How to ensure business continuity during Covid-19 crisis

    Check our questions&answers on digital collaboration and the tools available to ensure business continuity during the Covid-19 crisis.

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    As Covid-19 is spreading all over the world, we’re currently getting a lot of questions from customers on how to ensure employees can work from home in the most efficient way.

    Let's go over the different practical aspects to ensure business continuity based on Microsoft Office 365, the most comprehensive cloud platform to support digital collaboration. All applications mentioned below are part of the Microsoft Office 365 stack and can be made available via the cloud for all your employees in just a few minutes.

    1. How do I get access to my documents from home, or collaborate with colleagues on documents?

    Personal documents can be easily managed with OneDrive. Employees can keep working as usual, on their PC or laptop, but OneDrive will make sure all documents are also automatically and securely synchronized to the cloud. This means that, once authenticated via password, all their personal documents will be available from any location. So even those employees who do not have a company laptop, will still be able to work on their documents from a personal PC at home, or even a mobile device.

    If you want to collaborate on documents in a project or in a team context, then Teams offers you all you need. Teams allows you to quickly create a collaboration team with accurate permissions, to have team conversation, share relevant documents and even include other apps such as a wiki, videos, etc…It also allows multiple employees to work on the same document at the same time.

    2. How can I quickly interact with my colleagues while working from home?

    Sometimes you need to quickly check some details with a colleague, or have a short discussion. In those cases, email is too cumbersome and a phone conversation might lack the required visual aspect. Once again, Teams offers you all the required tools:

    • Instant messaging is supported so that you can have private chats with one or more colleagues
    • Voice or video calls are supported as well, including screen sharing

    3. Can I still organize meetings?

    Yes you can easily turn all your projects, internal of customer meeting into virtual online meetings with Microsoft Teams. You can just use voice calling or switch on your laptop camera for a full-blown video experience, even including background blurring for enhanced privacy. Obviously, screen sharing is also supported during online meetings to collaborate more efficiently on documents or within specific tools. 

    4. How do I keep all my employees up-to-date on Corona-related and other internal news?

    Email is of course one option, but it offers a dispersed view on information at best. So organizations typically organize these news in an intranet, which can be easily set up within SharePoint or in an organisation-wide Team. Not only does this consolidate all information in a single place, it also allows to integrate more structured interaction.

    For example, think about integrating an HR conversation channel in the intranet or Team, where HR can quickly reply to employee questions. Or, think about integrating a form for reporting potential risks which can then be handled by HR in a structured way.

    Note that Microsoft even offers a predefined template for quickly setting up internal crisis communication, both as a mobile app and integrated into SharePoint and Teams.

    5. Sounds nice, but how long will this take to set up and how much will it all cost?

    The Office 365 platform is a cloud platform which can be enabled in a matter of minutes. So, within a few minutes, you could be up and running with all the functionalities mentioned above. As a commitment to customers during this health crisis, Microsoft offers the Office 365 Platform for free for 6 months. If you want to keep using it after that, prices are transparent and based on a subscription per user and per month.

    Our Microsoft experts are available for all questions you might have around this. Don't hesitate to contact us, and we'll get you started before you know it. Meanwhile, keep safe and stay healthy!

    Published on    Last updated on 18/03/2020

    #Digital Workplace, #Office 365, #Collaboration

    About the author

    Tom Laureys is Solution Director ECM at Amplexor based in Belgium. For the past 10 years, Tom has been helping clients across industries find the right technology to effectively digitize their business processes and improve collaboration and productivity. His combination of strategic thinking and expertise in a range of platforms - from Alfresco and Documentum to SharePoint and Office 365 – grant him the capacity to capture new trends on the market and turn them into solutions for our customers.