Confusion Over Microsoft's Planned 'Teams Pro' Rebrand
- By Kurt Mackie
- February 17, 2021
Microsoft is rebranding its existing Teams product for some organizations next month, but its messaging has caused confusion over whether it is launching an altogether new product.
A "Teams Pro" product is set to roll out in "mid-March" for users with Microsoft 365, Office 365 E3/E3 and A3/A5 subscriptions, plus those enrolled in Business Standard and Business Premium plans. This is a branding change, not a new solution.
Microsoft announced Teams Pro in a Feb. 9 Microsoft Message Center post, rather than a public announcement. Message Center posts typically get seen only by IT pros that manage Microsoft 365 tenancies. The original message had described a couple of new features coming with Teams Pro. That circumstance elicited media reports interpreting it as a new product, rather than as a rebrand of an existing product.
Perhaps to avoid such confusion, Microsoft subsequently removed the description of the new features in Teams Pro, which weren't actually new, according to an interpretation by Daniel Glenn and Darrell Webster, two Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals that host the "365 Message Center Show." They noted Microsoft's revised language regarding Teams Pro in Episode 182 of their "365 Message Center Show," which was posted on Feb. 15 (the discussion starts at around the 12:20 mark).
If the interpretation by Glenn and Webster is correct, then Microsoft not only poorly described its Teams Pro change to IT pros, it also offered poor clarifications to the journalists who were seeking further comments. Simply describing it as a rebranding effort would have sufficed. Instead, Microsoft said that the arrival of Teams Pro would have "no change to existing product licenses with the addition of this new service plan," which still makes it seem like it's a new product.
Mercifully, IT pros won't have to make any changes when this Teams Pro rebrand arrives.
"There is no action required by admins, and no additional purchase is necessary for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 E5/E3/A5/A3 and Microsoft 365 Business Standard/Business Premium licensed users to acquire the new Teams capabilities that will be part of the Teams Pro service plan," Microsoft indicated.
Microsoft's miscommunication had just led to a minor "kerfuffle" about what turned out to be a simple product rebrand, Glenn and Webster noted.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.