Use Microsoft 365 to Transform Business Technology
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses manage technology and empower employees. As millions of American workers have moved to remote work, it's meant a major change for how companies operate.
I recently discussed the shift in our work lives with Dan King, president of K2 Technologies. The company has been supporting business technology for Wyoming companies since 2001. The company specializes in Microsoft managed services solutions and is a Microsoft Certified Expert.
King noted that his business had begun a shift in recent months that has helped them and their clients prepare for the massive disruption that COVID-19 has caused. The change in approach has helped move many small businesses into the cloud using Microsoft technologies nearly exclusively.
"Most of our clients today don't need a file server in the cloud. They can do pretty much everything with Azure and Microsoft 365 Business," King noted. Sharepoint, OneDrive and Teams are all part of the solution matrix King is using.
In the near future, King is excited about the launch of Microsoft Voice, a cloud-based voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) solution that integrates with Microsoft Teams. The tool allows companies to use voice, chat and meetings within one platform.
How Does the Shift Towards Microsoft for Digital Transformation Help Companies?
The change in how the country works could have long-lasting implications. King believes that the work his company has done to rethink solutions bodes well for the future.
"The investments that we've made in learning the platform and really preparing ourselves to help transform a company [have helped]. Those things that we put together, our processes and how we work through that process, even how I demo [the technology] has changed," King said. "Being able to actually show people how the technology impacts them and how it can help them working remotely is huge."
Technologies like Microsoft 365 have greatly enhanced the transition to mobile work during this pandemic in ways that were not feasible under previous health crises like H1N1 and SARS.
King said that one client said the shift to Microsoft tools made the adjustment to home-based work "so easy for us."
"We've been successful in making it easier for somebody to be able to work remotely," he said. "I like the social interaction that you get from face to face, but Teams is close to that. At least it proves that I can go and work from anywhere for a few months if I need to."
What Post-COVID-19 Changes May Occur With Technology?
King notes that Teams can easily replace the use of email, which can be a disruptive presence in many offices. With instant messaging and chat capabilities, there's much less of a risk of losing context or tone.
A major change that the pandemic reveals is the importance of connectivity and reliability. For managed services providers, that means serving clients differently, ensuring that remote workers have the tools and access necessary.
"We as MSPs are helping them stay up, helping them to be able to work remotely," he said.For MSP businesses considering a shift to a different model such as King's, he recommends identifying a specialist who can learn the Microsoft tools and build the environment. Using the system internally is a good way to understand what works on both the front and back end.
"We've been utilizing this internally for three years and have finally developed what we believe is a package that makes sense for an end-user and makes sense for a company to utilize," King said. "It becomes a much easier sell because we actually have a package that's written around it."
The K2 Technologies example is a good indication of how companies can find opportunities during this surreal time.