Microsoft Outlook remains, but as a distant cousin to Microsoft Teams – you can extract an email address from each Teams Channel to be used to communicate with that respective Channel. Emails sent to the Channel’s unique address become part of the persistent (never disappearing) chat. But I hate to say it to anyone who might be so endeared with Outlook (as I am, too) – Teams will soon replace Outlook as the communications client of choice, especially by the growing dominance of millennials in the workplace who have an overall disdain for conventional email. Those of us who grew up in the trenches and have used Outlook for almost 20 years are a diminishing breed.

So Microsoft Teams becomes the ideal *productivity hub* and the latest killer app. Over 200,000 organizations are now using it after only one year in existence. It’s growing so quickly that IT departments are overwhelmed by the number of Teams created by users within the MS Teams application, so care needs to be exercised with ongoing monitoring and by retiring orphaned Teams for the sake of reduced chaos.

According to Microsoft’s roadmap, Teams will eventually replace Skype. A recent improvement allows external guests to a Team (Office 365 Group) and its files, calls, chat and video meetings, although these external users must have their email of choice associated with a Microsoft Online account (Exchange Online) or even just a Microsoft account, such as or Hotmail. Desktop or application sharing is also an option while in a Teams meeting, either 1:1 or 1: many and in either direction – you can share your own screen initially, then switch to your client’s screen during the meeting.

People using Teams today are more likely to be out in the world using a mobile device, so security of the company data becomes a challenge. Microsoft addresses this with Azure Information Protection (formerly RMS), which is part of the Enterprise Mobility & Security suite. And all these devices, including laptops, are monitored using Intune, also included with Enterprise Mobility & Security. As identity can be less easily authenticated by Windows Server Active Directory when users are apart from the confines of their office, its web-based counterpart, Azure Active Directory, solves that issue as yet another inclusion to Enterprise Mobility & Security. And then there is the need for threat protection provided by Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection as an additional security layer in conjunction with Exchange Online Protection. EOP is included with an Exchange Online account. And I almost forgot about OME – Office 365 Message Encryption. Like OME, Teams data is encrypted in transit and at rest. All of the aforementioned are included in the Office 365 E3 plan.

Outlook might be with us for many years, but it will eventually die on the vine.

“Organizations no longer operate solely within their own walls. Data travels to more locations than ever before – across both on-premises and cloud environments. While this has helped increase users’ productivity and their ability to collaborate with others, it has also made protecting sensitive data more challenging.” – Microsoft

Azure Information Protection is supported on Windows and Mac desktops/laptops and on Android and iOS mobile devices (iPhone and iPad).

Azure Information Protection (sometimes referred to as AIP) is a cloud-based solution that helps an organization to classify, label, and protect its documents and emails. This can be done automatically by administrators who define rules and conditions, manually by users, or a combination where users are given recommendations.” – Microsoft

I signed on the dotted line to become a partner with AppRiver today. This Florida-based company from the western panhandle was formed in 2002 and now boasts over 250 employees. As one of the first vendors to distribute Microsoft products, they specialize in Office 365 and now, of course, Microsoft 365.

Their fine reputation for awesome support is what led me to this vendor. They even call their 24/7/365 service Phenomenal Care.

Their record stands:

"But the most important measure of our success is the overall satisfaction of our customers, as evident by the 93% customer retention rate since our company began. Today, we serve more than 60,000 companies with over 10 million mailboxes, making us one of the largest email and Web security service providers in the world."

So I welcome AppRiver to my team along with other top-notch vendors from the tech industry.

I’ve recently talked about co-authoring Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents while in Microsoft Teams. But there’s a fourth Office 365 program that enables multiple workers to collaborate in real-time.

OneNote doesn’t have quite the same multi-user experience as the other three, but there *is* a notification area in the upper right that shows when another user is editing a OneNote notebook.

But that’s just one other user. I’ve recently read about a team of 24 teachers collaborating on a single OneNote notebook. But when the 25th person tried to enter the faction, the system balked. Nevertheless, a substantial team can come together on a single project in OneNote.

Like the other three collaborative apps, OneNote is an integral part of Microsoft Teams. For every channel in a Team, an instance of OneNote can reside under the Notes tab by clicking the “+” sign to the left and then adding OneNote (see above).

You’ve been able to co-author Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents for over a year now. But now you don’t even have to leave Microsoft Teams. When you share Office 365 files with your co-workers while in a Teams channel, it automatically enables co-authoring. And external guests invited to your Team session can also participate in the editing.

If your co-worker creates a bad edit and saves the document while you’re away, you can always rely upon Version History. Files that reside in your Teams document library under the Files tab have an ellipse menu (…) to the right that provides the option to ‘Open in SharePoint’. Once in the SharePoint library, your file will show another vertically aligned ellipse to its right. By clicking on it, the Version History item appears in the menu where you can choose any previous version of that file.

“Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months.”― Clifford Stoll

Forgotten passwords remain a pain point for everyone. Change it on your phone, then you need to change it on your computer. Don’t visit that site for a while – the password expires. Too many failed attempts and you’re locked out of your account.

A password manager program is an essential security measure in today’s world. Here are the top three:

Company URL Annual Fee
1Password $36
LastPass $24
RoboForm $19.95

But be sure to have your phone on hand and ready to receive a text verification! Some sites require this every time.

PLEASE REVIEW your support experience with me. It remains my sincere mission to leave you extremely satisfied, so please let me know how I’m doing.

  •     Timeliness?
  •     Communication skills?
  •     Knowledge of the product?
  •     Value for your investment?
  •     Thorough?

Your input would be greatly appreciated. A link  is provided at the bottom of my web site pages.

LAST WEEK and the week before, I told you about toggling between Inbox (1), Calendar (2) and Contacts (3). Tasks (4) and Notes (5).

  •     While holding the Control key down, tap the Enter key to send an email
  •     On the Mac, use the Command key instead of Control

BONUS TIP: Drag and dop a message onto the Calendar icon to create a new appointment in either Windows or Mac.

I’m thrilled with my new mouse. And my new lap desk. And my new earbuds!

The mouse can use either a Unified Receiver or Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect to a computer. But when connected by Bluetooth, there isn’t a little device to lose or break. And the battery life of this mouse is 24 months!

The lap desk is a replacement for my old beanbag serving tray that I used to use. But this one is designed specifically for computer use with an air flow channel between the cushions underneath, built-in mouse pad, and a slot to prop up my cell phone.

The earbuds? Well, they’re just replacement parts for my Bluetooth headset that I wear over my ear. Made of silicone gel with foam cushions for comfort.

Biannual Support Plan
BIANNUAL SUPPORT PLAN REVISED: In an attempt to make the annual plan more affordable and fair, we’ve split the annual fee into two payments.

  • Unlimited Remote HelpDesk
  • $150 prepaid for first six months of each year
  • $125 to renew for second six months
Outlook Tip
LAST WEEK I told you about toggling between Inbox (1), Calendar (2) andContacts (3). Now try it with Tasks and Notes.

  • While holding the Control key down, tap the number 4 for Tasks and tap 5 for Notes
  • On the Mac, use the Command key instead of Control

BONUS TIP: When in the Calendar, use the Control key and the letter ‘T’ to get back to Today. Command + T on the Mac.