A few weeks ago, while talking with some of our sales staff, I was a bit surprised that they asked me how to budget for cloud computing. I guess my surprise was because it seems pretty simple to me.
BCG Systems, Inc., Blog
If you haven’t noticed, we talk about Microsoft Office 365 a lot here at BCG Systems. It’s because we truly believe it is a great product for doing business. It is a versatile tool that any type of company can customize and utilize for their day to day activities. With that said, we thought we would continue talking about Office 365 and share some simple and handy tools and tips you may not be aware of.
Microsoft Office 365 Tips & Tricks
Outlook 2013 and Exchange Online offer enhanced functionality by providing time saving tips and suggestions based on the email content.
- Maps Embedded in Emails - Emails that contain an address will automatically include a map for that address in the body.
- RSVP Action Item Alert - Emails that request some type of response will include an action item alert.
- Attachment Reminder - How many times have you forgotten to include the attachment(s) you mentioned in the body of your email? Outlook will now remind you to attach an item if you mention it in the body of the email.
SharePoint Online is the limitless intranet and document management center.
- Company Default Homepage - Easy way to create a homepage with relevant company info such as documents, websites and links.
- Useful Customizations - Display a simple in/out board visible to all employees where they can update their time and location. Share a calendar with the company or different departments.
- Share Information Externally - Many of our clients are using SharePoint to successfully share info with clients & business partners.
Lync Online is an incredibly versatile tool for communication with employees internally as well as clients and vendors externally.
- Quick Chat, Share Desktop, Webinar - Standard tools to make remote communication more productive.
- Sharing Session - Give and take control of a sharing session. Go back and forth presenting and demonstrating.
- Whiteboard - A feature that provides a blank page where you and other participants can type notes, draw, and import images.
OneDrive for business as a cloud based file server.
- Mobile - One place for all of your documents, accessible from your phone, tablet or computer.
- Unlimited Storage - No restrictions on file space for Office 365 subscribers.
- Synchronize Files - Access from any device at any time, both online and offline.
While these are not the principal features that make Microsoft Office 365 an exceptional product, they are the little things that Microsoft thinks of to enhance their user’s experience. Along with the new Microsoft comprehensive plan structure, there is no excuse for any size business to not find a cost effective way to use Office 365 as a tool.
Microsoft is continuously improving and streamlining their products. BCG Systems will be highlighting some of those updates in a webinar about what’s new in Office 365. It will air live in April and include content on Delve, Boards, Groups and other new features. Check BCG’s event page for details: http://www.bcgsystems.com/resources/events
By: Ken Klika, Director of Network Solutions at BCG Systems
It’s the cheerful time of year that is full of festivities celebrating the season with family and friends. As the hours wind down to Christmas, you might just be getting started with your shopping or trying to finish up with your last few gifts. I’ve put together some of my personal picks for the best tech gifts that are sure to thrill your loved one this year. Get ready to start checking off your list!
Top Tech Gifts for 2014
- Wearable Tech – This has been a big year for those who want to use technology as a tool to keep health and fitness top of mind. I’ve been doing research on these gadgets from Pebble Steel and Misfit Flash to Motorola Moto 360, Jawbone Up3 and the Fitbit Charge. I have narrowed down my selection to Jawbone Up3, and Fitbit Charge. Both have wireless syncing and I would love to unwrap either!
- Gaming systems – For the young and the young-at-heart, gaming systems are always at the top of the wish list. If you are splurging on a big item, you have plenty of options.- Xbox One, PS 4 or Nintendo Wii U. Personally I like the Xbox One – not just because I work with a team of Microsoft consultants. I love the ability to use the Kinect and play hands free. It’s a great option to play for all ages.
- Smart phones – Who isn’t interested in smart phones? I don’t know anyone who would want to exchange that gift! My recommendations for a smart choice: Samsung Galaxy note 4 for the person on your list who prefers Androids and iPhone 6/6+ for those that prefer Apple.
- Streaming devices – The market is not short on options in this department. Speaking from experience, I have an Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. While there are more options like Amazon Fire TV stick and Google Nexus Player, here is what I like about the streaming devices I’m using:
- Apple TV - I like that I can mirror my iPad or iPhone onto my TV. When I purchase movies, I can view my library on my big screen television with ease.
- Roku 3 - I’ve found this a great addition to a secondary TV and allows my kids to access their favorite shows on Netflix. It’s easy to use and has a low cost if you are ready to try out a streaming device.
- Chromecast – This is another option that would be great for a second TV in the house. However, this one requires a device to work it, ie tablet or smartphone. This device also allows you to display your devise onto television.
- Tablets- Mobile devices have been a popular gift and that won’t change any time soon! I suggest you look at iPad Air 2, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, Amazon Fire, or Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Evaluate based on things like size, weight, RAM, etc and chose based on the priorities most important to the person.
- Tech gifts for kids – Technology is becoming a bigger and bigger part of kids lives. There are great age appropriate options for gaming, music and the like. Check out Nintendo 3DS, Nabi 2 Tablet, Boogie Board, and iPod Touch.
Whatever gifts you chose, may you have a safe and happy holiday enjoying time with family and friends. Pick something off my list? Come back and tell me how they liked it!
For those of you that use Microsoft Dynamics GP on the Human Resource end, I’m sure you are well aware of the changes coming up with the mandatory Affordable Care Act. The IRS has recently announced two new forms that will be assigned to full-time ACA classified employees.
A large percentage of today’s workforce spends at least part of their day away from their desk. Whether that percentage is 15 or 50, there is typically a need to have mobile access to important data and documents. Mobility is just one business challenge we hear about from our clients. Let’s take a look at a list of some of the most common challenges businesses need to solve to stay competitive in today’s market place.
Whether it’s moving to the cloud or reassessing your current infrastructure environment, if you’ve been putting off technology planning for 2015, now is the time to take action.
With the recent news about celebrity hacks, how do we protect our data in the cloud? How do we ensure our personal and business information doesn’t fall in to the wrong hands? Let’s start with some cloud computing education.
Recently, Symantec announced the end of its’ hosted email product. As of September 2, 2014, a Symantec Hosted Email subscription can no longer be purchased, and after February 28, 2015, subscribers will no longer have any kind of access. Technical support will also be discontinued as of the February 2015 date. Symantec isn’t leaving the game all together; they are just shifting their focus a bit.
BCG Systems was in attendance for this year’s SuiteWorld conference hosted by NetSuite. For those who are unfamiliar with what this is, it is the biggest gathering of the NetSuite user and partner community. Haven’t heard of NetSuite? In simplest terms, it is a cloud based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Platform. One of the conference presentations that we thought most valuable was “Collaboration and Communication Problems Solved” and it revolved around how NetSuite users can better communicate internally and externally with their customers, vendors, and partners.
What's Happening at BCG Systems?
Check out our news room to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest news of everything happening at BCG Systems, Inc