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Online Collaboration And Marketing Platforms Offered To Businesses For Free During Corona Crisis

By Mark Ainsworth

Companies from countries across the globe have been ordering employees to work from home over the past few weeks, in response to the universal quarantine measures being put into place.

Whilst some companies will have already had systems put into place to deal with working remotely, for many others it is a steep learning curve, as they attempt to quickly equip all team members with the software they need to work well from home for the foreseeable future.

Luckily, whilst many industries have taken a considerable financial hit in the wake of Covid-19, those who provide software and technological services have actually seen a huge boost in sales and sign-ups.

Companies like videoconferencing software provider Zoom have watched their share prices rise dramatically in just a few short weeks, meaning that they are more comfortable helping those businesses that need it. Some of the biggest software vendors in the world are now offering products to users for free in response to the lockdown.

If your business is looking for help with moving your operations to remote working, here are some of the best options available at the time of writing.

 

Collaboration Tools

 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has offered a six-month free trial of Microsoft Teams’ premium tier to all businesses, as well as additional features and access to the Teams collaboration platform to NHS staff. Users are also able to schedule video calls and conferences on the platform, for the time being.

 

Cisco Webex

Available to all businesses affected by coronavirus, Cisco Webex is offering free 90-day business licenses, with additional capabilities for users to host meetings for up to 100 participants for an unlimited amount of time.

 

3CX

3CX has gone above and beyond, offering all businesses access to its business communications software for a period of three years. Unlimited users are able to make and receive calls, see the status of colleagues and employees, chat, schedule conferences and access the corporate phone book.

 

Google Hangouts Meet

The more advanced features available with Google Hangouts Meet are usually available only to G Suite Enterprise customers, but are going to be made free for all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers until 1 July.

Using these features, users are able to organise meetings for up to 250 people, and live stream content to as many as 100,000 people.

 

Accounting/Bookkeeping

 

Accounts Department Online

Perfect for small businesses still trying to work out how to stay afloat during the crisis, Leeds-based internet accountancy firm Accounts Department Online has launched this free tool, designed to help businesses find out what financial support they are eligible for..

 

Coconut

Aiming to help businesses save time on filling out self-assessment tax returns, Coconut has launched a free-to-use web tool which claims to cut the time it takes to create and fill out a self-assessment return by up to 80%.

For businesses who are trying to access grants and other benefits, this can be an invaluable tool, helping them to get their return filed quickly so that they can access the financial support that they need sooner rather than later.

The tool works by connecting your existing business bank account (the tool can connect to 20 major UK banks), and then quickly analysing and categorising 24 months of transactions for tax. You will be left with a clear overview of income and allowable expenses in minutes, ready to submit to HMRC in no time.

 

FreeAgent

FreeAgent, a cloud-accounting software provider, has launched a free-to-use feature called Radar, which automates administrative tasks and leaves you with more free time throughout the day to focus on the more important processes of your business.

Radar collates key information and tasks for each day, so that companies can quickly look and deal with anything important right away. It also ensures that nothing falls behind during these turbulent times.

 

Sales, Marketing and PR

 

Adzooma

Social media marketing platform Adzooma is currently offering full free access to its entire service until 1 June. This goes for new clients and those who are already using the service, who will have their payments suspended for the time being.

Adzooma, founded in 2015, helps to manage and boost productivity of ad campaigns on Google, Facebook and Microsoft Ads, using AI-powered technology to provide optimisation, custom automation, and white-label reporting. It also helps to reduce the money spent on ad campaigns that aren’t working, helping companies to limit their marketing spend.

 

EBI.AI

For those looking to save time on customer service processes whilst setting up agents to work from home, Artificial intelligence lab EBI.AI is offering a customer service chatbot for free, to any business, for a period of up to four months.

Dubbed the ‘CoronaBot’, the AI-powered chatbot is designed to answer some of the companies most commonly-asked questions, including things like  “Are you operating normally?”, “Do you provide a delivery service?”, “Is there a click and collect service?”, “Is it safe to get products delivered?” and “How do I contact you?”.

New customers should either call 01926 623303 or email EBI.AI. to get started.

 

Other Offers

 

Headspace

For NHS employees, mindfulness company Headspace have launched a bespoke service designed to help alleviate stress and worry during this difficult time. NHS staff are able to access free meditation subscriptions to help them to unwind and feel less overwhelmed.

 

Zendesk Remote Support Bundle

As part of Zendesk’s remote support bundle, the firm is giving away a number of free resources to businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Resources are designed to allow support agents to communicate with each other and other teams, manage and track the productivity of a remote workforce and analyse new trends in customer data.

The package is available for free for the next six months.

 

Need More Help?

More than ever maintaining and improving your online presence is vital for your business. Even before the crisis occurred consumers and companies alike were inexorably purchasing more and more of their requirements online. Now, in some cases they have no other choice.

If you think you need to boost your digital presence to ensure your company can compete in the new reality that Covid-19 has imposed, then please call the team at MaxWeb.

We provide a full service solution to make sure you and your company have a vibrant and engaging online footprint. From SEO to web design to Mobile Apps and everything inbetween we are here to help.

You can get in touch on 0151 652 4777 or connect with us via email at info@maxwebsolutions.co.uk.

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