Using Microsoft Teams During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Using Microsoft Teams During the COVID-19 Pandemic

More and more businesses are forced to transition to a work-from-home set up to avoid the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news? Microsoft is offering Teams for free during the coronavirus outbreak.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative communications app that combines chat, video conferencing, and file storage. Anyone who wants to work with others on documents, especially those that use Office 365, can get the most out of Microsoft Teams. This includes your employees, customers, suppliers, and partners.

Microsoft Teams is a freemium platform that allows workplaces to share, meet, and collaborate in real-time via either a desktop app (for Windows/Mac/Linux), a moderately functional web-based app, or a mobile app (Android/iPhone).

How Do You Get Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365. If your organization is subscribed to Office 365, it’s automatically available and you can access it at any time. As soon as you’re signed up, you will receive a license for a free version of Teams. It is valid until January 2021 and you can use the license for members of your team and is applicable for contractors and freelancers as well.

Because Teams is built on the Office 365 framework, it uses Azure Active Directory for identity and Office 365 groups for collaboration. As such, it’s best to bookmark the following tools to manage administrative tasks:

  • Microsoft 365 Admin Center to control user accounts and licenses as general Office 365 settings
  • Microsoft Teams Admin Center to configure global Teams settings and view the status of the service and your installation.

For both tools, you will be required to sign in with your Office 365 administrative credentials. If you’re the owner of the subscription, that’s the assigned email address for the global administrator.

For those who don’t have Office 365, you can install the Teams app and use the freemium mode. This version never expires and provides unlimited chat, built-in group, audio or video calling, 10 GB team file storage, and 2 GB of personal file storage per user. In addition, you can also get real-time collaboration with the Office web apps (Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint).

You can sign up by clicking on this link using your personal email address. Choose the For Work option and respond to a verification email to complete the setup. Once done, you can sign in and click the Manage Org link found on the menu to invite additional users.

If you’re an IT professional who wants to use Teams centrally but your company isn’t currently licensed for Teams, you can use Office 365 E1 for six months. Simply contact your Microsoft partner or sales representative.

How Can Microsoft Teams Help Your Business During the Coronavirus Crisis?

Teams has the tools you need to stay connected and get work done:

  • Chat – For communicating and staying up to date with your team
  • Screen sharing and recording – Easily share and record your screen during meetings
  • Video meetings – Built-in group and one-on-one audio or video calling for your meetings
  • Live events – Create and expand a live event wherever your team, audience, or community resides

While these are fairly common in other productivity platforms, the rapid increase of remote workers is putting a lot of pressure on them. One reason that makes Microsoft Teams the best choice among them all is that it ultimately has the capacity to handle the load. At Charles IT, we’ve embedded Teams into our culture. This application is how we stay connected, it houses all of the capabilities we need on a daily basis and has become an aid for getting the job done in a swift and efficient manner.

Microsoft Teams is expected to become a major player in the market. Because it’s an app that runs on the most popular operating system, Windows, and productivity suite, Office 365, there will be a tremendous amount of businesses using Teams, especially in the coming months. Don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic slow your business down. Reach out to our team to learn how you can make the most out of Team’s functionalities!

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