When in March companies worldwide sent their staff to the home office because of COVID-19, and in many places modern communication and collaboration tools have gained a lot of importance, Microsoft announced a free 6-month Microsoft Team subscription for companies worldwide. The trial period for the Early Birds ends already in September. What can you do now?
Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based collaboration and communication platform that enables companies to increase and fully optimize the productivity of their employees. Project teams can share access to the documents that are most important to them 24 hours a day, edit them together and share them with other team members and even external parties. They communicate via professional video conferencing with chat function for better team arrangements, so that the employees can also collaborate optimally remotely.
What already improves the collaboration of project teams under normal circumstances has become a must for many companies with COVID-19, so that the work does not collapse completely.
Microsoft also recognized this and made Microsoft teams available free of charge for six months starting March 5, 2020.
If you use this COVID-19-Team subscription, it will automatically end six months after your registration. That means, if you are one of the first subscribers, let's say you signed up on March 10th, the subscription will end on September 10th.
Doing nothing and simply letting the subscription expire should not be an option. But no matter what you decide, you need to look at how you can bring your employees together and make them work together. You should keep the following points in mind:
1. Digitization by COVID-19 does not end with COVID-19
Maybe you had to make quick decisions that not only you as a decision maker but also your employees had to take hard. Soon you needed software and tools that made it possible to work together even at the wedding of COVID-19. You have decided on a solution that offers a high level of security and compliance, as well as many document management functionalities, compared to many other software solutions. So you have taken a step forward in terms of digitalization. You should develop this progress further.
2. Benefit from the experience of your employees
A lot of time has passed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the DACH region, during which your employees were able to make their own experiences with teams. A more intensive test phase could not be desired. So before you decide to use another tool in the future, because you still have the bumpy initial phase in your mind, first clarify whether the chaos still exists. Ask your employees about their experiences, use the best practices of your staff and adjust them if necessary.
3. High user adoption and added value
We can confirm from our own customer projects that teams are very well accepted by the employees. Many quickly get used to the functions and appreciate the added value that comes with teams. If the software were to change now, this could rather annoy the staff. Therefore, it is important to consider whether a change really makes sense and whether it is worth keeping Microsoft teams.
4. The tool is only as good as those who use it
Microsoft Teams offers its users many functions, but these will hardly be effective if employees do not know how to use the tool efficiently and optimally. Due to the remote workstations and the lack of direct contact, many companies have postponed corresponding training courses for the time being. Perhaps now is a good time to get your staff in shape for a tool that offers comprehensive functionality. We would be happy to help you show your employees the potential.
5. Do not change too often
The rapid changes required by COVID-19 have put your employees through a lot. Not everyone has a fully equipped home office and not everyone wants one. This compulsion to work from home came at the same time as the obligation to use tools that had not been used before, such as Microsoft Teams. Think about how hard the beginning was for many employees before they now change software again. Every change means extensive adaptation and learning processes for your employees, which will limit the productivity of your company without the appropriate support through change and adoption management.
This also applies if you want to switch from another tool to teams. To ensure that our customers' efficiency does not suffer, we work with them to develop strategic concepts for these change processes and help them pick up the users during the implementation phase.
6. Can your IT do this?
Basically, you should always discuss software changes with your IT department in good time. This raises the question of whether you have the capacities and possibilities to make new changes. Does the team have enough know-how for a new tool, for implementation and maintenance? A new change within a short period of time should only be made if there is no other way.
7. Do not miss these chances and potentials
Microsoft Teams is more than just a solution for chat, meetings and telephony. With Teams you have a central platform for collaboration. In addition, the tool offers functions such as:
Maybe you simply need more time to decide which communication platform you want to use in the future. Let us advise you on the licenses. We are at your disposal.
Please note that your subscription ends automatically on the due date and that files could be lost. So remember to back up all your data and documents stored in teams in good time.
Do you have questions on this topic, would you like more detailed information and are you looking for an expert to help you?
Please contact us! We look forward to a successful cooperation with you.