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Microsoft Races to Match Zoom Meeting Capabilities with Teams Advanced Communications

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Microsoft Teams on Android Phone

… licensing model.

“For users who do not need advanced meeting features, but need compliance recording, the net effect is paying for usage of the Microsoft Graph APIs,” Landis noted. “And in the case of call recording, a license that costs more than call recording vendors typically charge per user.”

Landis lamented that Microsoft’s plan to charge for using the Graph APIs is unusual.

“I am not aware of other products like Exchange, SharePoint or Azure charging to use Graph API to interact with a product a user is already licensed for,” he noted. “Also, in the industry, vendors like Zoom include REST APIs in their lowest tier user pricing. This could seem like Microsoft is not incentivizing ISV’s to build their solutions on the Microsoft communication platform, which is almost certainly not the effect Microsoft is wanting to achieve.”

Scott Gode, chief product marketing officer of managed services provider Unify Square, agreed, but said Microsoft is not the first to do so.

“As an industry, APIs have been free across the board from platform providers like SAP, Microsoft, Zoom, etc.,” Gode said. “But there have been instances over the last number of years where some software and or hardware providers have looked to start charging for APIs. Plantronics, before the Polycom merger happened, started to charge for APIs to access data coming out of their headsets. Zoom is dallying with charging for APIs to access some of their analytics. And now Microsoft is at least saying they’re going to do that for the compliance recording portions of the graph API.”

Gode does not believe these players are doing so for revenue purposes. More likely, he said, was to make sure only qualified partners are using the APIs. Nevertheless, he believes it is a bad practice.

“I think I probably speak for all partners as well as a lot of customers that data should be freely flowing,” Gode said. “And there should be ways to govern how data is exposed and secured. But attaching additional charges is not necessarily the right way to go.”

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