[Microsoft Ignite recap] Demonstrating resilience: 5 organizations using Microsoft 365 to succeed in a new work reality

Illustrated woman meditating among office tasks demonstrating resilience

At the Microsoft Ignite session “Modern Work Customer Resilience Case Studies” we were given a glimpse of how organizations worldwide are using Microsoft 365 to step up and confront the tests and trials of COVID-19.

It would be fair to describe the year 2020 as “challenging.” However, if history has shown us anything, it’s that challenge leads to innovation.

Microsoft 365—and its earlier incarnation, Office 365—has long been touted as the tool kit of the future for office and knowledge workers. Based in the cloud, with a suite of familiar software applications connected by communication and productivity tools like Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 is positioned as the productivity tool of choice for companies making technology upgrades, integrating remote work polices, or even instituting borderless offices.

In early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic started its spread across the planet, organizations everywhere were faced with a need to accelerate their digital transformations to keep operations running, to keep workers safe, and to advance their processes in a new reality.

With “resilience” being the theme of Microsoft Ignite 2020, it was important to see this as a reality for organizations of all sizes. In the “Modern Work Customer Resilience Case Studies” session, Rick Claus (@rickstercdn), Principal Cloud Advocate Lead at Microsoft, put together a great series of user stories, highlighting companies that have leveraged Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 to adjust to, and even thrive in, the current working context.

Telstra consolidates their field tech stack with Microsoft Teams (Australia)

Telstra is Australia’s largest provider of telecommunications, and as such, their field technicians have a pivotal role in maintaining critical infrastructure. When the company looked at the tech stack and processes for field techs, they saw a large number of applications and services with information spread across them.

By making Microsoft Teams a central hub for field processes, technicians now have important information at their fingertips.

“The biggest change for our business has been the way we communicate things out to our technicians.”

Nathan Backers, Product Owner Field Digitization, Telstra

For example, weather reports are sent directly over Teams, and technicians can meet with their leads remotely before entering the field.

Georgia State Treasurer pairs safe work with cost savings (Georgia, USA)

Responding to an order from the state’s Governor, the Georgia Office of the State Treasurer leveraged Teams as their communication tool during a period of working from home.

By using video calling on Teams, co-workers were able to re-kindle some human connection, making it more comfortable to be in a position where people wouldn’t see each other in person nearly as often.

“Microsoft 365 opened up a whole new world.”

Bill Wyatt, CIO, Georgia Office of the State Treasurer

Not only did workers feel more at ease, but when the cost of traditional calling fell by nearly 80% and the overhead of unused office space could be saved, it demonstrated that moving to digital-first work with Teams and Microsoft 365 could mean savings being passed along to the taxpayer.

Hilton Grand Vacations hotel re-opens safely faster than the competition (Florida, USA)

Facing unprecedented conditions in one of the biggest tourist destinations of the world, Las Palmeras by Hilton Grand Vacations in Orlando, Florida needed to suspend operations in the spring of 2020.

By implementing Microsoft Teams in their closure period, the staff were able to institute new protocols that permitted them to work safe while prepared and planned for re-opening. By making this shift, they were able to open much faster than many of their peers, according to Michael Magnelli, the hotel’s general manager.

“Teams was transformative for the COVID-19 challenge.”

Michael Magnelli, General Manager, Las Palmeras

Likewise, Microsoft 365 allows hotel staff to access the information they need to stay engaged in their work and offer customers the best experience possible.

Derby County Community Trust saves time and expands programs (UK)

The Derby County Community Trust is a community organization that works with the EFL Championship-level Derby County Football Club to improve the lives of the people of Derbyshire through participation in sport.

“We have not missed a beat.”

Simon Carnall, Head of Community, Derby County Community Trust

With 72 people moving to a remote work situation, the organization was surprised that they were seeing time savings by cutting down on travel time. With calls happening on Microsoft Teams, this commuting time has been eliminated, adding efficiencies.

This has meant that in a time where things seem to be slowing down for many, this group is able to offer more programs and have a larger impact than ever on their community at large.

St. Luke’s innovates treatment with virtual consultations (Pennsylvania, USA)

At the front lines of COVID-19, the medical team at St. Luke’s University Health Network didn’t have time to wait for solutions to come to them. Seeing cases in March, the team needed ways to consult and screen patients without putting medical staff at risk.

Using Microsoft Teams to conduct virtual consultations, doctors were able to refer patients to the tests/treatment they needed quickly and without needing to create additional exposures.

“The actually use of Microsoft Teams was tremendously beneficial in my overall care.”

Curtis Ding, St. Lukes Patient & COVID-19 survivor

Likewise, these virtual consultations continued even if patients were admitted, letting doctors and patients virtually meet in a patient’s room at a time when sitting together needed be avoided as much as possible.

Just the beginning…

Whether we’re talking about community organizations, the tourism industry, telecom, government services or our frontline heroes in health care, their work is critical. While right now is a challenging time for many, it’s important to look at these stories as examples of leadership and what can be accomplished when innovation meets an unmet need.

With this only being a selection of the great stories we heard about how Teams and Microsoft 365 are helping organizations work smarter, faster, and stronger than ever, we’re excited to see what comes next.

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