Microsoft Teams License Comparative Guide

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Effective business communication and collaboration tools are not just helpful - they're essential. Microsoft Teams has emerged as a frontrunner in this arena, with over 320 million active users worldwide. Whether you're running a small business or heading a large corporation, understanding how Microsoft Teams can be tailored to your specific needs is crucial.

In this article, we explore more about the Microsoft Teams license, including different licensing options, features, and how to choose the right license for your business.

Types of Microsoft Team Licenses

Types of Microsoft Team Licenses

Microsoft Teams offers a variety of licenses, each designed to cater to different business needs. Understanding Microsoft Teams license types and their specific features will empower you to select the most suitable Microsoft Teams license for your business, ensuring that your team's communication and collaboration needs are met efficiently and cost-effectively. At a high level, most businesses with Microsoft Teams will use some combination of the following licenses:

License Type

Key Features

Ideal for

Phone Standard

Cloud calls, voicemail, and 3,000 minutes per month for users in both the United States and Canada

Robust business phone system needs

Phone Resource Account

Assign numbers to resources, call receiving

Resource-specific phone management

Room Standard

Meeting management, whiteboard, calendar integration

Digital-enhanced physical meeting spaces

Shared Device

Access on shared devices, hot desking

Shared workspaces or common areas

Room Pro

Advanced analytics, managed room capacity

Advanced meeting room needs


Basic Teams access, trial features

Initial exploration of Teams

Advanced Communications

Large live events, custom branding

Large-scale events, advanced needs

Obviously, whatever Microsoft Teams licenses any organization will use depends upon their IT budget, total number of users, and desired business outcomes. Let's dive deeper into the details of each Microsoft Teams license.

Microsoft Teams Premium

Microsoft Teams Premium is an enhanced version of the standard Microsoft Teams offering, designed to provide businesses with advanced features that go beyond the basics of communication and collaboration. Teams Premium integrates sophisticated meeting, calling, security capabilities, and analytics tools. This premium version is tailored to meet the needs of organizations that require a higher level of functionality and control in their communication systems with features such as:

  1. Advanced meeting capabilities: Teams Premium offers features like meeting recordings with automatic transcriptions, which are invaluable for keeping track of discussions and decisions made during meetings. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that conduct numerous or lengthy meetings and need to maintain accurate records.
  2. Enhanced security features: With the increasing need for cybersecurity, Teams Premium provides advanced security options. This includes end-to-end encryption for meetings, ensuring that sensitive information discussed remains confidential. This feature is crucial for businesses handling sensitive data, such as legal firms, healthcare providers, and financial institutions.
  3. Sophisticated analytics and reporting tools: Teams Premium includes tools that offer insight into how teams collaborate and communicate. These analytics can help businesses identify patterns, optimize workflows, and improve overall efficiency. This is particularly valuable for organizations looking to enhance productivity and collaboration among their teams.
  4. Customizable meeting experiences: The license allows for a more tailored meeting experience, including custom backgrounds and branded meeting lobbies. This feature adds a professional touch to meetings, especially important for businesses that frequently host client or external stakeholder meetings.
  5. Scalability and flexibility: Microsoft Teams Premium is designed to scale your business, making it a suitable choice for both growing startups and established enterprises. Its flexibility in terms of features and scalability makes it a versatile tool for various business sizes and types.

Microsoft Teams Phone Standard License

The Microsoft Teams Phone Standard License is a specialized offering within the Microsoft Teams ecosystem, focused on integrating traditional telephony features into the digital workspace. This license enables users to make, receive, and transfer calls to and from landlines and mobile phones directly within the Teams environment. It's designed for businesses that want to unify their communication systems, combining the flexibility of digital collaboration with the reliability of traditional phone services. A Microsoft Teams Phone Standard license can replace an organization's existing onsite phone system hardware with a 100% cloud-based business telephone solution that enables any employee to make and take calls from their Teams-enabled device. This makes Teams Phone extremely valuable because it delivers:

  1. Seamless integration of calling and collaboration: This license merges the robust calling features of a traditional phone system with the collaborative tools of Microsoft Teams. Users can manage calls, participate in chats, and collaborate on documents all in one platform, enhancing productivity and streamlining communication.
  2. Cost-effective communication solution: By integrating calling capabilities within Teams, businesses can reduce the need for separate phone systems, leading to cost savings. It's particularly beneficial for small to medium-sized businesses looking to minimize technology overheads.
  3. Enhanced mobility and flexibility: The Teams Phone Standard License allows employees to make and receive calls from anywhere, not just from their office desk. This mobility is crucial for remote workers or businesses with a hybrid workforce, ensuring constant connectivity.
  4. Simplified IT management: This license makes Managing communication systems more straightforward. IT departments have a unified system to oversee, reducing complexity and the time spent on maintenance and troubleshooting.
  5. Scalability: As your business grows, the Teams Phone Standard License scales with you. Adding new users or adjusting features can be done quickly and without the need for significant infrastructure changes.
  6. Reliability and security: Microsoft's robust infrastructure ensures high reliability and security for your calls. This is vital for businesses where communication is critical and data security is a priority.
  7. Customizable call management features: Features like call forwarding, call queues, and voicemail are included, allowing businesses to tailor their call management to suit their specific needs. This customization is particularly beneficial for customer service-centric businesses.

Microsoft Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle

The Microsoft Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle is a comprehensive package that combines the Microsoft Teams Phone Standard License with a dedicated calling plan. This bundle is designed to provide a complete, integrated solution for businesses seeking both a robust, traditional telephony system and the collaborative features of Microsoft Teams. With this bundle, organizations can get:

  • An all-in-one communication solution: The Microsoft Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle simplifies communication by integrating voice calls, video conferencing, and messaging within a single platform. It eliminates the need for multiple communication tools, streamlining workflows and reducing complexity.
  • Cost-effective and predictable billing: Businesses can better manage their communication expenses with a fixed calling plan. The bundled pricing offers a predictable monthly cost, which is particularly beneficial for budgeting and financial planning.
  • Ease of deployment and management: Implementing and managing the Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle is straightforward, as it combines two essential services into one package. This integration simplifies the setup process and reduces the administrative burden on IT teams.
  • Global reach with local presence: The calling plans for Microsoft Teams often include options for domestic and international calls, allowing businesses to maintain a local presence while reaching global markets. This is crucial for companies with international clients or remote teams spread across different countries.
  • Scalability and flexibility: The bundle is scalable, accommodating the changing needs of growing businesses. Companies can easily add or remove users and adjust their calling plans as their business evolves.
  • Enhanced productivity and collaboration: Employees can collaborate more effectively by having calling capabilities directly within Teams. They can quickly transition from a chat to a call, share documents during a conversation, and schedule meetings, all within the same platform.
  • Reliable and secure communication: Leveraging Microsoft's robust infrastructure, the bundle ensures high reliability and security standards for all communications. This is vital for businesses where data security and uninterrupted communication are paramount.

The Microsoft Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle is an ideal choice for businesses looking for a unified communication solution that combines the collaborative power of Microsoft Teams with the reliability and familiarity of traditional phone systems.

Microsoft Phone Resource Account License

Microsoft Phone Resource Account License

Essential for businesses that use automated systems like auto attendants and call queues, the Microsoft Phone Resource Account License is designed to facilitate automated customer communications. A resource account is essentially a non-user entity in Microsoft Teams that can be assigned a phone number and used to handle incoming calls through these automated systems. This license is crucial for businesses that want to streamline their call management and provide a more organized, efficient, and professional response to incoming calls by delivering:

  1. Efficient call management: The Phone Resource Account License enables businesses to set up auto attendants and call queues, which are essential for efficiently managing a high volume of incoming calls. This system ensures that calls are routed to the appropriate department or individual, reducing wait times and improving customer satisfaction.
  2. Professional customer interaction: Auto attendants provide a professional first point of contact for callers, offering menu options and directing calls based on the caller’s needs. This enhances the overall customer experience and projects a professional image of the business.
  3. Scalability and flexibility: As the business grows, the call management system can be easily scaled and adjusted to meet changing needs. New menus, options, and routing rules can be added to accommodate new departments or services.
  4. Cost-effective solution: By automating the call handling process, businesses can reduce the need for a large reception staff or call center. This can lead to significant cost savings, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.
  5. Improved internal workflow: Call queues can be used to distribute incoming calls among team members, ensuring an even workload and reducing the chances of missed calls. This can improve the efficiency of teams that handle customer inquiries, support, or sales.

Microsoft Teams Room Standard License

The Microsoft Teams Room Standard License is a specialized offering designed to enhance the meeting room experience by integrating it seamlessly with the Microsoft Teams platform. This license is tailored for businesses that utilize physical meeting spaces and wish to upgrade them with advanced digital collaboration tools. It transforms traditional meeting rooms into smart, connected spaces where participants can collaborate effectively, both in-person and remotely.

Teams Room Standard can modernize a business meeting workspace by delivering:

  • Enhanced meeting room experience: This license equips meeting rooms with features like one-touch join, high-quality audio and video, content sharing, and interactive whiteboarding. These capabilities make meetings more engaging and productive, whether participants are in the room or joining remotely.
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Teams: By integrating meeting rooms with Teams, businesses can leverage a consistent and familiar user interface. This integration simplifies the process of starting and managing meetings, reducing the learning curve for users.
  • Improved collaboration and accessibility: The Teams Room Standard License allows remote participants to join meetings easily, ensuring that teams can collaborate effectively, regardless of their location. This accessibility is crucial in today’s increasingly remote and hybrid work environments.
  • Cost-effective solution for meeting spaces: Upgrading meeting rooms with this license is often more cost-effective than traditional AV conferencing systems. It provides a high-quality experience without the need for expensive, specialized equipment.
  • Easy to manage and scale: The license simplifies the management of meeting room technology. IT administrators can remotely manage Teams Rooms devices, update software, and troubleshoot issues, making it easier to scale as the organization grows.
  • Enhanced security and compliance: As part of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, Teams Rooms adhere to high security and compliance standards. This ensures that sensitive business conversations and data shared during meetings are protected.
  • Flexibility and customization: The Teams Room Standard License offers flexibility in setting up meeting spaces, whether it’s a small huddle room or a large conference room. Businesses can customize the setup to fit their specific needs and room sizes.

Microsoft Teams Room Pro License

Microsoft Teams Room Pro License

The Microsoft Teams Room Pro License is an advanced version of the standard Microsoft Teams Room license. It is designed for organizations that require more sophisticated features and capabilities in their meeting room environments. This license is particularly suited for larger enterprises or businesses with complex meeting room setups, offering enhanced functionalities that go beyond the basic meeting room requirements.

This table highlights the key differences between the Microsoft Teams Room Standard License and the Microsoft Teams Room Pro License, emphasizing the enhanced capabilities and advanced features of the Pro version:


Microsoft Teams Room Standard License

Microsoft Teams Room Pro License

Meeting Capabilities

Basic meeting features are suitable for standard meeting rooms.

Advanced meeting features for a more sophisticated meeting experience.

Meeting Size Support

Designed for small to medium-sized meeting spaces.

Tailored for larger meeting spaces, supporting a greater number of participants.

Room Management and Analytics

Standard management tools and basic analytics for room usage.

Enhanced management tools and detailed analytics for optimizing meeting resources.

Customization and Integration

Limited customization and integration capabilities.

Increased scope for customization and integration with other systems and tools.

Security Features

Standard security features for meeting protection.

Superior security features, including advanced encryption and secure connectivity.

Support and Updates

Regular support and updates.

Priority support and access to the latest updates and features.

Ideal Use Case

Suitable for businesses with standard meeting room needs.

Optimal for large enterprises or businesses with complex meeting room setups.

Microsoft Teams Shared Device License

A Microsoft Teams Shared Device License is a specific type of licensing option offered by Microsoft, designed for scenarios where multiple users need to access Microsoft Teams from a shared device. This licensing option is more economical for businesses where individual licenses for each employee would be impractical or too expensive. It reduces the overall cost of software licensing by maximizing the utility of fewer devices.

Shared Device licenses for Teams are particularly useful in environments like retail stores, healthcare facilities, factories, or any other setting where employees don't have individual workstations or dedicated devices needing:

  1. Multi-user access: Allows multiple users to access and use Microsoft Teams on a single device. Each user can log in with their credentials, ensuring personalized access to Teams features while maintaining privacy and security.
  2. Flexibility and convenience: In workplaces with shift workers or roles that don't require constant use of a computer, a shared device license offers flexibility. Employees can access Teams as needed without the need for a personal device.
  3. Easy management: Administrators can manage these shared devices centrally, ensuring that software updates, security policies, and other administrative tasks are consistently applied across all devices.
  4. Security and compliance: Even though the device is shared, security and compliance are not compromised. Users are required to authenticate individually, ensuring that data and communications remain secure and private.
  5. Optimized for shared use: The Teams interface on shared devices can be optimized for quick and easy access to common features, making it user-friendly for employees who may not use it as frequently.

Microsoft Teams Exploratory License

The Microsoft Teams Exploratory License is a unique offering from Microsoft designed to allow users within an organization to explore the full capabilities of Microsoft Teams. It enables users in an organization to sign up for a trial of Microsoft Teams on their own, without needing administrative setup. This self-service aspect encourages user-driven exploration and adoption. Once the trial period is over or if the organization decides to fully adopt Microsoft Teams, it is straightforward to transition from the Exploratory License to a paid license. This transition ensures a seamless continuity of service.

This license is particularly useful for businesses that are considering adopting Microsoft Teams but want to evaluate its features and suitability for their organization before making a full commitment.

Microsoft Teams Advanced Communications License

The Microsoft Teams Advanced Communications License is an add-on for Microsoft Teams that provides additional capabilities and enhancements, particularly for larger organizations or those requiring advanced communication features. Generally speaking, the Advanced Communication license is designed to extend the core functionalities of Microsoft Teams for large enterprise customers with well-staffed IT departments, especially those needing scalable meeting and event organization, compliance, and policy management.

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Microsoft Teams Licenses Features & Cost Comparison

Microsoft Teams Licenses Features & Cost Comparison

Each license type comes with its unique set of features and pricing. Below is a table that outlines the features and cost comparison of various Microsoft Teams licenses. Please note that the actual costs can vary based on the region, any ongoing promotions, or changes in pricing by Microsoft. The table is structured to provide a general comparison:

License Type

Key Features

Cost (Estimate)

Microsoft Teams Premium

Advanced security, meeting, and calling capabilities; Enhanced analytics tools


Microsoft Teams Phone Standard License

Integrated calling features; Call management within Teams


Microsoft Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle

Combined Teams Phone Standard License with a calling plan; Simplified management and billing


Microsoft Teams Room Standard License

Features for meeting rooms like one-touch join, content sharing, and in-room controls


Microsoft Phone Resource Account License

For automated systems like auto attendants, call queues


Microsoft Teams Shared Device License

Multiple users access Teams on a single device; Ideal for shift workers/shared devices


Microsoft Teams Room Pro License

Advanced capabilities for complex meeting room needs; Room capacity notifications, AI-driven insights


Microsoft Teams Exploratory License

Allows users to explore Teams features; Ideal for evaluating Teams


Microsoft Teams Advanced Communications License

Large meeting capabilities; Custom policy packages; Enhanced compliance features


Microsoft Teams Calling Plans

Range of calling plans for different organizational needs; Domestic and international options


Communication Credits

Pay-as-you-go for additional services; Flexible payment for extra features


Audio Conferencing

Join meetings via phone; Expand meeting accessibility


Choosing the Right Microsoft Teams License for Your Business

Choosing the right Microsoft Teams license for your business can be daunting. Therefore, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Assessing business needs: Evaluate your team's size, communication habits, and specific requirements like call management or advanced security.
  • Scalability considerations: Choose a license that not only meets your current needs but can scale as your business grows.
  • Collaboration requirements: Consider the level of collaboration your team needs. Do they require advanced meeting features, or are basic chat and file-sharing functions sufficient?

Microsoft Teams Licensing Best Practices

Are you selecting Teams licenses that meet your business requirements? At a high level, you should always align licensing with these needs:

  • User management: Regularly review and manage user licenses to ensure you're only paying for what you need.
  • Compliance and security considerations: Select licenses that align with your industry's compliance standards and security requirements.
  • Monitoring and reporting: Utilize Teams' monitoring and reporting tools to track usage and optimize your license strategy.


Microsoft Teams can transform the way your business communicates and collaborates. Choosing the right license is a critical step in leveraging this powerful tool. If you want to optimize your Microsoft Teams deployment and save money on Microsoft 365 licenses, the experts at Amaxra are here to help. Contact Amaxra today to explore how we can tailor a solution that fits your business perfectly.

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