MS Teams unbundled from Office [+3 reasons why it matters]

Sara Ana Cemazar
April 16, 2024
min read

In April 2024, Microsoft unbundled MS Teams from the rest of the Office package globally.

This news comes almost six months after Microsoft unbundled Teams in Europe. Microsoft says that the global unbundling made sense to make pricing easier for global organizations operating in Europe.

But why has Microsoft unbundled, separated, or decoupled Teams from Office in Europe in the first place? 

It was due to security scrutiny posed by EU regulative bodies who deemed the bundled offer inconsistent with anti-monopolizing Digital Market Acts. In other words, Teams was gaining an unfair advantage over smaller competitors.

What does the global unbundling mean for Teams users? How many will switch to other providers? What are the key reasons you should consider moving away from Teams?

Microsoft Teams unlikely to lose users?

Some say that unbundling will not do much to slow down Teams’ growth, or decrease the user base. It’s true that MS Teams team has worked on their product in recent years, and the team chat app they offer today is not the same as it was at the beginning. 

Much more refined and with important features added, Teams isn’t frustrating users anymore. Besides, changing a tool you’re used to is usually not a very popular move in organizations, especially if there aren’t major complaints about it. It takes time and effort to find an alternate solution, implement it, and drive its adoption, especially for large companies.

However, you should consider switching from Teams to another team communication solution for a couple of reasons. Let’s examine them.

3 reasons why you should consider ditching Teams

1. Security

Microsoft Office, as Teams, offers enterprise security. For most organizations, that is enough. There is no issue there.

But, if your organization operates in a highly regulated industry, such as Government and the Public Sector, Defense, Healthcare, or Finance, you’re better off with a more secure messaging system that offers:

MS Teams unbundled

These advanced security options are important for data privacy and security, as well as regulatory compliance. For users switching to Teams after Skype for Business End of Life in 2025, this holds additional weight, as Skype offered advanced security features that Teams doesn’t match.

Additionally, if you’re based in the EU, you should consider your options in any case since MS 365 was deemed non-compliant with GDPR and banned from use in German schools, as well as in French ministries and other public organizations across Europe.

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2. Customization

Teams isn’t the most flexible solution. Once again, this isn't an issue for most workplaces looking for standard communication tools.

But, for those who want or need extra customization, Teams isn’t a great choice. Here are some customization options that organizations look for, and cannot be found in Teams:

The key might lie in open-source solutions that offer interventions and changes to the code, therefore opening the realm of possibilities when it comes to customization options.

3. Going beyond Microsoft world

With Teams, you are limited to communication with other Teams users. By switching to another solution that offers integrations or bridges to other communication apps, you can connect to users on other chat platforms. Think of Slack or Rocket.Chat, even WhatsApp or Gmail communication. 

It’s a game-changer for people with many contacts external to the company — freelancers, partners, and others. Some instant messaging platforms, such as Rocket.Chat or Element, offer Matrix federation capabilities, enabling you to connect with users on other apps via secure Matrix protocol and maintain high communication security standards.

What’s a good alternative to MS Teams after unbundling?

You have more than one choice when it comes to MS Teams alternatives — depending on your preferences.

MS Teams unbundled

If you’re looking for a security-oriented solution, our suggestions are:

  • Rocket.Chat
  • Element
  • Threema (in the EU)
  • Wire (in the EU)

If you’re looking for a simple chat app with advanced UI/UX, consider:

  • Slack
  • Chanty
  • Pumble.

If you’re looking for an app that combines secure and compliant conversations, advanced customization options, federation capabilities, and a rich integrations portfolio, look no further! Rocket.Chat is the way to go no matter the region you operate in.

Made with highly-regulated industries in mind, Rocket.Chat is a great choice for organizations that need to protect their sensitive data without compromising lean collaboration.

Compare Rocket.Chat with MS Teams in detail, and get in touch with our team to book a personalized demo.

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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