Top 3 Reasons to Automate Your Social Media Tasks with Microsoft Flow.

Whether you’re managing a handful of employees or wearing a multitude of different hats in your business, tasking can be a long and often unorganized process. The first step in the process is deciding where to start– which is the most difficult of them all. Do you send an email? Buy an app or service?

With Microsoft Office for Business, you get every essential tool to grow and manage your company. Earlier this year, Microsoft released Microsoft Flow which enables businesses to create automated tasks.

So how does it work?

Setting Up Workflows. Users can now set up a workflow that manages social media posts, actions, and important emails on the web, a mobile phone, or right from their inbox.

Approve Flows. Those who are given permission to do so can manage and approve flow requests at any time. Improve your office communication with just a few clicks.

Choose from Templates. Select from a variety of secure templates to improve your productivity, make software development easier than before, and to enhance HR work.

Get notifications, synchronize files, collect data, and much more.


Want to try Microsoft Planner free for 30-days? Click below to get started.

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How to Manage Your Team Better With Microsoft Planner.

Managing a team can often seem nothing short of chaotic, especially in a thriving office environment. Whether it’s strategizing, task assigning, file sharing, or just simply organizing– you do it all. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. With Office 365, you can do all this and more in one place.

Here are the three benefits of using Microsoft Planner.

Staying Organized. By using Planner, you can quickly and easily create new plans, build teams, assign tasks, and update the status of your projects in just a few clicks. Every plan you create has its own unique board where you can categorize each task by status or the person(s) it is assigned to.

Work Together Efficiently. One of the most difficult aspects of planning is teamwork. Planner makes teamwork easy by always providing team members a list of the current tasks and who is working on them. It also makes for easy file sharing, project collaboration, and even messaging.

Use Mobile Devices? No Problem. Planner works well across all devices. This allows for quick and easy conversation and collaboration among team members. Your team will always be up to date on the latest plans no matter what device they’re on, and will get email notifications when assigned to a new task.


Want to try Microsoft Planner free for 30-days? Click below to get started.

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Need an Appointment Scheduler? Introducing Microsoft Bookings.

It’s time to make appointment scheduling simple– for both you and your customers. Microsoft Bookings is one of the quickest and most convenient tools for any business. With Bookings, there’s no need to spend extra time or money on complicated online schedulers. It’s already included in Office 365.

Here’s what makes Bookings so spectacular.

Simplicity for Customers: Bookings provides easy navigation for customers to visit your booking page, choose services, and schedule appointments whenever they want. It also allows for quick appointment cancellations and rescheduling when necessary. If customers still prefer to call, you can add the appointment details and Bookings will send all confirmations and reminders.

Saving Time: Never deal with frustrating phone scheduling again. With Bookings, you get a simple, customizable webpage that your customers can get access to 24/7. Also included is a private, easy-to-set-up calendar for managing your schedule and reminders of your upcoming appointments.

Say Goodbye to No-Shows: Bookings will help you decrease missed appointments with automated reminders for both customers and staff. Appointments will appear on your calendar as soon as they are booked. Customers can also add their appointments to their calendars and cancel or reschedule easily.

Mobile Appointment Managing: Can’t get to your laptop or personal computer? Don’t fret! With the Bookings Mobile App, you can view and manage all of your personal appointments as well as your customers’ and staffs’. You can use the app to text, email, or call customers or even create new appointments.



Want to try Microsoft Bookings free for 30-days? Click below to get started.

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Microsoft Teams – What’s in it for your team?

Introduced in 2017, Microsoft Teams provides a platform that combines workplace chat, meetings, notes/attachments and calendaring to Office 365.  For current subscribers, Teams is incorporated into the office productivity suite that includes Office and Skype.  While Teams is currently limited to Office 365 subscribers, Microsoft plans to expand the capabilities to include outside organizations.

So, what is Teams?

The Team Itself:  Allows communities and groups to form a unique team, where all communications and data specific to that team lives.  Users can be members of multiple teams and all communication is segregated so that the review of news and data can be quickly and easily accessed.

Messaging:  What does the team prefer?  Email? Messaging? What about replying with images, GIFs or custom-made memes? You can use those too!  Teams also allows users within the team to send direct messages to specific users vs. the entire team.

Conferencing:  Need to get on an ad-hoc video or audio conference? Teams allows members to connect with specific team members or all team members with just a few clicks.  It’s never been easier to target who you need on call, quickly and easily.

Meetings:  One of the greatest challenges with bringing teams together is having a common calendar.  Each team has a specific calendar (or calendars) to arrange all events and meetings.


Want to try Teams for 30-days?  Click below to get started.

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Does Office 365 Make Financial Sense? Yes. Here’s Why.

As a business owner or consultant, you may have asked yourself many times whether an application or platform is worth the cost. While everyone has their own unique filtering criteria, we would like to share some of our thoughts based on the deployment of Office 365 across organizations large and small.

Does Office 365 make financial sense?  Here are some things to consider.

Pay-as-you-go.  Rarely do cloud platforms allow companies the flexibility to subscribe individual users with only the services they need.  Enter Office 365.   Each user is matched with a licensing model that fits their particular role in the organization.  Only need mail?  No problem.  Need just applications?  No problem.  Need everything plus legal hold for the HR Director?  No problem.

With pay-as-you-go pricing you can also increase or decrease subscriptions monthly, add other Office 365 products (Project, Visio, Dynamics, etc.) on the fly, all giving a real-time, predictable monthly cost.

Financially-back uptime guarantee.  The Office platform was built for reliability, availability and performance from day one.  With geo-redundant, enterprise-grade data centers, Microsoft guarantees a 99.9% uptime per year.  (Translated, that means about 40 minutes of downtime, per year.)  For a small to medium-sized business to duplicate this means thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches.  With Microsoft, if they don’t meet that criteria, they owe you money!

Don’t throw away licenses.  How many times have you bought a computer system with Office.  What happens when the system becomes end of life, do you retain the license?  About 80% of users do not. And when they buy a new system, they buy it all over again!  Good for Microsoft, not so good for the business owner.  With Office 365 you never have to worry about throwing away your investment.  The software is always there, always up to date, and can be turned on and –off whenever you want.

Professional image for your business.  As of mid-2016, there were 1.2 billion Office users worldwide and 60 million Office 365 customers.  Federating with other companies through Office 365 – allowing intranet-like connection capabilities with Skype, messaging, etc. – gives small and medium businesses an enterprise-like image.

You can be the judge of what applications and costs make sense for your business, but the 1.2 billion Office 365 users worldwide tell a pretty compelling story.


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How to Become More Efficient with Office 365

What is productivity? Productivity (pro·duc·tiv·i·ty) is the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.

It used to be that productivity was tangible.  One could see how many cars were produced a day in a given manufacturing plant in Detroit.  If 800 people walked into the factory and 800 cars were made on day one, but the same number of people produced 900 cars the next month, they increased productivity.

Today, increasing productivity is not as easy to gauge.  Being predominately an information-based society, much of our productivity is now based on many other, more intangible, factors.  How much data can be collected, sorted and analyzed in a given day?  How do we increase productivity for a team of three people, all needing to proof-read and edit the same text?  How do we take data and people and make them more productive?  Office 365.

The platform.  Office 365 is no longer a collection of disparate applications.  It is a platform.  It takes programs you already know and use (Outlook, Excel, Word, etc.) and provide a powerful integrated platform that allows sharing, collaboration and synchronization of data and documents like never before.  Combined with the fact that this access is anytime, anywhere on any device, makes Office 365 a universal productivity tool of choice for 60 million businesses worldwide.

Share internal or external.  Using the platform within your organization is great, connecting to those external to your organization is even more powerful.  Allow customers to participate in on-line meetings, share documents, participate in messaging and chat, all the while keeping your data and people safe and secure.

Connect everywhere.  While we still have geographic boundaries in our world, virtual boundaries have fallen with the cloud.  Having colleagues in other states, or continents, no longer matters in the quest to increase productivity.  Office 365 allows everyone to work in their own part of the world, connected to every other part of the world.

Connect on anything.  As the proliferation of smart-mobile devices has proliferated so has the desire to utilize them for business.  With Office 365, each user can use the on-line portal from any browser-capable device, or the full applications can be installed on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or desktops.  This allows the office to be at the office, or at home, on the airplane, at the hotel, at the restaurant, at the ballgame … you get it.

Productivity– making tomorrow more efficient than today.  That is Office 365.



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How You Can Benefit From Doing Business On Your Cell Phone

So what’s the deal?

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you may find yourself constantly trying to achieve balance between your everyday work and personal life. In today’s modern business world, the use of social media has made it more difficult than ever to reach an equilibrium point. Because of this, it’s often thought that having separate phones is the best solution to this problem.

However, thanks to the cloud, that’s no longer the case. Why not?

The Cost of Money and Convenience

For one, by having multiple mobile devices, you are not only having to pay numerous monthly data fees but also for the device itself. The same goes for traditional PBX systems, where you have to pay the provider for hardware, installation, and maintenance. And while you may be able to write them off as business expenses on your taxes, it could be at the cost of hundreds of dollars.


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Not only is money a major issue, but also convenience. How many times do you travel a year? If you are one to travel a lot, then you already know the struggle of having to move everything you need from one place to the next. It’s not as easy as it looks to carry around and set up various devices in each airport, hotel, or conference room you occupy.

So if this isn’t the solution, then what is?

Simplifying calling through the cloud

When it comes to doing business, the cloud provides limitless features that go above and beyond traditional thinking. Ever wanted to transfer business calls to your cell phone? Instead of paying for an extra phone plan or on-premise system, you can now move your business line right to your personal mobile phone– while still appearing as your business number. This enables the user to be able to take a business call whenever and wherever they are.

It also provides users with other unique functions such as moving ongoing calls from one phone to another without hanging up, mobile access from any and all devices and assigning a specific (even temporary) location to receive calls. 


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By increasing your mobility you’re more likely to stay connected with potential prospects, clients, and business partners, which gives you the opportunity to increase your current revenue. The demand for these “on the go” communication tools is on the rise with the ever-changing market.


Considering the cloud for your business? Download our free white paper to find out more!

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Office 365 Plans for Business

There are a variety of Office 365 plans. Some are for single users while others are for business. It can be difficult to know which would best fit your needs. Thankfully, Microsoft has made it easy to compare one to the other. The link below (Office 365 Subscription Plans) will enable you to view all of their offerings in one place. There are two Tabs: one labeled “Home” and the other labeled “Business.” Since most of our visitors are looking for “Business” solutions, that’s the Tab you should choose. The features offered and prices are compared side-by-side.  In subsequent posts, we will examine the different “Business” versions of Office 365.

If you want to explore Office 365 plans for an Enterprise level setting, you need to open the Products drop-down menu listed to the right of the word “Office” and select Enterprise.  Then choose “Compare Plans and Pricing” to compare the Enterprise plans available.  There are four plans described.  Future posts will compare and contrast them.

Take your time reviewing the comparisons among the choices. If you need help deciding which is appropriate for you, we would be happy to discuss them with you.  Just click on this Button and complete your contact information.


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3 Advantages of Cloud-Based Telephony Over Traditional Systems

Why are so many businesses moving to the cloud?

When it comes to managing and coordinating all aspects of communication in your business, simplicity can seem far from achievable. It is often more easily said than done when having to deal with multiple providers — including services for telephony, conferencing, and instant messaging, paying high service costs and fees, and installing hardware equipment. So what is the solution to these common problems? The answer may lie within the cloud.

Here are the top 3 advantages of cloud-based telephony.

Cost Reduction

Unlike traditional PBX phone systems, cloud-based phone systems are stored and transferred through software via the internet. Because there is no need for hardware, the user does not have to purchase or manage the equipment. Instead, it is the provider’s responsibility to host or maintain the system– also known as hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). This alone can greatly reduce management, operational, and service costs, while diminishing the need for IT staff.

Collaborative Features

Cloud telephony provides an array of modern features packaged with or as “add-ons” to the service for improved connectivity. Providers, such as Nextiva, offer functions ranging from voice and fax to email, auto attendant, call answering and forwarding, conferencing, web collaboration, mobile applications for all devices, and many more. Specified plans and pricing are based on the size and desires of your business; with customization being offered as an option when necessary.

Higher Level Professionalism

Being able to communicate and work efficiently is the goal of every business. According to a survey reported by Forbes, 93 percent of organizations are now experimenting with cloud-based services. With more professionals and consumers on the Internet every day, it would make sense as to why business is shifting from traditional methods. Not only can users take advantage of lower costs and integrated features, but also the ability to revamp their infrastructure, better utilize employee time, and mobilize the office space.

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