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.

Try Office 365 For Free

 

Evolution or Transforming? Numbers Don’t Lie

Yesterday it was a question of “what is cloud?” Today, what are the impacts and specifically, how many people are moving capabilities to the cloud?

 

Back on the late 80’s, personal PC’s became cool. What a change in how people related to machines at work and at home. Then comes the 90’s and the Internet and these machines (computers) started talking to each other. Fast forward to the 2000’s and everything social – people are now talking … en masse. Now, the cloud – taking computers, people and combining them into one massive conversation. The world is talking 24×7.

 

Quantifying the impact.

 

How much is the world changing to cloud? Here are some of the latest statistics.

 

2017 – Small businesses (<1,000) will buy 9 cloud services. Many of these will be net new business relationships, not partners of the past.

 

2018 – 27%, nearly one-third, of all software will be cloud-based. It is the fastest growing business segment in IT, software-as-a-service.

 

So, evolution or revolution? Cloud is both. More on that tomorrow.

 

 

[This series will be focusing on the question of, “Is cloud technology revolutionizing or transforming?”]

Evolution or Transforming? What is Cloud?

In this series I will be discussing the question of, “Is cloud technology revolutionizing or transforming?” This question was raised at IngramMicro’s cloud summit a few weeks ago and it stuck in my mind; so much so, I decided to speak on this topic at an upcoming technology show in May.

 

As an introduction, I think people find cloud exhausting. It is like trying to describe wind. Where does it come from? Why does it blow a particular direction? Why does it blow some days and not others? Cloud is the same way. We feels it, we know it is there … but where IS it really?

 

Clip from “Sex Tape” movie  (7 sec.)
(NOT a sex tape movie, but the movie “Sex Tape.” Safe for all.)

 

So, it is a mystery. It is an enigma. It is really a colloquialism that describes computing in the same way as we would describe a cloud in the sky. Clouds are formed by droplets of water that are, of themselves, not visible, but when densely formed together appear as a single object in the sky. Cloud computing is the same: a dense set of computing resources that, when working together, appear to be one giant computing resource.

 

This phenomena, like clouds, have many different forms.  How companies – new and old – adapt will dictates whether it will be evolutionary or transformational for them.  Stay tuned.

What Can You Do With Office 365? Simplify IT Management

Simple. Management. Two words that mean a lot when paired with each other. For those who oversee IT, they are a match made in heaven. One of the biggest costs for an organization is managing IT and, for many, those cost are not easily identifiable, buried in the complexity of salaries, software cost, etc. With Office 365 the management and cost are simple to understand AND IT is easy to manage.

 

Our current blog series will be exploring Microsoft Office and its value today, especially to small- and medium-sized businesses. There is probably no greater value in the technology space than Office 365 … and we are going to give you a-reason-a-day during this blog series.

 

Simplify IT Management

 

Imagine a world with no hardware. I wonder if you can. Imagine a world with no licenses to manage. I wonder if you can. Imagine a world with one administration console for managing mail and productivity. Don’t wonder on all these … YOU CAN! With Office 365 you get simplified IT … and it all comes with your Office 365 subscription. Here are some details on what you can do.

 

NO Hardware: For running an Exchange environment, the name of the game is hardware: servers, disk drives, constant administration of mail stores, troubleshooting, etc. With Office 365, no more.

 

Back-Up: Oh, need another server to back-up your mail? Archive your documents? Store email for future audit? Again, do it with Office 365.

 

Office On-Demand: Imagine using Office on up to 5 devices, personal or work systems. Imagine accessing from your work Windows computer and your home MAC or tablet. Imagine traveling and accessing on your mobile. Imagine not worrying about upgrading Office upon every version change. Imagine with Office 365.

 

One Administration Console: can you manage Users, mail, policies, etc. from one place? You can with Office 365.

 

Looking to simplify? No worries. Office 365 has your simple.

The Office You Know – Office 365

 

Then, what are you waiting for? Click below and get your free trial of Office 365 E3 for free!

 

 

 

What Can You Do With Office 365? Hoard Data

One of the more popular shows on cable television is about people who hoard – some one particular thing, others everything. In the IT world, if we dare to admit it, people do the same. You know them (or may be one of them), the person who has a copy of every e-mail since the dawn of email. The person who saves each version of the sales PowerPoint, “just in case.” Well, if you are an data hoarder, good news with Office 365 – you have 1 Terabyte of storage. Happy hoarding.

 

Our current blog series will be exploring Microsoft Office and its value today, especially to small- and medium-sized businesses. There is probably no greater value in the technology space than Office 365 … and we are going to give you a-reason-a-day during this blog series.

 

On-Line Storage

 

The concept of on-line storage has been made popular by such applications as Dropbox, Evernote, Box and a myriad of others. The idea is you pay a monthly or annual fee and get a slick interface to storage your data. With Office 365 you get that capability with OneDrive … and it comes with your Office 365 subscription. Here are some details on what you can do.

 

Store Files: Duh. What about storing ALL your files on OneDrive. Never worry about having access to your specific laptop/desktop, access anywhere on pretty much any device, in the cloud.

 

Back-Up: storing files in the cloud is the same as back-up, right? Not necessarily. Use OneDrive for system back-up targets. If and when your system fails, your restore point is in the cloud. Have a Word Press blog or website? Use your OneDrive as a back-up target in the same manner.

 

Sharing Files: the OneDrive interface allows you to share files with others with the click of your mouse. Share files or folders, protect access, limit read/write/copy capabilities.

 

Synchronize: want your data on OneDrive to be accessible on your local device, no problem. Sync the files and folders that you want, leave the rest in the cloud. Save space on your local machine and always have your data available. No internet, no problem.

 

Data hoarder? No worries. Office 365 has your addiction.

The Office You Know – Office 365

 

Then, what are you waiting for? Click below and get your free trial of Office 365 E3 for free!

 

 

 

What Can You Do With Office 365? Online Meetings

A few years ago the idea of “on-line” meetings was, well, not readily accepted. This meant going out and finding a third-party provider (Webex, etc.), a monthly cost commitment (whether you used your minutes or not), and the complexity of setting it up and using each time. Today, times have changed. On-line meetings are a click away … literally.

 

Our current blog series will be exploring Microsoft Office and its value today, especially to small- and medium-sized businesses. There is probably no greater value in the technology space than Office 365 … and we are going to give you a-reason-a-day during this blog series.

 

On-Line Meetings

The first question you have to ask yourself when using Office 365 is, what kind of meeting do you want to have? Is there more than one? Hold-on, here are the options (at least the ones I have used and can think of.)

 

Instant Messages: Lync allows you to see everyone you want to see within your organization as well as external. You see by their “Presence” whether they are available, busy, away, etc. You can IM individuals or groups, add and subtract people on the fly.

 

Phone Call Meeting: right click on a name and select “call.” In a call and want more to join, click the button to add more. The more the merrier, right?

 

Video Meetings: have a cam on your laptop or Surface? Initiate a video call on-demand. Check your hair first.

 

Schedule a Meeting: person you are looking for not available or not answering? Right click and schedule a meeting. See their calendar, pick a time and send. Future meeting is set.

 

Can’t Remember ….: Remember having a meeting but need to know when or the content of the discussion? Right click on the person in Lync and instantly find previous meetings and discussions.

 

Yammer: need to have discussions that are on-going, utilize Yammer. Like “Facebook for business,” Yammer allows discussion to thread and everyone participate in the dialog.

 

Take your pick. On-line meetings have never been easier nor have there been so many choices. Find out more by clicking on the link below and downloading an overview flyer for Office 365.

The Office You Know – Office 365

 

Then, what are you waiting for? Click below and get your free trial of Office 365 E3 for free!

 

 

What Can You Do With Office 365? Business-Class Email

There are words used in business that I marvel at their selection. Who thought of naming  _______  [fill in the blank] … ?  One of those for me is Microsoft Office. Office.  Kind of says it all in one word.  Think of all the things that happen within an office that make business work.  Naming an application Office creates some mighty big shoes to fill.

 

Our current blog series will be exploring Microsoft Office and its value today, especially to small- and medium-sized businesses.  There is probably no greater value in the technology space than Office 365 … and we are going to give you a-reason-a-day during this blog series.

 

Business-Class Email

 

Yes, as much as we hate it at times, it also it the lifeblood of almost every organization.  The ability to send and receive electronic mail has been one of the biggest productivity enhancements in the history of business.  Knowing no geographic, political or time boundary, email allows free flow of information.

 

Microsoft has always been a leader in email.  Today, Microsoft Exchange and the mail client Outlook, are the de facto mail system for the vast majority of business.  Their Office 365 offering takes the cost and complexity of owning, managing and maintaining a mail system to a valued business asset vs. a complex and, at times, painful, necessity. How?

 

  • Large Mailboxes:  need space, how about 50GB per User.  No more trying to keep up with users by buying disk, archiving, or other “losing battle” efforts.

 

  • Shared Calendars:  the opportunity to visualize your work date and commitments is priceless.  Exchange in Office 365 gives you the ability to have multiple calendars, view calendars of co-workers, schedule meeting room assets, etc.

 

  • Spam and Malware Protection:  have a separate system to maintain and license?  No need with the built-in protection in O365.  The cost savings alone here often pays for the entire subscription.

 

  • Multi-platform Access:  Using Outlook or just a web browser, using Windows, MAC or Android, using PC, tablet, mobile or laptop?  Doesn’t matter, you can access your mail on any platform, anytime, anywhere.

 

Click on the link below and download an overview flyer for Office 365.

The Office You Know – Office 365

 

Then, what are you waiting for? Click below and get your free trial of Office 365 E3 for free!

Hosted VoIP or Hosted PBX? Part 2

What is the difference? Last week we discussed this topic and definitions, today we’ll decide … Is it hosted VoIP or hosted PBX?

 

It is hosted PBX (really).

 

As VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol” and refers to the protocol, the means by which the information is traveling across the internet. Hosted PBX, on the other hand, is what generates the IP traffic. Without the PBX, you don’t have any “V” to send “over IP.”

 

Did this solve one of the last remaining mysteries of the universe? No.

 

 

Making your business communication system an asset is what Soteria is all about: You Connecting to the world of business. Soteria is proud to introduce our new site for all-things cloud PBX – uconnect.soteria365.com. What will you find on the site? Explore.

 

Ask for a free trial or quote today. Or, if you would like to discuss Soteria’s portfolio of uConnect offerings, please schedule a time to connect! (Click HERE)

 

Hosted VoIP or Hosted PBX?

What is the difference? I hear these terms used interchangeably almost every day but are they the same? Let’s look at definitions.

 

What is VoIP?

 

VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol” and refers to sending communications across an IP-based network vs. the traditional proprietary voice network of yester-year. Starting in the early 2000’s, technology enabled voice traffic to run on these existing data networks eliminating the need for different cabling, separate protocols, proprietary equipment, etc.

 

What is PBX?

PBX stands for “private branch exchange.” In the old days, when the Bell System had a monopoly on telecommunications, the calls were “exchanged” by these large PBX systems sitting in non-discrete brick buildings. Later, as the capabilities moved on-premise, especially in large businesses, where 100’s of phones needed to be routed locally.

 

What about the term “hosted”?

 

This term, when thrown in front of either of these terms, means that customers are getting these services from the cloud vs. having their own on-premise. So, hosted VoIP vs. hosted PBX – the same or different? We will pick this up tomorrow.

 

 

Making your business communication system an asset is what Soteria is all about: You Connecting to the world of business. Soteria is proud to introduce our new site for all-things cloud PBX – uconnect.soteria365.com.  What will you find on the site? Explore.

 

Ask for a free trial or quote today. Or, if you would like to discuss Soteria’s portfolio of uConnect offerings, please schedule a time to connect! (Click HERE)