Big Changes for Microsoft Teams Room Licensing

Jul 2023 replay Return to news list

Microsoft has brought big changes to the Microsoft Teams Room licences offering. Microsoft no longer sells Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard and Premium licences but instead has moved to a new licensing model called ‘Basic’ and ‘Pro’, bringing with it critical changes in functionality and operation you need to be aware of so you can determine the impact on your organisation.

It is also very important to note that, as well as the change to the current purchase of licences, any Microsoft Teams Rooms systems that you have assigned ‘User’ licences to, will no longer be able to sign-in to Microsoft Teams from 1st July 2023.

Teams Room Basic Licence

The new licence model is designed specifically with small and medium end user organisations in mind. The Basic version will include core meeting experiences such as the ability to schedule / join meetings on Teams, have interoperability via direct guest join with Zoom and Cisco, share content and have interactive whiteboard collaboration. It will provide basic security and management features including automatic software updates and enrolment into the Teams Admin Centre. More notably the Basic licence enables one certified Teams Rooms device per room, and organisations will be able to purchase up to 25 Basic subscriptions without additional cost. If you need to licence more than 25 Teams Rooms systems, those additional licences need to be Teams Rooms Pro licences. Teams Rooms Basic licences can be used to licence Teams Rooms systems only and not Teams Panels. There are some limitations too. if you compare it to the previous standard offering, which included features such as dual display, Front Row or Large Gallery view, these are now only available in the Teams Rooms Pro offering.


Pro is the way to go

Now where does the true value lie in the upgrade to pro licences? The core features in Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro will include AI-powered meeting features such as intelligent audio and video and multi-screen support. It also offers device management capabilities for IT administrators, including remote configuration and device analytics. And a particularly important feature for organisations to note is that only the Pro licence will allow business-to-business meetings or as Microsoft call it ‘Join Meetings Across Teams Clouds’. Microsoft believes that the Teams Room Pro is a more inclusive and accessible licensing option to meet the needs of large enterprises and companies. The Teams Rooms Pro licence also gives organisations more security and comfort in maintaining, updating and servicing their meeting room environments.


Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro delivers enhanced in-room meeting experiences like intelligent audio and video, front row and large galleries, and dual screen support. The Teams Rooms Pro licence also provides advanced management features like remote device management, conditional access policies, and detailed device analytics.

Teams Rooms Pro is the most likely fit for most organisations and certainly for those which have more advanced needs. Teams Rooms Pro licences can be used to licence both certified Teams Rooms systems and Teams Panels.

What licence do I need?

Business to Business Communication: PRO LICENCE 
Communications Business to Business or Organisation to Organisation is an essential feature for most Microsoft Teams Rooms. .

Content Camera: PRO LICENCE 
A Content Camera is a second camera connected to a Microsoft Teams Room system which is used to bring additional content to a Teams meeting. While the content camera can be considered as a camera 2 for Teams meetings and used to focus on another subject or another view of the presenter, the real party piece of the content camera is to use it with an “analogue” whiteboard or flip chart.

Room Booking Panel: PRO LICENCE 
Microsoft Teams Room Booking Panel is an all-in-one interactive room panel, providing the easiest and most convenient way for meeting room scheduling. Its two LED bars allows users to view room availability from a distance at a glance. The Panel connects to a room occupancy sensor and can automatically update the room status in real-time. Various mounting options enable you to deploy the panel on any wall. The built-in NFC/RFID reader allows users to securely check-in and enables tracking of meeting room participants.


Microsoft Teams Room Casting: BASIC LICENCE 
Cast to a Teams Room Device from the Teams Mobile App. Microsoft has added the ability to cast to a Teams Room device from the Teams app on both iOS and Android devices. This new feature adds the ability to cast both your phone's screen as well as a PowerPoint presentation. Select a Teams Room device from the list and then select what you'd like to cast. You can either cast a PowerPoint presentation from Teams, OneDrive, or a device, or cast your phone's screen to the device.

Microsoft Teams Room Remote: BASIC LICENCE 
Room Remote is a new experience on the Teams mobile app allowing users to control Teams Rooms devices and select functionality from their personal mobile phone. Use room remote in your Teams app on your mobile phone to turn room cameras and microphones on or off, adjust volume, change the content layout and more.

Cortana AI collaboration to Microsoft Teams Meetings: PRO LICENCE 
Cortana voice assistance in Microsoft Teams Rooms lets you have a touchless experience for joining or ending a meeting, adding a number to a meeting, or calling a number from your conference room. With the speech recognition capabilities, attendees in the meeting room can get higher quality automatic speech-to-text transcription no matter who speaks, even in conversations with multiple speakers, and regardless of the meeting content. Speakers in the meeting are identified by their names in the transcript. Additionally, the Cortana speech-assistant provides a completely touchless way of operating the Microsoft Teams Room and meeting, offering voice command and control during the meeting with commands for starting the next meeting, adding people to the meeting, or ending the meeting and other intelligent voice-activated tasks.


Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): PRO LICENCE 
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) transforms a Microsoft Teams Room into a multi-functional device to bring your own meeting on different UC platforms. Simply plug the HDMI and USB cable into your laptop and run any video software you want to use and enjoy the high-quality and immersive meeting experience provided by the audio and video equipment in the conference room.

Microsoft Whiteboard Support: BASIC LICENCE 

The Microsoft Whiteboard is now part of the native set of rich collaboration tools found within Microsoft Teams. When Microsoft Teams Rooms is part of a meeting, it can display the Microsoft Whiteboard for all attendees in the meeting room to see, but attendees can also walk up to the screen and draw right on itt.

With so many people working from home this past year, we shared a more balanced meeting experience, where nearly all participants were joining remotely and on equal footing. As your organisation plans for the hybrid work world, you have an opportunity to extend this equitable meeting experience across workspaces, ensuring everyone can collaborate without compromise. To give people in the room a greater sense of connection to remote participants and support collaboration before, during, and after meetings, Microsoft are introducing a new content layout called front row. Visually, this new layout moves the video gallery to the bottom of the screen so in-room participants can see remote colleagues face to face across a horizontal plane – similar to if they were in the same room. Meeting content is surrounded by contextual fluid components like the agenda, tasks, and notes, which can be updated in real-time, helping you stay engaged and productive. Additionally, the meeting chat is brought clearly into view so when in a room you can easily see and engage in the conversation in real-time. This layout will be supported across both single and dual display configurations.

People View: PRO LICENCE 
Participate on equal footing, no matter where you are – The new Hybrid Working Experience. Microsoft is also tweaking how it manages video calls in Teams. New video layouts for Teams Rooms will utilise the larger screen real estate of screens found in meeting rooms to highlight remote participants more clearly whether single or dual screens. New intelligent AI cameras will frame multiple individuals in a meeting room and send these images separately in the call giving all participants an equal footing.