Microsoft Teams to the rescue of business collaboration

The world is surging through a deadly pandemic, COVID19 which has opened doors to an unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis. Globally many countries are locked down to control the spread and everything the digital-natives prepared for immediate future is irrelevant overnight. Crucial applications like banking, F&B deliveries, medical and security cannot afford downtimes or glitches. So, the enablers like us cannot pause the operations as the clients need us now more than ever. When the lockdown was announced, technology companies like us had to formulate an immediate strategic plan for managing communications, both internal as well as external.

It is a known fact that most of the tech operations of global businesses are outsourced to Pan-Asian corporates. Thankfully, there was no lack of communication and collaboration platforms in these countries. But the raising concerns about the violations of their security, surveillance and privacy issues are alarming. Recently, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs’ Cyber Coordination Centre released a set of cybersecurity guidelines and quoted ‘Zoom is not a safe platform for web video conferencing’. Considering that Zoom is a widely-used collaboration tool across corporates, education and medical firms, MHA’s comments are not very comforting. Although there are many networking tools & platforms available, very few of them are considered dependable. Look at these statistics of communication and networking tool-usage in India since the pandemic emerged.

Though Qentelli’s workforce is using a wide range of technologies and proprietary tools for inter-team alliance, most of our communications happen through Microsoft 365 solution stack. MS Teams provide a secured environment and we have turned it into virtual office in no time. Microsoft once again proved to be a dependable tech partner for businesses that operate from various geographies and seek round-the-clock availability like Qentelli. After all, 93 out of Fortune100 companies (who use MS Teams for internal communications) cannot be wrong.

Addressing Security Concerns: ‘Data protection and Privacy regulations’ adherence is the major concern for remotely-operating businesses. Microsoft Teams offers a wide range of privacy and security controls for video conferences. It is designed to safeguard user privacy, protect identity, and account information as well as the data from cybersecurity threats. The best part is, they comply with global, national, regional, and industry-specific regulations.

The video calls can be recorded for future references, of course all the parties involved in the call will be notified that the conversation is being recorded. The businesses have the chance to access their own customer data at any time and for any reason. They encrypt the data in transit and at Rest. The video, audio, and desktop sharing information that is shared in their data centers is through Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP).

Video Conferencing: Features like background blur, real-time noise suppression, voice-to-text transcription, and meeting recording makes it easier for us to stay connected virtually. The decorum can still be maintained with features like ‘raise hand’ during conferences and webinars.

Personalization: Microsoft Teams supports 53 regional languages including all variants of English. Adding Microsoft and/or third-party Apps (like Trello, Forms, Jira, etc.) as an extension to the chat is a click away. Shift Management, scheduling, notifications, and reminders became easier with teams.

Redefining Corporate Communications: When conducted a survey, 22% of Qentellects said they find 20 to 40% of the internal email blasts they receive every day, either irrelevant or uninterested to them. Teams has brought in a visible change in this respect. We have created channels, groups, and sub-groups for projects (permanent and temporary), employee clubs of similar interests, tech discussions, employee engagement, communications, etc. This way, people get to spend time in the channels that they think are relevant to them. Now we use email for formal & regulatory communications with bare minimum spam. Having our email and Teams applications synchronized, the events, schedules and appointments are visible on both platforms. So, no one would miss anything no matter which platform they use the most.

Yes, we did face connectivity issues at the beginning of lock-down period, just like many other Teams’ users, but as the dust settled, things are hunky-dory and except for not being able to sit next to each other, our temporary remote-working is going great with increased productivity. Qentellects have embraced flexible work hours, mastered work-life balance, turned more creative, expressive and remote-working does not worry us anymore. In short, thanks to Microsoft 365, we are future-ready.