If the coronavirus pandemic has proven one thing conclusively about technology, it’s just how important the internet has become in our day-to-day lives. In many ways, the crisis couldn’t have happened at a more convenient time.
Imagine, for example, if we were living through COVID-19 lockdown in the 1970s. The world would effectively have been forced to come to a standstill.
While there have been many concessions made during the 2020 pandemic, however, the widespread availability of high-speed broadband means that while we may not be able to be in the same rooms as one another, we can at least communicate freely and effectively.
Video conferencing has been one of the major breakout stars of this crisis and whilst Zoom and Houseparty might have claimed the lion’s share of the casual market, it’s Microsoft Teams that has proven to be the most popular platform for businesses.
Indeed, the tech giant has seen their video conferencing suite gain 12 million new users in the last few months as remote working has become more of a necessity than an option.
The right platform at the right time
Microsoft is a name that businesses trust and whilst it might also own the popular Skype platform, Teams is the company’s shot at claiming the corporate video conferencing monopoly.
Indeed, it is being marketed by the company as an ‘upgrade’ from Skype. To prepare, the company has been busy expanding network capacity in certain regions where increased usage is expected, but that’s the beauty of a cloud service – it can scale dynamically with little worry.
Up to 20 people can join on the same Teams call but for a Teams meeting, live events of up to 10,000 connected individuals are possible. It is also vastly more customisable than the closest competitors and allows users to share their screens and documents via customs tabs, which are also compatible with other Office software platforms. The idea is that it’s one tool that does everything from one window and that simplification and power is its greatest selling point.
Connection in a time of corona
According to Jared Spataro, corporate VP for Microsoft 365, Microsoft is “committed to building the tools that help organisations, teams, and individuals stay productive and connected even when they need to work apart.” He also mentioned the fact that Teams is already being utilised by several major companies such as Pfizer, Ernst & Young and Accenture, which has 440,000 employees now using the service.
In a particularly savvy move, Microsoft has also announced that they are allowing all NHS staff to use the platform for free so they can stay in touch with their colleagues and their patients. Given the wave of support being offered to our NHS staff right now, this was a particularly clever move on Microsoft’s part. Because if the entire NHS is using Teams by default then it will only be a matter of time before that used filters down.
Join our team
If you have Microsoft Office 365 then you already have Teams. Indeed, perhaps the most powerful thing about Teams is how effortlessly it integrates with the other Microsoft Office platforms, which are used as standard in almost every office in the world. So, chances are you already have access to Teams and if not, then there are currently a number of different programs for IT professionals and individuals that offer Teams for free.
It’s a platform with infinite expansion potential, a clean and engaging interface and unparalleled compatibility with other Microsoft Office products. So why not join the team today and see what all the fuss is about?