Work Remotely: SharePoint during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Amir Shingray
Amir Shingray
March 30, 2020 | Healthcare

“We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they are at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.”

– Richard Branson, Founder and CEO of Virgin

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken the world by the storm; countries are implementing complete lockdown to contain the spread of the infectious disease. Schools have suspended their classes, factories are shutting down, and every single industry is getting affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. According to an estimate, the coronavirus outbreak may cost $2.7 Trillion to the global economy. During these hard times, previously considered as a luxury, remote work has become a necessity to keep businesses afloat. To enable remote work, Microsoft is offering its collaboration and video-conferencing tools free. A limited version of Microsoft Teams was previously available for free, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Microsoft has made the premium version of Microsoft Teams available for free, as part of a six-month trial offer for Office365.

SharePoint and Office 365 are among the top options currently available in the market that enables remote work. And when you integrate add-ons, such as Infowise Ultimate Forms, SharePoint becomes a force to be reckoned with. SharePoint integrated with a dedicated Infowise’s solution provides several benefits, including.

Automation

Widely popular as a collaborative tool, SharePoint Online provides tools that help automate your business processes and empower end-users to create their own automated workflows in real-time with little or no technical know-how. Through its automation feature, SharePoint allows you to eliminate repetitive tasks and streamline your business process. SharePoint and Infowise Ultimate Forms integration help provide more stable and practical automation. Team members, as in the example in healthcare can build workflows with notification capabilities regarding insurance authorization approvals, or notify hospital staff about schedule changes.

Co-Authoring

SharePoint and Office 365 support co-authoring, enabling users to work together on the same document in real-time. During the Covid-19 outbreak, students can work together on their group projects from their homes by using the co-authoring feature. It is available for Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Visio and if your SharePoint uses Office Web Apps Server, you can co-author in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Shared Database

OneDrive in SharePoint and Office 365 provides storage of up to 25 TB; you can store all your documents, contacts, profiles, responsibilities and more. The database is shared across the company, which aids in document management. To further facilitate document management, users can use the search and filter option to locate the required file quickly.

Industry-Specific Benefits of SharePoint

Healthcare and education are the two industries that require an urgent remote working solution. Healthcare, because the Covid-19 outbreak has forced healthcare workers to work overtime so they can facilitate patients. And as schools have shut down indefinitely, the education sector requires a powerful video conferencing and document management solution so that students can continue their studies from home. The reasons why you should use SharePoint and Office 365 for healthcare and education sectors are mentioned below.

Healthcare

A healthcare solution has to follow multiple regulatory compliances, including, HIPAA, SOC 1, SOC 2, SSAE 16, ISO 27018, ISO 27001, and EUMC. Office 365 and Microsoft Teams are part of the Tier-D category of security and compliance, which means they comply with all the compliances mentioned before.

Ms Teams can be extremely useful for care teams to provide patient care to those suffering from the novel coronavirus or those who may think they are showing symptoms. As the governments across the world are asking patients to quarantine themselves, hospitals can use Teams to provide virtual consult to those in quarantine. The patients don’t require an MS Teams account to get a diagnosis; all they need is a web browser and an internet connection. By doing so, patients can eliminate the risk of spreading the virus to others and still get quality medical care. The quarantine can negatively impact the mental health of the patient; care teams can use MS teams to provide counsel and therapy to those in quarantine.

The symptoms of Covid-19 are fairly similar to common flu and cold; people may get confused due to the similarity. Healthcare organizations can use Infowise Ultimate forms to create powerful SharePoint based forms to eliminate the confusion.

Education

The education sector has come to a stand-still since the Covid-19 outbreak; several countries have shut down schools and universities to protect the students. Because we still don’t know how long it will take to stop the spread of the virus, it is vital to adopt alternative means to provide education to the students.

Educational Institutes can use SharePoint and Office 365 to facilitate students; MS teams can be used to deliver lectures. Two hundred fifty team members can join a video conference in MS Teams, which makes it easier for teachers to teach the whole class at the same time. The Mobile version of MS Teams is also available, which makes it perfect for remote work.

Teachers can use SharePoint to create quizzes and tests. The tests can have multiple choice questions or simple yes or no questions. They can score the results, assign a pass or fail grade, and keep track of the students who have taken the tests and the tests they have completed.

Final Word

SharePoint, Office 365, Infowise Ultimate forms, these are solutions that can help you work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, so the spread of the virus can be contained. These are tough times; we have to stay together and take care of each other. To do that we have to follow the guidelines provided by the healthcare authorities. Only together we can beat this virus, wishing you the best of health.

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