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The COVID-19 outbreak has radically reshaped the way people work. Millions of us are working remotely on a full-time basis and the need to stay connected at all times has never been greater. That said, remote working comes with its own set of challenges, chief among them being the lack of in-person interactions.

Microsoft Teams is proving to be a savior in this regard. According to Microsoft, the number of meetings taking place on Microsoft Teams each day has touched a new daily record2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day. This is a 200% increase from 900 million on March 16!

Be it organizations conducting ‘business as usual’ or trainings being delivered through the distance learning mode, Microsoft Teams has become the go-to solution for teams to connect 24/7 despite having to work apart.

Here’s a brief on why Teams is being adopted by businesses all over the world at such an exponential rate:

  1. One-stop shop: One application but myriad usesyou can chat, video conference, make phone calls, collaborate on documents and maintain a wall of posts.
  2. Seamless management of teams both inside and outside one’s own organization (all you need is a Teams license)
  3. Channels: You can segment out channels for different efforts once you’ve distributed responsibilities within the team. Each channel has a unique email address, enabling every member to be reached out to through an email (everyone in the channel receives an email from Outlook when this is done).
  4. Whiteboard collaboration in meetings: During a meeting, attendees can share a digital whiteboard and annotate it with not one, but four different color ‘pencils.’
  5. Real-time document collaboration with annotation: A particular document in Teams can be annotated with the four different color codes by all the members of a team simultaneously.
  6. Tabs: You can add additional tabs to each team with supported Microsoft or third-party applications such as PowerBI, Dynamics 365, Planner, Trello, EverNote, Wikipedia or YouTube.
  7. Local client, web client and mobile app: You can switch back and forth seamlessly from the computer to the phone and back again even when you are traveling.
  8. Integration with Exchange: You can sync with Outlook calendar and see peoples’ status. You can also launch Teams meetings out of the Teams calendar or Outlook calendar.
  9. Background blur: Teams gives you the option to blur your background when taking an impromptu video call from an ‘unconventional’ office setting.
  10. Each of the above points I’ve stated is enough reason in itself for us to opt for Microsoft Teams without delay. However, if there’s one deal clincher I must mention, it has to be this—it’s free! In response to the current pandemic, Microsoft is offering Teams free for six months!

All of us are missing out on so many things right now. But given the need, benefits and the convenience of accessing these advantages, being on Teams should certainly not be one of them.

Feel free to drop me a line at sbow@columbusglobal.com if you have any questions. It’ll be a pleasure to hear from you.

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Over the past several years, several companies around the world have been steadily enabling higher volumes of remote work with cloud services and collaborative tools. However, the current Coronavirus, or COVID-19, crisis is driving many more organizations toward entirely remote work. With governments’ enforcing strict guidelines to stop the spread, mandating that residents stay and work from home, there is a surge in demand for reliable remote business solutions.
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