March 10, 2020

Enabling Remote Work Leveraging Microsoft Products, Including Microsoft Teams for Free

Companies that proactively prepared for a Work from Home (WFH) scenario have a significant competitive advantage over those who have not. If you are concerned about not having a remote work contingency plan, Anders Technology can help you close that gap quickly in a cost effective manner by leveraging the latest technology. With the impact of the coronavirus now starting to spread across the U.S., Anders Technology continues to find ways our customers can leverage opportunities major tech companies are offering.

Microsoft in particular has several products that can help your business enable remote work. Anders is one of a limited number of Microsoft Gold Partners in the St. Louis area. Our knowledge of Microsoft’s product set and licensing options can help you take full advantage of Microsoft’s capabilities while managing cost.

Speeding up Implementing Microsoft Teams

Many middle market companies seeking increased collaboration across their employees had already budgeted for a rollout of Microsoft Teams. Often this was on the 2020 technology roadmap to get accomplished. The coronavirus scare has accelerated the timing for many of these Teams implementations. Anders Technology can get your employees up and running in Microsoft Teams rapidly, usually within 48 to 72 hours.

Benefits of Microsoft Teams

Not familiar with Microsoft Teams? Microsoft Teams is the chat-based workspace in Office 365 that makes it easy to have conversations, host meetings, share files and collaborate on documents, and get work done with teams across the company from anywhere. Microsoft Teams is designed for highly engaged teams that work closely together to get things done:

  • Share updates and give feedback in the open
  • Make quick decisions and stay in the loop with team activities
  • Coordinate on projects and tasks, including co-create content and deliverables

Teams lets your employees work in a natural, conversational way — with everything they need in one place — available anytime, on any device.

Free Access to Microsoft Teams Due to Coronavirus

Microsoft recently announced they are giving companies free access to the premium tier of Microsoft Teams for six months in response to the increased need for employees to work from home (WFH) due to the coronavirus outbreak.  While Microsoft does have a freemium level of Teams, it has limitations on video calls and conferencing.  Microsoft has lifted these restrictions and is offering a free Office 365 E1 trial license enabling remote workers to fully utilize the features of Teams for remote work – at no cost.

Training Your Employees on Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a fairly intuitive product. But to get your team up and running quickly, Anders Technology offers a wide range of training on Microsoft Teams:

  • OnSite – Anders Technology has certified Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) trainers that will come onsite to your business and guide you through an introduction to using Microsoft Teams, along with other parts of the Office 365 product set.
  • Remote – If onsite training is not possible, remote training is an option as well.
  • On Demand – If training must happen quickly, Anders Technology also can set you up with an online training environment that guides your employees through pre-defined Skill Paths featuring quick 30 second videos on specific tasks. Employees are able to rapidly to allow for employees to quickly move through many different videos.

In addition, there are other ways Microsoft’s tools can help enable remote work:

  • Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktops enables your employees to work remotely by accessing company files and applications from anywhere via an internet browser.
  • Microsoft Intune is a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that enables your business to quickly set up computers or laptops in the home for users without the need for a visit to a physical office. Key applications are loaded remotely but controlled centrally.
  • Microsoft Power BI can provide insights and signals into how your business is performing in a remote work environment. Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization, or embed them in your app or website. Connect, model, and then explore your data with visual reports that you can collaborate, publish, and share. Power BI integrates with other tools, including Microsoft Excel, so you can get up to speed quickly and work seamlessly with your existing Microsoft solutions.

The free 6-month Microsoft trial of Office 365 and Teams is a great opportunity for companies to introduce modern productivity and collaboration tools to their workforce. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Anders Technology can help you navigate the complexities of Microsoft licensing and ensure you are taking advantage of the best possible options for features and pricing. Contact an Anders advisor to discuss your situation.

Take the Remote Work Technology Assessment to find out if your company is equipped to implement a Work from Home policy, or see learn the Top 5 Ways Your Business Can Leverage Technology for Remote Work.

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