microsoft

3 Microsoft Hacks You Never Knew You Needed

3 Microsoft Hacks You Never Knew You Needed 1280 500 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne
  1. Edit PDFs

Your PDF files open by default in Adobe. But, what if you want to edit them? You cannot do that within Adobe Reader, and the Adobe software that does let you make changes to PDFs is not cheap. Microsoft Word to the rescue!

Launch Microsoft Word. Attempt to open a document like you normally would by selecting “File” and then “Open.” On the bottom right of the window that pops up, click the drop-down menu. Choose “PDF,” and then browse to the file that you wish to edit. Once you open it, you can make your edits. You may lose some of the formatting in the process, but it’s nothing that you cannot overcome.

  1. Collaborate in Real Time

With Microsoft Office, you and a colleague can edit the same document or spreadsheet at the same time. This feature is actually built into Office 2013. No magic needed. It’s a little bit of a process, but will pay off once configured.

First, save your document, spreadsheet, or presentation – whatever it may be within the Microsoft Office suite – to OneDrive. Once the document is saved, select “File,” “Share” (on the left side of the screen), and then send out your invites.

If all goes accordingly, your colleague on the other end will now be able to review and edit your work in real time. You may need to adjust your Microsoft Office settings in order to do this, but you can always request help from your IT department or an IT services company, if you have any trouble.

  1. Ignore Reply-All Email Annoyances

Have you ever been included on one of those spam email threads that have absolutely nothing to do with you, but someone (or multiple people) keep on hitting the reply-all button? Ignore these frequent annoyances with Outlook! 

Select the chain of messages. Then, in the top of the Outlook window, to the left of the “Delete” button, you will see “Ignore.” By choosing this command, any future messages will now be sent straight to the Deleted Items folder, helping you cut down on inbox clutter.

If you use Microsoft Office at home and at work every day, these time-saver tips may be just what you need to kick productivity into high gear!

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.

How opening a MS Word Doc can hijack every file on your system!

How opening a MS Word Doc can hijack every file on your system! 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

If you receive a mail masquerading as a company’s invoice and containing a Microsoft Word file, think twice before clicking on it.
Doing so could cripple your system and could lead to a catastrophic destruction.

Hackers are believed to be carrying out social engineering hoaxes by adopting eye-catching subjects in the spam emails and compromised websites to lure the victims into installing a deadly ransomware, dubbed “Locky,” into their systems.

So if you find .locky extension files on your network shares,
Congratulations! You are infected and left with just two solutions: Rebuild your PC from scratch or Pay the ransom.
Locky ransomware is spreading at the rate of 4000 new infections per hour, which means approximately 100,000 new infections per day.

Source & Credit : http://thehackernews.com/2016/02/locky-ransomware-decrypt.html

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.

Office 365 Guide

A Quick Guide to Office 365

A Quick Guide to Office 365 1000 837 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Office 365 allows you access to the usual suite of software that you may have come to expect with Microsoft Office. However, it also comes with a number of other features that you may not be as familiar with. Let’s take a look at the main components of Office 365 and explore how these services can be used for your business

SharePoint Online

SharePoint is a platform which aims to help users share and collaborate on documents more effectively. Some of the exciting aspects of SharePoint include:

Sites

SharePoint allows users to design and maintain simple yet professional websites with their own custom domain name.

Document Libraries

Information can be saved through SharePoint, which will allow others to be able to quickly access data from other employees.

Blogs

SharePoint allows users to easily and quickly set up their own blog

Discussion Boards

Another feature of SharePoint is the ability to set up discussion boards, which can help productivity by providing an avenue for discussion even in large businesses.

Lync Online

Lync Online is a meeting and communication tool that lets you share and collaborate using a number of different rich media, making internal and external communication more effective and efficient. Some of the main aspects of Lync include:

Meetings

Lync gives users the ability to better share information even when meeting remotely. For example, you can share your own computer screen or applications with others, enabling a shared field of view. There are also other useful meeting features, such as a virtual white board and surveys. Of course, there’s easy integration with Outlook, meaning that you can invite contacts to participate in meetings quickly and easily.

Messaging

Lync allows users easy integration with instant messaging services such as Yahoo and Windows Live.

Voice

Lync can be integrated within phone systems, allowing you to carry out functions such as one click calling or sending voicemails to your email and Outlook

Video

Office 365 users can also use the video tool in order to communicate.

Exchange Online

Exchange Online is an email solution that provides secure, reliable access to email from virtually any device. However, Exchange also contains a number of other functions. Here’s a rundown on what Exchange Online has to offer:

Email

Exchange Online works well as the primary email server and can be used with a number of different clients such as Outlook. Not only that, but you’ll get 25GB worth of space for your mailbox, along with the ability to send emails up to 25MB.

Contacts

Exchange allows for users to store their contacts and related information. The best feature of the contact management is the ability to access your contacts anywhere, whether while at work or on the go on your mobile.

Tasks

The tasks feature within Exchange helps you to manage your activities in order to reach maximum efficiency. Since Office 365 works in the cloud, you can get updated information on your tasks from anywhere with an internet connection.

Office Professional Plus

Office Professional Plus contains the core suite of software that you would be familiar with as the essential Microsoft Office Programs. This includes programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, and Outlook. Thanks to the cloud platform, you can edit and share these documents in real time with others, making collaboration easier than ever.

As far as productivity applications go, Office 365 is a great choice that combines familiarity of their traditional offerings with new features which can all be easily accessed and shared within the environment of the cloud. With experience in dealing with Office 365 and other related products, we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have on Office 365 and explain how it can best suit your business needs.

Windows XP Support end of life ? So…. ?

Windows XP Support end of life ? So…. ? 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

windows-xp-support-end-of-lifeThere are still about 488 million active copies of Microsoft’s Windows XP live and running. It’s a wonder what Microsoft can actually do to move people forward onto their newest desktop environments. But what have we seen so far?

I have seen a lot of scare mongering by the Microsoft PR machine. If you’re running Windows XP, it’s likely you’re getting pop-ups warning about expired support.

Microsoft have a real problem on their hands, infact they have delayed this plan to end Windows XP support twice already. The problem is that the majority of users unwilling to upgrade thier systems believe they:

  • Don’t care what Operating System they are using.
  • Can’t upgrade due to software limitations.
  • Are unhappy with Windows 8. (I agree)
  • Are not running internet connected systems.

While I can at least agree with one of their views that Windows 8.1 is a terrible OS, unfortunately I cannot agree with them all.

So many devices that we use every day run on XP operating systems.
From ATM’s , Display systems, Specialized medical equipment & POS systems. It’s scary to think what could happen if these systems were even inadvertedly connected to the internet. And don’t laugh, this can happen.

The matter at hand is more serious than you may think, as XP will no longer be a secure environment as of April.This means Microsoft will stop rolling out security patches, XP will no longer be patched for vulnerabilities. You know, the ones hackers with malicious intent find on a daily basis.

This may not be a huge concern for your regular Joe who stays glued to the web for a bit of web surfing and the occasional cat video. But imagine the ramifications for a company whose computer fleet can be taken down with one vulnerability. That this can happen due to running an outdated 13 year old operating system is beyond ludicrous.

Reports suggest hackers may be stockpiling vulnerabilities that Microsoft doesn’t even know about already!

The day the patches stop, the world is opened up to large amounts of exploits and zero day vulnerabilities. Bad stuff, which Microsoft will not assist you with or fix.

As at now, businesses should at the very least be running Windows 7. It is currently patched as per Microsoft’s twice a month patch cycle. April is definitely going to be an interesting month.

If you’re running outdated software, give us a call on (02) 8412 0000 before Windows XP Support runs out. We’d be happy to provide some advice, and ensure that your business– and your customer information– is (and remains) safe.

Windows XP End of Life in April: What to do if you have legacy systems.

Windows XP End of Life in April: What to do if you have legacy systems. 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

End-of-the-road-signOn 8 April 2014, Microsoft is ceasing support for Windows XP.  So what does this mean to small businesses that have legacy software, or devices that rely on XP for their business?

It could easily be argued that Windows XP has to be one of Microsoft’s most successful products ever.  After 12 twelve years, 30% of PCs in the world still run Windows XP.  This is pretty much unheard of in the IT industry. Home users who have never bothered to upgrade, as well as large corporations (including but not limited to most Australian banks) are still tied to this operating system. It has proved to be secure, stable, and met the basic needs of households and corporations alike.

When Microsoft stops support for the XP operating system, there will be no more security updates or bug fixes.  This probably won’t be of concern to the majority of SME customers, as we can assume that most of the issues have already been fixed.  What should concern business owners though is what happens when that old PC dies?  We all know that old computer hardware will eventually fail or need repairs, but once it is obsolete getting parts can certainly be a challenge, so it is best to have a plan well in advance.

Surprisingly quite a few of our customers have old applications, and even hardware accessories that will only work with Windows XP, and/or the older hardware platforms.  So the small business owner now needs to decide, do I replace this very expensive piece of manufacturing or medical equipment with something that supports a newer version of Windows, or are other options available to keep the old systems running?  When such equipment costs tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, the need becomes even greater.  Fortunately all is not lost.  Any good Managed IT Service provider should be able come up with creative solutions to keep you running.

One option is to stockpile spares of whatever components you may need.  Old computer parts can also be sourced from specialist providers if you know where to look.  Even if you need to pay a premium price for 10 year old technology, it still may be cheaper than replacing an entire system.  The key here is to plan ahead, because in the worst case, parts may need to be sourced from overseas, and can take days if not weeks to get here.

If it is just an application that needs to be kept running, the solution is likely to be simpler.  We would suggest using a technology called ‘virtualisation’.  This involves taking an image of the operating system and its application on the physical XP machine, and then run this machine within a virtual environment on a new, more powerful desktop or server.  Tools like VMware Converter and ShadowProtect make the process quite painless, but it always best to consult your local IT support provider to ensure this is a viable option.

So if there is a business case to keep those older machines running, it’s a good idea to include these machines in your Business Continuity and Disaster recovery plan. Call us on (02) 8412 0000 if you’d like more information on this or any other aspect of your IT infrastructure!

Microsoft Remote Desktop App – Apple and Microsoft play better together in the Cloud

Microsoft Remote Desktop App – Apple and Microsoft play better together in the Cloud 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

ipad-mini-apple-official-photo

Up until recently, the ability to connect to a Cloud Windows-based server from an Apple device was limited to relatively unsecure connections and fraught with headaches and issues of compatibility.

Whilst it was possible, the Remote Desktop (RD) client from an Apple device to a Windows-based Remote Desktop Server (RDS) had few options for creating any kind of security between the systems primarily due to the inability of the RD client to support connections via a secure gateway– meaning that if you were previously connecting to your RDS from a Windows-based device, you would not easily have had access to extra security.  As a result this lead to the development of a myriad of third-party tools and apps that attempted to provide these features.  Few of them did this well and the ones that did were not user-friendly and came with a price tag.

So users were left with few choices.  Either only being able to connect to their cloud service via relatively unsecured means, buy a third-party application for every device they would like to connect from or not be able to access their RDS environment from their Mac, iPad or iPhone at all.

Come a month ago however, Microsoft decided it was time for change and to give the Apple community the advantages and security that only Windows users had been able to enjoy.

In mid-October Microsoft released their new, polished and aptly named Microsoft Remote Desktop tool that finally provides the long needed and secure means for Apple device users to easily connect to their Windows-based cloud environment.  Built on customised acquired technology Microsoft Remote Desktop allows Apple users to connect as easily as Windows users with all the same benefits such as RD gateway security, printer and drive redirection and without the previous incompatibilities between the two systems.

The Microsoft Remote Desktop App is now available on the App Store and also works on your iPad and iPhone– and best of all, it comes absolutely free.

Greenlight has developed a Cloud Based Remote Desktop Server platform called inCloud.  This is a robust, proven, secure environment where you can host your line of business applications and data at a per user / month price point.