Microsoft is adding more features to its Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan (its plan for “kiosk” /frontline workers), including its recently introduced Teams collaboration service.
Before today’s announcement, Teams — Microsoft’s alternative to Slack — was available only to Office 365 business and education customers. Office 365 Government customers also will get access to Teams at some unannounced point in the future.
Teams is available to customers with paid Office Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise E1, E3, and E5 subscriptions. (Microsoft Teams also is available to customers who purchased E4 prior to its retirement.) There will not be a free, standalone version of Microsoft Teams.
Teams isn’t the only recently introduced feature for Office 365 Enterprise K1 users, according to Microsoft. Skype for Business (presence and instant messaging, plus the ability to participate in Skype Meeting Broadcast sessions); StaffHub (for managing worker schedules); Office 365 Video (still in preview); and PowerApps and Flow tools. K1 users also will get 2 GB of OneDrive for Business storage as part of their subscriptions. (Microsoft previously announced StaffHub availability for K1 users earlier this year.)
Microsoft officials said today, April 3, that Teams and the other brand-new features will begin rolling out to K1 users “in the next several weeks.”
Microsoft introduced its Office 365 Kiosk plans in 2011. Currently, there are two Kiosk plan options: Exchange Online Kiosk for $2 per user per month, or $24 per year; and Office 365 Enterprise K1 for $4 per user per month, or $48 per year.
Enterprise K1 users also get Exchange ActiveSync support for smartphones; POP support for email clients; anti-malware and anti-spam filtering; access to SharePoint Online, Office Online and Yammer.
In other Office Server-related news, Microsoft announced late last week that it is phasing out support for Access services in SharePoint. Microsoft is trying to get those depending on Access custom web apps to use its PowerApps technology instead.
“We no longer recommend Access Services for new apps. This feature will be retired from Office 365. We will stop creation of new Access-based apps in SharePoint Online starting June 2017 and shut down any remaining apps by April 2018,” according to a March 27 post on the Microsoft Tech Community site.
Last year, Microsoft officials decided to re-add support for the company’s Access database to a couple of the Office 365 small business plans.
In episode 5 of CxO Talk, Gartner analyst, Mark P. McDonald, presents a compelling and insightful view of social collaboration and relationships between IT, the chief marketing officer, and lines of business.