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Have you considered cloud storage for your data? There are lots and lots of options right now and I want to explore some with you in this newsletter.

Cloud storage

Data storage has never been cheaper than now, and never before has there been so many options. Cloud storage has so many benefits over local data storage and in nearly every case is cheaper and more efficient.

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Location

Cost

Description

Business Risks

PC / Laptop Hard drive

Free

Local storage only, no duplication of data

Drive failure or loss of machine = total data loss

Server or NAS

$2000-$5000

Fast local storage with data drives in RAID array for loss prevention

Total loss from theft or fire can be mitigated by cloud backup with Azure

USB attached Backup Drive

$100-$200

Duplicates data from local machine (if configured correctly)

Risk of backing up corrupted data, no version control (unless using Windows 10 File History) Can still be lost with pc

Dropbox – free version

Free

Online storage and access from anywhere – can be synced and shared with others

Risk of data loss if other user deletes – malicious data etc. No SLA with Dropbox

Authentication is not controlled corporately

Dropbox for Business

Cost – $17 per user per month min 5 users

Online storage and access from anywhere – can be synced and shared with others

Version control can eliminate loss, SLA with Dropbox mitigates safety of data, can be authenticated with Office 365

OneDrive (personal)

Free

Limited to 5gb per user but allows for sync of data and access anywhere

Authenticated using Microsoft ID not Office 365

OneDrive for Business

Free to Office 365 users

Office productivity Suite included

1TB user space – syncs data and access anywhere, can be shared with inside and outside organisation

Controlled by office 365 authentication and administrators have control of data.

Box for Business

$17 per month per user, min 3 users

Built for businesses this storage solution has local sync, active directory SSO and good admin controls

 

Google Drive

15GB free

Online and offline access, but no collaboration offline. No productivity suite included

Online browser apps only, and no support for many MS Office features. Basic documents and spreadsheets only

SharePoint

Free to Office 365 organisation accounts

Document Management system with check in/out, version control, workflow, fine grained security permissions

Training and support costs

Azure Storage

Many different options and pricing calculator is complex

Data storage can be local or geo redundant, with multiple retention points and access anywhere

Training and support costs

There are many others as well but these are the major ones being used in businesses today. We can assist you in determining what is the best solution for your business and how to identify the risks and costs associated with each option. Then we can implement and train your staff.

Contact us today for a free discussion about cloud storage options for your business.

Microsoft Azure

As a Silver Microsoft Small and Midmarket Cloud Partner we have access to technical support, demos and trial scenarios as well as engineers and solution proposals. We are currently implementing Microsoft Azure storage systems for several clients and would love to talk to you about how you can reduce costs and make data more accessible for teams. Backup solutions, virtual machines and other cloud services exist as well.

Contact us today for a chat about Microsoft Azure

Google Analytics Dashboards

We have been developing dashboards for a number of clients that take Google analytics data from their websites and display information in an easy to view and understand dashboards. The tool to view this data is free, but there is a small time cost to develop data dashboards and customise them to your website.

Here are some examples:

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

Once again malware, Trojans, web browser redirections and unwanted pop ups are the flavour of the month. We have been removing a steady stream of Trojans and cryptoware from clients PCS. A somewhat common source seems to be gumtree. Many of our customers who have been infected use gumtree regularly and we all know they have had many issues in the past. While not pointing the finger at them directly it seems likely that these or other similar sites loaded with sidebar ads have been infected with malware.

If you see pops up your screen asking you to call a number for immediate removal, then contact us – DO NOT CALL the number!

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Skype for Business Web Experience in Office 365

You can now launch and perform some basic Skype for Business tasks right from your navigation bar in Outlook on the web for business (Outlook Web App) in Office 365.

New features include:

  • Launch Skype for Business from the navigation bar
  • Search for people in your organization
  • View your contacts list
  • Start a conversation
  • View your active conversations
  • Leave a conversation

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We can help you understand and use these new features, and take advantage of the benefits of accessing your office online wherever you are.

Get more detailed information about the new Skype for Business Web Experience.

Talk to us about the Office 365 Features you are not currently using and How you Can Benefit from Them

Moving from Evernote to OneNote

We use both Evernote and OneNote extensively and have a lot of experience with using both for individuals and teams.

If you are using Evernote then you may well have come across some of its limitations, including cost for premium product, no free form drawing, backups and other things where OneNote excels.

OneNote and Evernote are similar in many ways, but we think you’ll appreciate the advantages OneNote has to offer, including a free-form canvas where you can mix text, images, documents, handwriting, audio, video and more; free offline access; and unlimited monthly uploads.

Microsoft has now released an import tool to help you migrate. The OneNote Importer tool (for Windows initially) migrates all of your Evernote content into OneNote, giving you the opportunity to switch to OneNote and have all your notes in one place, on all your devices. They will deliver the Importer tool for Mac in the coming months.

More information and download the Evernote to OneNote importer.

If you want any more information on any of these features, how to use them or how they might affect you please contact us

Modern PCs

What is a modern PC? While not necessarily relating to form factors, there are plenty of new form factors around including 2-in-ones, tablets such as Surface and smaller tablet devices.

Let’s start with what is not a modern PC.

In the last 3-4 years a pc you bought would likely have been a tower PC desktop box, a thick and chunky laptop with not a lot of battery life – or you had to spend a lot of money to get a sexy thin one.

Now however we have available to us thin light tablets and laptops, incredibly long battery life and small form factor desktops.

A modern PC has these general characteristics:

  • Thin, light and sexy designs
    • Carbon, aluminium and shiny surfaces
    • Massive screen resolutions – all the way up to 4K screens
    • Touch screens, touchpads and keyboards with multiple functions and capability for swiping and gestures etc.
  • Hardware capability security features like facial recognition, voice recognition and so on (biometrics).
  • Great battery life. Full stop. A modern device should get 6 hours or more – no more playing 2/3rds of a DVD before your battery runs out on the plane!

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Most of these things are built around the new Intel 5th and 6th generation chips along with UEFI hardware security features. These new chips support the great innovations being delivered by Microsoft through Windows 10 – now being delivered as soon as they are designed through the new operating system update features. These include the enhancements to battery life and performance that give us these amazing results.

So if you are not getting these things then you don’t have a modern PC.

BUT - BEWARE. Most of the PC retailers are not telling you these things. They are shifting units in volume, and they have lots of stock left of old PCS. They are shifting them out for cheap prices and many people are being sucked into buying them thinking they are getting a good deal. Many of these units currently on sale are effectively sporting hardware that is 2-3 years old inside. It is already one cycle out of date.

If you are getting near to an update or refresh of your hardware, or frustrated with the speed, battery life, low screen resolution of your current unit, then please talk to us first. We can easily and quickly let you know if the devices you are looking at are a good idea or not. Make sure you future proof your purchase to give you at least a 3 year life.

If you want any more information on how to identify whether the PC you are looking at is old or modern or just advice on what to buy please contact us

Note: We are also a Flexirent dealer and able to assist you to lease a new machine, or purchase it outright

Follow Us On Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

Do you find the idea of writing content for your website daunting, impossible, or even just don’t know where to start?

Welcome to our 31st Newsletter – wow the numbers are starting to add up! I take approx. 2 hours a fortnight to write this newsletter. During the 2 weeks prior I stash articles and news I think might be good for the newsletter in an email folder ready for when I sit down to write. This means that I have in the last 15 months created 31 blog posts on my website that all contribute to my SEO and are great for marketing as well. And I can point customers to some of the frequently asked questions answers there as well.

You could adopt the same strategy. I am sure you could write 300-600 words about something you do or know like the back of your hand that you wish your customers knew! Talk to us about how to get your website working harder for you.

SharePoint Changes Coming – New Document Library

SharePoint Document Libraries are changing. The new User Interface includes:

  • New Quick Launch menu on the left
  • Updated Library Search that shows results almost instantly
  • Removed the Ribbon for a simpler and actionable menu
  • Added document “Pinning” to always have them at the top of the library
  • Easier wording for sharing content with “Get a Link”
  • Users can Right-Click to bring the contextual menu up
  • Library Views management added in a menu via an ellipsis
  • Save your current filtered and displayed columns as a View with the click of a button
  • New Details pane shows information like properties, versioning and more
  • Quick access to manage the properties of documents without navigating to a different page or form
  • Versioning shown as activity
  • Alert Me button put into evidence
  • Move or Copy files within the library
  • A new Grid View
  • Create Links to other files or anywhere really and have them available as a “file” in the library
  • A new image viewer to quick preview them from within your library

We can help you understand and use these new features, and take advantage of the benefits of using the libraries online in a browser rather than just opening in a synced folder on your desktop. In fact, there are many, many features that are just not available to you on your computer you can access online.

Get more detailed information about the new SharePoint interface.

Talk to us about the Office 365 Features you are not currently using and How you Can Benefit from Them

Get Access to Our Digital Producer

Jethro-Facebook-Check-your-websites-health

Do you wish you had your own Digital Producer with over 10 years’ experience to look after your website? Why not borrow ours?

Our expert consultants will review your website, create a high level report and provide prioritised recommended actions to help you create a more effective website.

For only $99* you can find out:

  • How to optimise your website as an effective sales tool for your business
  • Ways to ensure your brand is reaching the right audience
  • If you are getting a return on your marketing investment

CONTACT US NOW ON 0414 770 002 FOR your Site Analysis

*Terms and Conditions Apply – contact us for details

Office 365 Updates

Over and above the SharePoint library changes these recent updates were rolled out:

  • A new tool for migrating your Evernote notes to OneNote
  • PowerPoint Designer enhancements
  • New language support in Office for Mac and Skype Translator, plus collaboration and Power Pivot updates
  • For business users, Skype for Business meetings experiences and voice services are being expanded
  • Video viewer statistics are rolling out in Office 365 Video
  • A new reporting portal in the admin centre is rolling out
  • New update options are available for Office 365 ProPlus
  • Office 365 Connectors is here
  • The redesigned OneNote Class Notebook—designed and built with teachers—is available worldwide
  • And for devs, there’s a new site for keeping up with the latest news and resources.

Coming soon:

  • Enhanced Automatic Replies (out of office). When users set an automatic reply (Out of office) When users set an automatic reply (out of office) message with an end date in Outlook on the web, Outlook can now automatically decline meetings for that period of time as well as decline any future invites that the user receives for a date in which they are away.
  • The new admin centre will get improved search, additional user list management functionality and enhancements for the mobile admin app.
  • Microsoft is updating the default Office 365 portal experience for users to make it more intuitive and consistent across devices. The new home page simplifies access to your services and recent documents, while making it easier to install applications with 1-click.
  • Microsoft is delivering a new sync client for OneDrive for Business that will provide a faster and more reliable sync experience. You’ll begin seeing this change starting May 15, 2016, and rolling out over the coming months.
  • New Safety tips in Outlook. Exchange Online Protection (EOP) already protects your organization with industry-leading spam and malware prevention. However, these attacks are so well crafted that they look legitimate. Sometimes putting messages into the Junk Email folder isn’t enough. Over the coming weeks, we’re going to provide additional information when users check their email in Outlook on the web, and in Outlook. Moving forward, as an example, a red Safety Tip in an email will mean that the message received contains something suspicious. We recommend deleting these types of email messages without opening them. We’ll continue to add more features to Safety Tips to ensure users have the best, most protected experience.

More Office 365 Update information online.

If you want any more information on any of these features, how to use them or how they might affect you please contact us

Follow Us On Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

Choose great images for your Facebook ads

Facebook have been creating some great content helping business owners better utilise their business pages. This latest article talks about how to choose great images for your Facebook ads that pop out in peoples feeds, ensuring you get seen and hopefully clicked on.

And of course the whole point of Facebook advertising is to drive customer engagement, attract visitors to your website and make sales or inquiries you can convert. So that first impression is vital.

The photos should have single focal points, visual consistency, work for mobile and be eye catching.

Why should you be running campaigns on Facebook or your website even?

Jeff Bullas says:

Marketers need to realise that a strong trend is emerging called continuous marketing. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t run “campaigns”. The reality is that being found online (found in

social network updates, Twitter streams and in a Google search) requires constant SEO activity and content creation, publishing and marketing.

clip_image006Creating, curating and marketing content that is fed into the jaws of the social media beast needs to be relentless or you will be left behind and you will be lost in the web noise.

To do this well requires implementing marketing automation that leverages your time and resources.

If you need help choosing your photos, creating your ads, running campaigns or just better photos then talk to us today

Office 365 Updates

There are a lot of updates in the last 4 weeks since I last reported. Most are admin or backend updates. The major one being the admin panel has been completely updated. If you login to office 365 as an administrator you will see the new admin panel now by default. Ask us if you have any questions about navigating it.

SharePoint and One Drive for Business sharing invitations now last 90 days. If you share a document or folder with an external user, the email invitation link now lasts for 9o days before it automatically expires.

The One Drive for Business website has been upgraded to a new clean, intuitive, and beautiful interface. You can switch between tile or list views while easily organizing with drag-and-drop functions, and many other improvements. You can switch back to the existing “classic” experience, with a link on the bottom left of the screen. Eventually the “classic” experience will go away, but not until Microsoft has listened to feedback and ensured everyone is ready for the change.

Talk to us about the Office 365 Features you are not currently using

Is Your Website Working For You?

Do you receive good quality inquiries that you convert to sales? Are you selling products through your site?

Many businesses have websites that have sat idle for years. What is known as brochure ware sites are simply nothing more than an expensive business card or flyer about a company with an about page usually out of date or information that isn’t really relevant to selling anything, maybe a products or services page and hopefully a contact page with contact details.

We have surveyed hundreds of websites for 7 main components that we believe are essential if a website is actually going to sell anything, attract new customers, or even get enquiries coming in. Most unfortunately fail in 5 or more of these categories.

We can analyse your site for $99 and provide a full report of what your site is doing badly.

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CONTACT US NOW FOR your Site Analysis

Understanding Power Management on Surface Devices

Surface is in a class of devices that uses Modern Standby rather than traditional S3 Sleep. This allows Windows to manage power consumption right down to the individual hardware components. The net effect is near instant resume times and more efficient power consumption (read longer battery life!) Modern Standby also helps keep devices protected by installing latest Windows Updates even when users are on the move and the device is in standby.

Microsoft recently released two videos as part of the Microsoft Mechanics series to help you learn more about Surface power management with modern Standby and how to troubleshoot and pinpoint issues by creating and analysing sleep-study and energy reports for affected devices.

Microsoft also released recent updates for Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 devices including a set of Microsoft and Intel driver and firmware updates that help you make the most of Surface power management options.

ask us how if you need to know more

Follow Us On Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

Today I thought I would update you on all the services we offer. Often people are surprised at just what we can do and outsourcing jobs to us is often a way to get things done more efficiently and cheaper. I have also included some Office 365 news as usual.

Outsource Your Tech Today

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We have been in business here in Australia for 20 years. Some of our staff have more than 25 years’ experience in computing and business. We have been active in the web since 1995. As a result, we have a significant skill set that you can take advantage of.

First some reasons why.

Can your business afford?

  • Missed sales and opportunities
  • Negative feedback – people talk about your business in social media
  • Wasted money

Common Mistakes of DIY

  • Buying unsuitable equipment on “special”
  • Incorrect licensing of software
  • Making the assumption the cloud is free
  • Untested backups, DR and BCP
  • Leaving it to untrained Gen Y staff
  • Inappropriate use of social media for business

Some of the products and services we can offer you

  • Advice – we employ professionals in these areas:
    • Business Architecture and Digital Strategy
    • Web Development and Design
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
    • SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
    • SMM (Social Media Management)
    • Reputation and Brand Management
    • Photography and Graphic Design
    • Sys Admins and Database Experts
    • Office Productivity Gurus
    • Writing and Content Development
  • Hardware:
    • Computer sales, repairs and upgrades – from basic business PCs to high end graphic design and gaming PCs
    • Mobile devices (phones, tablets) – sales, upgrades and connection
    • Internet connection – ADSL, NBN and Mobile Broadband
    • Wired and Wireless Networks – design, installation and security– design, sales, installation and configuration, racks and data storage
  • Software
    • Office 365 connection, setup and installation
    • Data migration – office accounting systems into the cloud, data storage into cloud
    • Website development, new sites, upgrades, ecommerce platforms, integration to store
    • Social Media - policy, setup and account management
    • Excel VBA development – spreadsheet design, automation, reporting tools and budgets
  • Training
    • Microsoft Office training – productivity and efficiency gains guaranteed
    • Website management
    • Social Media Use and Management

Talk to us about significant advantages to your business by OUTSOURCING YOUR TECH

Office 365 News

Using Skype for Business? If not why? Either way here are 8 features you didn’t know you needed for online meetings.

New Feature: Filtering common malicious attachment types in Email. Learn more about creating organisation wide settings to limit attachments of malicious file types. Ask us if you want this feature enabled.

Upgraded feature: The People Profile experience is being updated in Office 365. We are already using the new profile pages and it is a definite improvement when working with Delve. Ask us about how to improve your organisations information usage and sharing.

New feature: Integrate Dropbox into your Office 365 online experience. Ask us to talk through and plan this upgrade if you are heavy users of Dropbox.

Office 365 is changing all the time, schedule your free 6 monthly audit with us to see how you can take advantage of the tools that are available in your subscription

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

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