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Free Collaboration & Communication Tools to Empower Your Remote Working Team

Here are some free tools for remote working that technology vendors are offering to help your business prosper during this crisis.

The stark and sudden changes that UK businesses are currently facing about how they work can feel confusing and stressful.

To make things easier, many technology providers are providing the tools that teams need to work from home or remotely – for free. These may be limited time offers, so we suggest taking advantage of them now so your team have the tools they need to remain efficient and productive during this time of trying to handle the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you would rather discuss your current pain points with one of our friendly experts to find a quick solution, we’re offering free consultations about remote or home working business solutions – contact us today.

Free Cloud Desktops for Remote Working

Beginning April 1st, Amazon is offering Amazon WorkSpaces for up to 50 users at no charge for new WorkSpaces customers, offer available through June 30, 2020.

Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed, secure cloud desktop service. You can use Amazon WorkSpaces to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe.

You can pay either monthly or hourly, just for the WorkSpaces you launch, which helps you save money when compared to traditional desktops and on-premises VDI solutions. With Amazon WorkSpaces, your users get a fast, responsive desktop of their choice that they can access anywhere, anytime, from any supported device. There is no up-front commitment, and you can remove WorkSpaces at any time.

What does Amazon WorkSpaces include?

Amazon WorkSpaces come with a default set of applications at no additional cost. You can choose to add Plus application bundles, which include Microsoft Office Professional and Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security, to your Amazon WorkSpaces for an additional monthly fee.

You also receive access to Amazon WorkDocs with 50 GB of storage for no additional charge. This can be upgraded to 1 TB of storage per WorkSpaces user for a discounted price.

Learn more about this offer from AWS.

Free Microsoft Teams for Collaboration & Communication

Microsoft has made chat-based collaboration tool Teams available for free. If you’re a business not already using Microsoft Teams, now is the best time to start utilising one of the most effective online communication & collaboration tools on the market. Microsoft Teams provides global, remote, and dispersed teams with the ability to work together and share information via a common space.

Teams is a part of Microsoft Office 365. If your organisation is licensed for Office 365, you already have it.

Microsoft is currently providing individuals who log in with their work credentials a free licence of Teams that will be valid through to January 2021. You will get video meetings for up to 250 participants, recording, screen sharing, and much more.

Login to gain Teams using this link.

If you aren’t currently licensed for Microsoft Teams and you want help getting started and rolling it out to your entire business, please speak to us for further details.

Free Microsoft Power Platform Crisis Communications Template

Last week, Microsoft released a new Power Platform template to help customers share information and collaborate during a crisis, and it has already been installed by more than 2,000 customers around the world. Use the Power Apps template for Crisis Communications to share information and report work status.

What does the template include?

The solution combines capabilities of Power Apps, Power Automate, Teams, and SharePoint. It can be used on the web, mobile or in Teams.

Key features include:

  • Employees can report their work status (e.g., working from home) and make requests. This helps managers coordinate across their teams and helps central response teams track status across an organization.
  • Admins can use the app to push news, updates, and content specific to their organization, and can provide emergency contacts specific to different locations.
  • The app includes the ability to add RSS feeds of up-to-date information from reputable sources such as WHO, CDC, or a local authority.

As part of this effort, Microsoft are also giving all Power Apps users temporary access to a premium feature, Power Apps Push Notifications, so you won’t need any premium licenses to use Power Apps to push information to users. They have reclassified Push Notifications as a standard connector for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

Learn more about the PowerApps template.

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