New Microsoft Teams Essentials is built for small businesses

While the past 20 months have been challenging for all organizations, I don’t know any that have been hit harder than small businesses. They’ve had to adapt nearly every aspect of how they operate and work with customers, often without access to critical tools and technologies. The world isn’t going back to the “old” way of working, so small businesses need solutions that are designed specifically for their unique needs to thrive in this new normal.

Today we’re excited to introduce Microsoft Teams Essentials. It’s the first standalone offering of Microsoft Teams designed specifically with small businesses in mind. It brings together features small businesses need to serve customers, including unlimited group video calls for up to 30 hours, group chat, file sharing, and calendaring. And at only $4 USD per user per month, it’s the most affordable all-in-one solution in the market today.

Teams Essentials is built for small businesses

With Teams Essentials, small businesses from restaurants to retailers to professional services can easily meet, collaborate, communicate, and serve customers in new ways. Take Bristol Dental Specialists, a United Kingdom-based practice that began using Teams last year. From virtual consultations to collaboration with colleagues, the Bristol team delivers faster, friendlier, and more cost-effective patient care with Teams.

“Communication is so important, and with Teams, we’re working together better than ever to provide patients with a standard of care that sets us apart.”—Rebecca Metcalfe, Senior Treatment Coordinator, Bristol Dental Specialists

The need for affordable communications tools isn’t limited to traditional for-profit small businesses. Nonprofits, religious organizations, schools, and community groups also struggle to connect and collaborate effectively. These organizations and small businesses need to get up and running fast, and Teams Essentials makes it possible with no IT expertise necessary. Teams Essentials enables those with and without a Teams account to participate easily and effectively. While the free version of Microsoft Teams is still available, Teams Essentials offers extended limits like longer meetings and more storage. Let’s take a closer look at how Teams Essentials can support your needs.

Expansive meeting limits and easy-to-use features let you host professional meetings

Meeting up to 300 participants on a group call
Shared default Google calendar integration.

Working closely with customers and partners can be a challenge for any business without the right communication tools. Teams Essentials brings existing Teams capabilities together with features specifically designed for small businesses and community groups:

  •  Extended meeting times—With meetings that can last up to 30 hours, there’s no need to worry about your Teams Essentials meeting running over its time limit, whether you’re meeting one-on-one or in a group.
  •  Large meeting capacity—With the ability to host up to 300 people at once, Teams Essentials offers the ability to bring everyone into the same virtual room.
  • Calendar integration—In addition to integration with Outlook Calendar, the new Google Calendar integration in Microsoft Teams means you can use your existing calendaring tool to stay on top of schedules and manage your meetings. *Google Calendar integration coming soon.
  • Simple, easy invitations—Inviting people to a meeting is easy. Simply add them to the Teams meeting invitation using their email address. They will receive a meeting invitation with a link to join. And if they don’t have Teams, the meeting will open directly in their browser. No sign-up, sign-in, or installation required.
  • Interactive meetings—Professional meeting tools and capabilities like meeting lobby, virtual backgrounds, Together mode, live closed captions, live reactions, and more allow any organization to host engaging meetings.

With the ability to connect existing tools and store content in one place, it’s easy to stay organized

Easily share files on any Teams chat
Edit and co-author files in Office web apps

Teams Essentials simplifies communications for small businesses and community groups with a single solution for chat and meetings—saving time, and most importantly, keeping meetings and conversations in context. It includes tools to work effectively with anyone, including Office web apps, file sharing, group chats, task management, and more.

  •  Additional cloud storage—Don’t worry about running out of storage or wasting time searching for documents. Easily co-author, view, edit, and store Office 365 files. Teams Essentials offers a total of 10 gigabytes (GB) file storage, which is twice the amount of storage available in the free version of Teams.
  • Ongoing chat—All conversations in Teams are persistent, helping you to keep the conversation going so you never lose context or continuity. The conversation doesn’t end when the meeting ends.
  • Small business group chat template—Quickly start a group project and host meetings with anyone, assign tasks to teammates, and create polls to receive feedback quickly all in one hub, taking productivity to the next level. *Coming soon to desktop and web.
  • Chat, meet, and collaborate with anyone—Whether you are working with someone within or outside your organization, using the Teams app or dialing in, your chat and collaboration experience is kept in one place. There’s no need to jump between app experiences when you’re working on a project with an outside company.
  • Mobile chat dashboard—Just click on dashboard view in any one-on-one or group chat to conveniently access all shared content neatly organized into categories such as locations, photos, files, task lists, upcoming events, weblinks, and more. *Available for customers purchasing directly from Microsoft.

Teams Essentials offers the value and support small businesses need

Costs are top of mind for every business and community. Microsoft Teams Essentials offers the most value at the best price. And with a simplified interface that is easy to learn, it is straightforward and easy for employees to quickly be productive.

  • Get the most from your technology tools—With rich communications features at the lowest cost in the market, at $4 per user per month, Teams Essentials offers outstanding value for small companies and community groups.
  • Support from Microsoft—Teams Essentials is backed by Microsoft and runs in the Azure cloud. This means security, reliability, performance, and support. Microsoft is here to help with the technology you need—within your budget.

How to buy Teams Essentials

Microsoft Teams Essentials is available from a variety of Microsoft Cloud Partners including some of the most recognized names in the industry:

ALSOCrayonIngramPax8RhipeTD SynnexTelefonica (ES)Deutsche TelekomVodafone (IT)Wortmann AG.

Microsoft Cloud Partner logos

Customers worldwide can also purchase Teams Essentials direct from Microsoft.

Customers looking to use Microsoft Teams for personal use can get access to these same features and extended meeting limits with a Microsoft 365 Family and Microsoft 365 Personal subscription.

Microsoft is committed to providing small businesses with technologies that power their core needs. That’s why we built Teams Essentials and recently announced expanded security offerings for small and medium businesses with Microsoft Defender for Business, designed to help small businesses protect against ransomware and other cyberthreats. With Teams Essentials, we are excited to take another step in our commitment and enable small businesses to collaborate securely from virtually anywhere.

Get started with Microsoft 365

Help people and teams do their best work with the apps and experiences they rely on every day to connect, collaborate, and get work done from anywhere. Chat with one of our Microsoft Specialized experts today to get started.

Upcoming Free Microsoft 365 Workshops for SMBs

Be sure to register for one of our upcoming workshops to dive into Microsoft 365 and unleash its full potential to boost your ROI in all of your operational endeavors.

Join us Oct. 25th or November 15th



Managed Solution Showcased at NexGen Cloud Conference 2016

San Diego,  CA.  On December 6th, Managed Solution attended the 2016 NexGen Cloud Conference at the Anaheim Hilton hotel in Anaheim, CA.  The event started off with notable keynotes, including a presentation by Forrester's principal analyst, Dave Bartoletti.  After his presentation on relating and maintaining customers for cloud services,  the conference Expo hall opened featuring drinks and appetizers.  Managed Solution hosted a Stratogator booth throughout the expo hours that impressed cloud service experts alike.
After the conference, Managed Solution hosted a Happy Hour event on the penthouse floor of the hotel.  Guests were welcomed with drinks and appetizes in the Vista Lounge.  Lucky attendees got to try out the HoloLens, with an app designed by Jackie Wiener, Vice President of Marketing at Managed Solution.
See more pictures from our Happy Hour on our Facebook page
On Thursday, December 7th, Managed Solution founder Sean Ferrel moderated "Cloud Shedding: Why the Public Cloud is Not for Everyone".  The panel discussed how companies are moving workloads between public and private clouds, as well as how to determine the best mix of private, hybrid, and public cloud.  Following the presentation, Sean presented at an Executive Session: "Cloud Services Marketplace: Examining Orbitz & Priceline's Impact".  Sean gave insights on cloud marketplaces, brokerage and the long term effects of managing customers' cloud strategy.



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Women In Technology enjoy an evening of networking and guest speaker Fia Fasbinder

On Thursday, August 25th, our Business Development Manager, Tina Rountree, and her fellow Women In Technology San Diego members hosted a Sunset Social.  The event, at Vintana Wine + Dine in Escondido, featured guest speaker Fia Fasbinder. Fia Fasbinder is a renowned communications expert with skills in public speaking.  She presented insight on the following topics:
  • Learn to build a professional image on a foundation of assertive, persuasive communication.

  • Control stress in high-stakes situations, speaking opportunities and conflicts.

  • Instinctively communicate a dynamic, poised first impression in just seconds.

  • Learn to avoid “up talk” and other common communication mistakes made by women.

Following the presentation,  guests went up to the rooftop area where they enjoyed  hors d’oeuvres and sipped on happy hour beverages, all while enjoying the sunset.  At 6pm there was live music, while fellow Women In Technology mingled and talked tech.

To see more upcoming events from Managed Solution and WIT, check out our events page >>



There’s no need to download a special software or hire someone to take care of your event invitations. The truth of the matter is, you are able to do it all in Word! Here are the videos you need to watch to craft the perfect event invitation.

Frame Your Invite with Something Special

craft the perfect invitation - managed solution

First, make the invite. Crafting a creative invite with some savvy designs will catch the eye of your invitees and make them want to RSVP ASAP. When you’re working on a piece of art, it’s natural to want to frame it to help with the presentation. The same should go for your Word documents. Word is a great canvas for you to craft your documents and eventual PDFs, so why not put a frame on it?

See the video here.

Get Fancy with Text on Top of Images

craft the perfect invitation 2 - managed solution

Using layers in your Word document can take you a long way when it comes to designing an event invitation or professional looking document. Here’s a quick video on how to add text on top of your images in Word.

Watch the tutorial.

Create an Envelope to Sign, Seal, and Deliver Your Invite

craft the perfect invitation 3 - managed solution

Snail mail has its time and place. Whether you use snail mail for wedding invitations, holiday cards, or a sincere thank you card, sending and a receiving a physical piece of mail can be really meaningful. To keep a little technology involved in the process, here’s how you can print on envelopes and never forget how which corner the return address goes.

See step by step here.



OC Windows 10 Roadshow

Great Turnout Today for our OC Windows 10 Mixer and Roadshow

Managed Solution is hosting Roadshow events to demo the new features in Windows 10 and show customers the latest products that connect your people, processes, devices, and data securely across your company enabling you to stay ahead in today’s mobile world.
At the forefront of these business profitability products is Windows 10, experts will demonstrate how savvy organizations will use the end-user-enhancements in Windows 10 across Office 365 & Skype for Business to drive revenue.

Roadshow Locations

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - Irvine, California
Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - Los Angeles, California
Friday, August 7, 2015 - Scottsdale, Arizona
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - San Diego, California

Contact us Today!

Chat with an expert about your business’s technology needs.