What’s New in Office 365 Webinar

Are you making the most of your Office 365 software? Microsoft has recently introduced a range of updates to the Office 365 suite. In order to ensure you are getting the most out of your software, Ben hosted a webinar to give you an overview on the latest updates and features you can start using today.

Watch the replay of the webinar, and there are some notes below for your reference. Here’s a free notes page you can download and print if you’d like to jot down a few notes as you’re listening.

Latest Updates in Office 365

Here’s an overview on what was covered in our webinar:

General Updates

  • One of the most noticeable updates recently has been the new icons for each of the Microsoft applications, and a ‘simplified ribbon’ – the menu bar above the applications is a bit more simple and easier to read.
office new icons
  • There is improved integration between applications for more seamless collaboration
Office Online
  • The online version of Office 365 is accessible from a web browser, which is extremely useful when trying to access documents or data from the cloud
  • The online versions are becoming more popular around frontline workers who can access the programs from mobile devices when they’re out of the office.
  • Apps are getting progressively more useful and introducing more functionality, so there are less differences between the online and desktop versions.
  • ‘Design ideas’ is a new feature whereby the program can offer ideas on how to layout your document based on what it thinks you’re trying to achieve (side note: does anyone remember “Clippy”, Microsoft’s Office Assistant in versions of Word?? #flashback)
Microsoft Office Clippy
Office Desktop (PC)
  • Unlike previous versions of Microsoft Office where you have to wait for an upgrade to access updates (ex. Office 2013 to Office 2017), the modern day desktop version of Office automatically delivers updates as long as your subscription is active.
  • Autosave functionality is now on by default and allows real time saving of changes on documents saved in the Office365 cloud.
  • Updates on user interface for improved user experience.
  • Some apps are starting to develop and improve some functionalities that are useful to hybrid devices (Tablet Laptops).
Office Mobile
  • “Any device, anywhere, anytime” is Microsoft’s main mantra at the moment.
  • Outlook mobile has amazing built in applications, which you can download from the App Store and log in as you would to Office 365 online.
  • Through a feature called Scanning, you can take a photo of a text or document written on any surface. You can then have the file saved as pdf with the correct orientation into your OneDrive file.
 Sharepoint and OneDrive
  • ‘Mentions’ are now available within Office documents for better collaboration – for example, if you are editing a document, you can insert a comment and tag a colleague by writing @johnsmith and John will be notified that there is a comment waiting for him.
  • Create reminders for Sharepoint to keep track on which files or documents to update. For example, company policies or risk management assessments that are meant for periodic reviews.
  • Sharepoint allows real-time file sharing that helps create a more efficient collaboration on document and content.
  • There is now more control on how we can share and grant access to content and documents. For example, we can now issue access that blocks the ability for the reader to download the content.
 Stream and Teams
  • Microsoft Stream is a powerful video library for your business. It is now commonly being used effectively for training videos and job interviews. And with the other Office365 apps out there that it can be integrated with, there can be a lot of powerful uses for Stream.
    • Speaker timelines are read with face detection powered by AI technology that detects which speaker is speaking.
    • Speech-to-text functionality automatically takes all of the audio from your video then converts it into text or transcript. It will then be saved next to the video within the Stream application.
    • Transcript search and timecodes is enabling users to search for certain parts of a video more easily.
  • Skype for Business is now being phased out and is going to be replaced by Teams.
  • Microsoft Teams is becoming a hub of where we do work. It is being integrated to most of the apps and features in the Office 365 suite. Also, more businesses are now using Teams as their telephones replacing previous methods of telephony.
  • Staffhub is now replaced by Microsoft Shifts, a little feature in Teams that helps you coordinate your rostering of frontline staff.
  • Microsoft To Do integrates with Outlook’s Tasks to help keep track of important reminders and notes.
 Planner
  • Planner is a task management tool based on kanban methodology that works on the concept of filling Buckets with tasks or, as Microsoft calls them, “cards.”
  • It is a simple and powerful way to organize and keep track of tasks and jobs assigned to team members that allows real-time collaboration and content sharing.
Webinar Q&A

Q: Is the Design Ideas feature available in the desktop version of programs as well as online versions?
A: Yes they are.

Q: Autosave. I assume from what you have said that this won’t work for Box-saved docs?
A: No, it’s just for documents being save to the Office 365 cloud. (Box is another cloud storage software)

Q: Outlook mobile app. Can I log in for my work email and my personal email separately?
A: Yes. You can have multiple email accounts sitting within Outlook mobile app.

Q: If we’re already subscribed to Office 365, do any of these apps cost over and above that?
A: All the ‘standard’ apps exist with your Office 365 plan. There may be additional costs for specialist programs such as Project and Visio, which you could buy on a single license basis.

Q: How do I best deal with tasks in Outlook on iOS?
A: You could use the Microsoft To Do app, as To Do items are now essentially being synced with MS Outlook Task items.

Q: Can I use my OneDrive just like Dropbox for sharing with others outside my organization?
A: Yes. Absolutely.

Q: Does a Search look through all the apps?
A: Yes, but, it can depend on context. (For further explanation, please refer to the webinar video at 55:25)

All of these features, products and services are already available in your Office365 subscription and are ready to be utilized by you. Your challenge is now to make the most out of your Office 365 subscription by taking action on these new features. You don’t need to change everything at once, but what is one thing you can take action on today to improve one part of your business efficiency or productivity? It may only look like a small step at first but all of these little one percenters can make a big impact in the long run.

If you’d like to discuss and understand any of these Office 365 tools further, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

O365 Power Up Package

Before You Panic, Here’s How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Recall emails on Outlook-1

Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling as you realise you have accidentally sent an email to the wrong person?  

Oh no. Why did I send that?

If you are lucky, it could just be an embarrassing blip on your day, but there is the potential for some very real damage. There is the occasional story on the news, for example the story about the insurance company that accidentally sent out an email dismissing its entire workforce, instead of just firing “Terry from Accounts.”  

So yes, sending an email to the wrong person or group can be embarrassing. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to prevent such disasters. 

Measure 1: Use Common Sense 

Yes. There are measures that you can take to avoid the embarrassing debacle but regardless of the technology, just like it is with cyber security the first line of defence should always be you.  

In all cases, you should read the “To”“CC” and “BCC” fields before you click on that Send button. Check what attachments are in the email and give the content in the body a once over. In fact, maybe write the email first and THEN add the addresses carefully at the end. And then double check that you’ve selected the correct email addresses.  

Beware of that ever so helpful feature in Outlook where it autocompletes the address! I was once injected into a river of emails between the management team of a retailer containing discussions about stuff that I really had no business knowing after an employee had unwittingly rapped out “Gary” on their Address field. Even after advising them, I continued to receive emails for some time.  

 Always proof read your emails. 

Measure 2: Delay Sending your emails 

A very wise manager I once worked with had an excellent tactic to protect himself against the risk of the wayward email. He would set a rule in his Outlook to delay the transmission of his emails and allow himself some time to review and reflect before he pulled the trigger.  

It’s not hard to do, and it can help you from some potential bad news be it an email launched into the wrong inbox, or an email to the right inbox that was banged out in haste.  

Let’s guide you through how to do it, step-by-step. 

How to set a rule to delay emails 

1. While composing your message on Outlook, go over the Ribbon and click on the Options tab. 

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2. Under the Options tab, click Delay Delivery 

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3. A new window will appear with the delivery properties of your message. You’ll want to go over to the Delivery Option section 

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4. Under Delivery Options, pick a date from the date picker of until when you want to delay your email delivery 

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5. After choosing a day on when your email will be delivered, pick a specific time to send it out 

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6. Close the window by clicking the Close button on the lower right part 

Measure 3: Recall the Message 

So, you have checked and double checked, and your email is sitting there in the ‘Sent’ tray.  

You can try to recall the message from the recipients by using the Recall This Message feature in Microsoft Outlook. This lets you recall, replace or delete the messages sent.  

Remember that the recall function will only work if your recipient has not opened or seen your email yet, and if they are using the same email server.   

The success or failure of a message being recalled depends largely on their mail system and settings and whether they want to let you recall it, which is probably the single best reason why this method is probably not the best one to use. There’s also the fact that recalling a message will generally inform the recipient that the email exists and highlight the fact that you want to recall it.  

You can think of it like stopping a bullet in flight.  This is one of your last resorts. 

How to recall an email using Outlook 

1. From your Sent Items folder, double click the email you’d like to recall. 

2. Click on the Actions icon

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3. From the Drop-down menu, click on Recall This Message 

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4. A dialog box would then appear to confirm how you want to recall your email 

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5. You can choose whether you’d like to receive notifications about your recall and track its activity 

6. Close the dialog box by clicking Ok 

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7. If you chose to get a notification, you should get an email confirming that the recall process was a success. It should look like this: 

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Measure 4: Disclaimer 

Email disclaimers inform recipients about what they can and cannot do with the emails sent from your organisation. In fact, in North America and Europe having an email disclaimer is now a legal requirement, in Australia it’s simply a matter of good sense.  

For sensitive emails, it’s advisable to include a message that states for whom the message is intended and that sharing the content is strictly forbidden.  For wayward emails to the random public, a humble request to inform the sender in case the message was intended for someone else will often work.  

Here at GrassrootsIT we use an excellent tool called Exclaimer! for helping to manage and control the email signatures. It means that we can have a consistent branding for all our email communications and focus on what we like to do, which is to help you do your best work possible through the best possible use of technology. It also means that we can add in and adjust information like disclaimers whenever we need to. 

Recalling emails in Outlook is possible, but we recommend it as a last resort. Check, check and recheck before you send – especially if the topic is a bit controversial or includes highly private and confidential information. 

Office 365 for the Real World Webinar

Office 365 for the Real World Webinar

Office 365 for the Real World Webinar

Have you ever wondered how other businesses utilise their business software? The Office 365 suite offers so much capability in powering up your business with a great range of tools available, sometimes all it takes is to have a wider knowledge on how to utilise them. Watch our webinar replay to see how other businesses are using Office 365 to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

In this webinar, Mia McIntyre talks about case studies of real businesses who efficiently make their existing Office 365 tools work for their organization, rather than having to pay for external subscriptions and remember multiple logins. Have a watch of the replay, and there are further notes below.

How Other Businesses are Using Office 365

File Storage and Sharing

Company: Sovereign Property Development

  • Property Development Firm
  • 15 staff and growing
  • Were paying Monthly or Annual payments for Dropbox accounts

Having to share files throughout the team and to external parties can be a tough job and an expensive one too. However, Microsoft’s solution to this is Sharepoint (for business files) and OneDrive (for personal files). These tools only require a single log in and let you efficiently and securely store, manage and share your files in the cloud, through to the organisation and to external people.

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A lot of people get confused with the functionality of these two tools. They are both cloud storage options and are very efficient with file sharing but their difference lies on their purpose:

Sharepoint

  • This is where business data is stored
  • It lets you choose who has access to the data
  • It is a single source of truth – only one true document, rather than multiple versions

OneDrive

  • Can be an alternative to your internal hard drive storage (Local Disk C:)
  • Can be automatically synced to your local storage

 

Feedback Forms and Surveys

Company: Healthy Helpers

  • Health Consultancy
  • A team of 42
  • Uses a paid SurveyMonkey subscription to send feedback forms to clients and exports results into Excel

When it comes to capturing feedback from our clients, the Office 365 solution is Forms, with the additional functionality of Microsoft Flow to export the data into other programs. These apps are already included in your Office365 suite.

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Forms

  • Simplified form creator
  • Offers Anonymous feedback

Flow

  • Automation tool
  • Captures form information to bring into another environment (e.g email, newsletter, document, etc.)

 

Managing Tasks

Company: Good Change

  • Not-for-profit organisation
  • Many volunteers and staff
  • Currently uses Trello to track team tasks

When it comes to task management, there are a lot of tools that stand out and there is one in your Office 365 suite. It can be a headache to set up a new account to track the tasks of a fresh employee onboard but Office 365 has a solution –that is Planner. With a single login, you eliminate the risk of forgotten login details. Planner uses Kanban methodology that helps provide an easy and intuitive view of your tasks.

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Planner

  • Manage and Monitor Tasks for the Team
  • Assign and track tasks of team
  • Collaborate tasks with the team

 

Education and How-to Documents

Company: Moving Forward Logistics

  • Logistics firm
  • Onshore and Offshore staff
  • Struggling to manage onboarding with regards to training

In an organisation that is rapidly growing, it is vital to keep track of company systems and processes and enable new staff to be onboarded easily. Office 365 offers Stream and Sharepoint to keep track of these systems easier. Sharepoint lets you store and manage your content to share with whomever you want, so it’s a great place to store company procedures and other documentation. Having Stream is simply like having Youtube exclusively for your business, which means that it is well suited for recording and storing training videos for your team.

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Managing Communication and Meetings

Company: Change Solutions

  • Consulting Firm
  • Global staff
  • Currently using paid Slack for communication, meetings and sending files

How many of us are using paid meeting tools? What if there is another option that won’t cost you an extra buck? We’re talking about Microsoft Teams here, which allows you to either internally or externally set meetings and communicate with the people in your organization. Another good thing is that it is fully integrated to the rest of your Office 365 tools so all your data, such as files, chat conversations, plans and videos, is fully accessible within Teams.

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Microsoft Teams

  • Schedule Meetings for video or audio calls
  • Record video and audio during meetings and save to Stream
  • Create Teams where you can communicate as a group chat
  • Connects to Sharepoint so data is integrated

 

Simple Application and Automation

Company: Home Helpers

  • Carers Agency
  • 20 carers
  • Quoted $50,000 to get various apps for logging job information

Who would’ve thought that a simple process of trying to know when carers clock in or clock out could cost so much? Having to plan and build an application from scratch is a long process and by the time they’re done, they might not be as flexible to the changes in processes and technology as they should be. Microsoft provides a solution for this –Powerapps and Flow. With Powerapps, you can create form-style apps that can integrate with Flow for actions. And this is cost-effective and adaptable to your future changes.

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 Powerapps

  • Create simple business apps using templates and point-and-click design
  • Easily connect your app to data and use Excel-like expressions to easily add logic.
  • Publish your app to the web, iOS, Android, and Windows 10.

Flow

  • Create action from the Powerapp

 

What is an Online Environment?

Put simply, “because it’s online, it’s essentially like Googling your files” (Mia McIntyre). In a modern world of IoE, it’s no surprise that it also influences how the modern work environments are set. Nowadays, you can access the whole lot of your organisation’s documents, files, processes and even teams in just one click of a mouse.

You can create a company dashboard that has your Vision, Mission and Values plus anything you might be needing for your team. It’s endless what you can do, just limited to your imagination!

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Webinar Q&A

Q: Does Forms offer an option for anonymous feedback?

A: Absolutely. There are two options in creating forms, a) create an anonymous form; b) shows your Office365 login

 

Q: Do volunteers need a paid Office365 account on your domain to access Teams and Planner?

A: You can have external users in those environments but, Microsoft is still a money-making business so even if it can be done, some features may be unavailable. Security-wise, no one can anonymously access the account randomly therefore, it still requires an active log in.

 

Q: With Teams Meetings, do all attendees need to have Teams set up or can their Skype for Business link into the Teams conference call?

A: Yes, it’s linked at the moment but, remember that Skype for Business is being discontinued in the future so you can’t guarantee the experience.

 

Q: Is Teams a practical, direct replacement for Skype for Business or should they co-exist?

A: The change management plan is to completely replace Skype for Business with Teams.

 

Q: Can OneNote be used with Flow?

A: You can connect documentation in OneNote with Flow but, it would be a lot of setup. Our advice would be to capture your information in Powerapps by Forms not in OneNote.

 

Q: What can you recommend as alternative to Microsoft Project?

A: There is no clean replacement for it.

 

Q: Where does Outlook Customer Manager fit into all this?

A: Customer Manager is a plugin that you get from a business premium account. It is tied into everything. A plugin that sits in Outlook that allows you to capture information around a client based on their email address.

Now that you can see how other businesses are using Office 365, you must be filled with ideas on how to improve the utilisation of your own Office365 business tools. Were all your questions answered? If you do have additional questions or points that weren’t discussed in this webinar, we’d be happy to have a conversation with you.

 

Want an assessment on how you can power up your Office 365 usage? Talk to us today to see if our Power Up Package is right for you.

The Power of Collaboration & In-person Connection

The Power of Collaboration & In-person Connection

The Power of Collaboration & In-person Connection

An IT colleague of ours recently posted a video on LinkedIn, discussing how she was in Brisbane to meet with her peer group. She commented that these group members are all in a similar space to her own business and therefore considered “competition” and yet, she gains so much value from meeting with them regularly, learning from each other, setting goals and being accountable.

Having witnessed Ben be part of the same HTG IT peer organisation over the past four years, I would agree – I have seen Ben grow personally, as well as our business grow, due to his active participation in this group. And it’s not just about keeping an eye on each other’s financials or learning about IT best practices, although the accountability on their business goals is certainly a big part of it. The group also discuss many personal aspects of business ownership, such as their relationships and the legacy they’re creating in this lifetime. These group members form a bond. Before I’d even met any of Ben’s peer group members, they flew from all around Australia to attend the funeral of our youngest son and wrap us in love, thus was the relationship they’d built in the 12 months since the group began.

 

I truly believe the days of ‘dog eat dog’ business world is diminishing, and many people are seeing the benefits of embracing an ‘abundance mindset’ and building collaborative relationships with other likeminded business owners.

 

“A scarcity mindset believes much, if not everything, is limited. A business with a scarcity mindset holds everything close to the vest and is uncomfortable or unwilling to do business beyond its own walls. The thinking is if another company gets a bit more, there’s less to go around.
Then there is the abundance mindset. I like this mindset because it is limitless and innovative. This mindset says:  Go ahead and take a piece of my pie. We can eat it until it’s gone. There’s not a shortage of pie. And, if we do run out, we can work together to make and introduce a new pie into the market that we and others can enjoy.”

Building collaborative relationships to achieve common goals can be very beneficial in a number of ways:

  • Generating new ideas through different skill sets and perspectives.

As business owners, it can be easy to get stuck wearing all of the hats and doing all of the things, but not always achieving the best outcomes. We can’t be experts at everything. Building collaborative relationships means that we can each bring our own specialist skillset and our own unique perspective to the table and increase the value of our joint offering. With the help of your network, you have the value of being able to think up new ideas, address a problem from a number of different perspectives and find solutions that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of all by yourself.

  • Achieving your goals with more accountability and support.

While it would be nice to think we can be motivated all the time, sometimes it helps to have people on the sidelines keeping us accountable on the goals and action list we’ve set and cheering us on when we need some encouragement to keep moving forward. Knowing that we need to report back on our progress at our next meeting with our business network can be the gentle nudge we need to knock a task off the list and achieve some action towards our goals. Running a business can feel quite isolating at times – it can be lonely at the top. There are so many benefits to surrounding ourselves with a network of likeminded business people who ‘get it’ and who can support each other in the challenges of business ownership.

  • Increasing the size of your network and exposure.

Building business relationships and working collaboratively on a joint project can be a great opportunity to increase the size of the audience you can communicate with, market and sell to, as you both share the project with your own existing client base. Or perhaps as you establish a relationship, you realise it would be beneficial to introduce a new person in your network to another important contact of yours and, thus, the business network and exposure increases.

 

So, how do we go about building these collaborative relationships?

1. Be open to opportunities to meet new people.

With an abundance mindset on board, be open to opportunities that might come up to meet new people and establish business relationships. Whether that be going to a conference, a new industry event, a business breakfast or joining an online forum of likeminded people, keep your eye out for the chance to meet new contacts.

2. You will need to introduce yourself. 

You might be shy, but you won’t meet anyone if you’re a wallflower. Take a deep breath, be proactive and share something of yourself so people can get to know you. You don’t need to make a hard sell (in fact, it’s probably best you don’t), just be interested in what other people have to offer and consistently contribute to the conversation – whether that’s online or in person.

3. Build genuine relationships. 

You don’t have to be business besties with everyone, but if you find a likeminded individual and think it would be a mutually beneficial relationship, suggest you catch up another time and find out a bit more about what you both do.

4. Suggest a project collaboration.

Think there’s a project you could work on together that would be a win-win for both of you? Propose the idea and see how you can make it work.

The power of meeting in person

As an introvert, I am definitely guilty of choosing to email rather than engage in a phone call or video call or meet with someone in person. In this ‘virtual’ age, we have the convenience of being able to meet with people all over the world from the comfort of our own PCs – Skype for BusinessZoom, and other video conferencing software makes that very easy these days. We can even wear pyjamas while we meet, if we want to 😉But just because it’s convenient, doesn’t mean it’s always the best option.

You have probably had the experience of finally meeting in person someone you’d only ever known via a name on their email signature or their little profile picture on Facebook – it’s a powerful shift when we finally get to know someone face to face. Sometimes across online or digital communication methods what we say can get a little lost in translation. People may misinterpret a tone, meaning or message, and go forth with a completely wrong idea. While digital communication can be very beneficial in many ways, it doesn’t always allow us to build as solid a level of trust. In person, you can physically shake the hand of the person you’re connecting with, share a joke or even go and get a coffee together. All of these things serve to build stronger personal communication which is at the core of building positive relationships and business connections.

While we might be marketing our professional services to other businesses, at the end of the day we are all humans doing business with other humans and we are more likely to do business with people we know, like and trust. The power of connection and collaboration can be of benefit to all of us, not just personally, but also professionally. How can you embrace an abundance mindset and start create new collaborative business relationships today?

 

We’d love to invite you along to our next live event, The Small Business Download, for small business leaders. Real people, real stories, and real, actionable advice to help power up your business.

 

How To Get Office365 Email Attachments Automatically Saved Into a Folder

Tired of searching through your Office 365 emails for attachments? Store them in one place for easy access. It’s dead easy to do.

In fact, it is a straightforward task to automate the saving of your email attachments to a variety of locations. You aren’t limited to saving your attachments to a local shared folder, it’s possible to save to a Microsoft OneDrive service, Google Drive, Dropbox, even a SharePoint document Library!

Let me introduce you to Microsoft Flow. Flow is a cloud-based service that makes it super simple to automate common tasks and business processes across your applications and services.

If you are a Microsoft Office365 customer, then a Microsoft Flow plan is included with your license.

Once you have logged into your http://www.office.com account, you will see your list of applications available from the app launcher icon in the top left of your screen.  You may need to click on “All Apps ” to see the flow icon.

Click on Templates from the Banner Menu

Odds are you’ve already found an amazing list of possibilities. That’s right, there’s an entire world of productive goodness in Flow, only a click of a button away. To-Do lists, Notifications, but let’s get those attachments from our email stored away securely in a cloud of our choosing.

Select “Email” from the list of available Flows

You will probably find that the top selection is “Save Office 365 email attachments to OneDrive for Business “. Let’s choose that one.


Now you can have easy access to your Office 365 email attachments from OneDrive for Business.

All attachments sent to your Office 365 inbox will be saved in a folder called Email attachments from Flow.

It really is as simple as clicking on the” Create Flow “button on the bottom of the screen.

Once you have done that you will be taken to a confirmation screen where you can toggle the Flow on or off with the familiar toggle icon in the top right of the screen

That’s it. You are done.

To test the flow, create a new mail with an attachment and send it to the Outlook mail address that was used.

Let’s head over to your OneDrive for Business. You should now see a new folder titled “Email attachments from Flow “in which your attachment from the test email is securely saved, as are any future attachments that are emailed to you.

Job done. Simple.

Ask the #Nerherd: How Do I Keep my Business Operating When My Internet Goes Down?

#Ask the Nerdherd: How Do I Keep my Business Operating When My Internet Goes Down?

We heavily depend on the internet these day, as many of us use cloud based services. If the internet going down means that business stops, this can be a very costly occurrence.

In this #askthenerdherd video, Ben tackles some ways on how to keep the business operational even when the internet goes down.

The best ways to avoid business interruption when you lose an internet connection are:

1. Find another temporary Internet Connection

For those who work alone or from home, if the internet goes down, the solution might be as simple as tethering your mobile phone to your laptop, or working from a different location where free wifi is available for as long as the primary connection is unavailable.

2. Set up a Second Internet Connection for your Business

Set up a secondary internet connection to the office that can launch into action when the first connection fails. It’s best to avoid the connection coming in via the same way (eg. if a wayward backhoe digs up your ADSL connection, having a backup is a bit pointless if the backhoe has dug up TWO ADSL connections).

4G backup internet connection is really viable as alternative connection these days. With the new 5G services coming out and other magic technology now available, this can be set up alongside your primary internet connection with a 4G fail over and it will be a sub-second switchover, so you won’t even notice you’ve been fallen over to the secondary internet connection! If you need assistance setting up a backup internet connection, let us know and we can help make it happen.

What’s your backup plan when the internet goes down at your office? It’s important to work out your strategy so you can minimise interruption to your business. Need some help? Book a time with Gary if you need assistance working out your backup plan.

 

#Ask the Nerdherd: How do I retrieve a permanently deleted email?

Have you had one of those moments when you were working in your Outlook and noticed that  something is missing, either an email or a contact, and then realized that it has ACTUALLY BEEN DELETED. Oh no! This could be a bit of a problem for you. But don’t you worry! Ben addresses this issue on this latest  #askthenerdherd video.

 

The great news is Outlook has this feature called Recovering Deleted Items.

Let’s say you’ve got an email in your inbox that you don’t need – you press the Delete key. That email then goes to your Deleted Items folder in Outlook, where you can just easily retrieve it by opening it up and dragging it back to your inbox. However, in the case you periodically empty your Deleted items (which is a good thing by the way!), that is where this Recovering Deleted Items step happens – When you have emptied the deleted items folder but you realize you actually needed something from there.

How do we do it?

1. In Outlook, go to your Deleted Items folder. Have a look at the upper left and you’ll see the button – Recover the Deleted Items from Server.

Recover Deleted Items

2. Click on the Recover Deleted Items button where a new window will pop up showing you all the emails that have gone to your Deleted Items folder but have then been emptied from the Deleted Items folder.

.Recover Deleted Items - new window
3. Select one or more items you want to retrieve. Click in the Restore Items radio button and press OK, and those items will reappear in the Deleted Items folder.

Voila! Problem solved.

User Guide: Release an Email from Spam Report in MP Mail

Some email quarantined by the Spam report may be legitimate and need to be released. Users have the ability to release the email using the Spam report sent via email on a regular basis throughout the day. This guide will show you how to release an email using the Spam report. 

Release Email 

1. Review the emails quarantined in the Spam report and confirm if release is required 

2. Multiple options may be available depending on the reason the message was quarantined:  

A. Deliver – Will deliver the email to your mailbox

B. Allow – Will deliver the email to your mailbox and create an allow policy for this address, helping to reduce incorrect classification of  email from this address in the future.

  

3. Once Deliver or Allow has been clicked from the Spam report a browser window will appear and confirm the email has been delivered successfully.


 4. If the message quarantine reason was one of the following, the Deliver or Allow buttons may not appear:  

A. Content 

B. Infomail

C. Virus 

In this instance submit a support ticket to Grassroots IT via the Grassroots IT Support portal or via email to help@grassrootsit.com.au to assist with releasing the email. 

 

New Ways with Office 365: webinar

By choosing to leverage the power and flexibility of Microsoft Office 365, your business is in fine company. Many of the most successful businesses in the world (and locally in your industry) are reaping the rewards of having made the same decision.

But the big question is – are you getting the most out of your Office 365 subscription? Many organizations take the step into Office 365 to move their email to the cloud, which is great, but then fail to take advantage of all the other amazing stuff that Office 365 has to offer. And it has so much to offer.

That is why we decided to run our ‘New Ways with Office 365’ webinar, to give you a rundown on all the latest features available in Office 365. If you weren’t able to attend the webinar, here is a video of the replay:

Here’s a recap of what is discussed in the webinar:

What is Office 365?

Office 365is a Microsoft brand used to describe a suite of software programs, the most well known of which are probably Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook.

Historically, we would have purchased a ‘perpetual license’ to own a copy of a particular version of the Office software to be installed onto our servers and computers inside our offices. These days, Office 365 is a cloud based subscription, whereby we pay a monthly fee to access these applications. Because the programs are web based, they are continuously being updated behind the scenes and we will always have access to the latest versions and updates of the Office software for as long as we pay for the subscription.

Most people have their first contact with the Office 365 suite through email, using the Outlook software, and are familiar with Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Perhaps you also regularly use Sharepoint and Skype for Business. Today we’d like to focus on the less well-known features of Office 365.

App Launcher and Web Versions of Office 365 Applications

From your Office 365 web portal, you can quickly access any of the web versions of the Office applications through the ‘App Launcher’. Click on the button on the top left of the Office 365 portal which shows a grid of dots and you can choose from a list of applications.

Applauncher

If you click on the three dots to the right of the application name, you can choose to open the application in a new tab or ‘learn more’ about the application.

apps2

Some of the web versions of the Office programs have slightly less functionality than the full desktop versions, but they are very useable and can be good for making quick changes when out of the office.

Web version of Microsoft word

Mobile Apps

mobileapp

 

Many of the Office 365 programs have native mobile apps. Because they have been designed to use on a mobile device, the user interface will be different to that available on the desktop version and the features more simplistic. However, they can be really handy if we need to open an Office document to make last minute changes while out of the office. As well as the more well known programs such as Word and Excel, you’ll find handy apps like Office Lens. These apps are available on the App store for iPhone and Google Play for Android.

 

Sharepoint

Sharepoint has improved in leaps and bounds in recent times. Once only used in the ‘big end of town’ recent improvements have made Sharepoint much more accessible and appealing to smaller organisations.

Microsoft has invested in the ‘Sharepoint Modern Interface’, making Sharepoint now responsive when used on various mobile devices, much more user friendly and feature rich. Simple things like moving a file between folders had been ridiculously hard, but now can be completed in the click of a button.

As an example of Sharepoint’s capabilities, many organisations using Sharepoint now no longer need a file server, as all file storage for the organisation is in the cloud. Communication sites can be set up as a method of communicating internally. As well as being attractive and easy to use, they are also easy to manage on the back end.

If you have looked at Sharepoint in the past and decided it didn’t meet your needs, it is worth revisiting and assessing Sharepoint again in its current form.

Flow

Microsoft Flow is similar to programs such as Zapier and Ift, which enables multiple separate applications to be connected. For example, a set of rules and triggers can be set up in Flow so that attachments on an Outlook email will automatically be saved into a folder in OneDrive. It’s not limited to Microsoft programs – Flow will enable integrations between a large number of external programs, such as Facebook or Twitter, as well.

flow

We personally use Flow to connect our company CRM (ConnectWise) to Hubspot, which manages our marketing automation. Ben uses Flow to set up ‘notes to self’ within Outlook without actually opening the Outlook app.

Bookings

Microsoft Bookings simplifies how customers book and schedule appointments through a web based interface. Using a customisable web page, it shows clients and prospects the available dates, times, services and consultants and allows them to book, change and cancel the booking themselves. The application can also send reminders, and has a direct integration with Outlook calendars.

Forms

We all know what a form is – a series of fields in which we enter information. Microsoft Forms enables us to create electronic forms and send to people to capture information. For example, maybe you want to survey your clients or staff. We use Microsoft Forms in our business to check-in items for repair into our Workshop. With Forms, we can create basic forms, or make them a little more complicated with conditional fields. Forms easily integrate with the other Office applications, or you could use Flow to setup an integration with an external program.

form

Planner

Based on a Kanban method of task management, Planner works in a similar way to web based programs like Trello. It’s not a project management program (like Microsoft Project), but a way of organising tasks within an organisation or department. Task details are entered in a card, and the card can be moved between lists/buckets. The tasks can be colour coded, categorised, allocated a due date and a team member. With the ability to use across multiple devices and email notifications, Planner is a great way to visually keep track of where everyone in the team is up to on a particular job.

StaffHub

Microsoft StaffHub is designed to enable employees to manage and schedule rosters. The app can be installed on a mobile device, so even staff without access to a computer can utilise the features of StaffHub. Using the app, staff can read company announcements and communicate with other employees, swap shifts on rosters, and access training and onboarding information.

staffhub

Stream

Like a corporate version of YouTube, Microsoft Stream is a secure video library for use within your organisation. These days, we’ve all realised the value of video as an extremely powerful knowledge transfer tool and it’s becoming a dominant form of content on the internet. Stream allows you to easily upload videos to a secure site, then categorise and present the video content and it’s great for keeping a library of team training videos and shared knowledge. At Grassroots IT, we use it as part of our onboarding process, with a video to welcome each of our new employees. We have an array of training videos, some quick how-to clips and recordings of some long, indepth training sessions with external consultants. It can be really beneficial to use the training videos to then create a written procedure. It’s very easy to create videos these days – most of ours are just created with an iPhone or a screen recording using SnagIt.

Teams

These days, many work teams (including ours) cross geographical locations and culturesMicrosoft Teams is a program designed to help collaboration between team members even if they aren’t working from the same office using various features, including text chat, calls, and virtual meetings, as well as shared file storage, and integration with Planner, Skype for Business, Sharepoint and other Office 365 programs. At this stage, the Teams program feels a bit “version 1” but we have no doubt it will evolve in the near future and become a really useful tool as it evolves. If nothing else, if you don’t yet use chat software (such as Slack) it might be worth giving the chat function on Teams a go as a starting point.

Power BI

While we all have plenty of data in our organisations, it’s not particularly useful unless the data is transformed into information and business intelligence from which we can make informed business decisions. Power BI creates a visual representation of information based on one or more data sources. For example, you could bring in information from your financial software, such as Xero, and combine in with data from your email marketing software, such as Mailchimp, and create a map which highlights all your clients by location, spend and by degree of engagement with your marketing, so you can get a deeper insight into where your most profitable customers are coming from. While it can be a little more complicated than the other programs mentioned, Power BI can be an extremely powerful tool and is well worth investigating. There are some good tutorials online to help you gain a better understanding of it.

powerbi

Power Apps

PowerApps allow for the rapid development of custom business applications with little to no coding. This is more for internal use within your organisation, rather than something for your clients or to sell (and make a billion dollars ;)). The apps can be delivered through a web page or a native app and can integrate with the Office 365 suite, as well as non-Microsoft custom applications that you may use in your business. One way we could use PowerApps at Grassroots IT would be to use the workshop form (as mentioned above in the Forms section), use our mobile phone to scan the QR code and scan the equipment, then automatically bring in information about the equipment from third party vendors, such as HP or Dell.

Webinar Questions

We had some great questions from the audience during our webinar. Here are a few Q&As we discussed:

Q: Would Flow work to import orders from customers onto our own database?

A: Hi, as long as there are integrations for the database that may be possible. There is quite an extensive list of systems that you can use with Flow these days

Q: Can people attach documents to the response in Forms?

A: Microsoft are currently working on the ability to upload document, images etc to Form responses.

Q: Is Stream the same as Sway?

A: Stream and Sway are slightly different animals. Sway is designed as a tool to make it simple to combine text and media to make a presentable website, whereas Stream really is a secure, corporate YouTube style of product. You can import your video from stream into your Sway presentations though!

Q: Can Power BI views developed, for example, by a finance team be served up to certain users based on their role in the organisation?

A: Yes. There is some good control in permissions with relation with how you can control access to PowerBI presentations.

Q: Can some of these Office 365 apps be also used by staff who do not have office 365 license? i.e. if someone has the old-school desktop license?

A: For staff to access these apps, they will need valid Office 365 licence and it would depend on what form of Office license they have. However, this may depend on the circumstances – for example, if you create a form in MS Forms, other people will be able to view your form, even if they’re not an Office 365 user.

Q: Does Office 365 have an effective CRM app or is it spread across a number of apps?

A: Microsoft Dynamics CRM is their dedicated CRM product. It can be purchased as stand alone subscription, but it integrates with the Office 365 suite (and it is being brought into the Office 365 model). It is a big and full featured service, so you would need to bring in an implementation specialist to ensure you get it right. Coming down a level, Microsoft Outlook does have a CRM module that you can use.

Q: Hi, after just upgrading to business 365, can I integrate my old 365 account?

A: We’re going to give you a cautious “yes” to this question, but it’s probably best to send through specific details so that we can ensure the integration is done correctly and you don’t lose any data.

Q: I bought my Office 365 subscription through GoDaddy. Does this mean access to certain apps would be limited?

A: You may need to check exactly which type of Office 365 subscription you have, as there are different plans available and they will include different applications.

 

We hope you were able to learn about some the latest features of Office 365. Are you making the most of your Office 365 subscription? Download our checklist to see how many of the latest features you are utilising.

 

If you need any help working out how best to use Office 365 in your organisation, make a time with our Client Success Manager for a free half hour consultation.

#Ask the Nerdherd: Is It Better to Shut Down or Restart my Computer?

Alright, I know you probably roll your eyes when you’re having a computer problem and us nerdy types tell you to “turn it off and then turn it back on again”, but there is method in our madness, promise 😉 In our latest #askthenerdherd video, Ben talks about the difference between restarting and shutting down your computer and why it’s not such silly advice.

If you don’t want to watch the video, skip past the video for the text version.

So, rebooting a computer. It may seem like a silly thing to address in an Ask the #Nerdherd video but you’d be surprised how often this comes up.

If you have an problem with your computer, please Restart it and see if that fixes the problem. Surprisingly, most of the time restarting the computer does actually does fix the computer issue you’re experiencing.

But, how do I actually restart a computer? Or should I shut it down?

Some changes came through after Windows 8 was released where shutting down computer is no longer is the same as restarting the computer. On older Windows versions, we could shut down our computer by selecting shut down, then power off and then power it back up – and this was the same thing as a restart.

However, this is not the case anymore. From Windows 8-10, there is a feature called Fast Boot/Start Up. This means that when you shut down your computer, it goes into a sleep state and not actually clearing out all messy memory and the bugs we are trying to get rid of. So when you need to restart the computer (either to solve a problem or apply updates), you need to actually restart it (by going to the start menu and selecting Restart), as shutting it down will no longer do the trick.

So, next time you’re experiencing some computer issues, first try to resolve them by Restarting your computer and hopefully that will be the fix you need.