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Microsoft releases a standalone version of Teams

Interestingly, Microsoft has released a standalone version of Teams for Small Business.  Microsoft Teams Essentials will be priced at $4 per user per month and provide access to the core meeting features of Teams without the typical Office app bundling that requires a more expensive Microsoft 365 plan.  Disabling channels in favor of simple chat, with a focus on meetings and video calls, it’s a clear competitor to Zoom.  

The company is working on Google calendar integration. 

And, in other release news, Intuit is piloting a partner program – focused on MSPs to help move customers to the cloud.  

Why do we care?

I’m not sure this is the right pricing plan… but the strategy is clear.  Microsoft is making sure its work tools are available at whatever packaging you want them.   Why?  Because the work layer matters.  When a competitor becomes a verb .. you know, to Google or to Zoom… you know there’s an important space.   

As for Intuit, they’re recognizing the key theme that most IT providers know.. .the recommendation of the implementor matters.     Note they are focused on their cloud offerings, which is where the actions is.

Both are important because they live in that work layer – where most of the IT value lives today.