The rapid transition to remote working was unpredictable, leaving many businesses feeling somewhat overwhelmed and unprepared. However, despite being thrown in at the deep end, across the board we have seen organisations embrace the “new normal” and adoption of online working.
Collaboration and connectivity platforms like Microsoft 365 have been fundamental to that shift, allowing colleagues to operate remotely, perhaps for the first time. While a more comprehensive agile IT strategy is likely needed to embrace a sustainable remote-friendly business model (utilising technology like always-on and virtual desktop infrastructure), Teams has undoubtedly provided a fast solution to keep businesses, colleagues and customers connected.
We talk to two Trustmarque customers from the public sector and private sector who say Microsoft Teams has “revolutionised” ways of working.
Teams is ‘the best application in years’
Foundation Home Loans, a specialist mortgage lender, based in Bracknell in Berkshire, who recently completed a case study with Trustmarque following a rapid deployment of Microsoft Teams revealed how Teams has helped to change their attitude to remote working.
Chris Lomas, Director of IT at Foundation Home Loans, explains: “As a company we have been quite conservative with remote working. In the past, it was mainly the IT team that was set-up for working remotely and we preferred people in the office for better collaboration. However, working with Trustmarque to rapidly deploy Microsoft Teams has proven that’s not the case.
“This has revolutionised the way we do business and we won’t be going back to the ways of working we had before. This has proven the ability to work remotely for all staff, not just the IT teams.”
He said the use cases for Teams are varied ranging from project collaboration to chat and telephony, but that it has been particularly effective for meetings. Like many organisations, Foundation Home Loans has seen a sharp rise in the number of daily meetings including executive catch-ups, 1:1s and daily IT management team meetings that were rolled out during Covid-19 to “keep people engaged and connected.”
They also recently delivered an all hands Virtual Town Hall from the CEO and the feedback has been extremely positive. “Our colleagues love it. It’s the best application we’ve had in years,” says Chris.
His colleague Jeff Knight, Director of Marketing, confirms: “Teams has really helped to connect departments, in a way never imagined and has been instrumental in communicating with brokers and key partners. It is really easy to use.”
How Teams is keeping the Public Sector connected
Trustmarque customers in the public sector are also reaping the benefits of Microsoft Teams. A Senior IT Infrastructure Analyst at a local authority in the North West of England told us that Teams has been instrumental over the past three months.
Our contact commented: “The pandemic placed great pressure on the business and the IT team to come up with solutions quickly for people working from home. For example, I needed to sort the licensing for a remote desktop as soon as possible.
“I think Teams is an excellent platform for collaboration and it really saved us when everybody went home. It has allowed us to keep colleagues connected. It is revolutionising how we work.”
According to the council, the next step is to bring all users up to speed on the full capability of Teams including how it can be used alongside SharePoint. They are also looking at how to better manage communications via Teams Chats.
According to the customer, there will be a greater emphasis on agility moving forward. They added: “The myth around home working in local government has gone. This has proved that it can be done depending on which department you work for. I certainly think there will be more flexibility in the future.”
The evolution of Microsoft Teams
Throughout the pandemic, Microsoft has shown commitment to improving its premiere collaboration platform in a bid to steer off fierce competition from the likes of Google Meet and Zoom.
From small changes like increasing the participants in gallery view to raising the cap on the number of live event attendees, it’s a great time to get to grips with Teams and test the new features – some of which are free of charge.
Modern Workplace Solutions with Trustmarque
Our expert consultants are here to discuss your modern workplace needs including how to get the most out of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. You can view our modern workplace solutions using the link below or contact a member of our expert team for a chat.
We’re in IT together
By Katherine Murphy, content enthusiast