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2012-07-14 Brisbane French Festival 017Did you know that today was Bastille Day? Will you be celebrating?

Just as this French National day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution I hope that this newsletter can help you begin a revolution at work with some innovative ideas utilising Office 365.

Quickly create an Online Survey – using Excel and OneDrive

When you login to Office 365 you should see an icon in your apps list for OneDrive. This is your personal user accounts 1TB of storage space. Once you go there online you get access to some interesting features not available on your PC.

 

One of these is the ability to create an Excel survey. Click the New icon and then choose Excel Survey. You will get a prompt to create the Survey workbook with a title and then the opportunity to create questions with options for free text, Yes No, your choice selections and so on. The resulting survey that is created can then be shared with anyone you want to. For example please take this short survey.

There are lots of really awesome use cases for this. Use this as a pre appointment data collection option with a tablet with customers who walk into your business, use at trade shows or send it to customers with a QR code after they purchase from you for post sales feedback and follow-up. Results can be seen real time in the office in a spreadsheet that you can customise as necessary.

office 365 apps list

excel survey 1excel survey 2

Contact us now if you would like to learn more about creating Online Excel Surveys.

Using Sway to generate Online Documents and websites – no programming!

Nearly every business uses PowerPoint and Word. Turning your documents into online applications is far easier than you might think. Using Sway (on your Office 365 app list or by going to www.sway.com) you can turn your existing PowerPoint and word documents into websites that you can send your customers to. For example here is the digital strategy presentation we give to our customers. This took 5 minutes to upload and tweak using the visual tools in Sway.

digital strategy

Talk to us about using Sway to enhance your online presence, integrate with social media and incorporate into client presentations. Upgrade your Corporate Look!

Using Delve to improve your Corporate Communications

Businesses today create large amounts of data. From sales reports, customer presentations, tenders and quotes, SOP, Office Procedures and other how to documents to excel spreadsheets and power points there is endless amounts of data being created. SharePoint is the ideal place to store all this data as it is so easily accessible by all users from any location and on any device.

But how do you know what is being created? Are you repeating work that someone else has done, or do you need to copy and paste boilerplate text? What about utilising someone else’s spreadsheet to get you started with that new analysis report your boss just asked for? Office Delve is the new tool being rolled out in Office 365 to assist with surfacing information that is tailored to you.

From the Office Website:

Delve helps you discover the information that's likely to be most interesting to you right now - across Office 365. You don't have to remember the title of a document or where it's stored. Delve shows you documents no matter where they're stored in OneDrive for Business or in Sites in Office 365.

Delve also lets you view your colleagues' profiles, or edit your own. Your profile is like an electronic business card you share inside your organization.

Delve never changes any permissions, so you'll only see documents that you already have access to. Other people will not see your private documents. Learn more about privacy.

When you and your colleagues view, edit, and share each other's documents, Delve learns from how you work and tailors the information to each of you on your personalized Home page. What you see in Delve is different from what your colleagues see.

delve

But how do you know what is being created? Are you repeating work that someone else has done, or do you need to copy and paste boilerplate text? What about utilising someone else’s spreadsheet to get you started with that new analysis report your boss just asked for? Office Delve is the new tool being rolled out in Office 365 to assist with surfacing information that is tailored to you.

From the Office Website:

Delve helps you discover the information that's likely to be most interesting to you right now - across Office 365. You don't have to remember the title of a document or where it's stored. Delve shows you documents no matter where they're stored in OneDrive for Business or in Sites in Office 365.

Delve also lets you view your colleagues' profiles, or edit your own. Your profile is like an electronic business card you share inside your organization.

Delve never changes any permissions, so you'll only see documents that you already have access to. Other people will not see your private documents. Learn more about privacy.

When you and your colleagues view, edit, and share each other's documents, Delve learns from how you work and tailors the information to each of you on your personalized Home page. What you see in Delve is different from what your colleagues see.

Talks to us about getting Delve working in your organisation

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:

clip_image012

Did you know that email newsletter campaigns are more effective than any social media campaign as a way to grow your business? If you want help writing and sending newsletters like these that you can send to your mailing list then just talk to Tim today. Let me know if these are useful for you – and if you have a burning “how the heck do I do that?” question then ask that as well and we can write about it next newsletter.

Advance Notice

We will be running a Seminar early June with Jerrod D. Smith Attitude Coach. Pre-register your interest as we expect to sell out early as seats are limited to 25

Cloud Management Tips – Accounting systems

One of the easiest places to find potential time and therefore cost savings is in shifting your business accounting into the cloud. There are numerous advantages, but also some things to watch out for.

Advantages of cloud accounting

This isn’t an exhaustive list but some of the more popular features that most cloud accounting packages will offer or use as promotional or sales features:

  • Access to your data anywhere on any device (note this isn’t always true – many do not have apps that work on all mobile platforms and many have plugins that are also similarly hampered.)
  • Access to your accountant for live data review. Not having to close off your accounts, send them to your accountant and then wait for them to finish with them before carrying on working (or go and make the same end of year journals they just made) is a huge advantage. Your accountant can login (usually free) and make the changes while you can continue to operate.
  • Up to the minute reporting. This sounds good but isn’t necessarily so. As a management accountant for many years I know the danger of providing inaccurate data to business owners. GIGO or Garbage in garbage out is a software development acronym that also applies to Accounting packages. If you don’t have all the data entered in correctly then the reports you might be relying on could be inaccurate.
  • Licensing cost means updates are “free” and you are only paying an easy monthly fee. This has a catch for some systems – if you stop paying – your stop having access to your data. Some systems have offline data, others will allow you to download into excel. But this can catch people out so make sure you choose the right package.

So how can you choose? We are partners with Financials for Office 365 so our advice could be biased but we can certainly give you some broad level advice as to which package might or might not be right for you. However for true unbiased advice feel free to get in touch with one of our customers Dianne Kennedy from Small Business Know How on 07 3343 3796.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current accounting system and how to migrate this into the cloud in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Call to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 10 is Nearly here – crazy amount of news being released

Windows 10 will be released later this year. And if you upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 in the first year from its release you will get the upgrade free*.

I'm not going to try and talk about everything Windows 10 related that has happened in the last 2 weeks. There’s been an avalanche of news both from Microsoft itself and also from the media speculation and hype growing around release dates, inclusions and exclusions and so on.

w10-solitaire

Here are a few key points:

  • We are telling customers to hold off on Win 8.1 upgrades now. There is no point in spending money on that when the Win 10 upgrade from Win 7 will apparently be free and “painless”. Of course we will be testing that thoroughly before we start assisting our customers to upgrade. However if you want to be a test dummy then feel free to let us know. There is a 12 month free upgrade deadline from release date so you do need to factor that in.
  • The new apps store will include carrier billing – that means not having to enter credit card details on a mobile device – it will bill your mobile carrier instead. And there’s a rumour that iOS and Android apps will be ported into the store.
  • A release date was “leaked” for July – still not confirmed officially but seems pretty likely. A second release of October will likely be for the first major refresh with features that didn’t make the cut in July being implemented in this one.
  • Solitaire is back – hooray! The best time waster of all. Where is the productivity tip here?

If you are interested in previewing Windows 10 we can show you some devices with it running and then talk about when your business will migrate to Windows 10 and take advantage of the under the hood features that will make your staff more productive.

*Doesn’t apply to customers running Windows Enterprise or on Software Assurance.

Office 365 Introduces Outlook Clutter Feature

o365-clutterClutter is a new feature being progressively rolled out to Office365 customers. If you want to try it ask me and we can see if it is available for you and turn it on. It is turned on organisation wide but off by default and needs to be enabled per user account.

How Clutter works

Clutter learns from your actions to determine the messages you are likely to ignore. As less important messages arrive, they are automatically moved to the Clutter folder. Clutter does this by leveraging Office Graph’s sophisticated machine learning techniques to determine which messages are Clutter. It gets smarter over time, learning from your prior actions with similar messages, and assessing things like the type of content and even how you are addressed in the message. The Clutter experience is personalized to each individual and reflects an email experience that adapts to your actions and preferences without you having to do anything. The information Clutter learns from each user’s actions are only applied to that user’s experience and are not shared with anyone else.

More info here http://blogs.office.com/2014/11/11/de-clutter-inbox-office-365/

Let us know if you get a lot of email per day. There are smart ways to work with your inbox that can help save you time and money. Training your staff in how to use email more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Using Absolute References in Excel

Excel uses a powerful vector system for managing formulas. Each cell can be linked to many others using formulas. In a simple way of explaining this, 2 cells can be added together in a third cell using a formula that references them. Most people do not know how to use absolute references to speed up their formula development time, and ensure accuracy of formulas in a table. I have a comprehensive article online detailing what they are as well as how to use them. Read all the instructions on how to use absolute references in your formulas at http://spyjournal.biz/back-basics-using-absolute-references-excel

If you want to know more about using some of the more powerful functions in Excel to improve your productivity then give us a call.

Google Mobile Friendly Test – do you pass?

 

In case you haven’t heard the biggest thing in recent times in search engine optimisation happened back on 21 April 2015 (22nd for Australia). Google implemented a major search engine ranking algorithm change for mobile search. With a huge rise in the use of mobile devices for search, and the high likelihood of local search using these devices it makes sense for Google to deliver localised results. However they are now saying for a mobile user the results should be optimised for the mobile device. So if your site is not optimised for mobile (passes the mobile friendly test) then it will automatically drop down the rankings in preference of sites that are friendly.

Test your site today https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ Enter your domain name.

If you fail the test talk to us about if you even need to pass. And if you do then we can work out the most cost effective way for you to achieve that. It doesn’t need to cost thousands of dollars.

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:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Did you get Skype for Business installed? The recent upgrade for all Office 365 users should have taken affect by now. Talk to us if not.

Remember you can find the Lync app for iPad and iPhone in the iTunes store, Android app in the Google play store, and the Windows phone app in the Windows Store. In all cases you just need to sign in using your Office 365 credentials.

Cloud Management Tips – Migrating your data to your Cloud Storage

clip_image001You might have files on your computer that you want to copy to your cloud storage areas. Before you just start copying them én masse you might want to consider some important things first.

Storage Limits

There are more storage limits on services than just the total space although that is critical to think of. Many services what file types can be stored. There are also usually limits on the number of files, and individual file sizes. Usually the retail or free service is limited more than the business or paid service as well.

Accessibility

Not every loud storage solution makes it easy to access your files. Ensure that the app is available on your platform of choice, that files can be selectively synced and that you can access your files when you need them by testing with a few simple ones first.

Editing

Not all services or apps allow editing of the documents in a browser or on a mobile device. If you need to edit documents on the go then check this feature out first.

Sharing and Security

There are different ways to share with each different service. Some like SharePoint can share a single file as read only or edit. Others like Dropbox can only do that a folder level. Check what you need before deciding which to use.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current data storage and how to migrate this into the cloud in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Call to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 10 is coming – Free Upgrade from Windows 7 or 8

windows 10 logoWindows 10 will be released later this year. And if you upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 in the first year from its release you will get the upgrade free*.

Some of the features from Windows 8 that some people found annoying have been removed or changed in Windows 10. These include:

  • Full screen modern app windows can now be moved and resized like regular resizable windows and are no longer full screen or docked in the sliding panel. Each has the familiar resize icons on the right hand side for minimise, restore and close.
  • Internet explorer is now going to be one version – not two – and never knowing which is which will be gone! The new browser is codenamed Project Spartan. Stay tuned for this one.
  • The Start screen is fixed. There is a start menu just like in Windows 7, and the revised start screen can be customised to show apps that you choose so you can have the best of both worlds. It can be toggled to full screen or work just like the old Windows 7 one did – your call!
  • The corner based navigation system is gone. When you stick your mouse in the corner the apps and charm bar wont display. In fact the entire charm bar has been replaced by a really cool notification centre similar to what windows and android phones have that can be pulled up or down, and used to see notifications and dismiss them as necessary.
  • VERY COOL – a multiple desktop function built in. you can have multiple desktops with different applications open on each one and switch between them. Excellent for laptop users.

office 365 on the go survey detailsSpecial Deal – If you are interested in previewing Windows 10 we can show you some devices with it running and then talk about when your business will migrate to Windows 10 and take advantage of the under the hood features that will make your staff more productive.

*Doesn’t apply to customers running Windows Enterprise or on Software Assurance.

Office 365 gives You more Mobility

Have you ever checked your mail in the bathroom? What about taken a business call while at the beach? While we all need balance in our lives, being more mobile can both be a curse and a blessing.

Check out this info graphic that shows some interesting stats. Can you identify with any of these? Or are there some other spots they missed? What about the movies? Ever responded to email while munching on popcorn? I’ll post this on Facebook for you to respond with your plugged in confessions! Confess now!

Let us know where you need better access to your data and we can help you design a solution that works for you or your team. Telecommuting can save you money and make your staff more productive. Call us today!

Using The Round Function in Excel

The ROUND function is extremely useful to truncate calculated values with long decimal places to the 2 decimal places we need with currency calculations. Typically where this is a problem is where you have calculations on financial figures being added up and the sum at the bottom “appears” to be wrong. Solve the problem of a board member adding the figures on a financial report with a calculator and then calling you out on the total (this happened to me once).

Read all the instructions on how to use this powerful function online at http://spyjournal.biz/excel/ROUND

If you want to know more about using some of the more powerful formulas in Excel to improve your productivity then give us a call.

Social Media Tips and Information – What not to do!

I bet you have heard of someone who shared something inappropriate on social media who now wishes they hadn’t. Maybe it adversely affected their employment, relationships or even got them fired. While there are (maybe not as obvious as they should be) levels of TMI (too much information) that personal sharing from our friends and family can cause us to cringe, it’s just as bad for business.

Having a social media policy is one thing. But do you have a strategy documented for dealing with the worst case scenario, an employee upsets customers or even without that provocation they just go rank on you. Do you know what you should, and equally important, shouldn’t do?

If managing social media seems like a scary prospect for your business (and it can be) then try out sourcing it to us. Our global team of social media experts can work with you to successfully represent your business in social media.

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 on these platforms:

· Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

· Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

· Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

· Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

· Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

· Subscribe to our daily Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345852972

· Subscribe to our weekly Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345853288

· Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

· Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

· Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

· Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

· Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Hope you had a relaxing and safe Easter break. Did you check your email while you were away from work? Typically most people do. Did you set up an out office email response? If you didn’t remember how to do that then check out this previous newsletter where we showed you how to do it.

All our previous newsletters can be found online at www.jethroconsultants.com

As always I am available to respond to your requests, queries and provide you with information.

Cloud Management Tips – Protecting Data in the Cloud?

Cloud data is just like computer storage in one respect – but with some big differences.

All data is subject to accidental or deliberate deletion.

If you have an adhoc approach to cloud usage, where employees bring their own cloud storage, no policies on where data is to be stored and accessed then you have potential issues if that employee leaves or accidentally or maliciously removes or deletes data. Even with a corporate storage solution like SharePoint, Box or Dropbox for Business, data can still be deleted.

2014-11-26 Walk to Park 050-580So how do you protect against that? We have numerous different solutions we can implement into a customer’s business to safeguard against that. SharePoint has some very good built in protection levels including major and minor version history with different permission levels. Access to data can be read only or edit to certain user groups. Dropbox for Business and Box Enterprise also have similar features. Putting in external backup solutions can work or implementing a cloud backup service that backs up your cloud and non-cloud data to a repository like Amazon web services or even another cloud service like google Drive can also be setup for minimal cost. Peace of mind for a few cents a day.

There is no one size fits all solution – we tailor each solution to the customer’s specific needs and risk levels.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current data management, disaster recovery and backup services you could be using to protect you against data loss. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Office 2016 for MAC

2012-01-14 DDU2012 010-387Finally a refresh of Office for our clients using Apple Macs is close. The preview is out for those who want to take advantage of that. The current version of Office for Mac 2011 is very dated and its functionality is very limited compared to what the PC users get with Office 2013. For the last 12 months I have been suggesting users use SharePoint and Office online or the apps on the iPad for a better experience.

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SKGIJ2brzg to see all the updated versions of the Office programs for Mac.

Special Deal – If you are a Mac user and you currently don’t have the 2011 version installed at least let us help you with that. We can connect remotely and install it for you for $44*

*Qualifying Office 365 subscription required

Using The SUMIF Function in Excel

excel logoThe SUMIF function is one the most powerful and easy to use functions in Excel. It is used to sum the values in a column when the value in another column is equal to a certain value. E.g. In the table below you might want to know the number of casual staff in Victoria. The SUMIF function is the key to unlocking this data easily.

excel sumifRead all the instructions on how to use this powerful function online at http://spyjournal.biz/excel-function-week-sumif

 

If you want to know more about using some of the more powerful formulas in Excel to improve your productivity then give us a call.

iPhone and iPad Apps for office 365 Email and Calendar

outlook logoIf you have an iPhone or iPad then check out either OWA or Outlook from the Apple store. Both of these free apps will connect to your Office365 Exchange email account and give you a much better experience than the standard Apple mail and calendar apps. If you are a power email user than the Outlook app is probably the best. If you need access to colour categories in calendar and tasks than the OWA app is probably better. If you are not sure install them both and trial them. I would love to hear your feedback on these Apps.

Social Media Tips and Information – Advertising on Facebook

facebook_logo-200Social Media Marketing (SMM) can be hard to understand. Facebook advertising is one of the places for businesses to be investing money – but how do you know you aren’t just throwing away your cash when you Boost posts. We recently presented an article on how to use Facebook Advertising to a business group. Feel free to view it online.

If advertising in social media seems like a foreign world or nightmare to manage (and it can be) then try out sourcing it to us. Our global team of social media experts can work with you to successfully represent your business in social media with cost effective measureable results

Web Design – Should you invest in theme design or content?

NEWSFLASH

Google has announced that from 21 April sites that are not meet mobile friendly will be penalised in search. More information on what that means can be found at this site http://searchengineland.com/everything-need-know-googles-new-stance-mobile-216870

If your site is not going to pass the test than a simple resign refresh might be the answer.

It used to be that to have a great looking website you had to spend thousands on a designer creating a theme (graphical content, visual layout and navigation elements, buttons, menus and colours) in order for you to stand out from the crowd and visually represent your brand.

However that is no longer the case. Any website developer who tells you otherwise (at the expense of creating good quality fresh content) is just feathering their own nest at the expense of your pocket. While it is true that good design is important, spending large amounts of money to get it isn’t necessarily needed. And it should never be spent in place of creating content.

Here’s why.

A responsive mobile design theme that meets Googles mobile design requirements as well as showcasing your brand and company can be purchased for as little as US$50. Within a few hours a good developer can customise (with no coding required) this theme to your needs including adding your logo, changing the colour scheme and utilising one of the several built in templates to give you a unique look. You can then spend the rest of your web development investment budget to generate the good quality content that will rank you in search engines, establish your expertise in your field, and give you great content to share in social media.

Here are some sites we have built recently or installed new themes in which in all cases the theme budget has been a maximum of $500 including purchase and configuring. In no case has there been custom code meaning that ongoing upgrades can be applied for minimum of effort and cost (in most cases covered by our maintenance SLA and performed automatically).

Note; most of these sites have plans for content creation that have yet to be implemented.

· http://attitudecoach.com

· http://sentinel-erm.com.au

· http://irlabs.com.au

· http://opalhatblocks.com.au

· http://jonomiller.com

· http://narangbabaptist.org.au

· http://kinshagold.com.au

· http://paintplaceburpengary.com.au

· http://psychscreen.net.au

Contact us today if you need help making your site mobile friendly, or for a whole new refresh! Mention this newsletter and we will provide a free site review – normally worth $199.

Follow us on Social Media

As always we are 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 on these platforms:

· Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

· Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

· Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

· Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

· Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

· Subscribe to our daily Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345852972

· Subscribe to our weekly Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345853288

· Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

· Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

· Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

· Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

· Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

All content © Tim Miller

Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

The first quarter of 2015 is almost done so let’s get straight into it.

Cloud Management Tips – Who Owns the Cloud?

cloudLast newsletter prompted a question of “Who owns the cloud?

The answer is it depends – on what sort of cloud you are talking about.

Common public cloud scenarios like drop box, or Flickr, or Office365 the infrastructure is owned by the company involved. The data is always yours. Always check the terms and conditions!

Common private cloud ones like all your online banking for instance are owned by the bank – but you can access your data – though I suspect it’s not actually ours.

And then you can own your own private cloud. For as little as a few hundred dollars, the right router and some hard drives you can create a private cloud structure where you can access your data anywhere – while it is stored right at your house or office. Mind you this is not a safe a scenario as using something like Office 365. For instance your encryption layers will not likely be anywhere near as good as Microsoft’s. Neither will physical access to your premises be anything like as secure as theirs.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current business technology usage and what cloud services you could be using that could benefit you in one or more of these areas – cost reduction, efficiency, data security and access, and business continuity. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

windows8I think all of our customers are finally off Windows XP. Hopefully there are none left using Vista – please contact me if you are! We still have quite a few customers using Windows 7 and in some cases we have plans to migrate them to Windows 8.1 soon. However many people don’t like change and think Windows 8.1 is strange, scary or confusing. So this section is a little bit about why you should be thinking seriously about upgrading to Windows 8.1 now and Windows 10 soon.

First of all here are some of the major reasons Windows 8.1 is better than Windows 7.

  • Improved Start-up times – the same PC will boot up a LOT faster with Windows 8.1
  • Better Battery Life – laptops get longer battery usage with Windows 8.1
  • Faster PC – your existing PC will run faster with Windows 8.1
  • More stable – Windows 7 was pretty good – Windows 8.1 is even better
  • Synchronisation – Windows 8.1 synchs your data, settings and desktop through OneDrive – it’s the same on every PC you log into
  • More secure – Free antivirus and anti-malware built in
  • Designed for Touch – if you have a touch screen or device you will rapidly find speed gains over using the mouse – especially useful for tablets

We recommend Windows 8.1 Pro for all businesses as there are some significant additional features over the standard (consumer) edition including:

  • Join a domain – required to network to your company server
  • BitLocker – encrypt your hard drive against theft – very important with laptops
  • Remote desktop application – connect to another PC remotely
  • Hyper-V – ability to run virtual machines inside your computer

Windows 10

http://blogs.windows.com/business/2015/01/21/windows-10-an-exciting-new-chapter/

Office 2016

http://blogs.office.com/2015/02/04/next-chapter-office-windows/

Skype for Business

http://blogs.skype.com/2015/03/17/welcome-skype-for-business

Windows 10 builds on Windows 8.1and according to Microsoft “is their best enterprise platform yet enabling our enterprise customers to be more productive, simplifying management and deployment, working with all of their existing apps, and helping to protect corporate data better than ever.”

More on Windows 10 in another edition. Right now we are trialling the developer previews of Windows 10, Office 2016 and Skype for Business in a virtual machine and learning about them.

Typically we upgrade a computer to Windows 8.1 from Windows 7 for $150 plus the cost of the software - $189 for Pro and $129 for Standard. All your existing programs and data will remain in place.

Special Deal – mention this newsletter and get a 5% discount off our Windows 8.1 upgrade price. Call us and we will help you identify exactly what you need and what benefits you can achieve with an upgrade to Windows 8.1.

Using Paste in Excel

excelCopying and Pasting is an important PC skill to know and learn. Office 2013 has built on previous versions of Office and provides many options for pasting.

Some examples include just pasting the formats, just he values, just the functions or more esoteric things like column widths in Excel, and even utilising mathematical functions. This article gives you some great tips and information about pasting in Excel.

http://spyjournal.biz/pasting-office-2013-newsletter

If you want to know more about improving your spreadsheet design for more efficient use and ensuring your results are accurate then give us a call.

Other office 365 News and Updates

Office 365 continues to pump out updates, improvements and features.

The latest news is that OneDrive for Business comes to Mac and iOS devices

onedriveSometimes One Drive stops synching correctly. If you have One Drive folders that are not synching correctly try this Repair tip.

Right click the blue cloud in the task bar and click Repair. Follow all the prompts.

Social Media Tips and Information

Today we are just going to give you a list of some great information that has come across our desk in the last 2 weeks. If you want to get more regular updates, follow us on twitter, or our daily or weekly newspapers.

If social media seems like foreign world or nightmare to manage (and it can be) then try out sourcing it to us. Our global team of social media experts can work with you to successfully represent your business in social media with cost effective measureable results

Web Design - What should your website be trying to achieve?

Many websites are confusing. Why do I say that? Because if you stand back and look at the site there is no clear purpose or intention of the site. A businesses website should be very obvious. Either its purpose is to inform and educate, sell product, or provide a mechanism for the enquirer to quickly and easily contact the business. Sometimes it is a mixture, and when that occurs the separation should be clear. E.g. a blog should be used for the education and information component. It should be used as a tool to drive customers to calls to action either on the site or directly with your business. Sales and shopping pages should be obvious and easy to navigate.

When considering a basic website for a small business the primary purpose of the website is effectively marketing. It is to create a way to bring customers into the business and add sales revenue and profit. If the website does not do that it should be retrained or sacked just like you would with a non performing sales employee.

Spending sometimes several thousand dollars on a “brochure ware” site that contains some outdated historic information about the companies past, a google map and some very bland generic product or service statements is basically a waste of money. The first and foremost goal is to create a way for prospective customers to actually contact you. This should be done through sales messages, advertising images and text, calls to action and contact forms. Showcase your company’s offers, deals and discounts, provide easy access to virtual sales people, real world online chat or at the very least a telephone number and email address.

The first marketing action we perform is to first find out what exactly the clients goals are. We ask the client about what they want the website to deliver to the business in terms of sales, contacts or enquiries. We then do some market research – search keywords, audience insights from social, competitive analysis. This allows us to set the site up correctly for SEO analytic tracking and measurement. Finally the customer has something that can be used to effectively replicate them in an online world.

webdesign

Here are our basic design principles:

  1. Keep it simple stupid – KISS - Don’t make it hard to find things. One layer of navigation, front page calls to action, side bar enquiry forms and information.
  2. Clarity, Conciseness and Care - Short simple sentences work best. Say exactly what you mean. Spellckecha evyrething!
  3. Use The Correct Heading Hierarchy - Websites have structure. We use this because SEO loves it and it reads better.
  4. Limited use of colours - We use colour palette generators by much smarter people than us who have thought these things out already. Readability for vision impaired is smart as well as thoughtful.
  5. Keep people on your page - We use content sharing tools to recommend further content from within the site
  6. Keep people coming back for more - Regular updated content is extremely important for SEO, and keeps people coming back. It is a great driver for ongoing social engagement and interaction.
  7. Be Social - We use simple recognisable tools to make it easy for people to like and share your content as follow you on social media

Contact us today if you need help fixing your site, or for a whole new refresh! Mention this newsletter and we will provide a free site review – normally worth $199.

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As always we are 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 on these platforms:

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What people say..

Tim has always been a pleasure to deal with, all my problems are sorted out with minimum fuss.

— Michelle - Salon Owner

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