If your business wasn’t ready to set up a work-from-home environment, we’ve got you covered with the software comparisons you’re looking for.
Lockdowns and community quarantines have turned the regular office routines of many organizations and companies around the world upside down. From the usual in-office meetings and collaborations, people are now forced to work from home and do most information-sharing online.
The speed in which the shift has happened has caught many unprepared, particularly small-to-medium businesses that have not yet invested heavily in technology. Fortunately, many business software companies have been quick to help out by making a number of free software and services available to the public for a limited time.
Let’s take a look at some of the technologies offered by these businesses and how each can possibly help you.
Free Software and Platforms
Collaboration and Communication
Microsoft is making its Microsoft Teams app — a part of Office 365 — open for everyone. Free users around the globe can now schedule video conferences and calls, and the user limit of 300 has been lifted.
Businesses that aren’t currently licensed for Teams may also use the Office 365 E1 for free for six months, while those in the education sector can make use of Office 365 A1 for the same amount of time.
A good alternative to Microsoft, Google has rolled out free access to advanced features of its Hangouts Meet platform. This access is available for all users of G Suite and G Suite for Education until July 1st. The advanced features allow livestreams of up to 100,000 viewers and enable meetings with up to 250 participants. Meetings can also be recorded or saved on Google Drive.
E-Signature and Electronic Agreements
PandaDoc is an electronic signature software that streamlines the signing process for people, no matter where they are located. It has recently created a new e-signature plan, Free eSign, for companies free of charge. This plan includes unlimited document uploads, unlimited electronic signatures, and payment processing services.
Dropbox offers cloud storage, electronic agreements, and content collaboration services. Nonprofits, NGOs, and K-12 Teachers, and organizations working to stop the virus are offered free three-month subscriptions to the Dropbox Business and HelloSign Enterprise.
Email and Social Media Management
An email marketing and automation platform, Mailchimp offers a feature-rich Standard account to eligible organizations such as healthcare providers, schools, nonprofits, local governments, and organizations that are communicating critical health information about COVID-19 for free until June 30. Customers with existing Standard accounts who fall under these categories will not be billed during this period, while those that are currently using the free plans will be upgraded to the Standard plan.
Small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis will be able to access Hootsuite’s Professional Plan for free until July 1st of this year. The social media management platform integrates social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Its library of social media training courses have also been opened for access free of charge.
1Password is a password manager that keeps all of your access codes locked up securely. It has scrapped its 30-day free trial period for companies in favor of free six-month access during this crisis.
Aside from those mentioned here, there are other free software and services for businesses being added daily to the count. If you feel that you need more specific remote work IT solutions, we’re here to help. Contact Varay today so we can create a customized work-from-home structure for your business.