After making a multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, Microsoft recently announced the new Teams Premium offering and upgrades to Viva Sales that leverage the ChatGPT AI model that OpenAI created.
The incorporation of AI-powered technology into Microsoft products should come as no surprise. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated in the most recent earnings call, “The next major wave of computing is being born, as the Microsoft Cloud turns the world’s most advanced AI models into a new computing platform. We are committed to helping our customers use our platforms and tools to do more with less today and innovate for the future in the new era of AI.”
A few months after this earnings call, Microsoft announced AI enhancements to two major products, proving that Microsoft is focused on leading in the AI space and leveraging their partnership with OpenAI and ChatGPT. Here I will give an overview of Teams Premium and the new Viva Sales features before diving into how customers can negotiate proper discounting and price protections to realize the most value from these tools.
What Features are Included in Teams Premium?
Teams Premium is an expansion of the current Teams application that allows for “advanced meeting capabilities.” These new capabilities include Intelligent Recap, an AI powered tool that automatically generates helpful resources like:
- Meeting notes
- Recommended tasks
- Personalized meeting highlights
- Meeting Chapters
- AI-powered translations from 40 different languages
In addition to the personalized, AI-generated tools, Teams Premium allows companies to brand their meetings and apply more robust, advanced meeting protections to their calls. These features include:
- Watermarking of confidential materials
- Limits on who can record the meeting
- Branding your meeting with organization backgrounds
- Meeting templates that allow you to save settings for different types of calls
Teams Premium is priced on a per user per month basis, at $10 per user per month. Early adopters can get a 30% discount and pay $7 per user per month through June 30, 2023, coinciding with Microsoft’s Year End.
What Features are Included in Viva Sales?
Like Teams, Viva Sales is a current offering for Microsoft customers that is getting upgraded with AI-generated technology. Viva Sales leverages GPT-3.5 and Azure OpenAI Service to provide timesaving email templates and responses. These new capabilities include:
- Suggested email content for various scenarios that are created with data specific to the recipient
- Reminders to follow up with prospects/clients and preformatted emails for those follow ups
- Suggested email responses catered to the specific recipient
The responses are generated from a mix of CRM data, communication intent, and Microsoft Graph, which pulls user data from Microsoft cloud products.
Viva Sales is priced at $40 per user per month with no limited time discount for early adopters of the enhanced version.
What Should Customers Expect from Microsoft Moving Forward?
With a significant investment like the one Microsoft is making in OpenAI, enterprise customers want to know that their dollars are going towards products and enhancements that will add value. That’s why it is critical for customers to address these investments during their EA renewal negotiation and ensure there are protections in place if that value isn’t realized.
Microsoft is going to lean heavily on their sales organization to push their expansive customer base to adopt Microsoft Teams Premium and Viva Sales. Ideally, customers would adopt both, even one would be a significant win for them and Microsoft. As such, customers need to be prepared to come to the negotiation table with the following terms and asks for Microsoft:
- Assurances: Push Microsoft for more insights into how the money being invested in OpenAI will enhance the various Microsoft products that customers are currently using and paying for and what specific value customers will get from any of the newly AI-enhanced products. You should also push Microsoft for assurances around what will happen if the expected value isn’t realized.
- Investments: If customers are going to make a commitment to a new Microsoft product and that commitment is being driven by a promise of added value, Microsoft should be pushed to provide funding to help ensure that value is achieved.
- Additional Discounting: It is also critical for customers to get discounts beyond the standard discount tied to your price level. For customers that are not ready to pull the trigger by Microsoft’s Year End, they should push for the 30% discount to still be the starting point if Microsoft wants adoption to happen at any point.
- Establish Price Protections: Pushing for long-term price protections on both products for your in-term and renewal period will also be crucial to saving money over time. Microsoft is going to try to make up for upfront discounting come time to renew, and especially if you are not getting the full value of these products, you want to ensure the proper price protections are in place.
When it comes to Microsoft, customers need to understand what its goals are and how to leverage those goals as they prepare for their negotiation. The good news is UpperEdge helps Microsoft customers develop every day. If your company is ready to think more strategically about your Microsoft negotiations and would like to ensure nothing is being left at the negotiation table, contact us to learn how we can help.