Microsoft has officially made Microsoft Teams Premium generally available. Teams Premium uses the same technology behind the game-changing AI chatbot ChatGPT, enabling users to fully automate the process of taking meeting notes and generating related tasks and actions.
Microsoft first revealed it was working on a Premium version of Teams in October last year, while a preview of the new software has been available since December 16th. To mark the official release of the product, the company has made Teams Premium generally available at a discounted rate for the next five months.
The introduction of cutting-edge AI into workplace apps like Teams may appear daunting, but don't worry — you'll still be able to use Microsoft Teams Premium for web conferencing, file sharing, and communicating with colleagues in your organization.
Microsoft Launches AI-Powered Microsoft Teams Premium
“Now — more than ever — organizations need solutions to adapt to change, improve productivity, and reduce costs,” Microsoft’s Nick Herskowitz said in a statement announcing the general availability of Microsoft Teams Premium.
To achieve this, Microsoft has inserted the Large Language Models that power the OpenAI chatbot ChatGPT into Teams Premium with the primary goal of making every meeting more “intelligent, personalized and protected.”
The new tool will be called “intelligent recap,” and Microsoft is hoping it will transform the way teams hold meetings, webinars, and other online discussions.
Intelligent Recap Explained
The purpose of intelligent recap is to reduce the time employees spend sifting through their meeting minutes and trying to pull out action points, as shown in the image below.
The new feature will record your meeting notes using GPT-3.5 and then automatically generate suggestions for tasks and actions that have come out of meetings.
As well as automating notetaking and task suggestions, “AI-generated chapters divide the meeting into sections so it’s easy to pick and choose the content most relevant to you,” according to Microsoft.
Personalized time markers will also become available and will identify when you joined and left the meeting, but also when your name was mentioned and when you were sharing your screen.
To top it all off, Teams Premium will let you translate 40 spoken languages in real-time, and best of all, only the meeting host is required to have Microsoft Teams Premium for this function to work.
What Else Is Included in Microsoft Teams Premium?
Although “intelligent recap” is grabbing all the headlines, there are plenty of other interesting features being added to Microsoft's new platform.
Advanced meeting protection features — such as watermarking — have been added to deter Teams users from leaking confidential information. End-to-end encryption can now be enabled for your most sensitive meetings, and you'll be able to restrict which meeting participants can record your discussions.
It doesn't stop there, either. You'll also be able to host webinars and invite guest presenters to find a seat in your virtual green room before they take to the stage.
What’s more, Microsoft’s Enterprise Content Deliver Network (eCDN) is now included in Teams Premium. With this, you’ll be able to “live stream global meetings, all-hands gatherings, and town halls, and distribute company-wide trainings using Teams Live Events.”
How Much Does Microsoft Teams Premium Cost?
The new AI-powered Microsoft Teams Premium package will cost $10 per user, per month. However, until June 30th, 2023, you’ll be able to purchase it for just $7 per user per month, Microsoft says.
By way of comparison, Microsoft Teams Essentials currently costs $4 per user, per month, which is the cheapest available version of Microsoft Teams. There's also the Business Basic plan, which costs $6 per user, per month and the Teams Business Standard plan, which is available for $12.50 per user, per month.
Is Microsoft Teams Premium Worth it?
Intelligent recap certainly sounds like a feature that would seriously benefit a lot of businesses — especially those that are already using Microsoft Teams and have room in their budget to make the upgrade.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of AI-powered features like this is that they save humans time that can then be spent on tasks that can’t be completed using AI (for now, anyway).
AI technology being utilized for such a purpose is part of a wider trend of software companies focusing more closely than ever on how their software can help employees claw back precious minutes in their workday.
Tools allowing users to automate mundane aspects of employees' workflows, for example, are already commonplace in most top project management software applications.
However, the rise of endlessly useful — and seemingly unstoppable — AI-powered software like ChatGPT has sent shockwaves through the tech industry. It's time to adapt or die.