Reviews

Team Collaboration with Yammer

Team Collaboration with Yammer 930 633 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Have you ever dreamt about having a completely self-contained social media platform, just for your company? A place online where your workforce could connect, collaborate, and share ideas? If you’re an Office365 user, you already have the capability in the form of Yammer – Microsoft’s social platform dedicated to helping workgroups hit their stride through enhanced productivity and connectivity.

Yammer Features at a Glance

Yammer offers several useful features, helping your workgroups connect over projects and ideas. In the past, it may have been difficult to coordinate complex tasks across your entire organization, whether they operated out of the same location or not. By implementing Yammer, you now have the ability to coordinate workgroups no matter where they are located, simply by integrating Yammer into your workflow. It works seamlessly with all of the Office applications you know and love, allowing users to share documents easily while staying connected to the latest versions, no matter how many people are contributing to it.

Groups

Create groups to work on specific projects, and have a dedicated space for conversations, documents, images, communication, and ideas related to the group. Private, secure groups can also be created, which is very useful when dealing with sensitive information. As of March 2017, Yammer is fully integrated with Office 365 Groups. This means that when you create a group in Yammer, it will be assigned a OneNote notebook, a SharePoint team site, a task planner, and dedicated online document storage. Your Yammer group will automatically be added to your 365 Groups service. Some features have yet to be rolled out, but you can soon look forward to an Outlook Calendar integration, and enhanced connectivity with SharePoint and Planner.

External Groups

If you are working with outside vendors or contractors who aren’t normally a part of your network, you have the ability to add them to your Yammer group as well. External groups are perfect for creating a sense of community around a project, an event, or a product that pulls in individuals from outside your organization.

Search

Whether you are looking for a particular conversation, a piece of content or a person, you can find it easily through Yammer’s smart search engine. Yammer delivers search results based on your interests, interactions, and activities on the platform.

Notifications

Receive instant push notifications as soon as a colleague responds or contributes to your project. Notifications can be configured according to your priorities, making sure you receive notice of important updates as soon as they become available.

Newsfeed

Get a snapshot view of what everybody in your company is up to in your Discovery Feed. Yammer delivers items from people, groups and discussions that may be of interest to you.

Microsoft Office Document Integration

Share, preview, edit, and co-author documents in any Office application within Yammer. New versions are saved automatically, and updates can be viewed and approved instantly by your colleagues.

More Nifty Features

Outside Application Integrations

Aside from the expected allocation of other Microsoft Office apps, Yammer connects to several popular apps, including SharePoint, Trello, RSS, Slack, Twitter, Google Calendar, Box, Asana, WordPress, Dropbox, Evernote, and many more. This will allow you to move from one platform to another with relative ease, and pull in conversations and documents as needed.

Create Polls

The poll tool allows you to crowdsource information from your workgroups, your company, any group or individuals that you are connected to within the Yammer environment.

Cloud Connectivity

Yammer can be deployed and accessed through any browser, and on any device.

Rich Mobile Experience

Download the Yammer app to your iOS, Android or Windows smartphone, and access your conversations anywhere. Mobile Yammer also allows you to take and share photographs, as well as mark up and comment on your photos with your finger. Connect your OneDrive or Dropbox accounts to access document sharing and editing features right on your phone. Additionally, you can connect instantly with your Yammer contacts with just a few taps.

Stand-alone or Office 365 Integrated

Yammer is a flexible social networking solution that is designed with the Office 365 user in mind, however, it can also be used as a stand-alone platform. It has a look and feel that is similar to popular social platforms like Facebook and Google+, which makes it easy to understand for most users. It comes standard with Office 365 Business Essentials and Business Premium subscriptions, but the free version is available to anybody. As easy to get started as it is to use, Yammer could well be your organization’s new meeting room.

Yammer: Team Collaboration Gets Social

Yammer is the perfect partner to the Office 365 suite, providing a centralized social platform with which to connect your workforce and encourage collaboration. For businesses of any size, from SMBs to enterprise, Yammer provides your team with a fast, easy and smart way to collaborate. To get started with Yammer, call Greenlight ITC today. One of our team members would be happy to walk you through the benefits of Microsoft Office 365 and help you discover the great things you can accomplish with it.

Organize Your Notes With OneNote

Organize Your Notes With OneNote 1280 500 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

With so many productivity applications and tools available today, it’s hard to choose which one will work best for you. Truthfully, everybody has different ideas about what makes for a good workflow, and only you can decide what works best for you, personally. Even if you’re not using anything more technical than sticky notes, or a sharpie on the back of your hand, the ease and functionality of Microsoft OneNote are sure to make you a convert. Its flexibility, its beautiful interface, and its array of nifty features will help you to streamline your workflow while becoming more organized, and more productive in the process. It is available as part of Microsoft Office 365, but it can also be downloaded as a stand-alone app, even if you aren’t a 365 subscriber. Best of all, it’s free.

Your mobile filing system

OneNote has a very simple structure and user interface. While it looks much like a colourful web browser, it acts like a virtual filing cabinet. Your documents and files can be sorted into notebooks, and each notebook can contain as many color-coded sections, or tabs, as you like. Within these notebooks and tabs, you can file and save articles or images from the web, or documents that you create either within OneNote or in another application. Plus, every single item is searchable, so if you’re looking for something on the fly, you can search all of your open notebooks with a keyword or phrase. OneNote also gives you the option of searching only within the open document, which may save you a couple of nanoseconds.

OneNote is creative

If you’re a stream-of-consciousness kind of person, if you need to jot down ideas on the fly, take notes at meetings, grab images or articles from the web, or even write handwritten notes, you can. You can type into it, or if feel more comfortable writing it in by hand, or drawing a picture, you can do that too. The free-form tool also allows you to pull all kinds of media into a document on the fly. For instance, if you were in a seminar and you were taking notes, you could paste annotations, images or write questions directly into the sidebar. Editing papers or articles in OneNote is easy too, as you can cut and paste sections, or drag and drop pages to rearrange your thoughts and still keep them accessible just in case you change your mind.

Access OneNote on any device

Because OneNote is a cloud-based application, all your information is automatically backed up to your OneNote account. This means you can sync OneNote on all your devices so that you can go from tablet to laptop, from smartphone to desktop and be able to pick up exactly where you left off. Because it works on any device or platform, you have total flexibility and can stop worrying whether you forgot something at home or at the office. If you saved it to OneNote, it’s at your fingertips.

Lots of 3rd party integrations and Onetastic

It’s probably a foregone conclusion that OneNote plays well with other Microsoft products like Word and Excel, but there are plenty of other apps that OneNote connects to, helping you be more productive and more organized than ever before. Some of these integrations include WordPress, Brother, and Epson, and there are several integrations that enable the ability to scan pretty much whatever you like into OneNote – in other words, you can turn pretty much anything you can take a photo of into a searchable document. IFTTT integration allows you to automate tasks within OneNote, and Onetastic is a premium add-on for OneNote that adds a calendar, image editing and expanded style options much like Microsoft Word. For those who want certain Word formatting and functionality that OneNote doesn’t have, Onetastic is a must.

OneNote: one cool tool

If you are looking for ways to become more productive while staying creative, OneNote is a tool that delivers. If you are already using Microsoft Office365, it’s already in your applications folder. If not, download OneNote on all your devices today, and find out how easy it is to organize your thoughts and notes with OneNote. Still have questions? Call Greenlight ITC today and speak to one of our Office 365 and OneNote experts. Your new and improved workflow is just a few clicks away.

Benefits of Microsoft Office365 for your business

Benefits of Microsoft Office365 for your business 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Microsoft Office365 has positioned itself to become ubiquitous in 2017, and it’s doing a great job of meeting almost every business need from home office to enterprise. Office 365 is a cloud-based productivity suite, combining their signature collection of office software with powerful collaborative attributes, allowing your team to work from anywhere, and on any device.

Your company will benefit from business-class professional tools like email, messaging and video conferencing, fully integrated across your network. Enjoy a range of collaborative tools such as calendars, cloud storage and full Skype for Business (S4B) integration – not to mention enhanced security features that give you access to the latest in tech safety.

Installing Office365 is possibly the smartest decision you will ever make

With no up-front costs, it’s an easy decision to make. You’ve got no software to update or maintain, because your apps are backed up and updated automatically as new versions become available. The savings operational efficiency alone would make the ROI worthwhile, not to mention the ability to reduce or eliminate your server load by hosting applications and storing data in the cloud. Deployment is easy and can be accomplished across your entire system without engaging IT support.

Scalability made easy

Being able to scale at a moment’s notice is another benefit of Microsoft Office365. Licences are billed per user/per month, and each user can connect up to five devices. If you experience a sudden growth spurt, you have the ability to add users with a few simple clicks.

Office365 will also help you minimize the time you spend training new hires, as they will likely already be comfortable with the Microsoft environment, allowing them to get to work right away.

Viability can be easily measured through a number of factors, including:

✓ Improved employee productivity and engagement:
o Being able to work from any location frees up your workforce to go where inspiration will find them. Think of what they might accomplish if they weren’t tied to the same old desk all day long!
o Enhanced connectivity through video conferencing, messaging, corporate social networking and integration with various apps and CRMs
o File sharing and other collaborative tools
o Synched access to calendar, email and contacts across all devices

✓ Better business continuity
o Work within one integrated platform
o 99.9% uptime guarantee
o Business-class email hosting
o Conduct on-line meetings from wherever you are
o Enhanced security features to defend against the latest threats
o Disaster recovery support
o Reduces IT support costs

Productivity integrations that you will actually use

Office 365 Groups was introduced in 2016 to enhance productivity for workgroups. Originally developed for educational institutions and other large, collaborative workgroups, it offers integrations with apps that are designed to help you get your work done faster and more efficiently. While Skype for Business might represent the most high-profile connection in Groups, apps like Delve, Yammer, Planner, Power BI, Office Graph and Dynamics CRM add layers of functionality that add even more benefits.

Office 365 Groups is all about collaboration. Within the public or private group that you create, Office Graphs tracks and compiles information related to a specific user for easy access, as does Delve. Delve and Graphs work together to present this compiled content in an intuitive manner, providing personalized and organizational insights that can help your team be as productive as it can possibly be. Yammer is Microsoft Office 365’s private social platform, helping connect your team more effectively.

Today’s cyber threats need today’s cyber security

In addition to the range of cyber threats you know about, there are a world of perils that you haven’t yet imagined. From ransomware to social engineering tactics, on-line thieves are becoming more and more sophisticated about how they access your systems, and nobody, not even the small business owner or solopreneur, is free from risk. One of the ways cyber thieves can access your system is through vulnerabilities in outdated software. Microsoft Office365 is self-updating, so you can sleep peacefully, knowing that your systems are always protected with the latest security patches. This feature is yet another contributor to your ROI, as you will never have to count on contracted IT support (or a random member of your staff) to keep your software and systems up to date.

Your systems and data are always protected

Microsoft Office365 is a key player in your disaster recovery plan. Since applications and shared files are all stored in the cloud, your location could burn to the ground but your data would still be safe and secure, your applications running as usual. Your customers would not notice a thing, and your workforce could pick up where they left off on another device at another location.

What’s already great about Office365 is just getting better

New features that rolled out this January prove that Microsoft is committed to being the only productivity solution for businesses of any size. If you are thinking about moving to a Microsoft Office365 environment and would like to speak to one of Greenlight ITCs Microsoft IT support specialists, call today. We would love to speak to you about the benefits of Office365, and demonstrate more completely what it can help you accomplish.

Windows 10 Review

Windows 10 Review 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

With the recent arrival of Windows 10 many users have been eager to cash in on the free upgrade provided to Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 owners and access the highly-anticipated new features that Microsoft has been promising for over a year. But is the hype to be believed and should you upgrade right away?

Let’s start with the upgrade process. The first indication that you are eligible for the upgrade will be the Windows logo displayed in the system tray which you can use to reserve your in-place upgrade. Microsoft will then alert you in the coming hours or days as to when the upgrade is ready to start. Now this is where you need to be careful. If you’ve just come in to the office planning to kick off the upgrade and start your day, think again. Upgrading your computer’s operating system is not a trivial task and involves a complete system reconfiguration. This is not a task that Windows can simply perform in the background whilst you continue working and you should plan an extra-long lunch break whilst the upgrade proceeds. Ideally your IT department or MSP should have an implementation plan already in place for controlling the upgrades throughout the company to avoid those potentially lengthy periods of unexpected downtime.

Feel free to kick off your upgrade on your PC at home but make sure you’ve backed up any important files, photos, videos etc. on your home computer before you do. In most cases you won’t have an issue as Windows is designed not to modify or remove your personal files during the upgrade process. However, unless you don’t have anything you can’t afford to lose this is certainly one of those times where it pays to adhere to the old adage of better to be safe than sorry!

Microsoft has stated the free upgrade period will extend for 12 months from the official launch date until end of June 2016. Beyond the free period or for anyone who wishes to purchase the standalone retail version it will cost consumers AU$156 as at time of writing.

As with any new product there will be features that some will find useful and others irritating. A few of the nicer additions include:

windows10

  • The ability to run multiple “desktops” alongside each other via the Task View button. Users can emulate a multiple monitor setup without needing to minimise or use Alt-Tab.
  • The Web Note feature in Edge allows users to scribble notes with their mouse stylus-style as an overlay directly on web pages.
  • Internet Explorer has been replaced by the minimalist Microsoft Edge including a single unified address/search bar.
  • The All Apps button lists your apps alphabetically in a user-friendly scrollable column as opposed to the fullscreen, horizontal and clunky method Windows 8 employed.
  • The Start menu’s much-loved Windows 7-style functionality has returned with the option to bolt on Windows-8 style app tiles for quick launching your favourite application

Some of the less attractive features:

  • Once registered, the upgrade process has been known on rare occasion to start automatically without asking for consent or prompting you to postpone.
  • If you did not uninstall any antivirus programs prior to upgrading, you will likely encounter issues with either the upgrade process or post-upgrade with updating AV definitions.
  • The Start Menu’s search function tends to prioritise web results over local app installations negating its usefulness to quickly find and launch an application.
  • The recently installed programs list in the Start Menu is set to only show the single most recently installed application. This can be frustrating when installing a suite of applications that you wish to pin to the My Apps location.
  • Some websites and applets will have problems loading or not load altogether from Microsoft Edge, particularly those that are Java-based.
  • At least one recent update to Windows 10 has been known to cause your computer to enter a restart loop. This was quickly recalled by Microsoft but it may affect some machines that already received it.

Whilst there are a few annoyances with Windows 10, it is certainly a much more polished product and has far fewer failings than Windows 8 and you can’t really ask for much more having had such a recent release and no doubt a myriad of updates and hotfixes on the way which will now come down via the new over-the-air update utility. The operating system is also more user intuitive, a result of Microsoft’s return to listening to user feedback and incorporating fixes or features. With Windows 10 they have created a distinct “we’ve designed this for you” feel in stark contrast to the “get used to the new layout” imposition of Windows 8.

In all, if you are keen to try out the latest instalment from Microsoft sign-up for the free upgrade at home and test it out for yourself. For the business environment, certainly best to contact your IT department or MSP first to avoid any headaches.

Android Lollipop

Android Lollipop 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

The latest Android version to be released by Google is 5.0 Lollipop, which is considered the biggest Android update to date. It is expected to become officially available on November 3, 2014 and will be included in the brand new Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 smartphone and tablet respectively. Many of the flagship Android powered smartphones, such as the HTC One M8 and M7, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the LG G3, and tablets like the Nexus 7 and 10 are expected to be upgradeable to the new OS. Along with a whole slew of great new features, Android Lollipop is said to be giving Google’s mobile operating system a considerable overhaul.

Android Lollipop was originally unveiled in June 2014 at the I/O developer conference as “Android L.” There are a number of changes coming to Android as a result of this release, including a completely new design. However, the Android Lollipop features are probably the most important aspects of all in determining whether you want to upgrade your device to the OS. Here are the new details you can expect.

Aesthetically speaking, Android Lollipop offers the fresh new design called “Material Design.” Overall, it gives Android a sleeker and more minimalistic appearance. Brighter colors are used and there is more depth and shadow, similar to what Apple used in iOS prior to iOS 7. There is also a great deal more white space, particularly around text. There is also more transparency and more animation when the user interacts with the screen in any way.

Android Lollipop also brings about a new notification center that includes notification cards at the center of the lock screen. This is similar to what Apple has brought about in iOS. The idea behind notifications is also such that you will be alerted to things that are considered most important, while those deemed less important will remain hidden. The “Heads Up” feature will provide the user with a quick glance of a text message, email or incoming phone call while he or she is doing something else on their device. “Priority Mode” is useful for anything that is the most urgent as it will show notifications when the phone would otherwise be in “Do Not Disturb” mode, similar to Quiet Hours in Windows Phone 8.1.

“Device Sharing” is one of the great new Android Lollipop features that should make everyone in your household happy. This was originally unveiled in Jelly Bean for tablets, but now it is possible to create multiple accounts for your family members, significant other or close friends to allow them to use certain apps on your smartphone. Lollipop even makes it possible to log into another device – one that also runs Lollipop – and access your messages, contacts and photos.

There is better multitasking in Lollipop and you have access to quick settings. A quick swipe down from the top of the screen brings up your most basic functions, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, flashlight, Airplane Mode and more. A very important feature that comes as well is Battery Saver mode. This will turn background data off your smartphone when the battery is running low and you need to squeeze out as much juice as possible.

Keep on the lookout for the 5.0 Android Lollipop operating system in the next few weeks. It is worth updating your older device if you are interested in these great new features.

Google Chrome vs Internet Explorer!

Google Chrome vs Internet Explorer! 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Internet Explorer, alias IE, was a Microsoft feudal lord. It was the de facto web browser for every Microsoft PC, and it ran its kingdom with an iron fist as it saw fit. Editions six and seven had enough quirks to drive sane web developers mad. But it was big, and popular, and web developers had no choice but to accommodate its idiosyncrasies.

Google Chrome was an upstart, a serf, an open-source development that Google CEO Eric Schmidt fought against for six years. But in 2008, Google took the collar off of Chrome and let it run wild, and today, Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser claiming 45 percent market share.

Have times changed? Can IE 11 quell its upstart rebel, Chrome 36, or will Google’s web browser continue to overshadow IE’s former glory? Here is the showdown: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer: browser.

Interface
Both modern renditions of Google Chrome and Internet Explorer use minimalist interfaces. The key difference between the rivals is that IE, by default, places tabs and the address bar on the same level to conserve space. Delineating six different tabs can be a hassle.

WINNER: Tie!

Standards Support
As web programming languages evolve, web browsers must “learn” the languages to appropriately display new pages. An older browser, like IE 7, will be unable to display many modern web pages using HTML5 and CSS3 programming.

Google Chrome has the edge on HTML5. It supports drag-n-drop, geolocation, device orientation and other new-fangled features. It also supports much of CSS3.

Although Internet Explorer has come a long way since IE 7, it still lags behind in support for the latest in front-end web design. It was the last modern browser to implement support for WebGL 3D graphics.

WINNER: Google Chrome

Privacy

Using Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode, a user can surf the web without leaving local evidence of web addresses, cookies, etc. One window can be open in Incognito mode while another is open in Default mode. However, Google’s belated advanced privacy setting – Do Not Track – is buried in layered menus.

Meanwhile, Internet Explorer 11 has Do Not Track enabled by default. It also has the strongest anti-tracking feature among the top three browsers. IE 11 also has a SmartScreen filter, similar to Chrome’s Safe Browsing setting, which stops phishing attempts and barricades against malware sites.

WINNER: Internet Explorer 11

Speed
In independent industry tests, the two battling browsers from Google and Microsoft rendered basic web pages at approximately the same speed. Only persnickety computers could tell the difference.

However, when it came to HTML5 and Javascript-heavy pages – those with lots of animation and interactivity – Chrome excels.

WINNER: Google Chrome

Navigation

Since Internet Explorer 11 was handcraft for Windows 8.1, it features advanced “Live Tiles” navigation where a user can pin tiles – web windows – onto a navigation page for quick access. Where Google Chrome excels is in predictive text and pre-rendered pages.

WINNER: Tie!

Smart Devices and Fitness

Smart Devices and Fitness 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

If you’re a fitness beginner like i am and looking for some advice on how technology can improve your activities then you have come to the right place.
Devices these days can analyze your breathing, your heartbeat, and various other bodily functions to ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout. However, I would like to pose a very important question to myself and all of you: are they necessary? Do I need something telling me every statistic as I run or hit the gym?

First, I had to do some research. What kind of devices exist, and what information can they provide that would be helpful to my fitness regimen? Watches are the most common, though advanced pedometers and scales exist as well. If biking is your thing, bike computers can help you find your sweet spot in terms of speed. Even when you’re resting, devices can track the quality, length, and efficiency of your sleep! I’m not sure if that’s too far or not, but I do like to get the most out of every workout. Wearables are probably as far as I’d like to go, but I like multi-functionality. Where does that leave us? Smart watches!

Smart watches come in a variety of flavors, the most familiar of which might be Android and iOS. Despite not coming out until 2015, the Apple watch will provide a variety of apps that help with fitness and keeping track of the rest of the world while on the go. Android, however, has several entries into the watch market that all have their individual points. The Moto 360 is one particular watch that caught my eye, considering it has a traditional face. Android Wear is a bit young for an OS, but it’s definitely a solid option that I’ve considered. Samsung and Sony also have smart watch options, though their entries seem a bit less polished.

Smart watches are probably the best fitness accessory I can think of right now, since they allow me to track my progress while not being too intrusive. The problem that I see is choosing the right one. With many options ringing in at $200 or more, I definitely support doing as much market research as possible to find the right option for my workout. However, whether the Apple watch reigns supreme or not upon arrival, I can definitely see myself picking up a smart watch to track all of my fitness stats!

Office 365

Office 365 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Looking at updating or buying Microsoft Office? You may be wondering what Office 365 is and if it’s right for you or your company. In a nutshell, Office 365 is a month-to-month or one-year lease of Microsoft Office Professional with a few bonuses, (an extra 20GB on Microsoft SkyDrive per user, Office on smartphones and tablets and from any internet-enabled computer, 60 Skype minutes, business class e-mail, and a public website that is easy to setup and maintain with no hosting fees.) Let’s look at a few more of the benefits you can get by choosing Office 365.

Price for a start, Office Professional 2013 weighs in at a hefty $499; this includes the full suite of Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Outlook, and Publisher, and you may only install it on one computer system. Office 365, on the other hand, is a $19.95 per month subscription. If you pay that subscription annually, you save a bit more at $50 a year. The best part about this is, not only does this end up being one quarter of the cost of Office Professional, but Office 365 allows you to install full versions of the entire suite across five different computers, PC or Mac, for the same price. So if you need Office on your home office computer, your laptop, your kids’ school computer you are free to do that, and you’d still have two licenses left. Use all five licenses and you’re only paying $3.30 per month per computer. That’s giving free a run for its money.

As I mentioned earlier on, Office 365 also comes with an online service that allows you to connect to all the powerful apps that come with Office Professional from anywhere. So even if you don’t have your computer with you, you can open up a document stored on SkyDrive from anywhere and work it; Nice if you’re out of the house and away from your computers. In older versions of Office 365, you were limited to these online apps, but now you get both, the full installable version of Office Professional and the online “virtual” edition, so whether you’re connected to the world wide web or not, Office is right at your fingertips.

Finally, one of the biggest benefits of Office 365 is also a benefit to Microsoft itself: Free updates. With Office 365, you get the latest versions, bug fixes, and security fixes immediately because you’re leasing the service. As long as you maintain your Office 365 subscription, you’ll be updated to the newest versions automatically and without needing to shell out the money to buy an upgrade. So if you’re looking for access to the Professional suite of Microsoft Office apps, you want to install to more than one device, or you think you might need Office while you’re out and about, Microsoft Office 365 can do what you need and comes at an affordable price.