Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Microsoft Teams $12 PUPM Advanced Communications licence for recording and contact center API and advanced features

Update 18th October 2020: Microsoft has changed this licence. Microsoft Teams Recording API and Contact Center API no longer require Advanced Communications Licence. More details here.

Thanks to Matt Landis for first spotting this (his company does some great attendant console and contact centre software SfB and Teams).

At Microsoft Inspire, in session IDB151, Build on the Microsoft Teams momentum to develop your Meetings, Calling and Devices practice, Microsoft noted a new user licence called “Advanced Communications”.

Angela Donohue said the licence would be available later this month. At this time I can’t find any public documentation about the new licence. I will update this blog as I find out more. You can subscribe here for email updates.

What is Microsoft Teams Advanced Communications SKU?

The Microsoft Teams “Advanced Communication” add-on license will be available from August 1, 2020. The license will be $12 per user per month list price (confirmed). EDU licensing is $2.50 per user per month (one source, unconfirmed).

It is not bundled in any SKU at this time (e.g. it’s not part of E3 or E5). It is an add-on for any Office 365 licence level, even as low as F1. There is no plan to add the advanced communications licence to any bundle plans.

What is included in Microsoft Teams Advanced Communications SKU?

Some features will not be immediately available at launch and others will only have partial functionality at launch Some of the types of features that will require the “Advanced Communication” license noted at Inspire 2020 are:

At Launch (1st August):

  • Compliance Recording Graph API Access –  Access to use the Compliance/policy call recording Graph API – You also require a third party product to connect to the API and record sessions.
  • Contact Center solution Graph API Access – Access to the API to support contact center integration for the licenced user -You still need a third party contact center solution.
  • Live event of up to 20K participants (50 concurrent meetings per tenant, 16 hours length)

Additional customizations, tools and communications enhancements will be added to the SUK throughout 2020 including:

  • 1,000-person interactive Teams meetings – “normal” teams meetings but up to 1,000 participants
  • Large Overflow meetings – Up to 20,000 attendee large overflow meetings (up to 1,000 in an interactive mode and then up to 20,000 in a view-only live event type experience but as one meeting)
  • Customized lobby controls and Custom branded meeting lobby

For the meeting features, the meeting organizer needs to be licensed. Attendees do not need to be licensed. You cannot purchase specific features out of Advanced Communications. You will have to buy the SKU as is.

Does Microsoft Teams Advanced Communications include Communications Compliance and
Communications DLP?

No, Communications Compliance (for teams chat) and Communications DLP is not included in Advanced Communications. You would need the relevant E5 or Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance add-on to E3.

Who can purchase the advanced communications licence?

It is available in all markets for via the following:

  • Commercial, WW Commercial Public Sector, Education, and Non-profit
  • Enterprise Agreement (EA)/Enterprise Subscription (EAS), Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES), CSP, or Web Direct

GCC, GCC-High, and DoD is not currently available. They will be available later.

Is there a trial for Microsoft Teams advanced communications?

There will be a trial option in the admin center from 1st August.


This is an interesting move. I’ve not before seen Microsoft add an additional licence to restrict and monetise API access in Microsoft Teams. They did announce an additional charge for priority notifications, but later changed their mind and gave it as a basic feature for all Microsoft Teams users.

Matt has some more thoughts on his blog

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Founder and Principal at Empowering.Cloud as well as a Solutions Director at Pure IP.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his, UC Today Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

  • Worrying development – especially as we already have customers using external recording from Verint via our DR partner – so to hand them an additional $12/month license requirement will not go down well

  • This is all very good but Microsoft should first and foremost offer the Education plan to more people, on a paid service (perhaps merge it with the business plan as requested here: not just qualifying institutions. This has been a much-discussed request with companies saying they need the Education features such as Assignments and Class Notebook to train their employees. Also private tutors have been asking for the same functionality.

    The recording features are welcome and can compete with Zoom. But when it comes to training employees, Microsoft should really offer a paid Education plan to whoever is interested.

  • Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions