Org-Wide Teams Don’t Need Azure AD P1 Licenses

No Dynamic Queries Here

After we published the note about the new org-wide team feature in Microsoft Teams, a reader asked “I assume org-wide teams use dynamic groups, so do I need to buy Azure Active Directory Premium P1 licenses?

It’s a good question. The answer is “No.” Teams has its own background process that’s responsible for checking the membership of org-wide teams and making whatever adjustments are necessary (mostly to add new employees). The membership does not use a dynamic query against Azure Active Directory, which is what dynamic Office 365 Groups (and Teams – soon) use to calculate their membership. In fact, if you go to the Azure Active Directory portal and check the properties of the Office 365 group for an org-wide team, you’ll see that the membership type is “assigned” rather than “dynamic.” In other words, a process or user is responsible for updating the membership instead of Azure Active Directory.

An org-wide team has assigned membership

No Licenses Needed

Because Org-wide teams don’t use dynamic groups, you do not need to buy Azure Active Directory Premium P1 licenses for every account in a org-wide team.

When you think about it, the approach taken by Teams is practical and pragmatic. While some of the members added to org-wide teams are just crazy (no one ever logs into the account used by a shared mailbox, so why add them to org-wide teams?), you can’t argue against implementing a mechanism that avoids the need for extra licenses. Office 365 tenants are already exposed enough to demands for P1 licenses for features that really should be part of basic functionality without adding more fuel to the fire.

An org-wide team can span up to 5,000 members (10,000 from November 2020). Imagine the furor if implementing such a team brought a bill for $30,000 monthly ($6/month per user). $360,000/year is a big price to pay for a 5,000-member org-wide team. It might result in some interesting and blunt exchanges with Microsoft.

In any case, you don’t need any extra licenses to use org-wide teams. That’s a good thing.

Chapter 13 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is where to find added information about all aspects of Teams. Unless you want to talk about PowerShell and Teams, which is in Chapter 14, or Teams meetings, which are in Chapter 16.

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