The Coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented number of people working from home. Most organisations will not have experience of having so many staff working remotely simultaneously. The difficulties of communicating with remote workers will therefore also be new to many.
To help businesses in this difficult time, Microsoft is making its Office 365 Enterprise E1 licence free to new users for six months. This gives organisations access to Microsoft Teams, its group working and communication hub solution.
Benefits of Teams
Even before the Coronavirus outbreak, interest in Microsoft Teams was high thanks to its combined cloud messaging, storage, calling and conferencing functionality. It’s the ideal solution for productive group working when departments are on-the-go or geographically-separated. Benefits of Teams include:
- Teams allows for groups of users to communicate and work together with ease. Each user can be part of multiple groups making it perfect for organisations to run different communication streams (eg. departments and management group communication, project groups etc).
- Teams chat functionality allows for individual and group messaging. It allows you to target communication at the right people and eliminate mass emails where key detail can get missed. Teams also stores all previous messages for reference.
- The platform provides one-touch audio and video calling to other Teams users, and easy to use conferencing for up to 250 Teams users simultaneously (Teams can also be used for traditional phone calls with an additional bolt-on licence).
- Files and documents relevant to group chats are stored within SharePoint Online. This allows simultaneous collaboration on documents, presentations and files, plus orderly storage of group-relevant materials.
- Teams also supports a number of valuable free add-ons to help organise staff. Planner allows for the creation of department-wide tasks lists. Tasks can be assigned to users with a priority. Users will then get alerts when new tasks are assigned to them, when tasks are due and if tasks are overdue.
- Calendar meanwhile simplifies schedule planning. Add all the members required in a meeting, and Calendar will recommend times when everyone is available. Meeting requests include automatic links to conduct group meetings via audio or video conference. Calendar requests created in Teams also sync across Outlook and SharePoint Online, giving members reminders across all platforms before a meeting starts.
Getting started with Teams
With the current situation, Akita has helped a number of organisations to get set up quickly with Teams.
The Microsoft Office 365 E1 licences required are free for six months. For an organisation of 15 users, this is a potential saving of over £500 for the period.
Akita can setup and configure Teams depending on how organisations want to use it. We can also run a remote user training session to get users familiar with the platform.
While you have your E1 licence, we’ll also be happy to provide demonstrations of other applications included, such as SharePoint Online and wider Office 365 features.
To obtain your Office 365 Enterprise E1 licence and discuss installing Microsoft Teams, please get in touch.