Are you making the most of Office 365?

Are you making the most of Office 365?

Office 365 is a software and cloud-based suite which when used correctly, can drive efficiency, increase productivity and encourage collaborative working in the business world. And even though it has been around since 2011, it is amazing to find how little our clients fully utilise all the tools that Office 365 provides.
​Systems Integration have been Microsoft partners for over 15 years and although we have the experience to ensure that we maximise the system it”s potential (after all Office is far more than just Word and Excel), we wanted to ensure that all our clients are also aware of other Office Features that could assist you in maximising your efficiency.

Who needs paper when you have OneNote?

Your paperless note pad. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it also brings formality and structure to your planning, meeting notes, to-do list, and anything else you would normally scribble on a Post-It note.
This interactive tool allows you to type notes, deposit useful articles, and compile documents, but it is also a free-form canvas that allows you to highlight, draw and enter text. The tiered layout enables you to not only organise your notes by project or subject matter but also makes for a user-friendly system to share notes with others.
And with apps for both iOS and Android, OneNote is your paperless, modern-day Filofax that can go anywhere with you.

Missing Facebook, then use Yammer

The perfect social platform for businesses allowing you to share company news, employee achievements, general workplace policies, and useful information for staff, Yammer is your business secure social network only accessible by those with an approved email address.
Yammer can also have a great positive effect on team morale especially in larger organisation environments; news and announcements can be shared easily across sites and even with off-site employees, praise and gratitude can be aired widely, and external news such as traffic incidents that may affect staffs’ journeys can be shared.

Avoid Emails and chat direct with Teams

This is the WhatsApp of the business World. An instant messaging tool that allows you to reduce the number of internal emails you send and receive and get quick answers to quick questions. In our experience, it enables more efficient working and is a great collaborative working tool.

But more than just an instant messaging tool, Teams offers audio and video conferencing calling which will fill the gap as we say goodbye to Skype For Business. It also offers file sharing and live editing among colleagues, and even the ability to integrate additional apps for project management, analytics, staff training, and more!

Allow everyone access with SharePoint

A file hosting application that allows documents to be saved centrally for all to access. Files can also be edited in location and alerts set up to notify anyone who needs to know when an amendment is made.
The idea is much that of a shared drive except SharePoint can be accessed remotely, doesn’t require space on your network and is generally superior in the features it offers.

Turn data ainto opportunities with Power BI

Collating facts and figures from unrelated data sources, from Excel spreadsheets to cloud-based analytic tools, Power BI has the ability to turn records of business performance stats into a coherent visual and interactive insight, that will inform and direct important business decisions and planning.
And, of course, true to Microsoft’s passion for collaboration, your insights are structured into a digestible report that can then be shared with your teams and colleagues.

At Systems Integration we offer far more than just IT support

At Systems Integration, we’re about more than just resolving your IT issues and installing new hardware; we’re here to guide, advise and train our clients to make sure you’re getting the most from your tech, so if you’re running Office 365, make sure you’re using it to its full potential; get in touch and arrange for one of our technicians to pop around and show you the ropes.

Fancy Increasing online productivity

Fancy Increasing online productivity

Are you always working on spreadsheets?

Is Excel the bane of your life but at the same time a necessary evil?

If you are one of the many office workers that has just read the first two lines and are now sat looking at this shaking your head in acknowledgement, we empathise. Not only is minimising and maximising your screen to transfer data from one spreadsheet to another, an arduous task, but it is so counterproductive and soul destroying that it has been proven to be a contributor to office in-efficiency.

So how can you overcome this – the answer, dual monitors. Yes that’s right, you have to spend money to save money. Recently the New York times did an study of office ergonomics and dynamics trying to see what can be done to assist with productivity and relieve stress in the workplace, it was found that workers that had a dual screen set up in their workspace actually upped their productivity by 20-30%!
Now you may be working for a business that does not like spending the money and when you inform your boss if this, they may simply say, minimise what you are working on and half your current screen… Although this will allow you to work on two spreadsheets at once, it does not give you the screen real estate you need to get things completed efficiently.
Imagine you are using one screen and you are doing online research, you may be required to compare data across multiple sites, having multiple tabs open at one time, we all know how quickly the space gets used up, and we all know how confusing it can be if you are then wanting to transfer said data onto another spreadsheet, yes minimise, maximise, oops lost it….

So, can Two Monitors really increase productivity?

Depends on the work you are required to do; say for example you are completing;

  • Data entry
  • Excel
  • Emailing
  • Working with large spreadsheets
  • Online chatting such as Skype
  • Graphic design

Having more than one monitors will allow you too:

  • Compare documents side by side
  • Switch seamlessly between apps or even have two or more open at once:
  • Graphic design projects: you may need to review two versions of an image to run a comparison. You can also view the image on one screen while making edits on the other.
  • Keep chats open as you work without having the screen pop in front of the work you are doing.
  • With an auxiliary monitor, text and images will be larger and easier to work with, which will assist in reducing eye strain.

Is it hard to set up a dual monitor configuration?

In a word no, but you do need to ensure that prior to spending your money on a second screen you do need to…

1). Check to see what type of video input port on your device. Laptops usually have these on the sides, while laptops have these ports on the back.

2). There are different types of video input ports and these vary across devices, with variations in shape and size. Make sure you know which type of port your computer has, as it will be necessary to match the port to the second monitor’s type of input plug. The most common video ports include:

  • HDMI
  • Min-VGA
  • VGA
  • DisplayPort
  • DVI-D
  • Mini HDMI
  • DVI-I
  • Micro HDMI
  • Mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt
  • USB Type-C, Thunderbolt

3). Make sure the cable matches: again, make sure the cable has the correct plug/pins that will fit your device. Some monitors are plug & play, making them easy to install. However, you may need to buy an adapter to fit your computer’s port or the monitor’s plug.

4). Connect it all together: once you are sure the monitor’s plug/pins fit your device’s port, and/or you have the proper adapter to connect the second monitor to the computer, then you’re ready to put it all together. Connect one end of the cable to the monitor, and then connect the other end of the cable to the computer.

5). Turn the monitor on: now you’re ready to go—turn the monitor on and make sure everything’s working!

If you believe that a dual screen set up would benefit your or your employees and are thinking it is just too much of an outlay or too much hassle then do not. At Systems Integration we have great deals on office IT hardware and if you call on us to assist we even have the engineers that come to your place of work and set everything up. Interested? Get in touch and take the first step in increasing your office productivity

Office 365 Perks and Pitfalls

Office 365 Perks and Pitfalls

Last month we talked about disaster recovery and data back up, this month we again highlight how important it is to have back up plans in place, even when you are using up to date cloud based systems such as Office 365.

Let’s face it, Cloud based Office 365 is a fantastic tool that has been around now for almost a decade now, but we still find many businesses are unaware of it and the advantages it can bring.

The collaboration benefits are huge – No matter where you team are and no matter what device they are working on, your team can edit documents in real time. But, the downside is that your team also have the power to accidentally delete important files, form anywhere on any of these devices.

As good as Office 365 is, many businesses assume that Microsoft is backing up their files – This unfortunataly is not the case.
​Microsoft does protect your data but they work on a shared responsibility model with the following being user responsibility:

  • Data loss due to departing employees and deactivated accounts
  • Data loss due to malicious insiders/hacktivists deleting content
  • Any Data loss due to malware/ransomware
  • Recovery from prolonged outages
  • Long-term accidental deletion coverage with selective rollback

In short, when human error/interference is involved, the burden is on ensure your data is protected. And yes, this also includes misconfigured workflow and malicious damage including hackers and viruses. In other words, no back up in place = Goodbye important files and emails.
Another common oversight by businesses, relates to access to files created by employees after their user accounts are closed. An active Office 365 license is required to access data. When employees leave, you can simply deactivate their account. However, if you do this without a backup you could inadvertently delete valuable company data as you would lose access to any files created by that employee. If you have no limit to your IT budget, you could simply continue paying licenses for terminated employees, but this is not a practical long-term solution.
Alternatively a good back up system can save the data from users accounts before you delete them.

How can Systems Integration help?

We offer an affordable back up and recovery service to our IT Support customers across Swindon, Wiltshire and the South West. Our Experienced Engieers will work with you to find out what your business needs and tailor the solution to your requirements. With a well-managed back up system in place, you have peace of mind that you can quickly recover from any loss of data – be it accidental or malicious. Think we can help? get in touch with us today and we will get one of our technical consultants to give you and your business a free systems audit and show you how you can ensure data is never lost. ​

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