By Nicole Finn
A key part of the value that MicroWarehouse brings to our clients is reducing the complexity of licensing Microsoft software.
There are simply so many options, different plans, multiple SKUs and add-ons for cloud-based products that it becomes a maze. It’s like being given a big pile of Lego bricks and being told to go and build something without the manual.
Our team is here to help guide resellers through the complexity. Our resellers know what their clients need, but not what is the right – and most cost-effective – licensing plan for them. We are here to help, as we have always been.
Now we are in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, the biggest priority is enabling people to work from home. Everyone is incredibly busy and relying on us much more to get everything sorted quickly.
The biggest request is for Microsoft Teams, it has literally overtaken everything we are doing. The product is perfect for remote teams to communicate and collaborate together, so is in huge demand, even from people who were previously resistant to the cloud.
The entry level plan for Teams is Microsoft 365 Business Essentials and it is easy to set up for any user. It’s just a matter of buying the license which is less than €4 per user.
However, Microsoft has decided to keep us on our toes by changing the name (on April 21) to Microsoft 365 Business Basic, a cloud application with Exchange, Teams, Sharepoint, OneDrive and Office Online.
Other requests with Teams, include add-ons such as audio conferencing and integrating into office phone systems with Business Voice, which launched here on April 1. There is no kit required and users can make calls to mobiles and landlines from their laptop. We can help with the set-up, although it is very straightforward to do.
Remote Desktop licenses are also in high demand, particularly for customers who need to access on-premises servers, using a Client Access License.
We are seeing a lot of schools who still have on-premises servers, but now have students working remotely, doing their lessons and uploading their homework.
Sharepoint, Exchange and Teams are becoming vital for schools: I don’t think the excuse of “the dog ate my iPad” is going to fly!
It is worth saying that most of the set-up, migration and deployment of Microsoft’s cloud software can be done remotely, ensuring that partners and customers stay safe during the lockdown.
It is not just business continuity that is being ensured: we are on the cusp of a major change in how people work in the future. Once people get used to working from home, they are sure to want to retain that flexibility in the future when we return to normal.
Cloud services will enable that flexibility while ensuring companies have faith in the security and productivity of the new way of working.
We have a lot of resources for our resellers. MicroWarehouse is running regular webinars – you can register them for here.
And our team is always available to support, so please contact us here.