In light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), companies are looking for a means to offer employees the ability to work at home to maintain "social distancing." With employees hunkering down to remain healthy, Microsoft is helping companies by offering Office 365 E1 licenses for six months. This version of "free Teams licensing" provides unlimited chat, built-in group and one-on-one audio or video calling, 10 GB of team file storage, and 2 GB of personal file storage per user. You also get real-time collaboration with the Office web apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
From a business continuity perspective, this is appealing in several respects. First, users have a cloud platform to interface and collaborate with coworkers, without the need to meet face to face. Given the national state of emergency that was declared on March 13, 2020, this will provide a strong vehicle for workers to keep the business going, while doing their part to maintain their health.
Additionally, Microsoft Teams, which is based on Office 365 Groups, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint Online:
- Has an active/active design with the Microsoft infrastructure being hosted on geographically dispersed data centers
- Has fault isolation with the upgrades and code of the software, designed to prevent outages due to updates collapsing into other areas
- Is supported on Windows 10, Mac clients, and all modern mobile device platforms
Rutter Networking Technologies (RNT) has been active in helping clients fast-track the adoption of Microsoft Teams during this crisis. We have helped clients have peace in mind in:
- Core security restrictions and access for remote users and outside contractors
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Microsoft enterprise mobility security
- Mobile device management (MDM)
- Conditional access (geographic restrictions, account risks)
- Guest access
- Onboarding of data to Microsoft Teams
- On premise file shares and home drives
- Active Directory group policies
- Files on demand enforcement
- Folder redirection
- Staff augmentation
- Administration and operational elements
In summary, Microsoft Teams is a great platform that leverages the cloud to provide remote collaboration. The features it brings to the table are practical for most companies’ business continuity plans. If you have any questions or want to learn more, please reach out to a Rutter sales representative today.