Managing Business Continuity In Times of Change

COVID-19 continues to impact people around the world. It is impacting our way of working, our social interactions, our family lives and our communities. But by tackling every challenge with a growth mindset, we’re finding new ways of doing things, including remote work and school, virtual healthcare and much more.   At Microsoft, our top priority is the health and safety of employees, customers, partners and communities. By making Microsoft Teams, our industry-leading collaboration tool, available to as many people as possible, we aim to support public health and safety by keeping people connected while they get things done from anywhere.  

Using Teams for Remote Work 

We’ve helped businesses, non-profits, public sector organizations and academic institutions stay connected – regardless of where their people are located – with Microsoft Teams and our employees use it every day at Microsoft. Here’s how you or your organization can get started on Teams today: 


  • Sign inusing your work or school address and you’ll be up and running in no time.
  • If you’re using an email address like Gmail or Outlook, you can sign up for the freemium version of Teams by following this link.  

Organizations and IT professionals:  

The self-service links above work great for individuals, but if you’re an IT professional or organization that wants to roll out Teams centrally, here’s what to do.  

  • If the business you represent isn’t currently licensed for Teams, we’ve got you covered with a free Office 365 offer for six months. Contact your Microsoft partner, find a partner here or reach out to your Microsoft sales representative to get more information about the offer and get started today. 
  • If you represent an education institution and want to set up teachers, students  and administrators on Teams, use Office 365 A1. This free version of Office 365 is available to all educational institutions. Sign up here. 

Teams Tips: 

We’re also navigating our own business continuity, and we have a global health response team that helps protect our employees based recommendations from organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Canada . We have advanced business continuity plans in place to minimize disruption to our business operations, and those of our customers and partners. These include flexible work for our employees every day, but especially when travel restrictions apply, a comprehensive enterprise business continuity and disaster recovery program and a global support organization with 24/7 geo-diverse team.  

Business Continuity Plan 

Microsoft has a comprehensive approach to all risks for business continuity planning and crisis management, including a response plan for the COVID-19 pandemic. Microsoft has a separate Enterprise Business Continuity Management (EBCM) program and team. The Microsoft Board of Directors authorizes the Enterprise Business Continuity Management Program (EBCM) Program annually through a policy statement and program to ensure effective business continuity management at Microsoft worldwide. The Continuity Council is responsible for providing leadership for business continuity, raising awareness, funds management, resource allocation and program responsibility across the enterprise, including regular training and crisis management training. For detailed information about the Microsoft Business Continuity Management Plan, please see our Microsoft Business Continuity Statement.   


What happens when an individual signs in with work or school credentials?

A. If the individual is licensed for Teams, they will be logged into the product. If the individual is not licensed for Teams, they will be logged into the product and automatically receive a free license of Teams that is valid through January 2021. This includes video meetings for up to 250 participants and Live Events for up to 10,000, recording and screen sharing, along with chat and collaboration. Details for IT.  

What does the freemium version of Teams include?

A. This version gives you unlimited chat, built-in group and one-on-one audio or video calling, 10 GB of team file storage, and 2 GB of personal file storage per user. You also get real-time collaboration with the Office apps for web, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. There is no end date. Details here.  

Is there a user limit in the freemium version?

A. Beginning March 10, we are rolling out updates to the free version of Teams that will lift restrictions on user limits. 

Can I schedule meetings in the freemium version?

A. In the future, we will make it possible for users to schedule meetings. In the meantime, you can conduct impromptu video meetings and calls. 

How can IT admins access Teams for Education?

 A. Teams has always been free to students and education professionals as a part of the Office 365 A1 offer. Access it here.  

Do you have any tips for working from home?

A. Lola Jacobson, one of our senior technical writers, posted a few basic tips last week. And we updated the Support remote workers using Microsoft Teams page on yesterday. We have more content on the way, so stay tuned.  

Need Further Support:  

  • Reach out to your trusted partner. If you don’t have one, you can find one here.  
  • Reach out to your Microsoft account manager.   
  • For other countries, you can find contact information here.   

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