A large number of Latin American organizations have adopted remote work to maintain their activities. This abrupt transition has led them to seek digital tools that allow them to maintain their activities.

What tools have these organizations chosen?

Microsoft Teams helps Argentine schools

The measures to contain the dispersion of COVID-19 began by affecting educational institutions. By concentrating on a large number of students, schools are potential sources of infection. This could lead millions of students to miss their school year.

However, in Argentina, several schools have managed to maintain activities thanks to the support of technology, as reported by the Microsoft Latin America News Center.

In this country of the southern cone, educational institutions carried out the necessary measures to adapt their classrooms to the digital environment. According to Microsoft’s press release, in just one day the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa migrated the classes of more than 35,000 students to the online environment. The River Plate Institute trained all its teaching and management staff in record time so that its 1,300 students can follow school from home. 98% of the parents of the Tomás Alva Edison school in Mendoza are satisfied with the implementation and development of distance education ”.

Today, more than ever, technology is a great enabler to stay connected. Traditional education is going through an unprecedented transformation.

Mariana Freire, director of the Public Sector of Microsoft Argentina.

Microsoft offered its tools for education free of charge, intending to help Argentina’s schools and universities advance to virtual classes and allow them to continue with the school program.

Any educational institution can download Microsoft Teams for free from here on PC, Mac, tablets and other mobile devices. Also, from this site, people can access the platform from the Edge, Chrome or Firefox browsers.

Banks were prepared before the contingency

Unlike schools that have had to abruptly migrate to the digital world, banks for years have gradually digitized financial operations.

In most Latin American countries, banks have adopted digital channels to serve their clients. From ATMs to mobile applications, financial companies have automated a large number of operations.

Sometimes, the bank window operations have been maintained more than anything because customers prefer it that way out of habit, according to Jorge Gómez, Chief of Financial Services at Unisys for Latin America. However, the vast majority of banking operations in Latin America can be done online without a problem.

Many Latin American countries have created regulations to promote digital channels.

Jorge Gómez points to the case of Colombia, where the sector has adopted cloud computing and biometric security, while banking institutions are required to have contingency plans that allow them to continue their operations, even in adverse situations such as that now appear in the world.

In Mexico, the country’s central bank (Banxico) promoted the digital collection system known as CODI, so that businesses with a bank account, as well as individuals, can make digital payments through a QR code from their cell phones.

Mass downloads of Zoom in Latin America

The Zoom Cloud Meetings application has registered massive downloads in Latin America, according to El Diario Exterior. The platform developed in the United States has reached 1.4 M downloads from the Google Play Store in Brazil in the week of March 25 to April 1, making it the most downloaded application in this country.

In Mexico, the app has also gained popularity. In the same week, the application Zoom was in second place among the most downloaded applications, only behind the youth phenomenon TikTok. According to Priori Data estimates, this application was also at the forefront in Chile, Argentina, and Colombia.

Zoom in Latin America Graphic with Zoom downloads in Latin America from March 25 to April 1, 2020

Microsoft Teams also helps social organizations in Chile

In Chile, different social organizations have used Microsoft Team to continue working remotely. In the Microsoft Latin America News Center, Microsoft highlighted the cases of social organizations such as Innovacien, Fundación Descúbreme, and Fundación de las Familias that use Microsoft Teams for free to stay connected through video calls.

The Microsoft Teams service is part of Office 365, which enables remote work with chats, virtual meetings, video calls, online files, and other productivity and collaboration tools from Microsoft. Currently, this suite allows NGOs in Chile to continue their work and social impact remotely, just as they would in an office.

The tool will be available for free for six months to social organizations. Among the NGOs that can benefit the most are those that go out to the field a lot or have a lot of volunteer personnel throughout the country.

“Our mission as a company is to help people and organizations achieve more. Today, NGOs need to continue working more than ever, and today technology offers the possibility of staying connected from home and taking care of each other by putting the health of the collaborators first. For years we have provided free technology to social organizations, and now also due to the context Microsoft Teams is available to all companies and educational institutions free for six months so that we can continue our work and study from home, “said Sergio Rademacher, General Manager of Microsoft Chile.

A change of mindset due to COVID-19?

These examples show a change of mindset due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, a disease caused by a coronavirus that started infecting humans in Wuhan since late 2019 and has escalated as a global pandemic.

Due to the risks of this disease, governments have asked the population to stay home and only go out to perform essential tasks.

This situation has forced both companies, educational institutions, and social organizations to transform their procedures. Perhaps the change will not be momentary. These tools that different Latin American organizations are adopting to continue their operations could become an essential part of their work processes in the near future.

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