Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Microsoft Teams Recording API and Contact Center API no longer require Advanced Communications Licence


Advanced Communications Licence background

In July Microsoft announced a new Microsoft Teams $12 PUPM Advanced Communications licence. At launch it covered the following:

  • Compliance Recording Graph API Access
  • Contact Center solution Graph API Access
  • Live event of up to 20K participants (50 concurrent meetings per tenant, 16 hours length)

And described as coming later in 2020

  • 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

Advanced Communications Licence requirement for compliance recording integration API & Contact Center solution integration API’s removed

In a public Microsoft documentation update, which has also been confirmed from Microsoft, the requirement to have Advanced Communications licence for API access for compliance recording and contact center API’s has been removed.

Note this recording API is for compliance recording with certified third-party recording solutions, not “convenience” meeting recording which is included with Microsoft Teams by default.

Advanced Communications is now documented as covering the following:

  • Reach larger audiences: Help your users stay connected with live events for up to 20,000 participants and interactive meetings for 1,000 participants with the capability to enable up to 20,000 participants in a view-only meeting experience.
  • Tailor and customize meetings: Drive standardization across meetings for your internal and custom-facing scenarios, with features such as custom branded meeting lobby. Implement with flexibility across your organization’s departments.
  • Manage your organization communications: Monitor, track, and analyze data on users and devices to ensure a smooth experience.

From Advanced Communications add-on for Microsoft Teams documentation.

The Advanced Communications features are not part of any Microsoft 365 Licence, including E5/A5. Customers needing these features will have to purchase the Advanced Communications Licence as an add on to their Office 365 licence.

Microsoft is also offering a 35% discount on the licence at the moment.

With the recording API and Contact Center API removed, I wonder if $12 PUPM is the right price for the meeting features. Maybe Microsoft will add more features to advanced comms licence like the upcoming webinar features.

In in order to use the Advanced Communications meetings capabilities, only the meeting organizers need an Adv. Comms license, not the meeting attendees. So many organisations may buy this licence for a very small subset of users.

Will Microsoft look to charge for certain API access in the future?

It’s interesting to see Microsoft starting to monetise specific features and maybe certain API access, requiring additional licences beyond E5.

It does look like Microsoft are reserving the option to charge for certain API access. For example the in preview Microsoft Teams Export APIs,  the Microsoft documentation warns: “Microsoft may require you or your customers to pay additional fees based on the amount of data accessed through the API.”


Thanks to my colleague Tom Morgan for catching that one.

What will happen with the contact centre and compliance recording API? Will there be a licence or charge?

Microsoft has said publicly “Until January 31st, 2021, customers can use Compliance Recording API as a preview with no additional charge.” in a public partner FAQ.

That would imply to me there is some change coming at the end of Jan 2021.

Stay tuned to the blog updates for any more details as I get them.

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

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

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  • The only bit that concerns me in the Q&A doc is this

    20. What happened to Contact Center API and Compliance Recording API?

    A: We have a few updates and clarifications with regards to APIs in Advanced Communications.

    Contact Center API

    • Advanced Communications is not required for direct routing and consuming Presence API.
    • Customers that are using contact center solutions for direct routing on top of their phone system plan can continue doing so.
    • Customers will be able to use Presence APIs to gather user presence information for usage in their applications, subject to API throttle limits.

    Compliance Recording API

    • Advanced Communications is not required for Compliance Recording API.
    • Until January 31st, 2021, customers can use Compliance Recording API as a preview with no additional charge.

    So it makes out that from 31st January you will be charged

Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions