The coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people to work from home. As a result, companies are turning to collaboration software to simulate an office environment as best they can.
One such example is Microsoft Teams, which has proven particularly popular since its launch in 2017. This allows team members to chat, hold video meetings and collaborate on documents, all with the easy integration of a Microsoft account.
While many people simply don't have the capacity to work from home, for people working in journalism, online banking and insurance this should be relatively painless.
However, there are now doubts whether Teams is fit for purpose, as demand for the service reaches an unprecedented level. As people throughout Europe logged on to begin a lengthy period of working from home this week, the service crashed.
The two hours of issues that ensued left people very frustrated, while productivity was inevitably hit. While this is a problem at the best of times, the fragile economic situation could put the future of entire companies at risk.
High-stakes negotiations and time-sensitive orders are far more likely to be conducted online now, and any future issues could have a devastating effect on some businesses.
Teams as also been rolled out throughout the NHS this week, in order to enable more effective communication during the coronavirus outbreak. The current state of the global pandemic means this software could potentially save lives if implemented correctly.
With two major outages already in 2020, serious questions have been raised over whether Teams can be relied on. It's highly likely that consumers will be forced to look for an alternatives if something similar happens again.
Although not quite as comprehensive at Microsoft Teams, the likes of HeySpace, Wire and Winio offer similar services free of charge. They may also struggle to cope with huge increases in demand, but spreading users across multiple providers will probably help each to run more effectively.
Of course, the main sticking point is that many companies already have paid-for for Microsoft Teams, and it isn't that easy to just dip out and start using another service.
With many online software providers doing everything they can to help people during the coronavirus outbreak, it's important that Microsoft steps up to serve its loyal customers with a Teams app that's fit for purpose.