Office 365 Support – March Newsletter

Office 365

What is Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 is how traditional Microsoft Office products such as Outlook, Word, Excel, & Powerpoint can now be purchased on subscription model. Office 365 software can now be purchased on an ongoing basis which means no more upfront licensing costs and the benefit of continual releases of new versions to subscribers.
Part of Microsoft Office 365’s advantage is the cloud integration of email, storage & teleconferencing. No longer do businesses need to invest in local server technology to get enterprise grade email, as the email host is located in the Microsoft Data Centre – Microsoft does the routine backup, maintenance, and updating of the email host – this means businesses no longer need to invest in upfront hardware, nor incur ongoing running costs such as electricity, air con & space.
Similarly with each subscription Microsoft also offers a compelling scenario for offsite storage with 1TB per user cloud storage and file sharing in the cloud. Subscriptions may also include Skype for Business (previously called Lync) that allows to do group teleconferencing, instant messaging and single point of presence VoIP enabled calling
To gain all these features businesses traditionally needed to invest heavily and spend to maintain & upgrade their systems.

Office 365 Planning:

How to avoid an Office 365 migration Disaster?

While Office 365 is the new default product for businesses to use the Microsoft Office suite of products, moving your current set up maybe more difficult than you realise given the Cloud hosted nature of the product. As a leading Office 365 Integrator & Microsoft Partner we have done extensive training and gained significant experience in understanding how to make an Office 365 migration on budget & on time with minimum business disruption.

Microsoft Office 365 Set up, Migration & Support

As a relative new product in the Microsoft suite and as cloud hybrid license, it needs careful handling. Office 365 Set up, Migration & Support is typically handled by a specialist third-party service provider like Computer Troubleshooters who have in depth knowledge and experience in Office 365 deployment.
Outsourced IT support enables both large corporations and small businesses to benefit from experienced IT guidance, ongoing administration, local support & to have access to knowledgeable best practices. It’s simply not possible for a business owner to be an expert at everything. It’s a smart strategy to know when to hire an expert for certain functions that will enable you to keep your focus on moving your business forward.For a monthly fee, we can manage your Office 365 licenses for you:

 

-Computer Troubleshooters can provide expert advice and assistance with Office 365 product deployment, set up, and migration of existing users and data, as well as being your single point of contact for system administration, technical, and user support.

New Gadgets to keep up with Technology:

Safelet – Jewellery that connects and protects

In an emergency, it’s often impossible to reach for your phone. Safelet is a fashionable ‘smart bracelet’ that lets you alert your friends and family where you are and that you need help, at a push of a button.
Knowing that for any reason, yourself and your loved ones can send a call for help, gives such a piece of mind on your safety and security.

 

-Safelets will arrive mid-late April, pre-order yours today!The pre-release price of $259 is available for all orders placed before 31st March, after this date the full price will be $299

Contact Sara to purchase or for more information: sara@avonside.co.nz

www.safelet.co.nz                                www.facebook.com/SafeletNewZealand

 

Who do you know who needs a….?

 

Computer Troubleshooters are proud to be a member of two business networking groups.
Venus and Business Alliance allow us to develop lasting relationships with many professions that you may be looking for.

From a plumber or printer, lawyer or mortgage advisor; we can recommend a professional that you can trust.

Every month we will recommend a professional that will be able to help you!

(Let them know that they were recommended by Computer Troubleshooters)

Bart Taylor Painting and Decorating

Bart Taylor
Phone – 021 503 860
bartte71@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/barttaylortltd/

“I provide affordable and professional decorating services for homes and businesses.

The services I provide include Painting, Plastering and Tiling.

I pride myself on my craftsmanship and professionalism. If you’re after a painter and decorator that listens to you and is able to fit around your schedule.

Check out my Facebook page to see photos of my recent work.”

 

 

 

Spread the Word!

Don’t miss out on your coupon! Did you know, if you refer someone to us that we send you a $20 coupon?
In appreciation for the referral we send you a coupon to use or to give to someone else to use on their next job with us.

Is your Current Computer due for an Upgrade?

Ex-lease desktop computers, laptops and monitors for sale

We can source some great deals on ex-lease desktops, laptops and monitors.
Why buy new when for half the price you can get ex-lease!?!
The machines are ex-business-lease being a maximum of 3 years old.

Perfect for school, home and business use!

Currently in stock we have:

HP 8200 Elite ex-lease SFF / Intel Core i5 2400 3.1GHz / 4GB RAM / 250GB HDD / DVDRW / Windows 7 Pro (3 Month RTB Warranty) – $400.00+GST

At these prices – why not upgrade? Add in a Solid state drive to increase speed and reliability – Upgrade to a 240GB SSD – $120.00+GST ($138.00)

Dell E6430s 14″ ex-lease laptop / Intel Core i5 3320m @ 2.6Ghz / 4GB RAM / new 240GB SSD / DVDRW / Windows 10 Pro (3 month RTB warranty) – $520.00+GST ($598.00)

All ex-lease hardware comes with a 3 month RTB warranty – Upgrade to 1 Year Warranty – $120.00+GST ($138.00)

Security is a must – we recommend ESET NOD 32 Anti Virus. A 12 month license is only $60.00+GST. Further discounts are given for 2-3 year licenses and renewals

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We can copy data from your old computer for nominal rates, please feel free to call to discuss the options with us.

 

Tech Support: 7 Deadly Signs You Should Never Ignore

We have all done it, we all ignore some very blatant signs that something is wrong with our computers deferring the call for tech support. We will let it go or find a workaround to push off having to deal with the problem as long as possible. Unfortunately, that often means we put it off until something really bad occurs and we are thrust into a very costly or even devastating situation.

To avoid the risk of a serious emergency for your business, watch for these signs indicating your technology may be in need of professional tech support:

  • Regular pop up messages;
    • This often includes critical issue like renewing your security software or installing important updates for your operating system or applications, if they not being completed you are vulnerable to security attacks.
  • One or more systems are running unusually slow;
    • This can be a sign of hardware starting to fail or software corruption.
  • Your system regularly freezes up and forces a reboot for no apparent reason;
    • You may have a hard drive on the brink of complete failure and the potential for loss of important data if not addressed immediately.
  • You face the “Blue screen of Death” or a blank black screen;
    • This generally happens with older systems, when disk sectors are failing they can often have difficulty loading the operating system, while it may work when you reboot it is a sign that all is not right and a future catastrophic disk failure maybe round the corner.
  • An application closes without warning;
    • When a business application closes without warning it could mean you don’t have the latest version of the application or that your operating system is not compatible with the version you are using.
  • Your system is making noises;
    • Like any electronic device, computers need to be properly maintained and regularly cleaned. Any unusual noise should be looked at right away and can be as simple as a dirty fan or as critical as a failing hard drive.
  • Blinking or flashing screens;
    • If you experience screen resets in the middle of using applications it may mean your video card or graphics chip is failing and is a clear warning sign that it will fail permanently in the future.

Computers and software are likely one of the most expensive and important assets in your office. Your business cannot run without them. It is critical that you make sure that they are properly maintained and that problems are addressed quickly by a professional tech support.

If any of the seven deadly situations listed above sound like your business or home, you need to call your local Computer Troubleshooter professional tech support right away. They will come to your office and work with you to assess the problems and determine the proper course of action that meet your needs and budget. Remember, even small issues can be a sign of a much bigger problem, so don’t put it off!

Windows 10 Update – Should you update now?

Recently Microsoft has stepped up its messaging for the free Windows 10 update. Almost every day you will get a Microsoft pop up message inviting you install Windows 10 and suggesting a date for this to commence. So while Microsoft are keen to for you to schedule your Windows 10 download, is it going to be in your best interests to complete the update?

Since the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 for Windows 7, 8 & 8.1 users, this offer is set to close at the end of July 2016. No indication has yet been made by Microsoft of extending this offer.

First released in July 2015 the Windows 10 operating system is now on over 300 million devices worldwide and by most reports is an improvement on Windows 7 & 8 in both speed & functionality.

So if you choose to do the Windows 10 down what do you expect:

  • The upgrade will take a significant amount of time usually 30 minutes to 1 hour, however this will depend on the internet connection you use.
  • The upgrade will use around 3GB of data so make sure you have sufficient data allowance to download.
  • It is recommended not to use a wireless broadband connection, as quite few have found themselves stuck mid download after losing a connection or racking up huge mobile data bills.
  • Once installed the opening desktop screen will look completely different to the traditional Windows (pre Windows 8) desktop, dominated by icons and tiles, but don’t panic the underlying system logic remains fairly much the same.
  • Within a few days most users are navigating the Windows 10 system as they always have, you just need to be patient.
  • Windows 10 works seamlessly with Office 2016 and Office 365
  • Just remember to take a backup before you embark on the Windows 10 update journey for your own piece of mind.

Are You Currently Using Windows 8 or 8.1?

For many users that are currently on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, the new Windows 10 has the same look and feel but has improvements that make it faster & more featured. One of the main focuses of Windows 10 was to address the many complaints that were lodged about some of the downfalls of Windows 8. However, there are still issues that you need to consider.

If you are considering upgrading your PC or laptop from Windows 8, you will likely be thrilled with the changes and again should take advantage of the free offer. If you are a business that is considering upgrading from Windows 8, you will want to consult with a technology professional about the impact this type of change will have your business.

Are You Currently Using Windows 7?

Microsoft intends to keep Windows 7 on extended support until at least 2020, so there is no requirement that you change anything at this time. So you have a choice to stay where you are, or take on a free version of the new look operating system. If you are perfectly happy with your system today, then you can wait to move to the new operating system when you naturally upgrade your hardware.

Are You Using an Old Operating System or Software?

If you have a device that is currently using an operating system that was released before Windows 7, like Windows XP or Vista, you will have to pay for the upgrade. However, if you are still using a device with one of these older operating systems you need to consider an immediate upgrade to at least Windows 7, as your system is likely no longer secure. If you are using an older OS such as Windows XP you need to understand this is no longer supported by Microsoft and you are at considerable risk of malware & viruses.

You also need to be aware that older printers and applications may not be compatible with the newer operating systems. Therefore, if you are using older peripheral equipment or an older piece of software that you cannot live without, you will want to do some research on what your options are before you choose to upgrade.

In Summary

The Windows 10 update is now a proven product, though not perfect, & those with Window 8 & 8.1 should take the free Windows 10 upgrade while it is available.

Those with Windows 7 should consider the change in look and feel before they upgrade – thankfully Microsoft has made downgrading back to Windows 7 relatively easy.

Those with older operating systems are confronted with the need to update regardless as XP & Vista become unsupported and over time more vulnerable to attack.

Computer Troubleshooters can provide Windows 10 update help or if you experience an issue with a Windows 10 download we can support you to make it work correctly. Or if you simply are wary of doing the Windows 10 update yourself we can complete the download & setup for you. Call your local Computer Troubleshooters today for Windows 10 support & advice.

Why your Office 365 network needs professional IT support?

Microsoft’s Office 365 is now very much at the core of many small & medium business IT systems. With its enterprise class exchange messaging service and its default office suite products like Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint all available by subscription, it is difficult for some to understand why a business would need IT support outside the standard Microsoft technical support offering.

So it is worth exploring what can be expected of Microsoft technical support and what are the additional IT services a provider like Computer Troubleshooters can offer to your business.

Standard Microsoft Office 365 Technical Support

If something goes wrong with Office 365 support is a major issue – to assist you in understanding the role Microsoft support plays in helping with Office 365 should you encounter an issue, they (Microsoft) classify Office 365 technical support into 3 types:

  • Critical: Events that prevent you from accessing or using your services or data, severely impact deadlines or profitability, or affect multiple users or services. Available: 24/7, Response time: one hour
  • High: Events that affect the productivity of users but have moderate business impact, can be dealt with during business hours, or affect a single user, customer, or service. Available: business hours, Response time: no commitment
  • Non-critical: Events that have minimal service or productivity impact on the business, such as a single user experiencing partial disruption, but an acceptable workaround exists. Available: business hours, Response time: no commitment

Microsoft’s Office 365 support is focused around the operation of their centralised hosted applications that they control within their data centres. Understandably individual support for your business is deprioritised without a commitment to answer, many non-critical events taking up to 24 hours to resolve and with some lesser events updated as decided by Microsoft. They will not support non Microsoft issues experienced with your business IT systems such as networking, security, & end user support.

This type of support policy ensures Microsoft can guarantee at 99.9% service level guarantee at an application level however at an Individual business level the experience can be considerably different.

How does professional IT support facilitate an Office 365 environment?

We manage your entire IT systems requirements in a holistic manner, from planning to execution with the ongoing responsibility for your business processes, security and end users. We administer the Office 365 platform to ensure maximum efficiency and minimal disruption. Areas including;

  • Planning – Office 365 licensing, procurement & administration.
  • Setup – Each user must be defined and setup on the Office 365 platform.
  • Migration – Existing data, profiles and files need to be correctly setup.
  • Administration – Your Office 365 platform is administered remotely to manage/add/change users, policies, and security.
  • End User Support – Ongoingsupport & troubleshooting both remotely & on site for local users, for multiple devices and office network management.

What advantage does professional IT support provide?

Computer Troubleshooters already offers this type of skilled IT service to many of our clients for on premise equipment and we have extended our managed services to Office 365. Here’s why:

  • Cost Control: Control costs by eliminating full time staff or expensive non local IT providers to manage your IT functions. By outsourcing IT support responsibilities to a local business, you pay only for the specific tasks you need accomplished and the service level your require, at an agreed monthly cost. Administration of Office 365 can be done remotely from our offices. As a product built for the Cloud it is designed to be supported remotely, reducing support costs, and improving response times. Plus you can also limit your initial capital outlay for IT infrastructure and running expenses (such as electricity).
  • Expertise: Expertise and efficiency is immediately available by outsourcing your Office 365 Administration functions to a local expert. As a specialist we have developed tools for fast and accurate setup and migration plus we remotely manage multiple businesses on Office 365 so we are deeply knowledgeable on the platform applications. As a business owner, you won’t need to worry about an employee being trained, skilled and experienced to administer Office 365.
  • Local Service: Simply call your local Computer Troubleshooters who you know & with whom you have a personal relationship, with the peace of mind that a skilled professional is available to help locally & who understands your business. NO overseas call centres. NO Identity checks. NO remembering account numbers & passwords. NO explaining your systems to THEM every time.

Stay Ahead of the Competition with a Managed Office 365 IT environment

Computer Troubleshooters can provide professional IT services to your business to provision and administer Office 365 environments as needed, with no need to hire full time employees or large IT service providers. Let the experts at Computer Troubleshooters work with you to assess your IT needs and develop a customized plan for your business. Computer Troubleshooters can manage your IT services and you can manage your business. Give your local Computer Troubleshooters office a call and one of our computer professionals will be happy to help you.

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) – Surviving a Disaster

Protecting your business from disaster seems like an obvious strategy to reduce the risk of failure. How many businesses have a Business Continuity Plan to minimize loss in the face of disaster?

What are the 5 key risks to business?

  • Natural Disaster – fire, flood, earthquake, & cyclone.
  • Security Breach – burglary, employee theft, vandalism & cyber-attack.
  • Equipment Failure – infrastructure failure (sprinkler systems), IT hardware failures, broadband & utility failures.
  • Compliance Breach – privacy, data confidentiality, data retention, tax, & OHS.
  • Operational Breakdown – data loss, product recall, & service delivery failure.

Most of these risks effects on your business are predictable so you should be able to determine the correct course of action to minimize the impact an event on your business.

Focusing on the IT side of the risk mitigation:

  • Natural Disaster Offsite replication of data & cloud based infrastructure.
  • Security Breach – Unified Threat management & scheduled backup of systems & data.
  • Equipment Failure – Redundancy of broadband links & standby hardware.
  • Compliance Breach – Centrally controlled IT security polices, user access & data retention.
  • Operational Breakdown Standby hardware & UPS power systems.

How can this be achieved in SMB Business?

Many of these goals can be achieved by using off the shelf solutions & professional IT support. Most businesses have similar IT requirements and can achieve a large number of BCP goals by simply implementing an ecosystem approach like Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 is a hybrid cloud solution that provides hosted email & file storage that can means some goals such as backup, redundancy, compliance & operational control can be easily maintained in the face of a disaster. Office 365 is controlled from a remote central console so other areas such security policies, user access, and data retention can be maintained remotely by an outsourced IT specialist. Of course, some of these risks remain within your premise and need to be assessed by an experienced IT person who can make recommendations as part of your plan. These would include plans for local backups, on site essential server replication to an offsite location, local user internet protection & core business application protection & data backup.

IT Assessment Recommendations

Ideally you should get an IT professional to look at your business as part of a bigger review of your operations with other experts. However just getting an IT assessment done on your business and listings their recommended solutions for to each type of risk outlined above will at a minimum will give you sense of the solutions and the time taken to recover.

Your Business Continuity Plan

Your BCP should be also part of your business strategic plan that in IT determines the longer term structure and IT risk that is acceptable to your business. In reality getting an IT assessment with a view to accepting an off the shelf solution like Office 365 with support by IT professional may provide 80% of the IT BCP plan with the local premise solutions evaluated individually, Talk to your local Computer Troubleshooters about doing an IT assessment to keep your business running smoothly if you’re suddenly without your technology.