Advice through experience in Office 365, Security, and Azure
Online Collaboration Products Offer Extended Trial Periods to Help Prevent Coronavirus Spread

Online Collaboration Products Offer Extended Trial Periods to Help Prevent Coronavirus Spread

It is early March 2020 and the Coronavirus spread continues to be the top news story and concern for many people and organizations. There are reports of masks and hand sanitizer being cleared from store shelves. Large companies such as IBM, AT&T and Verizon who were scheduled to attend the recent RSA Security conference in San Francisco cancelled their booth space at the last minute. And, school districts are canceling classes to actively clean school areas and buses.

Now, large organizations are asking non-essential employees to work from home using the ever growing remote collaboration capabilities of cloud products. On March 6, 2020, Microsoft reported a 500% increase in Microsoft Teams usage in China and a 200% increase in Teams app usage on Mobile devices. But what about organizations who have not yet built out their collaboration capabilities? How are they to ramp up this capability and quickly roll it out? Setting up servers quickly on-premises isn’t likely for most organizations, but signing up for collaboration capabilities in the cloud is. Some of the most popular collaboration products are now being offered under (very) extended trial periods that anyone looking to roll out this capability quickly should be looking at.

I have seen many announcements in the media, in my LinkedIn feed, and other areas of many companies announcing these extended trial offers. So, I thought it would be a great idea to combine them into a list below with links for more information.

Microsoft Teams – With more than 237 million (200m commercial/37m consumer) active subscribers of Office 365, chances are an organization looking for this remote collaboration capability already has access to Microsoft Teams. If not, Microsoft is offering six months free trial for Microsoft Teams in an Office 365 trial. The Education industry (teachers, students, and admins) can sign-up for Office 365 A1 that is free for all educational institutions. Microsoft provides assistance on features, deployment, and adoption and change management to enable a successful deployment of Microsoft Teams.

Google Hangouts – Google makes Hangouts Meet premium features free in the wake of coronavirus until July 1, 2020. This offer is for G Suite and G Suite for Education customers.

Cisco Webex – WebEx is offering unlimited for its free conferencing service for 90 days.

LogMeIn – LogMeIn is now offering 90 days of its services for healthcare, education non-profits and municipalities. This is typically only offered for 14 days.

Zoom – Zoom has lifted the 40 minute limit on conference calls in China.

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