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Get more out of Microsoft Office 365

Posted by Corey Stoner on Feb 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM

I have been working with Office 365 for a couple of years, and while Office 365 discussions have been dominated by migrating email to the cloud, conversations have now started to turn to “What else can I do with Office365?”

522216413_1280x720.jpgAfter most companies have dipped their toes in the water, most of them are ready to jump in and start using more of the suite. If they are looking at using SharePoint, I will be the first to admit that I am the wrong guy to be asking about SharePoint.  I can give them the 10,000 ft. overview, but if they want to really get into it, I’d refer them to our resident SharePoint expert. If they want to look into other parts of the suite, then I am your guy. Let’s take a look at some of the other offerings from Office 365.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business always seems like a no brainer to me, but I have been using instant messaging since I signed up forSkype-for-Business.svg.png my first ICQ account, (I hope I haven’t dated myself too much). But surprisingly a lot of businesses are not using instant messaging or think it’s not for them. My first question to them is “Do you text message?” Of course everyone does these days, but why? Because it is easier than calling someone for a quick answer. This is the same for instant messaging, I want to communicate with someone but don’t want to fill up my inbox with quick one line questions or answers. There are many other reasons but this is one that gets people thinking about it.  Communication is key in all businesses and Microsoft’s Skype for Business provides a feature rich instant messaging program that is included in most Office 365 subscriptions.

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business seems to come up in more conversations when users discuss pain points when trying to manage documents. More and more users are working outside of the main office and want a better way to have access to their documents. Users want access to these documents from a verity of media; Laptops, Tablets’ and Smart Phones, and are now capable of opening and working on documents remotely. Telling users, they can only use a VPN to connect to their file server is getting harder and harder to justify. Just think if you still had to VPN to get your email. Those days are thankfully behind us. OneDrive is a good way to have mobile access to your documents without giving up security concerns. You can also share these documents with internal and external users.

Yammer, Planner, Delve, and Teams

computer-pc-workplace-home-office-159760.jpegOnce you have documents online you can start using more of the Office 365 Suite to collaborate and work on documents as part of projects or together in teams. With Products such as Yammer, Microsoft Planner, Delve and now Microsoft Teams, you can now keep all of your documents and conversations organized and in one place. Think of the way we collaborate on documents now, most of us will email a document back and forth to each other. This causes multiple copies of a document, both on your file servers and residing in your inbox and sent items. Why manage so many copies when only one is valid? What if you bring in a new team member or add someone to the project, wouldn’t it be nice for them to go to one place and have access to all the documents and communications?

While living in Office 365 is quite a different mindset than how most of us are used to doing things, if you are willing and open to change, you can see the benefits that the Office 365 suite can bring to your organization. Give your inbox’s a rest and learn how to effectively work as a team. 

To learn more about how to fully utilize the Microsoft Office 365 suite to collaborate with your company, department and team, watch Corey Stoner's nVision Microsoft Office 365 presentation. He covers the different Office 365 suite products and how they work together as well as a case study with a client that proclaimed “I feel like we are finally working together.”

Contact us to learn more about how to utilize Microsoft Office 365 in your business. 

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Topics: Microsoft Office 365, Yammer, OneDrive for Business, Skpe for Business

Get more out of Microsoft Office 365

Posted by Corey Stoner on Dec 9, 2016 9:05:00 AM

I have been working with Office 365 for a couple of years, and while Office 365 discussions have been dominated by migrating email to the cloud, conversations have now started to turn to “What else can I do with Office365?”

522216413_1280x720.jpgAfter most companies have dipped their toes in the water, most of them are ready to jump in and start using more of the suite. If they are looking at using SharePoint, I will be the first to admit that I am the wrong guy to be asking about SharePoint.  I can give them the 10,000 ft. overview, but if they want to really get into it, I’d refer them to our resident SharePoint expert. If they want to look into other parts of the suite, then I am your guy. Let’s take a look at some of the other offerings from Office 365.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business always seems like a no brainer to me, but I have been using instant messaging since I signed up forSkype-for-Business.svg.png my first ICQ account, (I hope I haven’t dated myself too much). But surprisingly a lot of businesses are not using instant messaging or think it’s not for them. My first question to them is “Do you text message?” Of course everyone does these days, but why? Because it is easier than calling someone for a quick answer. This is the same for instant messaging, I want to communicate with someone but don’t want to fill up my inbox with quick one line questions or answers. There are many other reasons but this is one that gets people thinking about it.  Communication is key in all businesses and Microsoft’s Skype for Business provides a feature rich instant messaging program that is included in most Office 365 subscriptions.

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business seems to come up in more conversations when users discuss pain points when trying to manage documents. More and more users are working outside of the main office and want a better way to have access to their documents. Users want access to these documents from a verity of media; Laptops, Tablets’ and Smart Phones, and are now capable of opening and working on documents remotely. Telling users, they can only use a VPN to connect to their file server is getting harder and harder to justify. Just think if you still had to VPN to get your email. Those days are thankfully behind us. OneDrive is a good way to have mobile access to your documents without giving up security concerns. You can also share these documents with internal and external users.

Yammer, Planner, Delve, and Teams

computer-pc-workplace-home-office-159760.jpegOnce you have documents online you can start using more of the Office 365 Suite to collaborate and work on documents as part of projects or together in teams. With Products such as Yammer, Microsoft Planner, Delve and now Microsoft Teams, you can now keep all of your documents and conversations organized and in one place. Think of the way we collaborate on documents now, most of us will email a document back and forth to each other. This causes multiple copies of a document, both on your file servers and residing in your inbox and sent items. Why manage so many copies when only one is valid? What if you bring in a new team member or add someone to the project, wouldn’t it be nice for them to go to one place and have access to all the documents and communications?

While living in Office 365 is quite a different mindset than how most of us are used to doing things, if you are willing and open to change, you can see the benefits that the Office 365 suite can bring to your organization. Give your inbox’s a rest and learn how to effectively work as a team. 

To learn more about how to fully utilize the Microsoft Office 365 suite to collaborate with your company, department and team, watch Corey Stoner's nVision Microsoft Office 365 presentation. He covers the different Office 365 suite products and how they work together as well as a case study with a client that proclaimed “I feel like we are finally working together.”

Contact us to learn more about how to utilize Microsoft Office 365 in your business. 

ContactUsButton.jpg

Topics: Microsoft Office 365, Yammer, OneDrive for Business, Skpe for Business

Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive vs. SharePoint Sites

Posted by Amber Vogel on Oct 30, 2015 4:45:21 PM

Planning for Microsoft Office 365 involves more than just moving emails and documents from one server to another.This transition provides an opportunity to re-organize, categorize and classify documents personally and professionally across the organization. 

The most common questions I get asked in planning for Microsoft Office 365 are:

  • What is the different between OneDrive for Business and Sites?
  • When and how should I use one or the other?

If I do not get asked this question I always ask it because organizations tend to use Microsoft OneDrive for Business as a catch all without understanding the ramifications or business process limitations they will face long term.

The following are considerations to talk through when deciding where documents should live and how to interact with them:

  • What is the structure of your documents today? Are they hard to find, is a document stored in more than one place, are they still relevant?
  • Where do all of your documents live today? Are there multiple locations, systems, rules?
  • Who has access to what documents?
  • How do I differentiate between my working documents and shared documents?
  • How can I use metadata tags to categorize documents and refine search results?
  • How do my users create, store, edit, collaborate, and discard documents today? What is the business process today and how can we improve it going forward?

Technically there are no differences between storing documents in Microsoft OneDrive vs Sites. Functionally how you store them and the business process to support the workflow will drive how and when you use one or another. Here are some tips, observations, and terminology that will help support planning and decisions.

· Personal, My Documents, Desktop

· Company/Enterprise Collaboration Tool

· Microsoft Version of Drop Box

· Multiple sites, Unique business requirements

· Setup controlled by local user

· Controlled by central administrator(s)

· Owner selects what to share with other users

· Varying levels of security established by the Company/Enterprise

· Only files and folders

· Intranet (tasks, calendar, events, contacts, discussions, etc…)

· Limited scope or life cycle

· Long term document management/archive

The process flow graphic included with this post provides a simple walk through to help users determine where to put the documents. However, the determination may warrant more discussion and planning depending on the complexity of the business process and how many other users are involved. You may find that a document belongs in OneDrive initially but as the importance or relevance of the document changes it makes sense to move it into Sites. This is a simple process, either copy and paste, or drag and drop using file explorer. Both of these tools are designed to be flexible and adapt to changes in your business.

I hope this article sparked a conversation in your planning discussion on how to organize documents as well as informed you on the difference between these two tools. If you have any questions about Microsoft OneDrive or Microsoft SharePoint, feel free to contact us. 

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Topics: Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint

Office 365: Hosted Email and more from Microsoft

Posted by Kyle Riveland on Mar 1, 2013 4:55:00 PM

Office Business ValueWith advances in internet speeds and technology, more and more companies are developing applications in the ‘cloud’.  Companies no longer have to be burdened with a multitude of servers to host each of their applications.  Microsoft is no exception with Office 365.  Office 365 is a collection of products in the Microsoft family relating to productivity (Word, Excel), communication (Outlook, Lync), and collaboration (Sharepoint).  Office 365 is built off of Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, and Sharepoint 2010 technology.

Applications included in the various plans of the Office 365 suite are:

  • Microsoft Exchange Online: Microsoft’s hosted email and calendars/contacts.
  • Microsoft Sharepoint Online: This is an online version of Sharepoint (collaboration, sharing, and document editing services).
  • Microsoft Lync Online: Lync provides communication features such as presence, instant messaging, PC-to-PC video calls, and meetings
  • Office Professional Plus: This is the same client software you would purchase or receive with a PC (Word, Excel, etc.)
  • Office Web Apps: These are browser-based versions of Word, Excel and Power Point that enable viewing and lightweight editing of Office related documents within a web browser.

what is office 365

Depending on a company’s needs, Microsoft has many tiers and categories for Office 365. For e-mail only, Microsoft has low cost mailboxes all the way up to full suites of applications that not only give access to online versions of Word and Excel, but also downloadable versions of the latest Office suite for a premium price per user. Current pricing can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/compare-plans.aspx.

The primary plans are as follows: Hosted Email (Exchange Online), Small Business (P1), Midsize Buisiness & Enterprise (E1 through E4). 

  • Hosted Email gives you mailbox and calendar access using either a full Outlook client, or access via web. Smart Phones can easily be connected to this service as well. Users get up to 25GB mailboxes and can send attachments up to 25MB. A configurable anti-spam product is offered by Microsoft for all users of this plan. Live support is offered via phone on this plan as well.
  • Small Business is intended for smaller companies (there is a cap of 50 users). The benefit of this plan is that it has a lot of value for the price. In addition to the email, you get access to a single Sharepoint site, Microsoft Lync, Office Web Apps, and finally Anti-Malware/Anti-Spam filtering of email. Microsoft allows a 90-day trial of up to 25 users with this plan. One drawback to this plan is support is via forum posts only. Phone support is not offered at this level. The ability to synchronize with Active Directory is also not available.
  • Midsize Business & Enterprise gives everything from the Small Business P1 plan. The E1 and E2 version of this plan only allow viewing with the online version of Word/Excel/PowerPoint/One Note.  The E3 plan is necessary for editing with these applications. In addition, this plan also allows synchronization with Active Directory.  There is a larger number of Sharepoint sites with this level of Office 365. Users can reach a live person via phone if support is needed in the E1-E4 plans. At the E4 level, users also can download a full version of Office Professional Plus on up to 5 different devices. If new versions are released, users will have access to those new versions. Please see the above link for plans and full descriptions of the common plans.

Microsoft also has home and university/education plans available.

Office 365 Anywhere accessThe burning question is: Why host my email in the cloud? There are many reasons to use Office 365. 

  • There are no servers to maintain or configure
  • You do not have to host your server, and pay for licensing (other than the monthly per user charge)
  • No SSL Certificates to maintain
  • More secure (no open port on your firewall)
  • Financially backed 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • No worrying about data backup. Microsoft has geo-redundant data centers and provides disaster recovery.
  • Latest version of software being upgraded at no additional cost (only on appropriate plans)

Need more information?

Contact Us Today!

Topics: Technology Solutions, NetWork Center Inc., Microsoft Office 365

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