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10 Things You Didn’t Know Windows 365 Could Do For You

Most individuals and most companies purchase Windows 365 so they can use PowerPoint, Word, and Excel – but there are plenty of other hidden treasures within the software that you can make advantageous use of. In this article, we’ll discuss ten of these hidden gems that you might want to use, so you can really maximize your use of Windows 365.

Ten undiscovered gems in Windows 365

Most subscribers to Windows 365 are unaware that the following apps are contained within the software, ready to be used at any time:

Power Automate – Power Automate can automate repetitive tasks for you, and save you tons of time. It connects to other Microsoft 365 apps and creates workflows comprised of the actions you use most frequently. it also helps to remove or lessen the high volume of human error, because the processes are all automated.

Bookings – This can be a valuable app for scheduling meetings with contacts or with your team members. Any kind of appointments can be scheduled using this app, since it sends recipients a notification to choose a time and date which is suitable for their schedule.

Planner – Among all the planning apps on the market today, Planner stands out because it’s so intuitive and easy to use. You can manage entire projects by creating a team, a list of tasks that must be accomplished, and then assigning those tasks to team members.

Yammer – This app works like Facebook for the business environment. It’s basically an internal communication platform that has a Facebook kind of feed, which is very familiar for users. It can also be integrated with Teams, so that employees can drop in and out of conversations anytime.

SharePoint – This is in essence, an Intranet for your company, being a very popular way to share web pages, resources, and news in a big way. It’s totally customizable, meaning that you can add your own color scheme and company logo. It looks somewhat like Teams, but it doesn’t really have a project work focus or involve any kind of teamwork.

PowerApps – This is an outstanding app that has become a leader in the no-code revolution sweeping the business. Your employees will have all the tools they need to create apps, and this can remove the necessity of manual data entry, while also pushing out updates to team members’ smartphones. It’s a bit like Power Automate in that it generates workflows automatically, although it’s a far more complex app.

To-Do – Everyone loves to use a to-do list in order to keep track of outstanding tasks and obligations. This app allows you to create such lists, then track and prioritize your tasks for whatever area of your business you need them. You can tell at a glance what has already been accomplished, and what is yet to be done. This app works very well with many other Microsoft 365 apps for information-sharing and updating, and it’s available on mobile and desktop platforms.

Sway – This is very much like PowerPoint lite, allowing you to create newsletters, presentations, and all kinds of other documents efficiently and rapidly. One of the great things about this app is that you can extract content from online sources, then instantly produce a professional-looking result without having to invest tons of time in it.

Stream – Anyone who likes YouTube will love working with Stream, because it’s an internal video-sharing kind of app. Using this app, you can upload, share, and produce your own video content. You can also organize that content into different channels, share it with team members, and make use of the tremendous amount of storage it comes with.

Clarity – It’s always good to know how users are accessing and making use of your website. When you know what they’re clicking on and what they’re engaging with, you can modify your website so it’s more appealing to users. Clarity provides heat maps of pages and sections where users are spending a great deal of time. It’s also capable of replaying videos of what users are doing on your website.

Using extra features in Windows 365

Most people don’t know about many of the apps and features described above, because they’re focused on using the more traditional apps provided by the product. If you’d like to know more about the apps above, or about other lesser-known features included in the software, contact us at your convenience. We have experts on hand who will be happy to explain or provide a service that will educate you and your team members.

M365

11 Ways M365 Will Make Your Life Easier

People are always looking for ways to improve productivity in the business world, because that has a huge impact on any business’ bottom line. If you’re looking for a company to provide managed IT services for your company, you might want to find out if they use M365 in their approach to providing service. Assuming they do, you’ll be able to have much more confidence in the fact that they will be able to boost your company’s productivity.

How M365 will make life easier

Here are some of the tips that will make your life easier, by using the functionality included in M365:

  • Using smart lookup – this is an M365 feature that allows you to look up all kinds of information on your current document. Smart Lookup scans the web for information and delivers a list of useful results.
  • Use ‘tell me’ – the M365 tell me feature saves time by notifying you of the right tool that should be used for a particular situation. Type in what you’re trying to do and tell me will provide some options for how to go about it.
  • Share with collaborators – one of M365’s best features is that it allows you to easily share documents, so collaboration is a breeze. Click on the share button and then enter in an email address and you’re off to the races.
  • Restore the last copy – sometimes you change a document that you decide later is unnecessary, and in that case you’ll have the option of restoring the last saved copy. All you have to do is go into version history and click the restore button.
  • Focused inbox – this is a great way to clean up your inbox so that you’ll be able to focus on the most important messages. This works by segregating your incoming mail under two categories, those being focused and other.
  • Use SharePoint – this is a great way to collaborate on projects with other members of your team, and to share files when needed. SharePoint allows you to create a central repository for project files, so you can set up alerts to denote when changes have been made.
  • Freeze panes in Excel – anytime you’re working with a huge spreadsheet, you may want to freeze the top row so that you’ll always be able to see the headers as you scroll through the document.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts – this saves a lot of time, because it will allow you to quickly execute tasks, without ever having to do any mouse clicking. Just press the share button and enter the email to create a new document. All you have to do is press Ctrl+N, and you can see all shortcuts by selecting File, Options, and Keyboard Shortcuts.
  • Use budgeting templates – M365 provides a number of useful templates in Excel that can assist your planning and budgeting processes. You’ll be on top of your finances by tracking income and expenses.
  • Recall sent messages – If you’ve ever sent out an email and immediately wished you could take it back, this feature might be for you. As long as the recipient hasn’t opened your message yet, you’ll be able to recall any sent message by clicking on Recall and Delete Unread Messages.
  • Organized with OneNote – this is a great vehicle for organizing ideas and thoughts, and it can also be used to track project plans, meeting notes, and task lists.

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Reach out to Terminal B today to learn more about how M365 can help your productivity.

What You Should Know About Azure Virtual Desktop

Azure Virtual Desktop is a great solution for small business owners who need to access their applications and data from anywhere. With it, you can access your files and applications from any device, such as your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you’re a small business owner, Azure Virtual Desktop is worth considering as a solution for your business needs. It offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Easy installation and setup
  • Flexible pricing options
  • Scalability to meet your needs
  • 24/7 support from Microsoft

Azure is comprehensive solution

Formerly branded as Windows Virtual Desktop, Azure Virtual Desktop is a comprehensive desktop virtualization solution that has proven to be reliable and easy to use. It is available in both Azure Public Cloud and Azure Stack.

Using the virtual desktop on your computer is very easy and the process is straightforward. You can use it by signing into your Azure account and then selecting the “Virtual Desktop” option. After that, you will be able to select the type of subscription that you want and then choose the number of virtual machines that you need.

If you want to use the virtual desktop on your smartphone, you can download the Azure Remote App from the App Store or Google Play. With Azure Remote App, you can access your Azure Virtual Desktop applications and data from your smartphone.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you simply log in and then select the desktop that you want to access. After that, you will be able to use all of your applications and data just as if you were using your computer.

A virtual desktop is particularly convenient if you need to use a laptop or borrow a desktop at another location.  You can easily connect to it and have full access to all of your applications and files. For security reasons, you will also want to be sure to log out if you are using Azure on a computer that is not your own.

AVD is a great solution for remote work

Businesses with a remote workforce will appreciate Azure Virtual Desktop because it offers the ability to connect to work applications and data from anywhere. It is also a scalable solution, so you can add or remove virtual machines as your business needs change.

Setting up AVD is relatively easy.  You just need to sign in to Azure, create a resource group, set up your virtual network and subnet, and then create your desktop pool. Program costs can vary based on the number of users, but Azure offers a variety of subscription options to fit your budget.

Like all Microsoft products, AVD is regularly updated.  Azure automatically applies the latest security patches and updates, so you can be confident that your data is always protected. 

If you have questions about how this solution can work for your business, contact Terminal B today to learn more about how we can help you get started. Our IT consultants can help you identify if a virtual desktop will be the right solution for you.

Microsoft 365 update channels: What you need to know

Many businesses using Microsoft 365 prefer to have the latest versions of the productivity suite’s applications. Some businesses prefer to get updates as soon as they become available, while others prefer to update their systems on a predictable schedule. Fortunately, Microsoft’s update channels enable businesses to customize when they receive apps’ new features.

New update channel: Microsoft Enterprise Channel

The new Microsoft Enterprise Channel is for organizations that prefer to get updates on a predictable schedule. With this update channel, users can receive new features and patches on the second Tuesday of every month, which Microsoft famously calls Patch Tuesdays.

This update channel is ideal for companies with IT departments that want to reduce the burden of updating systems at irregular intervals. This will allow them to have a fixed schedule of downloading the latest productivity features, system improvements, and essential security patches.

Recommended update channel: Current Channel

Current Channel is great for companies that want to receive feature updates as soon as they become available. New Office features are released at least two or three times a month, so those that choose Current Channel will get them immediately.

The same applies to non-security updates such as reliability and performance improvements, which are also released two to three times a month. As standard, security updates will be released on Patch Tuesdays, and are therefore released on a fixed schedule.

Those who are only about to install Microsoft 365 apps will be on Current Channel by default. That means they’ll get feature updates, security updates, quality updates, and bug fixes whenever they’re ready, and can expect to receive two to three updates every month.

Option for less frequent updates: Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel

This option is for organizations that require a longer period to receive new features. This especially applies to those that use devices that must undergo extensive testing before receiving new features, perhaps to comply with governmental and regulatory authorities or for other unique reasons.

Under this update channel, organizations receive feature updates twice annually: in January and July, on the second Tuesday of the month. Security updates are still sent once a month, on Patch Tuesdays, similar to Microsoft Enterprise Channel and Current Channel.

Updates to existing update channels

Another important change is the new names of the Microsoft 365 update channels. Organizations can choose from the following options: Current, Monthly, or Semi-Annual (formerly Insider, Monthly, and Semi-Annual). In addition, testing channels previously labeled Targeted have been renamed Preview.

It’s important to select the right update channel for your organization to keep system updates streamlined and IT workflows uninterrupted. Choosing an update channel also depends on the user preferences of your business — whether they’d rather use the latest versions of their apps or would be fine to wait — as well as your business’s rules on compliance.

To learn more about Microsoft’s update channels, specifically, how to know which one’s best for your company and how to optimize your productivity apps, call our IT and software experts today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Office 365 productivity hacks you may not know about

Most small businesses rely on technology solutions to perform their day-to-day tasks. One indispensable solution is Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based subscription service that includes online versions of standard Office applications like Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, as well as collaboration apps like Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.

You are probably familiar with some of these apps because you’ve been using them on your PC, but did you know that Office 365 allows you to do things in the cloud that you can’t do with the desktop version? Here are some of those features and how they can boost your productivity:

  • Collaborate in real-time

Office 365 allows several users to work on a document simultaneously. This feature lets file owners see other users’ activity on a document in real-time, eliminating the need to send files back and forth over email when collaborating. You can also use the built-in chat or voice features to communicate with your colleagues, eliminating the need for a separate messaging app while working.

  • Pick up where you left off in Word

Whenever you’re connected to the internet, Word bookmarks your current page and syncs that information across all your devices. Switch from mobile to desktop and back again, and immediately continue working right where you left off.

  • Organize your team with Planner

Planner is a task management app that comes with your Office 365 subscription. With it, you can assign tasks, set due dates, and share files in a simple and organized way. You also gain visibility on the state of your projects, as each board shows who’s working on what, which projects are on schedule, and which are delayed.

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Office 365 is the productivity suite of choice of today’s businesses; and it’s what you need to step into the future. Learn more about Office 365 by reading our free eBook, A 360° Look at Office 365

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  • Link OneNote to Outlook

Office 365 makes it easier to share items from your personal device with your teammates. For starters, you can convert OneNote items into Outlook calendar events complete with date, time, and location, or distribute the minutes of a meeting from your OneNote via your Outlook email.

  • Share large files efficiently

If you’re looking to send large or multiple files to your peers, upload them to Office 365’s cloud storage instead of sending them as email attachments. Email attachments have file size limits, but Office 365 gives each user 50GB of default storage. This means you can upload any size of file and then simply share the link via email or a messaging app. Your team can then access the file on any device without the need to download it.

  • Enhance your experience with third-party tools

Office 365 integrates with hundreds of third-party apps that let you complete a huge range of tasks smoothly and securely. Request e-signatures, collect customer feedback, or send money straight from Outlook with just a few clicks. Browse for the tool you need at the Office store and start enjoying more integrated and intuitive workflows.

Terminal B is a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Partner

We are proud to be one of only 300 verified CSP Partners in the United States, and one of the largest in Texas. As the premier CSP partner of Texas businesses, we leverage your Office 365 subscription so you can attain maximum productivity while meeting compliance and security standards.

Customize your Office 365 plan with Terminal B

Terminal B offers affordable and tailor-made Office 365 plans that give predictability to your business budget. Pay only for the services or apps you need, and easily scale up your technology when you need to.

Are you ready to drive business growth with Office 365? Call us at (512) 643-9038 or fill out this form to reach us today.

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