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Work From Home and Microsoft Office 365

As so many businesses transition their employees to “WFH” (work from home) status, we thought it would be timely to ask a couple of our technology professionals to share thoughts on what we consider to be the best tool for remote working with efficiency and collaboration.  

Network Engineer Ben Weston offered the following. “Microsoft Office 365 has greatly simplified the task of collaboration for when your team is working remotely. 

The application suite is available online for those having to work on personal equipment that may not have all the software installed. This includes Microsoft Office suite applications like Word, Excel, Outlook and One Note. Most enterprise level licenses provide enough installs per-user so that they can install a copy on their home PC if needed. 

Microsoft SharePoint provides a secure way to serve centralized and widely used files and information.  It integrates tightly with OneDrive for individual file storage and sharing.  Properly setup, this combination can largely eliminate the need for VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) for many companies/users. 

Microsoft Teams has taken instant messaging to the next level.  You can easily invite colleagues into existing chats, and setup “Teams” which contain users collaborating on a specific task, account or project. It includes options for both voice and video chat, screensharing/remote control, and whiteboard functions. There are also apps and plugins that integrate as well.   

Getting up and running with the basics takes no time at all. I’ve been using Teams and Office 365 to work remotely for the last two years, and I’ve never felt out of touch or disconnected from my teammates.” 

Owner Matthew Rice explains, “At Burgess we have been collaborating with Microsoft Teams for over a year. During this crisis it has proven to be an invaluable tool, allowing us to continue to conduct business remotely and service our customers.  Teams offers Video and Voice conferencing, Instant Messaging, Screen Sharing and File Sharing capabilities. Group meetings are being conducted using voice conferencing and screensharing, and our employees are interacting remotely using voice calls and chat. We store some files in Teams so we can jointly collaborate on them. Along with other features of a paid Office 365 subscription, our office is almost 100% cloud based now.” 

Microsoft is currently offering a free 6-month subscription to an Introductory version of Teams. If you would like help getting your business on this or the more robust Enterprise application of Microsoft Teams, please contact us. We can help you make the right choice. For more information on this and Microsoft Office 365 for your organization, call us at 207-443-9554 or email support@btsmaine.com. 

Matt Rice, CTO

Matt is a graduate of Central Maine Technical College. He has been with Burgess since 2001, acting as Service Manager, then General Manager, before becoming an owner. Matt focuses on developing and delivering technologies that fit best with customer needs.

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