Cloud Use Spikes During the Pandemic: MS Teams Wins

It used to be easy to poke fun at Microsoft back in the day. Here they were: a giant corporation that sometimes came up with not entirely successful software (from Windows Millennium to Windows 8) and very odd hardware choices (from Windows Phone to taking over Nokia), hailing those as the next digital revolution. People were often confused by the way these new things worked – or, quite often, did not. So for years the offices ran on Microsoft Office, because what else was there? Topics regarding inefficiencies of MS systems were as easy conversation starters as the weather or the politics. Well, once Teams came along – another supposedly revolutionary solution – we did not think much of it, as it was just another online platform. One of many, it seemed. Until it recorded a 775% boost in use over the last few weeks…

Here’s a fun fact: MS has a huge cloud infrastructure in place that you might have never even heard of. It’s called Azure and its underpinning nearly all online services that MS offers its corporate customers. Some of these are SaaS (software-as-a-service), some are simple cloud storage solutions, many include business analytics elements… You name it, Azure has got you covered if you run a business. Companies use Azure to make it easy to sign in to all company services at once, to exchange data between systems – sometimes as diverse as in-house software tools and MS own e-mail service, Outlook – seamlessly, to run business tools and company’s own solutions. Long story short, just a few weeks ago this system has been implemented in NBA, of all places, where it combines the software and cloud counterpart (Azure) and hardware and terminal part (Surface tablets) to offer a complete business solution.

Why would that be big news, all of a sudden? It’s not really. But this perfectly encapsulates our new reality: we all need to be safe, and that requires working remotely whenever possible. Apparently, there are only a handful of companies out there who have got you completely covered out of the box. You need to get pretty much every aspect of internal and external communication locked in, storage, secure sign-in, identity verification, usage data analytics, business intelligence… These terms are quickly becoming the new language of the XXI century, but even if you do not really understand them, it all boils down to this. It is vital now to have the entire office at every employee’s fingertips without ever setting foot in a physical office. It should also be just as secure as the pre-Pandemic bricks-and-mortar accommodation. Enter Azure. Of course, this is just a under-the-hood system, whereas one of the actually available office replacements out there is running on it. This one you may well know, as it is called MS Teams.

„The use of Teams at the corporate enterprise level is really taking off,” says cybersecurity expert Robert Herjavec, adding „that’s one of the reasons Microsoft’s stock is doing so well.” MS stock climbed steadily in the wake of Coronavirus, reaching 12% year-on-year growth last month, and comfortably offsetting the market downward trend (as S&P 500 dropped overall 13% at that time). Sure, the Redmond giant won’t be making money hand over fist, but while others are losing money right and left, they seem to be stalwart in their resolve to actually aid businesses in the new reality. Others have noticed that trend and the company’s stocks are going up.

But why Teams, and why now? There are many solutions out there that provide similar functionality, and even school children are now proficient users of such tools. The problem with other platforms was security, apparently. One example is Zoom, a video-conferencing platform with very easy-to-use features. Herjavec explains: “When all of this first happened, we wanted to use Zoom because all our customers use Zoom, but I’ve got to tell you, some of the security issues are really pretty bad within Zoom.” Because current cybersecurity climate is that of a siegesome call it the golden age for hackers – secure communication has become a necessity, not a freedom-lover’s luxury (as was the case in previous years, when Telegram or Whatsapp hailed their point-to-point encryption).

Is it all so rosy for Microsoft?  Not a chance, of course. Earlier this month it encountered big capacity issues. Now the constraints have been turned on, to ensure the systems aren’t overloaded under the immense demand. The world is in turmoil, and business world, in particular, is failing in many industries. The new corporate mantra is „remote, remote, remote” – because this is how you stay in operation without fearing the quarantine of your employees and the knock-on effect of even a single infected worker coming into contact with others in the workplace. At best the physical office would be closed for a few days for decontamination; at worst, every employee would need to be isolated for two weeks to see if they are healthy. Companies in many sectors cannot really afford online or remote staff, but IT has seen a huge surge in online-only work mode: Teams noted 44 million global daily users, Power BI (a tool see big pools of data and analyze data trends) is used extensively worldwide to show how coronavirus is spreading and recorded a 42% spike in use, Skype posted 70% increase just in March… Clearly, MS’s offering is really well-geared to help out numerous users out there cope in a new reality, even if Redmond itself may struggle a little.

So for the desperate corporate honchos, Teams was a godsend. It was already bundled with Microsoft latest offering in MS Office: MS Office 365. And who doesn’t use Office, anyway? At the corporate level this software suite includes a Teams subscription and is ready to be deployed by any company (including very small one or very large one, even of MS’s own size). Just install MS Office.

What’s that you say? You can’t install because your machine does not run on Windows? Not to worry, Teams can be run on any old browser, too. And therein, most likely, is the clue as to the popularity of Teams. Nearly everyone has Office at the office, and nearly everyone has a browser, so you can take an easy way out. After all, other platforms may be worse (they aren’t, though – all of them have pros and cons), and we’ve known MS for decades now. They do have a decent offering once in a while… In a vast ocean of all the failed Vistas and Windows 8’s out there. Got any Teams on your team?



to poke fun at sb – nabijać się z kogoś
back in the day – dawniej, w przeszłości
to come up with sth – wymyślić coś
entirely – zupełnie, całkiem
odd – dziwny
to take sth over – przejąć coś
to hail sth as sth – okrzyczeć coś mianem czegoś
confused – zmieszany, zdezorientowany
regarding sth – związany z czymś
inefficiency – nieskuteczność
conversation starter – temat rozpoczynający rozmowę
to come along – pojawić się
supposedly – rzekomo
to think much of sth – szanować coś, poważać
boost – podbicie, zwiększenie
in place – na miejscu, istniejący
to underpin sth – stanowić podstawę czegoś, fundament
storage – magazyn, przechowanie
analytics – analizy
you name it! – cokolwiek chcesz!
to have sb covered – obsłużyć kogoś, zadbać o kogoś
to sign in – zalogować się
to exchange – wymieniać
diverse – zróżnicowany
in-house – własny (firmowy)
seamlessly – bezproblemowo, gładko
long story short… – skrótowo, pokrótce
to implement sth – wdrożyć coś
in X of all places – nie gdzie indziej, jak w X
counterpart – odpowiednik
all of a sudden – ni z tego, ni z owego
to encapsulate sth – być uosobieniem czegoś, zawrzeć coś
to work remotely – pracować zdalnie
handful – garść
out of the box – tu: od razu po kupieniu
internal – wewnętrzny
external – zewnętrzny
to lock sth in – zapewnić coś, zabezpieczyć
identity verification – weryfikacja tożsamości
business intelligence – analityka biznesowa
term – pojęcie
to boil down to sth – sprowadzać się do czegoś
vital – konieczny, niezbędny
at sb’s fingertips – pod ręką, na wyciągnięcie ręki
to set foot somewhere – postawić gdzieś nogę
bricks-and-mortar – fizyczny, z siedzibą w postaci fizycznego budynku (UK)
accommodation – zakwaterowanie
under-the-hood – pod maską, niewidoczny na pierwszy rzut oka
whereas – podczas gdy
replacement – zastępstwo
enterprise – przedsiębiorstwo
to take off – wystartować, nabierać popularności
stock – akcje
steadily – pewnie, stale
in the wake of sth – w następstwie czegoś
year-on-year – w porównaniu do roku ubiegłego
to offset sth – wyrównać coś, zbilansować
downward – zniżkujący
overall – ogółem
giant – gigant
to make money hand over fist – zarabiać krocie
to do sth right and left – zrobić coś na prawo i lewo
stalwart – bezwarunkowy, niezłomny
resolve – determinacja, upór
to aid sb – wesprzeć kogoś
to notice sth – dostrzec coś
functionality – funkcjonalność
proficient – biegły
apparently – najwyraźniej
easy-to-use – łatwy w użyciu
feature – cecha, funkcja
security issue – problem z bezpieczeństwem
within X – w X, wewnątrz
siege – oblężenie
necessity – konieczność
luxury – luksus
to hail sth – okrzyczeć coś, rozreklamować
point-to-point encryption – szyfrowanie nadawcy i odbiorcy
rosy – różowy, różowo
to encounter – napotkać
capacity – zdolność obsługowa, moc przerobowa
constraint – ograniczenie
to turn sth on – włączyć coś
to ensure – zapewnić
to overload sth – przeciążyć coś
immense – ogromny
demand – popyt
turmoil – wrzawa, wrzenie
to fail – ponosić porażkę
to stay in operation – pozostać na rynku, nie przestawać działalności
quarantine – kwarantanna
knock-on effect – efekt domina
infected – zakażony
to come into contact with sth – wejść z czymś w kontakt
workplace – miejsce pracy
decontamination – odkażanie
isolated – odizolowany
to afford sth – móc sobie pozwolić na coś
staff – pracownicy, personel
surge – nagły i wielki wzrost
to note sth – odnotować coś
extensively – w znacznym stopniu, szeroko
to spread – szerzyć się
spike – nagły, chwilowy wzrost
to post – opublikować
well-geared – dobrze przygotowany
numerous – liczny
to cope – radzić sobie
to struggle – mieć trudności
godsend – dar niebios
bundled – w pakiecie, w zestawie
latest offering – najnowsza oferta, najnowszy produkt
software suite – pakiet oprogramowania
subscription – abonament
to deploy sth – zainstalować coś, wdrożyć
not to worry… – bez obaw
any old X – dowolny X
browser – przeglądarka
therein – w tym oto, w tej oto (kwestii)
clue – wskazówka
to take an easy way out – wybrać najłatwiejszą drogę
pros and cons – plusy i minusy
decent – przyzwoity
vast – szeroki, rozległy
failed – nieudany

by Prochor Aniszczuk

Komentarze są wyłączone.