Microsoft’s Work-From-Home Toolkit: Teams and More

By Gary Utley on June 16, 2020

Even before many businesses switched to remote work, Microsoft was steadily moving towards remote technologies. After all, industry is global, and today's companies need to be able to work with employees, customers, and vendors across the world. Office 365 is an incredibly effective, cloud-based solution that can keep your business running regardless of where its employees are. But it also requires some understanding: Microsoft's solutions need to be implemented the right way to get the most benefits.

So, what's in Microsoft's Work-from-Home toolkit?

Let's Start with the Obvious: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is perhaps the heart and soul of Microsoft's remote support. MS Teams allows employees to connect with each other through text, voice, and video. Employees can hold large team conferences or have one-on-one communications. They can integrate their MS Teams dashboard with MS Planner, Outlook, Calendar, and more. In short, MS Teams becomes a central hub for communications, and makes it easier for employees to stay in-the-loop and on task.

There are some catches to MS Teams. It requires that you have set processes in place, or it can quickly become the Wild West. Any type of group communication needs regular moderation and controls, or employees can easily lose focus. Still, that's true of every collaborative platform, and Teams isn't the only useful tool that Microsoft has on offer. Teams will be central to the Microsoft work from home ecosystem, but OneDrive, Virtual Desktop, and Microsoft Endpoint Management are also essential Microsoft collaboration tools.


Every Microsoft computer with Windows 10 comes with OneDrive installed, and there's a reason for that. OneDrive is Microsoft's answer to cloud storage, making it possible for employees to store and sync all their files wherever they are.

OneDrive isn't just cloud storage, because it can also sync to your physical device, so there are localized copies of all your documents. Employees will be able to work together on documents on OneDrive simultaneously without fear of overwriting each other's work, because Office 365 has been designed with collaboration in mind. Even better, multiple copies will be saved on OneDrive so they can be restored if they need to be, and no data will ever be lost.

Windows Virtual Desktop

Apart from the Microsoft collaboration tools, there are also tools that are meant to improve individual productivity. A cloud-based remote solution, the Windows Virtual Desktop makes it easier than ever for employees to maintain consistency wherever they are working. With Windows Virtual Desktop, employees have a Windows desktop that will follow them wherever they are.

Individual employees are able to retain ownership over their own persistent desktops, but the desktops will still pull from the same pool of resources, thereby making it possible for the organization to save on costs while still facilitating the work that the employees do. Employees can connect to virtual desktops through native apps or even through the HTML5 client, making it both versatile and platform independent.

In the past, this has frequently been a hurdle to remote workers. Remote workers had to adjust to different computer setups inside and outside of the office, and less computer-savvy workers may find it frustrating that their home setup might differ from their work setup. With the Windows Virtual Desktop, remote workers are instead able to maintain their own desktop setup from anywhere. The Windows Virtual Desktop solution is one of the core features promoted by Red River's Remote Assist solutions.

Microsoft Endpoint Management

The old days of companies being entirely on their own with Mobile Device Management are about to be a thing of the past. Employees are simply using so many mobile devices in their day-to-day life that it's prohibitively difficult for any company to manage all their end user's endpoints. Enter Microsoft's Endpoint Management. MEM provides mobile management solutions for all types of devices, to ensure system security regardless of the access points that employees are using.

With MEM, companies don't need to invest in a different type of mobile device management. Instead, the mobile device management is baked into the Microsoft product. By tracking all end user devices, MEM empowers IT departments to monitor and manage their endpoints and apps with ease. This creates greater levels of security without the organization having to spend more time on IT and administration. End points are only going to proliferate as more employees start to work remotely, and as employees continue to operate on a daily basis on multiple screens.

Adjusting to work-from-home is about more than just building a toolkit. It's also about engaging in proper change management. Organizations today are having to shift dramatically within the space of very little time. Red River provides complete support for organizations switching over to a remote format. Contact us today to find out more about our Remote Assist solutions and Microsoft work from home.

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