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Welcome to GC Remote Working Test Page

This new forum was created by experts at Shared Services Canada in an effort to help GC workers newly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who find themselves working remotely.

This is an unprecedented situation; and one which is continually evolving. Remote workers need easy access to the latest information on the available tools and solutions as well as tips, best practices and updates.

Our aim with GC Remote Working is to gather the relevant remote working information in one place. We are only getting started. Our content is based on available information from all corners of the Government of Canada.

We plan to dive into topics such as security, information and document management, making “smart” use of your smart phone, using alternative tools and an introduction to Microsoft Office 365 and Teams.

Bookmark this page and check back often for more content as the situation evolves.

If you have tips and trick you would like to share, please send us an e-mail.

Microsoft 365 Tenant 101

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada (GC) has made Microsoft 365 (M365) temporarily available for everyone in the GC for work at the unclassified level. This special access is been provided to the GC temporarily, under what we call the GCcollaboration tenant. M365 includes all the familiar Microsoft applications already used by the GC – Word, Excel, PowerPoint – but also features the collaboration tool, TEAMS – which combines chat, audio and video calls and document management tools.

M365 uses the cloud – so users do not have to log on to their Departmental networks to use it. Using M365 is new to many and there are many questions. We have done our best to put together some answers, below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Microsoft 365 “Tenant”?

Essentially, a M365 “tenant” allows the GC a special license to temporarily use and access the Microsoft applications and tools packaged together in M365. For the GC in this time, it is called the GCcollaboration tenant.

Before Covid-19, there was a phased rollout plan to move many in the GC to M365 with each Department or Agency doing so under their own tenant. The immediate need to telework meant a change in plans. Shared Services Canada (SSC) worked closely with Microsoft to set up one big shared “tenant” for immediate use during the crisis. Think of the Tenant as a large space we are temporarily renting, while our own homes are closed for renovation. Information Management (IM) is especially important when working this tenant, since it will be turned off at some point. Be sure to pay attention to careful IM practices

How does M365 help with remote working during the Covid-19 crisis?

Using M365 temporarily relives the burden on Departmental and Agency networks, which were not built to sustain robust remote access. And it also provides a collaboration tool –TEAMS – which is especially helpful for remote working.

Essentially, M365 helps GC teams remotely carry on with their usual business – things like video calls, audio calls, and easy document sharing while we are all working from home. It also allows team building, which can be especially important when we don’t have opportunities for face to face interactions.

How does it work?

The solution resides outside of the GC network, over the Internet. If you have internet access, you can use M365. It is accessible with most employees' own devices, as well as GC-issued devices. No need for VPN! You can access to the application by downloading it on your device or you can use web access.

How do I know if my Department or Agency is part of the new Microsoft 365 Tenant? The GC has acquired up to 420, 000 licenses available for use by Departments and Agencies. Users are identified by impacted departments, who will make their own decisions based on various factors. Contact your organization’s CIO team to find out about your access.

What sort of training available to learn how to use M365?

SSC has created a special wiki-style site on “GCcollab” which has an array of M365 training material in various formats including videos, infographics and guides. Departments are also sharing their training resources.

Check it out here

How do I learn more about TEAMS?

There is great content on using TEAMS, which is new to many of us.

Start here:

Blog: 4 Tips for Working from Home With Microsoft Teams

Tips for Effective Remote Work with Microsoft Teams

Quick Start Video for MS Teams

Video on Teams Meetings

My Department has rolled out M365, is this GCcollaboration?

Not necessarily, some departments were already using M365 in their own departmental tenant, or were able to accelerate their plans to do so. Check with your CIO team to find out more about your organizations status with M365.

How long will this be in place and will I have access to M365 after the crisis has passed and I am able to return to work? The GC has special access through the temporary M365 tenant, GC Collaboration, for the duration of our need to telework. We expect this situation to be adjusted as we make the move back to our more regular work circumstances. Most Departments and Agencies will likely move to their own Departmental tenant and SSC will work closely with them on this transition. Watch this space for updates as the situation evolves.


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