Free Teams for six months – Microsoft’s solution for COVID-19
As a response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the increase in work-from-home policies, Microsoft has made their communication tool, Microsoft Teams, free for six months. There was a free version of Teams made available in 2018 but certain features were reserved for its paid version. With the Teams usage-spike in China (Since January 31, Microsoft have seen a 500 percent increase in Teams meetings, calling, and conferences.) and Microsoft’s commitment to helping organsations everywhere stay connected and productive, the decision was made to include some of those paid features for free for six months with a new license.
This version gives you unlimited chat, built-in group and one-on-one audio or video calling, 10 GB of team file storage, and 2 GB of personal file storage per user. You also get real-time collaboration with the Office apps for web, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
According to Jared Spataro’s (Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 ) article, Microsoft are rolling out updates to the free version of Teams that will lift restrictions on user limits.
At Dufeu, we are also committed to our customers and would like to support them and the health and safety of their employees by making remote working as easy as possible. If you are a customer or business that would like to take advantage of the Microsoft Teams six month license please give us a call on 01933 426162, email us at email@example.com or visit our website and fill in our contact form*.
For those that aren’t familiar with Microsoft Teams there is a brief explanation of the collaboration tool some features it includes below. (Please note – there are still some differences between the paid and free version, please contact us for further information).
What is Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a product which offers a centralised communication resource. It allows for wider collaboration across internal business staff directly from one window. It can also help simplify group work with the use of Team ‘channels’ setup for a selected group of people.
Essentially, Teams helps to reduce the need to communicate across multiple platforms. It’s included as standard with Office 365 and therefore integrates seamlessly with the entire Office 365 suite.
Key features (paid): What can Teams do?
- Phone calls, video calls and IM
Allows phone calls, video calls and instant messaging (chat) direct from the window. It can be used within a web browser, desktop application.
- Make appointments
Links directly to Outlook, meaning calendars can be checked and appointments made directly from within Teams.
- Create department specific Team spaces
Staff can create department-specific Team spaces and communicate/collaborate within these. This can reduce the need for long email chains. Additionally, members can be easily added with immediate visibility of all existing communications.
- Syncs directly with Office 365
Syncs directly with Office 365 apps and therefore can be used to edit files (Word, Excel, etc…). Files added within Teams hub are also automatically added to SharePoint (Office 365 cloud storage)
- Screen sharing
Allows screen sharing for web conferencing including audio and video capabilities. These can be pre-planned and added to calendars or run as impromptu meetings.
You may also find our Coronavirus Advisory Document helpful with further info on remote working, supply-chain and our internal preventative measures during the COVID-19 outbreak. The affected figures will be out-of-date now as this was released on 5th March but the advice remains the same.
*Depending on the size of the Teams setup and installation, please note due to the labour and time involved this could be billable.
Creative Marketing Designer at Dufeu IT | Wife to a tech genius | Mother of two little princesses