The COVID-19 pandemic cast the world into upheaval. The devastating virus permeated across every facet of life and organizations everywhere scrambled to avoid disruption while figuring out the work from home aspect.
Before the pandemic, Microsoft Teams has 20 million users in 2019. Just a year later, they topped 115 million active users as businesses, schools and even families turned to the platform to collaborate. Microsoft Teams generated $6.8 billion in revenue in 2020, a 700% increase year-on-year, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Here are the reasons behind Microsoft Team’s meteoric rise during the pandemic and why it will remain a force to be reckoned with in the future-
Compatibility With Existing Microsoft Suite
The pandemic drove the vast majority of our nation’s workforce into remote positions, which increases the demand for reliable cloud-based office products. Since Microsoft 365 was already an incredibly popular option for businesses for apps like Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint and Word to execute critical functions, those organizations already had access to Microsoft Teams. Schools were also offered no-cost versions specifically for education and a free version with limited meeting times was also available.
Given that the vast majority of the nation went from in-person to fully remote within a one-week timeline during the initial lockdowns, Microsoft Teams proved to be the path of least resistance since it could be deployed and distributed quickly with native file sharing across other Microsoft products that were already being used.
The single sign-in on each device was also very well received since no additional steps were required for the average user. Teams simply made sense from a logistical and a financial standpoint.
Video Calls and Meetings Connected People
A loss of communication was perhaps the most daunting obstacle the pandemic presented, both in the private sector and at every level of business. Video calls became a critical piece of everyone’s lives since it tied voices with being able to see actual emotion- it would have been infinitely harder for large corporations to survive the pandemic without it.
Microsoft Teams video conferencing stands out because it was already integrated with one of the globe’s most popular brands. The scalability of video calls and the continued improvements over the year were also quickly noticed as Microsoft made specific additions to the app to become even more pandemic-friendly. For example, in 2020, Microsoft created “Together Mode” which allows meeting or broadcast attendees to sit next to each other in a virtual space.
The versatile nature of the conferencing feature is also a plus. It fits a wide range of communication needs from a one-on-one sales call to teaching a class of students to a virtual broadcast event for up to 10,000 attendees.
The Future of Microsoft Teams and the Remote Workforce
Although the pandemic drove many offices to work remotely, it did not create the trend. The shift to digital workspaces was inevitable and COVID-19 merely accelerated it. Beyond the pandemic, many businesses will likely decide to remain fully or partially remote because of cost savings, convenience, expanded hiring opportunities and evolving workforce expectations.
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