As the exodus from in-person delivery to online delivery of services continues there are two companies in huge demand.
One is Zoom, the video and audio conferencing app. The other is tech giant Microsoft, home of Office 365 and the provider of the increasingly popular communications and collaboration tool Teams.
Both companies have seen steep upward curves in demand and sales. You can see my blog which compares Zoom and Teams here.
The numbers for Microsoft are pretty staggering.
In their latest analysis report, they announced a new daily record of hosting 2.7 billion meeting minutes across the planet in ONE single day. This figure trebled their previous record of 900 million.
Students and teachers are also turning to Microsoft Teams for distance learning. It’s being used in 175 countries around the world to keep education going.
Obviously we, as humans, love face-to-face contact. We prefer to communicate in person with other people.
Microsoft have been researching the way we are all interacting now to uncover some new trends. It makes for interesting reading.
Because we love face-to-face, it’s no surprise that the use of video in Teams meetings and conferencing is on the rise. Global video calls in Teams rose by more than 1,000 per cent during the whole of March. Users in Norway, Australia and the Netherlands were the most active with video communication.
Microsoft Stream, which powers live events and meeting recordings in Teams, has also seen a huge upsurge in activity. A five-fold increase took place in just one month.
With the increasing use of the platform, Microsoft is making changes to make using Teams an even better experience for people. These include:
Custom backgrounds – which means you can replace a cluttered or dowdy space with a fresh, new office backdrop. A neat way to create an even more distinguished and professional look.
Raise hands – a function which allows participants on a video call or in a virtual conference meeting to indicate they wish to speak.
End Meeting For All – The host of a meeting is now able to end the meeting for all participants with a single button click.
Participant Report – Meeting organisers, especially teachers, can see who joined, at what time and when they left the meeting.
Real-time Noise Suppression – a feature on its way to reduce distracting background noise, such as loud typing or a dog barking.
Different working hours
Microsoft’s research also suggests that people are adjusting their working hours while they work more remotely, typically from home. People are logging on earlier and logging off later.
This, say the researchers, does not mean people are working longer hours. It means they are breaking up their work day into different chunks. This may be to work around family, household tasks or caring for others.
You may have found you have had to make some adjustments to your working day or week, too.
What is clear is this. More and more companies and individuals are turning to Microsoft Teams. They will expect employees and external people they work with to know how to use the application.
For the motivated VA, now really is the moment to get your teeth into Teams and make sure you know it well enough to serve clients with calm and confident efficiency.
If you know you need to get up to speed, take a look at my online course on How to Use Microsoft Teams. It covers all the essentials. That means you can worry less about working out how to do stuff and focus on delivering superb service to your clients.
Don’t get left behind. Microsoft Teams is here and only going to be more popular. I’ll show you step-by-step all the clever stuff it does so you can handle it like a dream.
To Your VA success!
P.S. Microsoft Teams is already part of your Office 365 Business subscription. My online course on how to use it is available to you now with a time-limited 25 per cent discount.