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How Microsoft 365 Exchange has revolutionized and simplified communications for a Kapiti Kitchen company.

Meet Orchard Joinery

Meet Orchard Joinery. A family-owned business from the Kapiti Coast, that has crafted bespoke kitchens, bathrooms, windows, doors, stairs and furniture for over 20 years! Whilst they really know their stuff, they were struggling with their customer communications, much of which is by email these days.

Inefficient Email

All the company emails had been set up to come into one email address, leading to missed communication and some unhappy potential customers. The office manager had to check through emails every day to make sure that all communications had been addressed. What a headache!

Aiming for Change

Orchard Joinery contacted their local IT Alliance member for a free consultation. Together they worked out a solution using 365’s business grade email facility – Exchange Online. Ideally, they were after a way to split and redirect emails to the correct staff to ensure efficient and correct action and response. 

They did this by outlining a list of new addresses that were needed. Next, the IT Alliance member set up Microsoft 365, new email addresses, and when they were all ready, they switched emails across to the new system. They then onboarded staff onsite, so they felt supported and knew what to do from day one. The email system now has custom access settings, and the Manager can see everything if they need to.

The End Result

The end result was a much clearer process for customers and staff alike. Orchard Joinery now has an easy-to-use mail system with access across all accounts. There is clear allocation of emails and tasks and there is one incredibly happy office manager who no longer has to sift through screeds of emails to find the correct recipient!

“Very happy with the result, and with the changeover process. The IT Alliance member made this easy and was on call to help with any adjustments promptly. Particularly impressed with the ability of the staff to translate difficult IT related information into easy-to-understand applications.” – David, Orchard Joinery

This is just a simple case study involving email, but there is so much more that can be done to improve your internal and external communication and efficiency.  

If you are ready to empower your business with Microsoft Products like these, you can join us at our upcoming FREE event through the EMPOWER series. Click here to register.

We have seen an explosion in the ways we communicate, and, in the ways, we use these forms of communication. The last few years have seen people that would have rather picked up their land line now reaching for their laptop or tablet to make a video call.

Our original and oldest form of distant communication, the letter, has been branded snail mail and the volume of snail mail has steadily decreased to the point that the humble letter box is on the verge of redundancy. 

We have transitioned from the art of formal letter writing, taught with passion by our English teachers, to communicating in text or even emojis. We are evolving not just our means of communication but also the way we use these tools. 

In business, while an initial introduction is more commonly made in person, or by voice, further contact takes the form of electronic mail. This leads to a bombardment of the recipient’s inbox and the frustration of unread emails at the end of the working day. It is true to say that if our humble letter box had to deal with our daily volume of mail, it would have long since collapsed to the ground.

Getting on top of email

The first thing is to ask ourselves is “Should this communication take the form of an email?”. If you yourself are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Solve as much of the problem at the source not at the destination. 

If your email is urgent, short, or to a large audience question the medium you are using, would communication be better served by picking up the phone, chatting in teams, or holding a team’s meeting or presentation.

When should I use email?

We all unconsciously know that email is great when we need a record of a communication, date or action. For example, if I was to respond to a work order or quote, I would reply via email and simultaneously schedule a task. If I was going to tell a colleague a joke or organize a get together, I would do that in person, via voice or message via teams.

A matter of Etiquette 

Remember to use email to “create a record or reminder”. There are certain things that you can do to ensure your message is heard.

  • Be concise.
  • Proofread in the voice of the receipt so you more accurately convey the tone you intended.
  • Use a grammar checker as well as a spell checker.
  • If you are asking a question, use a question mark?
  • If you require a response, say so.
  • Ensure you have a email signature on new emails and a shorter signature on forwards and replies.
  • If your email recipients need to contact you outside email, how hard are you making it for them? I would personally question the practice of having your email address in your email signature. Use a relevant subject line. “Meeting request” vs “26th May at 4pm re Communication is Key!” 
  • Make your email easy to search for!
  • Using the carbon copy (CC) field is the most abused part of the email. It is NOT to shame the recipient into action it’s to record other parties to the action when they do not directly have to participate in the email. 

Sorting your inbox

Which brings us to organizing the inbox. How can we work more efficiently, giving emails the priority, they deserve? 

If an email has been cced to you, it automatically implies that it does not requiring my immediate attention. You can even create a rule outlook to move these to another folder called CCED emails. These rules can be as simple or as complex as you decide. If the cced email has a mention of you in it, or is marked high importance, you can ignore the move rule. You can also do the same for group, broadcast or “send to all” emails. 

When it comes to the external mail, you can sort the rules sender and or subject line. For example, an email from an IT alliance member with the subject containing “communication is key” goes to “webinarblogs” folder in the sub folder “ITA”.

How you build your rules is up to you and it does take some initial work and experimentation, but the gains will be worth it.

A great example is a company in New Zealand that uses some of the AI engine’s ability to determine a customer’s tone in an email to prioritize unhappy customer. This allows them to be more responsive when required. It can also be implemented to send an automatic response such as “we are sorry to hear about your recent experience with Contoso and would like to speak with you to resolve this issue at your earliest convenience. Please press here to schedule a call with our team”. 

Can I have emails go to a team?

Of course. If you have all the sales team respond to emails sent to enquiries@contoso.co.nz then you can have a shared mailbox. Members that are granted access to the shared mailbox can be setup to send as enquiries@contoso.co.nz or as themselves salesguy@contoso.co.nz however a shared mailbox does require its own license. What about a public folder? A public folder is designed for shared access across the whole organization, it can be enabled with a mail address so that when added to the address field can be forward to a folder for centralized record keeping but it does not allow controlled access, hence public.

Email Security 

As with phones and postal services there will be abuse. The more a communication tool is used the more likely some people will see an opportunity to scam others.

As “email is a record” as postulated earlier, do you retain and control access to these records. Do your emails contain personally identifiable information or other forms of sensitive information? How can you ensure emails are not sent to the wrong person?

Digital communications are more secure than physical forms of communication as technology “can” ensure trust and authentication at every step of the path between sender and recipient. We stress the word “can” in the previous sentence! 

You may be surprised to learn that you can encrypt your email so only the intended recipient can read it. Even more surprising you can encrypt the email so it can not be forwarded, printed or copied.  You can even stop sensitive information being sent outside the organisation automatically. Technology is available to digitally sign all email from your business to stop imposters posing as your business via email. Technology can check links and attachments in emails for malicious behaviour.

What Next?

Casting the human eye over an email, no matter how much training they received, will never match the ability of the technology to weigh the huge amount of data necessary to make a good decision. 

Technology can make our digital communication more secure, as with all communication it is up to us to evolve to use our tools to their full potential.

Talk, email, send a letter (maybe not!) or message us here to discuss how to take your next step.

If you are ready to empower your business with Microsoft Products like these, you can join us at our upcoming FREE event through the EMPOWER series. Click here to register.

Watch our recent webinar here and find out how Northland Kindergarten Association used teams to manage their remote working conditions during a tricky time, and how it may also be able to help your business.  

Click here to watch the webinar

If you have any problems downloading this webinar please reach out to us.

With the increased need for security, and rising Cyber Security threats, it is imperative that all businesses have a strong password management system.

80% of data breaches are caused by weak, reused or stolen passwords

A password management system is able to store encrypted passwords online making digital security accessible and simple for businesses to manage the passwords for all employees.

In today’s world, most businesses have dozens or even hundreds of passwords for different employees with different accounts, profiles, and applications.

#1. Generate secure, fool-proof passwords

With 80% of all data breaches happening because of weak passwords, having a password management system is crucial.

If you want to ensure your data safety, you must use complex passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers, symbols, and uppercase/lowercase.

A password management system will automatically generate fool-proof passwords based on your specification. This ensures you always create extremely secure passwords, thus avoiding hacks.

This also prevents your employees using generic and basic passwords such as their dogs name, or date of birth, and lets the password management system create a unique password that has all of the factors required for high security, including symbols, upper and lower case, numbers.

Let’s face it, it is much harder to hack KiUR&*!RTQ then it is Snoopy1222!

#2. Eliminate employee password reuse:

With a password management system, passwords are automatically updated and renewed. This ensures employees practice good password hygiene.

#3. Manage passwords from one place:

There is nothing worse than trying to keep tabs on every employee’s passwords. When a staff member is on leave, the last thing you want to do is try and find the post-it note they left with the login details.

Similarly, if a disgruntled employee leaves and takes their passwords, this can create an unnecessary headache.

With a password management system, you can easily give every user their own personalized vault, while maintaining oversight of all passwords with an admin dashboard.

#4. Protect your sensitive data:

Keep everyone’s credentials, notes, and information safe using the password management system.

#5. Admin functions make managing passwords a breeze:

Have multiple employees working on a particular app? No problem. With a good password management system, you can securely share credentials where employees and clients require access and organize shared credentials by Groups.

Admin functions may include (depending on the system you use):

  • Instantly add and remove team members.
  • Safely share passwords with others.
  • Give each employee their own vault for safeguarding passwords.
  • Store digital records: WiFi logins, software licenses, employee IDs, and more.
  • Set security controls and restrictions based on your team’s needs.

#6. Notification of a data breach

A password management system will constantly monitor all of your email addresses and sends instant alerts whenever it suspects that your data has been compromised. This allows you to act promptly and change all the necessary passwords, thereby preventing your information from being used by hackers and identity thieves.

#7. Multifactor authentication for employees

Another feature available in most password systems is multifactor authentication. This provides a second layer of security to verify the user’s login, usually in the form of fingerprint verification, one-tap mobile notifications, SMS codes, etc. This can be used to ensure the highest levels of security in businesses.

Which password management system is right for you?

There are a number of password management systems available. Finding one that is easy for your team to use, economical and with a long track record is imperative.

To find out more information about which system is right for you, please contact us here

What is Microsoft Planner and how can it help your business?

Many businesses in Wanaka use Microsoft Planner. Planner is a tool within the Office 365 suite. Planner is an easy way to organize teamwork with intuitive, collaborative, and visual task management. Planner is simple, easy to use for new users, and included in the licensing for Office 365 users. 

Advantages of Planner:

Planner improves teamwork by organizing an Office 365 group or team’s tasks, files, and conversations.

Planner helps to organize your tasks by adding one or more Planner tabs to a team channel. You can then work on your plan from within Teams, remove or delete your plan, and get notified in Teams when a task is assigned to you in Planner.

All tasks are easily accessible in one place: Plans comprise content-rich tasks that contain expected details, such as due dates, and extra elements like color-coded labels and files.

Automatic chart report: Planner automatically visualizes task status into pie and bar charts for you with no setup required.

Work where you want: Use Planner wherever you’re working. At your desk? Open Planner from tasks.office.com. On the go? Update tasks from your mobile device. In Microsoft Teams? Select the Tasks app powered by Planner and Microsoft To Do.

Connect across Microsoft 365: Planner is part of Microsoft 365, so it’s highly secure like your other Microsoft 365 apps. Microsoft 365 also connects Planner with Microsoft To Do, SharePoint, Power Automate, and other apps for efficient task management.

Manage all your tasks in Microsoft Teams: Planner and Microsoft Teams work well together. The Tasks app in Microsoft Teams combines all your team tasks from Planner and individual tasks from Microsoft To Do with advanced collaboration tools.

How to add planner:

  • In your team channel, select Add a tab +.
  • In the Add a tab dialog box, choose Tasks by Planner and To Do.
  • Create a new task list to make a new Planner plan and add it as a tab to this channel.
  • Use an existing task list to choose an existing Planner plan to add to a tab in this channel.
  • Choose whether to post to the channel about the tab, and then select Save.
  • The tab will be added alongside your other team channel tabs, and you’ll be able to start adding tasks to your board.

Six Tips to use planner well

Use the buckets

Microsoft Planner lets you create buckets for various tasks. Within each bucket, you can create specific assignments.

The calendar feature

The calendar is very important for keeping everyone on task. Items in the calendar can be assigned both due dates and a specific task owner. This helps individuals know who is responsible for what and also whether or not they are on schedule.

Checklist

You can create a checklist to keep on top of tasks. This checklist can be a list of necessary actions for this project. As the assigned user works their way through the project, they can check off individual items on the list. This creates an effortlessly easy visual to be able to track progress.  

Categorise tasks easily

You can create easy visual categories for tasks by color-coded labels and priority. For example, you might split things up into “low-priority,” “medium-priority,” and “high-priority” based on deadlines. This is visually easy for your team to follow as they can see what is coming up on their calendar and what is a priority.

Easily integrates with 365

With Microsoft Planner, you can integrate easily with 365. This means that you can take advantage of Office 365’s own calendar and reminder features. This helps keep your employees focused and on track every time they open up their e-mail.

Connects to the Cloud

Members of the team can upload various files as attachments to different projects and cards.  Once the file is attached to Office 365 Planner, everyone has access to it via the cloud. You no longer have to worry about vital information being unavailable to the rest of the group.

In Conclusion:

Planner is a wonderfully simple, yet effective way to manage projects across a team and to improve communication and efficiencies.

For further information, please feel free to reach out to us here to discuss how planner can be used by your team.

This is part one of our four part series in the “Empower Series” of webinars. Here Quality Foods share how they streamlined their systems.

You can watch the webinar here

Meet Quality Food Southland

Meet Quality Food Southland or QFS for short. What started as a humble bakery and Café in the 1900’s by Annie C Miller, grew into New Zealand’s leading manufacturer in butter-based bakery products and sauces. They are the largest exporter of butter pastry in NZ. Up until a few years ago they were struggling with their systems and processes.

Document Management and Approvals headache!

Their document management and approval systems were completely manual. This meant a LOT of paperwork, and complex filing systems as each product version had to be kept on hand. There could be many iterations which make things complicated.  Their approval process was also a headache. QFS had eight different approval processes. At each stage, approval had to be signed off by three different signatories. As you can imagine there was a lot of paper, storage and wasted time, not to mention the risk of making a mistake, was really high.

Aiming for Change

Ideally, the team at QFS were keen to make a few improvements. Document storage and security were key. They wanted to get rid of the complex document folder structure while managing and keeping all their file changes. They wanted to replace the manual time-consuming approval process for an online version, complete with change notifications, tracked changes and approval process stage indicators.  Essentially, they wanted to have the process more manageable, consistent and streamlined.

Empowering QFS with Microsoft

After consulting with an IT Alliance Member, the QFS team decided that the best course of action was to have these seasoned professionals cook up a nicely balanced solution using some Microsoft products called SharePoint, Power Automate, and power apps. These were all available through having Microsoft 365.

SharePoint helped create an online document management system that had version control, search features and navigation that made finding documents and using them easier. It even had a check in and out function. You could track your changes so that everyone was always up to speed on any project.

Power Automate helped QFS to automate their business processes and approvals using tailored notifications and automated data entry, saving plenty of time and increasing the accuracy of the approval process.

Power apps helped to collect information and display where everything was in the process so that the project could be managed much more easily.

The End Result

QFS ended up with a very slick looking web-based system thanks to Microsoft 365 and its added products. The best part is that it is all in one place. The new system stores all documents, manages document check-in/out, maintains all version history and records document changes.

It allows users to check-out a document, make the required changes then completes the document approval process from start to finish. It includes notifications to stakeholders, updates progress and document control lists throughout the process. On approval, it creates a pdf version and stores it in a duplicate SharePoint suite used by “view only” staff.  The result helps their business run more efficiently, with less risk. Sounds too good to be true, right?

For more information, feel free to reach out to us here, or view the webinar attached.

Avoid document disaster

The environment in which we operate has significantly changed. Businesses in New Zealand have been driven to embrace remote working.

Every good business is constantly on the hunt for new ways to improve their efficiency, keep their costs down, and increase productivity and profit and decrease risk.

What if we told you that you might be sitting on a goldmine of opportunity?

Having Microsoft 365 is bit like owning a spaceship. You know what it’s used for, but how to use it? Let’s unpack it a bit further.

Most Common Problems

The most common problems we hear of through our IT Alliance network around the country are:

  • Putting your documents into the cloud, document management and approvals
  • Empowering your business while working remotely
  • Managing emails and automating them
  • Keeping your company cyber safe

Would it surprise you to know that 50% of IT Alliance clients underutilize their Microsoft 365 Teams account? So why pay for something, and not use it all? You can join in our Empower Series here to hear more, but for now let’s start with document management and approvals.

Making the most of Your Microsoft 365

Sharepoint and Power Automate are both free with your business Subscription. Did you know you could use them in these ways?

Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint (their free document management system) can seem overly complicated because it can offer so much. But it doesn’t need to be so scary.

You can start small and use more functionality as needed or as you grow.

Basically, it’s a platform that offers content management and collaboration.

It helps with reducing duplicate files, gives you remote access (needed more than ever!) and allows you to work on the same document at the same time.

Find out more about SharePoint here:

Microsoft Power Automate

This is another free app that allows you to automate workflows across applications. You can use it to connect email and instant message alerts, synchronize files between applications, copy files from one service to another, collect data from one app and store it in another, and much more.

Templates are available to get you started. Efficiency is key for sustained success across businesses and Power Automate assists this by simplifying workflows with the automation of repetitive tasks.

Power Apps

This is a low-code application development platform that integrates with Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Azure and more.

With Power Apps, web and mobile applications can be built without writing code. Instead, you can use pre-built templates and components with drag-and-drop simplicity.

Power Apps has been described as a bit like a meal delivery kit. The ingredients are pre-measured and chopped. The instructions are ready to go. All you have to do is prep and cook.

Because Power Apps has advanced logic and rules built-in, development time is cut by 70%. In some cases, it takes just a few hours to build an app. Or you can customize one of the pre-built templates in just minutes. Plus, Power apps connects to hundreds of business systems and databases. Here are some impressive statistics to show how Power apps is super useful.

  • 188% ROI over three years3
  • 74% reduction in app development costs4
  • 2 hours of line-of-business employee productivity improvement per week5

 Real Business, Real Change

Quality Food Services is the largest exporter of butter pastry in NZ.  Up until a few years ago they were struggling with their documents and approvals as they were complicated and manual.

They used SharePoint to create an online document management system that had version control, search features and navigation that made finding documents and using them easier.

You could track your changes so that everyone was always up to speed on any project.

Power Automate helped QFS to automate their business processes and approvals using tailored notifications and automated data entry, saving plenty of time and increasing the accuracy of the approval process.

Power apps helped to collect information and display where everything was in the process so that the project could be managed much more easily.

All of this saved them time, money and decreased their risk significantly.

Where to from here?

If you have a process that you need help with to make your document management process a little less of a headache, please feel free to reach out here to our team at the IT Centre.

Meet Northland Kindergarten Association:

The Northland Kindergarten Association or NKA, has 25 kindergartens between Kaitaia in the Far North, to Ruawai in the heart of Kaipara.

NKA were concerned about their IT setup, so they approached an IT Alliance member with the below key issues:

  • They were running out of space on their server.
  • Their system was out of date.
  • They weren’t working in the cloud which meant poor communication and knowledge sharing.
  • Each of their 25 kindergartens couldn’t connect and learn from each other.

They asked an IT Alliance member to do a risk analysis of their organization and to help them brainstorm a solution.

What was discovered:

  • Together they discovered that they had a disjointed network with outdated hardware and software.
  • Each kindergarten was getting a mixed level of service and support from a variety of IT support services.
  • To make matters worse each kindergarten team shared one email address and could not access each other’s files.
  • They had limited ability to communicate well which means work kept getting reinvented and upskilling was difficult too.
  • Their cybersecurity was not where it needed to be either.

They needed a solution that made their systems more secure, connected their team and helped bring their collective knowledge into one place. 

Empowering Kindergartens with 365 Teams:  

The IT Alliance member suggested to NKA that they could use Microsoft 365 Teams to empower their kindergartens using the following steps:

  1. They developed a rollout process of new hardware.
  2. Everyone got a new email address and were set up on Microsoft 365 Teams.
  3. They provided training with one-on-one support during the implementation.

Although they had only intended to create a safer network and shared resources, NKA was able to use Microsoft 365 Teams for so much more! 

How it helped them:

They moved all their documents into the cloud using a feature of Microsoft 365 called SharePoint. It helped them organize their document management so that they could share and manage content across the entire network of kindergartens. This saved them time, improved consistency and made their documents more secure.  

They also improved training, communication and connectivity within their team. They had a whopping 120+ attendees at their annual conference. Due to Covid, they had to host the event online.  Microsoft 365 Teams came in very useful. Again, training was provided, and they had two run throughs so that they could help anyone with login, microphone and camera issues. Their event went on for 5-6 hours and went off without a hitch!   

The Education Review Office, and five other national guests were able to present vital information easily. They broke out into subgroups for discussions using the meeting room function. Their CEO even pre-recorded his video message.

One of the risks of always being online is that they were worried that they might miss a quality engagement. Luckily 365 Teams gave them the ability to engage. They were able to raise a hand, ask questions in the chat and follow along from home. Overall, it was much less expense than an in-person event!  

The end result:

Overall, implementing Microsoft 365 Teams into NKA empowered their association with better cybersecurity, improved communications, empowered resource sharing that saved time and decreased event costs whilst maintaining event engagement. Not bad for one system in one place!

 “We were grateful to have streamlined our processes and we now have one point of contact for all our sites. We enjoy having a consistent service throughout our organization. It means that the team understands what we need, and we know we are providing top notch service to our kindergartens.”

Lloyd Gurr Head of Projects, Northland Kindergarten Association.  

If you would like to learn more about how 365 Teams could support your business join us for a FREE webinar through the EMPOWER Series. Click here to register.

The IT Centre is here to help you with all of your IT needs. Please feel free to reach out here if you would like to discuss this further.

A cheat sheet to help you make the most of your subscription

Written by: Peter Marshall, Voicecom Technologies

If you have Microsoft 365 for business, we want to make sure you’re making the most of it. You’re already paying for the subscription so why not take advantage of a whole suite of integrated applications that can streamline your workflows?

While remote work has been a key driver for Otago businesses to adapt the way they work and assess the systems they use, along the way they’ve realised that these apps not only offer remote capabilities but also the opportunity to integrate apps and business processes to allow them to better serve customers, streamline work, and improve employee productivity.

Four apps you’re paying for but missing out on

Microsoft SharePoint – SharePoint can seem overly complicated because it can offer so much. But it doesn’t need to be so scary. You can start small and use more functionality as needed or as you grow. Basically, it’s a platform that offers content management and collaboration. It helps with reducing duplicate files, gives you remote access (needed more than ever!) and allows you to work on the same document at the same time. Find out more about SharePoint here.

Microsoft Power Automate – Microsoft Power Automate allows you to automate workflows across applications. You can use it to connect email and instant message alerts, synchronise files between applications, copy files from one service to another, collect data from one app and store it in another, and much more. Templates are available to get you started. Efficiency is key for sustained success across businesses and Power Automate assists this by simplifying workflows with the automation of repetitive tasks.

Microsoft Forms – Forms allows you to create shareable surveys, quizzes, and polls in just minutes. You can then invite others to respond to it using almost any web browser or mobile device, see real-time results as they’re submitted, use built-in analytics to evaluate responses, and export results to Excel for analysis.

Microsoft Planner – A simple, visual, task management app that helps remove chaos from the team collaboration environment. You can create multiple task lists associated with different projects or set up daily to-do checklists.

Other apps to take advantage of.

Microsoft Teams – a chat-based workspace that integrates people, content, and tools into a single platform. Find out more about Teams here: https://ita.co.nz/microsoft-teams-more-just-video-conferencing

Microsoft OneDrive – OneDrive is essentially an online folder system for file storage. Similar to SharePoint however SharePoint offers much more in the way of collaboration. You might use OneDrive to save your personal drafts and then move them to SharePoint when you’re ready for collaboration.

Microsoft Lists – Helps you track information, organise your work and easily share with others. Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, so you can stay on top of what matters most to your team. Track issues, assets, routines, contacts, inventory and more.

Microsoft Stream – Your central destination for your business video content. It’s like an internal, secure YouTube for your business. This is the perfect place to keep things like training videos or marketing content for staff to easily access.

Microsoft Sway – Sway is a cloud only story-telling application similar to PowerPoint but provides more narrative options than a slide show.

Microsoft Whiteboard – A digital version of the traditional whiteboard that allows collaboration and brainstorming with your team in an interactive and engaging manner.

Microsoft MyAnalytics – Uses your data to provide insights into two of the key factors in your personal productivity: how you spend your time and who you spend it with. MyAnalytics takes a look at your everyday work patterns, finds areas that could benefit from your attention, and provides you with the tools to achieve more thoughtful use of your time.

Microsoft Power Apps – If your business needs a specific app to do a specific job, this is what PowerApps can do. Using simplified development techniques and with the help of your IT expert, you can create sophisticated applications using features, procedures, and processes found in Microsoft 365.

If you want to find out more about how any of these Microsoft 365 applications can benefit your business, contact us today on +64 3 443 5499. If you’d like to visit or email us, you can find our details here.

There are plenty of options available for video conferencing at the moment, which has been extremely useful with many people working from home in the current environment. Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams are some of the big names available – but did you know that Teams can also do much more than just video conferencing?

Here at IT Centre, we like to use it for all of our Microsoft apps and workflows. Meaning it’s the tech equivalent of a swiss army knife which can switch between different bits of kit at a moment’s notice. If you currently have multiple apps, workflows, inboxes and files all over the place… then Teams might just be the all-in-one solution you’re looking for.

Internal Communication

If you are constantly trying to keep up with your inbox and struggle to find that important email, then you are certainly not alone. Many businesses are now using tools like Slack for internal comms which can drastically reduce email clutter, did you know that Teams has a similar function? It’s a quick way to communicate with your internal team or give them a call – some of us have gone so far we’ve eliminated internal emails altogether!

File Storage and Structure

Having multiple locations for files, unorganised file structures, different file versions and not being able to find something is certainly not uncommon. Using Teams allows you to directly integrate with Microsoft’s file hosting service, OneDrive and have all of your files in one place, and also makes file sharing easy with external customers or suppliers.

Department Groups

Everyone has access to what they need in Microsoft Teams by setting your team and only having access to what’s important for you – split these up by department or otherwise as suits you. Then you can interact with your colleagues however you need to based upon the large array of apps and workflows available. For example, you might want to hop on a quick call with a member of the admin team, share some private documents with management or your marketing team might want to set up a quiz to share with your customers.

One-Stop-Shop

If that wasn’t enough, you can also use Teams to book your meetings, keep track of them in the calendar, run live webinars for up to 10,000 people and integrate CRM and customer ticketing apps. Basically it can be used as your one-stop-shop to replace the multiple different apps you are currently using, with multiple logins and varying integration capabilities.

If you feel disorganised, have files here there and everywhere and want to centralise it all to keep them in one place securely in the cloud – then Microsoft Teams might be the answer for you. It will help you centralise your files, communications, email addresses (across multiple domain names) to become more organised.

If you’re not sure where to start, then get in touch with us today on +64 3 443 5499. If you’d like to visit or email us, you can find our details here.