OneDrive for BusinessProperly known in this context as OneDrive for Business (just plain OneDrive usually means the consumer product), it serves as the file repository for end-users when storing their files that are ‘works in progress’ or files that only pertain to them personally as an individual member within the organization.

These files can be shared with people inside and outside of your organization, either specifically with certain users or with anyone that has a link to the file. Encryption keeps your files safe when at rest and while in transit.

The capacity of each person’s OneDrive  is normally 1TB, but some  Office365  plans offer unlimited storage. Files kept in this cloud location can be synced to the user’s device with various options to keep the files fully downloaded and available at all times (cached) or merely as placeholders for the occasional download to save space on the local drive  FilesOnDemand. If files are deleted by accident, they can be restored within 30 days of deletion.

OneDrive is included in every Office 365 and Microsoft 365 subscription plan. OneDrive is also a feature-rich app for iOS and Android.

Microsoft TeamsI posted an article yesterday about the two-year anniversary of Microsoft Teams. My guess was that there were well more than 400,000 organizations using Teams now. This morning, Microsoft posted the infographic above to prove my guess as correct – over 500,000 organizations are onboard with Microsoft Teams.

The graphic also shows that Microsoft Teams has grown to 181 markets using over 44 languages. And it states that 150 organizations have more than 10,000 active users under their respective tenants.

But the one statistic that I would speak to is the 91 of the Fortune 100 companies who are using Teams. And yes, it once again shows that Microsoft Teams has established a massive presence within the enterprise sector of business. But what about small to medium-sized businesses (SMB)?

If the SMB market can learn anything from the enterprise, it must that Microsoft Teams within the Modern Workplace is the new norm. Enterprises still represent a massive hulk when it comes to their ability to adapt to technological change, but smaller businesses are more agile. For example:

  • The nonprofit can now get Microsoft 365 Business for $5 per user per month, as well as they can obtain Office 365 Enterprise E1 licenses for $0. These $0 licenses enable peripheral individuals within the organization to remain involved with improved communications not only with Exchange-based email accounts, but by using Microsoft Teams chat and real-time conversations, one-to-one ad hoc meetings, and scheduled group meetings (such as board meetings). These peripheral members can also access SharePoint and OneDrive documents that pertain to their team within Teams, as well as they can create and store their own data with Office Online (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, Teams).
  • Many small businesses are consulting organizations with individual consultants located across the US, as well as abroad. They often have little to no staff within their HQ location. But Microsoft Teams enables these associates to remain connected to the parent organization and all of its digital resources. Sales meetings can happen as scheduled events or new agents can be mentored by colleagues as if they were down the hall. And with Phone System and Calling Plan within Teams, they can use traditional IP desk phones or use their mobile devices as softphones with the Microsoft Teams mobile app for Android or iOS.

So it shouldn’t be considered that Microsoft Teams is only for enterprise – there are many ways that the SMB can leverage the power of the cloud.

Skype was purchased by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5B, and the company announced in 2015 that it would replace its Lync unified communications product.  In March of 2016, Microsoft was considering the purchase of chat-based Slack for $8B, but its founder Bill Gates felt that they should be improving on its Skype for Business product. On March 14th, 2017 two years ago, their own chat-based Microsoft Teams was launched with very close ties to Skype for Business and Microsoft’s objective for Intelligent Communications:

“Intelligent communications delivers immersive experiences that help organizations boost productivity. People can work more efficiently across teams and stay connected wherever they are, on any device. You can make the most of this opportunity by offering integrated messaging, calling, and meeting solutions built on Microsoft 365.” – Microsoft

A little over a year later, Microsoft announced that 200,000 organizations were using Microsoft Teams. By September of 2018, that number was up to 329,000. That number could now be well north of 400,000 in March of 2019, especially as it has officially become interoperable with Skype for Business in Q1 of 2019, and new launches of Skype are discouraged by Microsoft. As these Skype for Business organizations transition to Teams, the adoption numbers will continue to blossom.

Microsoft Teams has become an integral part of Resolute IT. Each of our clients maintains an RIT Support Team within their own Office 365 tenant, while I am a guest member of each of these Teams. We can chat back and forth, or we can begin an ad hoc meeting where I might share my desktop or vice versa.

And now, we’re pleased to say that Resolute IT has moved to the full-fledged capability of Microsoft Teams as a business telephone system, so we can place or receive phone calls over the public switched telephone network (PSTN) using only internet access and Voice over IP (VoIP). And it doesn’t matter whether we’re using an Android phone, an iPad, a Mac or a Windows PC as a device; and it makes no difference whether we remain within the confines of the office – or not.

First there was the computer guy, then the web designer, cabling guy, and network engineer. Information Technology (IT) service companies have typically evolved in a similar manner until they reached the holy grail – they became the Managed Services Provider (MSP).

The MSP was proactive in regard to workstations, internet services, and defending the network with sophisticated devices as if they were castle walls protecting the inhabitants within. Perhaps they might reach beyond the ‘castle’ and establish pathways with a VPN to a branch office, or with ‘roads to a village’ in this metaphor. The network and all of its devices were maintained within the perimeter, even if it meant creating a virtual private network.

In today’s world of computing, there are no walls or perimeter appliances – there are end-user devices and there are a random connections to the internet. Devices come in the form of Windows PC’s, Macs, mobile phones, and tablets – all using disparate operating systems because it doesn’t much matter any longer. The network is the internet – wired or wireless, and your connectivity alone ensures access to your company’s resources.

Here’s an example when using the Windows AutoPilot Service and a Windows 10 Pro machine:

You order 10 Dell laptops for your remote employees and have the machines shipped to each worker at their respective location. But prior to shipment, the hardware ID’s are registered with the Windows AutoPilot Service. Upon arrival, the remote workers unbox their devices and connect them to any internet service, wired or wireless. As soon as the machines connect and they login with company credentials, the machines ‘check-in’ with the Windows AutoPilot Service, which in return sends instructions to download and install all the applications, security settings, permissions, policies, and data that your company provides. This all happens prior to the first appearance of the computer’s desktop, so there is little to no interaction required. This is referred to as the Out-of-Box Experience or OoBE (pronounced oo’-bee) for the end-user. And it’s considered a Zero Touch Deployment for the IT organization.

Once the remote worker in the above scenario is able view their desktop (usually within just a matter of minutes), then they are immediately able to become productive using company assets from anywhere and at any time.

This is the Intelligent Workplace using Microsoft 365 Business, Windows AutoPilot, and the device of your choice. And it is now the mission of Resolute IT (RIT) to embrace this innovation from Microsoft and to become your  Intelligent Workplace Provider.

As an Office Insider for Mac: Insider Fast, I get the latest updates quite early, but with the chance that it might roast my system =/

One of the recent benefits, though, has been the early arrival of the new Office icons. Personally, I love them – very smart design in my opinion. But there’s been controversy over the new overall design and its dramatic change from the norm that we’ve known for the last decade as the icons of Office. But just as we often see in the tech world, people are resistant to change.

I’ve actually had these for a little while, so I’m late to post about the icons in part because everyone else in the world was reacting. But I’d like to speak to change and not necessarily to graphic design.

Better yet, let’s allow a few iconic figures to speak:

 

“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”  Confucius

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

“One of my greatest fears is not being able to change, to be caught in a never-ending cycle of sameness. Growth is so important.” – Matt Dillon

“When I’m painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It’s only after a get acquainted period that I see what I’ve been about. I’ve no fears about making changes for the painting has a life of its own.” – Jackson Pollock


In this year 2019, I beg you to name one small business process where printing on paper cannot be accomplished in a digital manner instead. If we can sign contracts electronically, file our taxes digitally, apply online for government benefits, opt for paperless bank statements, order services and products online, accept payments online or with mobile apps, pay with our mobile device at the market…  then why do we really need to print?

  • When I use the Walmart Pay service when buying groceries at the store, they don’t even offer a receipt – it’s all done digitally.
  • When you can push work orders from your line-of-business app out to employees with mobile devices, then you don’t have to prepare a printed form for them to drive back to the office, pick it up, and then drive to the customer’s premises.

I haven’t owned a printer or even printed on anyone else’s printer for years. The last time I bought a printer was to get a scanner as part of the deal as a multifunction device – I needed an input device, not an output device. But now I do all my scanning with my iPhone and Office 365 mobile apps, especially as scanning can be performed directly from within both OneNote  and OneDrive .

If I enter into an agreement, let’s say with a vendor, then I become the digital signee. But If I have a contract that a customer would want to sign, then I request an electronic signature from them with using Adobe Sign, that is, using the add-in that works right within the Office 365 (Mac or PC) apps and services, like Outlook Word/PowerPoint SharePoint Flow , or Teams.

Now consider this scenario when a Microsoft employee, Jon Levesque, gave a demonstration:

“During this session, he displayed an amazing use of Microsoft Form and Flow in a way that I honestly did not know was possible. He had a form with multiple choice answers, and he let the audience fill out the form on their mobile phones. He then used Microsoft Flow to take the data from all the multiple-choice questions and turn it into a streaming data set for Power BI and he had all these pretty little pie charts for each of his multiple-choice questions. Then the Flow sent out a simple and sweet thank you email to the person who submitted the form to finish it up!”

Like above, your digital creativity when leveraging the various Office 365 apps and services has become boundless.

I’ve spent a great deal of time tonight searching for a convincing reason to print ink onto paper. And I cannot find a single one.

The nature and beauty of Microsoft Office 365 is that it is cloud-based. There are no geographic boundaries – you can be anywhere with internet access and be virtually down the hall from your office.

And like the cloud-based service itself, support for Office 365 (or other plans such as Microsoft 365 Business) can happen from anywhere. As long as we have internet access, we can communicate with you and remediate your devices and services without having to spin our wheels – this is quite a ‘green’ business model.

Remote tools are plentiful these days, many of them available for free. As a rule, we try to maintain three different remote methods as three layers of backup for remote remediation. If one isn’t working, then another will. These little remote programs run in the background – or not – sometimes people prefer to start an ad hoc session.

And it isn’t only about remote control. Over the next few years, you’ll see that our primary support method will take its form in Microsoft Teams. Not only can we chat by text through Teams, but we can initiate an impromptu meeting with audio (and video as an option). And during such a meeting, you can share your desktop (circled icon above) on one monitor, two monitors, or you can share an application that you are running on your computer, such as Outlook or your line-of-business application.

With Microsoft Teams, there will be no reason to use a conventional telephone, cellphone, or even email, although both phone and email systems will be around for a long time – Skype for Business, the enterprise telephone system for Unified Communications, is now deprecated as a service and Microsoft Teams will become the default client for its new Intelligent Communications. Look for a not-too-distant announcement from us about Phone System and Calling Plan becoming our new voice solution as an integral piece of our Microsoft 365 tenant.

Due to our affiliation with Ingram Micro, a $6 Billion, global, Fortune 500 company based in California, we have over 700 engineers available to you when we can’t pick up the phone. During standard business hours and early evenings, Resolute IT will most likely answer your call, text, email or other method as frontline support for Office 365 helpdesk, but this 24/7 helpdesk acts as your second line of support.

 

In addition to on-demand response after your purchase, this same affiliation provides us with access to a Microsoft pre-sales engineer – that is, direct connections to employees of Microsoft that are embedded within the Ingram Micro organization. In effect, this gives us direct access to the creator of the office productivity software and services that you purchase, which enhances the overall support experience that we already provide. Informed decisions are critical to any company’s success. 

#Office365 was officially launched ‎on June 28, 2011. At the time, I was already (since 2008) working in the Microsoft cloud by subscribing to a Hosted Exchange account, which included Exchange and SharePoint. But as you can see, I jumped on board with the Office 365 platform about 6 months later (over 7 years ago). Back then, OneDrive was called SkyDrive with just 25 GB of storage space.