management and security,
and single screen support.

Available only via certified device partners.

Microsoft Teams Rooms Premium

$50 USD / device / month

Includes Managed Services

Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro

$40 USD / device / month

Teams Rooms Basic features plus full Teams
Admin Center management, advanced security
and telemetry, multi-screen and intelligent
feature support.

Available through standard commercial channels.

When do you need to switch?

You can no longer purchase Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard or Premium licenses. For any new rooms, you will now need to choose between the Basic and Pro license. When your existing license term expires, you will need to move to Basic or Pro, and there is the option to have a mixture in your environment – depending on the needs of your individual users.

Data#3 Meeting Room as a Service (MRaaS) – Managed Services now available for you Teams Rooms

At Data#3, we know the value Teams Meeting Rooms hold in an increasingly hybrid workforce. No longer just a humble meeting room, they have become video-enabled collaboration spaces providing a critical link between remote workers and in-office staff. To ensure you can continue to deliver these exceptional meeting experiences, Data#3 offers a management overlay of your Teams Rooms solution.

Our experienced Teams Rooms consultants provide the ideal licensing combination and deploy any meeting hardware pre-configured and ready to use out-of-the-box. Of course, security, support, replacement, upgrades, maintenance and end-of-life are all part of the package too – ensuring your users are always connected.

Beyond day-to-day management, we also work with you to increase the adoption of features and functionality, reduce costs, improve processes, and build rooms to power productivity and drive more ROI from your overall Teams Rooms investments.

This service is part of our extensive range of Managed Services and is centred on freeing up your IT resources – creating a low-touch, highly consistent environment where everything is seamlessly managed for you.

Why Data#3?

As Microsoft’s largest Australian partner, Data#3 is the safe pair of hands when looking to deploy Microsoft Teams Rooms across your organisation. We’re the only partner able to provide complete end-to-end support for your modern workplace initiatives with comprehensive strategies traversing the entire Microsoft ecosystem – including Microsoft 365, Teams Rooms and Calling.

To learn more about Microsoft Teams Rooms licensing changes and the services available from Data#3, Australia’s largest Microsoft partner, please contact your account manager or contact us below.

Not sure where to start? Let our collaboration specialists guide you.

Every business is different. Your organisation needs it’s own, tailored collaboration strategy. Data#3 can help you to plan, select and implement the right collaboration solution, no matter where you are in your collaboration journey. Contact us to review your deploy assist options for Webex and Microsoft Teams, or to request a teamwork assessment.

Contact a Collaboration Specialist:

* Microsoft (2022), Meet Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro [ONLINE]. Available here.