Unprecedented times for business leaders now as the gears of industry and commerce are basically at a standstill. Most companies have a complete freeze on spending and are contingency planning for things to get worse before they get better. While sometimes there is ‘opportunity in chaos’ so too is the potential to make costly mistakes in our haste to facilitate immediate needs.
Today, we’ll be looking at Microsoft and some issues to consider as the economy heads for a downturn.
Although remote/home office work is a well-established trend in many industries, others are still grappling with management and cost challenges (not to mention the rapid and disruptive nature of the current emergency). For brevity, here are some thoughts to consider in the short / longer term:
- Office365 users can access most of the full functionality via any web browser. So, you don’t necessarily have to buy laptops for former desktop users; you could allow access from home with employee owned devices, for a lower cost approach.
- Microsoft’s offer of Teams / E1 is already helping many of our clients – but bear in mind it’s a short-term offer. Please talk to us before you sign a permanent contract for these services.
- Office365 offers sophisticated controls for data protection and storage. If your employees are dealing with sensitive information, there are tools available from Microsoft to control and prevent leakage of sensitive information, without having to supply a “locked down” laptop and / or VPN / remote desktop to everyone.
- Broadly speaking, we don’t recommend a full “virtual desktop” for remote workers – because with the Office365 tools mentioned above, it’s simply no longer needed in most cases, and the cost is much higher.
Most of our clients are “in the cloud” and paying for subscription services for Office365 and Azure. That doesn’t mean that your current agreements give you the flexibility to reduce license costs when or if you are forced to make headcount reductions. Microsoft’s standard EA terms don’t permit that. However, there are exceptions and some possibilities for negotiated alternatives.
If you find yourself facing these unpleasant choices, please contact us for a quick, secure conversation about these possibilities and potential alternatives.
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