What Is An Andromeda C‑CAT?A C‑CAT (Client-Centric Action Team) is a dedicated team that includes one or more two Remote Service Techs, and one or more IT Field Techs whose activities are curated by a Service Coordinator(SC)—each specifically appointed to service your organization. With cat-like reflexes and precision, your Andromeda C-CAT will pounce on any IT issue, upgrade, or project. It's really the cat's meow for your IT needs!)
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Get More Done with 5 Productivity Hacks for Office 365 Aug 31, 2018
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. You can’t trick the system, you’ve got to travel the distance from point A to point B to get where you want to go – or at least that’s what we’ve all been told by physics and geometry.
In most cases, this concept also applies to our workdays and careers. The grind is long, the work keeps coming, the tasks continue to pile up but at the end of the day, you are consistently working on taking the necessary steps towards point B – whatever that may be for you and your business.
But what if there were tools available to you that might give you and your team an edge. Wouldn’t you want to take advantage of strategies and applications that improved productivity, helped you get more done and saved you time?
Did you know that Microsoft Office builds their tools with time saving, productivity boosting, organization strategies in mind?
Let’s take a look at some of these tools to help you get more done during your 9-5.
5 Productivity Hacks for Office 365
1. The Tell Me Function
Ever wonder how to do something in Word or forget where to find a specific function in a Microsoft Office program? The Tell Me function is located in the main navigation bar and can perform many useful functions for you. This function speeds things up and prevents you from having to Google how to do things like create columns in Word, pull up your recent commands, resend messages in Microsoft Outlook and more.
As mentioned, the Tell Me function is located in your main navigation – to the right of the ‘View’ section. You can see a faint blue lightbulb with the phrase “Tell me what you want to do…” next to it. You can also use the key combination alt + q to pull it up if you want to be even more productive!
For more information on this function and its’ use – check out this quick video
2. Real Time Collaboration
Have you ever tried to open a document at work when a popup informs you that you have to open a ‘read only’ copy because another user is currently in the file?
This can be a pain when you are trying to get work done at the same time as one of your teammates. It can also be frustrating if you have a teammate that regularly forgets to close files when they are done working with them (we’ve all done that right?).
With Office 365 you can take advantage of live collaboration. This means that multiple members of your team can be in a document, editing and making changes at the same time. For instance, if you have an upcoming presentation, your marketing staff can be editing content while your sale staff adds their spin.
Additionally, Microsoft has built other tools such as Microsoft Teams to help departments and teams in your organization collaborate via conversation and shared documents. You can also take collaboration outside of your office to work with vendors, clients and business partners via Inter-Tenant Collaboration which allows you to set up shared calendars, documentation spaces, IMs and more.
For more on how Office 365 can enhance collaboration in the office look here.
3. Microsoft To-Do
Do you have a list of tasks and to-do’s that never seems to end? Or maybe you just have a hard time organizing all of your tasks in one place?
With Microsoft To-Do you have an intelligent, cloud based task management system that is with you no matter where you are and accessibly on a variety of devices. The application is mobile friendly and synchs directly with Outlook.
To-Do allows you to take your larger list of tasks and review them daily to add them to your ‘My Day’ feature. By doing this you are able to locate which of your tasks have priority and knock them out one by one.
Where To-Do really shines is it’s security and compliance features. Microsoft has done a great job with the Outlook integration to make sure that your To-Do list is secure and compliant across the board.
You can also segment your To-Do’s into “steps” meaning you can break down a larger task into the sub-steps required for completion. You can even share your tasks with peers, friends, family or coworkers thanks to a recent update.
4. Automate Key Workflows with Microsoft Flow
Many businesses turn to Sharepoint to securely store, access and manage company documentation, Microsoft Flow can actually help you create workflow automation with integrations to other software as well.
For instance, you can set systems up so that when a document is uploaded, an email is automatically sent to a staff member to review the document. This can be useful for things like Time Off requests but can be applied to larger, more demanding tasks like onboarding or off boarding clients/vendors. Microsoft Flow is also integrated into SharePoint so that you can start flows directly from lists and libraries making it a great productivity booster, time saver and addition to the Microsoft Office Suite.
5. Microsoft Sway
Microsoft Sway is a presentation tool that some believe may replace PowerPoint. It allows users to put together professional presentations quickly with a drag and drop function for photos, documents, text and more.
It should be mentioned though that you cannot create charts or graphs in Sway – it is more geared towards visual presentations. So if you need to share numbers, statistics or charts, probably best to stick with PowerPoint.
You don’t have to have Sway installed on a device to present your work which means it is widely accessible as well as easy to use and intuitive. Sharing your presentation with another is as simple as sharing a link.
Microsoft wants to help you get your job done and they build tools/functions to help you get more accomplished in the office and on the go. With new Office applications and Office 365 you open a variety of doors to your business with respect to collaboration and remote capabilities.
You don’t have to have Office 365 to get the productivity boosts described above. Many of these programs and tools are available in the traditional license model. You may lose out on some of the cloud functions, live collaboration capabilities and accessibility though.
To discuss what migrating to Office 365 would mean for your business, simply give us a call at the office (815) 836 – 0030 or send an email to Contact@WeNetwork.com. You can also feel free to reach us if you want to learn more about a specific application not included in your current Office 365 Subscription.
The post Get More Done with 5 Productivity Hacks for Office 365 appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.5 Critical Components Any Professional Disaster Recovery Plan Must Have Jul 03, 2017
We hear a whole lot about ransomware and cyber criminals these days. Andromeda helps our clients combat most data breaches with multi-tiered security solutions and employee training. But, every business is still vulnerable to incident. That is why a full proof and dependable Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity plan is an essential. Before you hit the world wide web searching for DR solutions and backup plans, take a look at these 5 critical components any professional disaster recovery plan must have.
Your disaster recovery plan should consider appropriate business continuity variables.
Disasters happen; they come in many shapes and sizes. Server crashes, accidental file deletion, physical disasters such as fire or flood and the increasingly common ransomware or malware infection are all scenarios.
You must ask two important questions yourself in regards to business continuity:
- How much time can pass between recovery points, ie: how much data can you afford to lose; this is commonly known in Business Continuity as RPO – Recovery Point Objective
- How much time can pass between the disaster and recovery, ie: how much time can you afford to lose; this is commonly known in Business Continuity as RTO – Recovery Time Objective
Ideally, your RPO and RTO are as low as possible.
A good Disaster Recovery Plan will consider these factors and have various options for restoring files, folders or even whole servers. On top of that, it is important that these options take into account minimalizing data loss and interruption.
Data should be stored both locally and offsite.
Many people have an easy time seeing the value in the offsite backup. Whether that’s tape drives taken offsite daily, external USB drives treated the same, or data sent to the cloud for storage, it carries with it a feeling of great comfort knowing that “if the building burns down” the data is still safe.
What few realize is what we mean when we speak about downtime, for incidents that are not quite as catastrophic as a burning building. In those cases, it can take an unacceptable amount of time to get your hands on that offsite backup or to download an entire server from the cloud.
With a Disaster Recovery Plan option that offers backups both locally and offsite (cloud based), you are able to restore large quantities of files and entire server images quickly. Your onsite device should also have the capability to virtualize as a temporary server in the event your main server crashes.
Find a disaster recovery plan option that provides multiple restore options
When you think about restoring from a disaster, you may believe that so long as you have a version of your data somewhere, you are secure. In reality though, your recovery time objective can be greatly impacted by the different options available to you after a disaster. A disaster recovery plan with multiple options for virtualization, restoration and data access is an absolute must.
You may have heard the term “virtualization” before. Being able to virtualize your server either on a physical device at your location or in the cloud simply means that you have a temporary solution that will keep your business up and running while you resolve whatever issue corrupted your data, server or situation in the first place.
A catastrophic hardware failure can put your business down for hours, sometimes days. Rushing that process up can incur huge costs as well: rush delivery, emergency dispatch etc. In the event of a hardware failure, a virtual copy of your last backup can be spun up. Once completed, you can resume working swiftly. This quick recovery allows you to deal with hardware replacements, scheduling and budgets in an organized fashion.
A top tier solution will provide you with onsite virtualization and an option to virtualize in the cloud. Cloud virtualization is not as quick and can produce some lag time. Nonetheless, in the event your backups are stolen or disaster strikes your building (fire, flood etc.) – the ability to spin up and virtualize data from the cloud means that your business is not at a standstill.
Find out what type of support a vendor provides for disaster recovery plans.
Your company does not want to struggle to get their files restored. You can’t wait hours and hours to restore a file you accidentally deleted. Don’t wait for hours to hear back on the status of a data restore. Your IT partner should understand the solution they are providing and be able to work with you directly. Cut out the intermediary. Ensure your vendor monitors all the warranties, all the software support calls, and all monitoring; ensuring your backups are humming all day every day – as they should be.
Don’t trust just any business continuity or disaster recovery plan solution.
There are literally hundreds of options out there for Disaster Recovery. A quick Google search will give you pages of results. Comparing them is mind numbing, and if we are being honest . . . who takes the time to do all that? Your first step is to find an IT partner that you trust. Check their references. See if they have case studies to show how a disaster recovery functions with the product. Ask for a demonstration of the product. This is serious stuff and you need to trust the hands maintaining and protecting your data.
The post 5 Critical Components Any Professional Disaster Recovery Plan Must Have appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Your PC May Have Security Risks From Old Loaded Software� Feb 11, 2019
When was the last time you conducted a company wide audit on all the software running on all the machines tied to your firm's network?� If you're not sure the answer to that question, it's almost certainly been too long.� The risk, at least according to the latest survey from Avast, is that there are almost certainly programs running on those PCs that are outdated. Outdated software, regardless of what it is, poses a very real security threat to computers and companies.
Sure, most IT professionals are quite good at keeping the OS's on company machines up to date, along with the big, high profile pieces of software that see heavy daily use.� The problem is that almost every company in existence relies on more than just these.� There are often dozens, if not scores of other programs installed on a few machines here and there. These rarely get the same level of attention that the bigger, more visible programs get when it comes to keeping them updated.
As a case in point, according to Avast's survey, in excess of 94 percent of the PCs that have Adobe Shockwave, Skype, or VLC's media player installed on them haven't been updated in more than a year, which puts them woefully out of date.� That, in turn, leaves a very large security hole in your company and offers any determined hacker easy access.
Worse, it's often the case that a company will retire a given piece of software, stop using it, but then fail to remove and properly uninstall all instances of it from the network. That means it's sitting there like a time bomb, waiting to be exploited.
The solution is simple, but fairly time-intensive.� If you haven't conducted a comprehensive audit of exactly what is installed across your network and how long it's been since those programs have been updated, the time to do so is now.