Microsoft Teams, a remote hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365, can help government agencies enhance teleworking capabilities and decrease technical issues, while meeting security and compliance needs.
For many federal government departments and agencies, Monday marked the first ever full-scale rollout of remote teleworking – and the simultaneous meltdown of your organization’s effectiveness.
Conference lines overloaded and crashed. Video conferencing attempts failed. “Immediate” tech support service requests flooded the queue. Even today, as thousands attempt to cram into pre-coronavirus telework systems, frustration levels continue to climb because of delayed tech support.
However, remote or telework doesn’t have to result in operational inefficiency. In fact, implemented properly and with sufficient guidance, there should be minimal operational difference. Many private companies, like ours, rely heavily on teleworking for our day-to-day operations.
Given the indefinite duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and likely long-term social distancing impacts, federal agencies must adopt this new operating environment – and not just in the short-term. The long-term operational effectiveness of your organization will be highly dependent on its ability to adapt to this new remote workforce environment.
Microsoft Teams, a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) platform that serves as a remote hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365, can help government agencies enhance capabilities and decrease technical issues, while meeting security and compliance needs.
If you don’t already have Teams, you can take advantage of Microsoft’s special offer on Office 365 US Government plans, which is in response to the critical need for remote work.
Enhance Capabilities, Decrease Issues, Meet Security and Compliance Needs
Teams gives your agency the following capabilities:
- Centralize all communications – The platform supports one-on-one audio calls or chat messages, video meetings with multiple employees, group chats and message boards. You can coordinate across departments and connect to people from anywhere using a mobile device. You can even record meetings so anyone can access at any time.
- Collaborate on documents using Office 365 apps – You can share and store files, quickly search and find documents, and co-author documents using integrated Office 365 apps and services that your employees already know how to use such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
- Protect and securely share information – All communications and files are secure and self-contained within the platform, which is part of all Microsoft 365 offerings. In combination with Azure Government cloud, M365 meets most U.S. Government security and compliance requirements, including FedRamp, CJIS, IRS 1075, ITAR, DFAR, and NIST. Learn more here.
By adopting a platform like Teams, you can quickly support your remote workforce while minimizing your worries about:
- Having conversations or sharing and collaborating on files using unsecured networks like email.
- Losing important files – such as memos, reports, audits, contracts – or document changes.
- Frustrating communication issues like connection problems, dropped video calls, jammed conference calls, or missing dial-in numbers.
- Spending an extensive amount of time to train employees on how to use the tools given that they are already familiar with basic functions of all Microsoft products.
- Waiting for IT to help solve connection issues, find or provide access to documents, or protect sensitive information.
Quickly Deploy Microsoft Teams for Your Organization
For agencies that want to quickly deploy Microsoft Teams, the good news is it could take less than a week to implement basic chat and meeting capabilities. It would take between two to four weeks to implement more advanced capabilities, which includes providing basic training, adoption, change management, security and compliance, and governance planning.
As you consider your options, keep in mind that many of these solutions can be implemented for a small fraction of the cost of lost labor hours that result from sub-optimized telework solutions.
Also keep in mind that vastly increased remote collaboration requirements are likely to become a permanent operational necessity moving forward. But this transition does not need to be burdensome, nor does it need to be all-inclusive. Consider putting the minimum foundation in place now and later build out even greater capabilities.
Teams can solve the collaboration frustrations of your employees – whether those frustrations are due to frozen teleconferences, busy circuits, or crashed file sharing services.
During these uncertain times, the public needs the federal government to operate efficiently. Microsoft Teams can help your agency return to its prior operational efficiency, albeit in a uniquely remote environment.
We help agencies implement and optimize Teams to increase adoption and operational efficacy.