Microsoft have dedicated the last few years almost exclusively to developing their products in response to the remote working trend that has gripped the business world. Even though most of the organisations that have transitioned to remote working over the past few years were forced to do so because of Covid-19, the acceptance of this type of work has grown exponentially, as people realise that it can be just as productive, if not more so, than conventional office-based work.
We discussed this with an IT provider in London – TechQuarters – who have helped many clients migrate to remote work solutions. The business IT support London companies have received from TechQuarters is largely linked with Microsoft products, as they are partnered with the company. According to them, the growth in interest in Microsoft’s product sets is proof that remote working is very much here to stay.
Remote Working with Microsoft
Microsoft have a very large and diverse range of products and services that are aimed at businesses. Some of them – like the apps and services in Microsoft 365 – are geared towards everyday productivity, communication, collaboration, and so on. Other product sets, on the other hand, are more geared towards business development and higher value business goals – such as Dynamics 365, the Power Platform, and Azure. According to TechQuarters, all of Microsoft’s products and services are now being developed in service of new modes of working – which includes remote and hybrid.
So, what are some of the products and services that Microsoft offer, which serve businesses working remotely?
The most popular product set from Microsoft is arguably Microsoft 365, which encompasses all of their most famous products (like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Outlook email, and more). The popularity of this product facilitated a boom in Office 365 consultancy in the last decade (of which TechQuarters was a part of), and the Microsoft Partner Network is largely comprised of companies specialising in Microsoft 365 support, and who helped companies leverage the products for remote work – but what are some of the ways this works?
One of the most versatile products in the stack, SharePoint is a cloud-based platform that offers comprehensive organisational file management, among other things. SharePoint uses sites – which workspaces within the platform – and there are lots of different uses for a site; some are used for collaboration (co-authoring work, etc.) whereas others are used purely for sharing company news and information. As it is all cloud-based, it can be accessed anywhere, at any time – that’s why it is excellent for remote work.
OneDrive is a cloud-based storage platform that is designed for use by individuals. Every M365 user has 1TB of storage with OneDrive, and so it is ideal for employees to store all their work on. Again, this is a cloud service, meaning users can access their files on any device with an internet connection. OneDrive can also be used for sharing files with colleagues.
One of the most popular Microsoft products all throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that enables colleagues to chat, call, and hold video meetings. A team in Microsoft Teams is similar to a SharePoint site, in that it is perfect for collaboration, and file storage and management. Teams also has a huge variety of integrations with the other Microsoft 365 apps, and with third-party apps.
Despite all the various ways employees can communicate with each other, email is still a stalwart service in every organisation. Microsoft Outlook is the enterprise email client included in all M365 plans, and it has excellent functionality. Often paired with the Microsoft Exchange Server, Outlook offers best-in-class emailing, along with contact management, and calendar functions.