Monthly Archives: September 2016

  • How Office 365's New Features Improve Productivity

    New Features in 365 Promote Easy Collaboration

    Communication is vital to existence of any healthy relationship and business is no exception. In particular, business communication is core to internal workflow processes, external partnerships, and connection to customers. With the recent introduction of affordable, state-of-the-art internal communication platforms, telecommuting and globalization are shaping and scaling businesses in ways we’ve never seen before. Real-time services such as SharePoint and Skype for Business are decreasing business opportunity costs and are promoting a fast, fun, easy and effective way to collaborate in the digital era.

    Chats, video presentations, and virtual conferences have replaced the dreary in-person meetings of the past. Virtual discussions are the new way to get more done. Microsoft Office 365 has expanded its traditional offerings of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook to include a suite of applications which provide mobility and continual access to foster and maintain conversations globally. Microsoft’s main mission with O365 for Business is simple: collective, easy collaboration.

    Office 365 Has a Suite of New Business Applications

    Applications, such as OneDrive, offer tools for co-authoring and collaboration; Word and PowerPoint now allow colleagues to work on the same documents and presentations through its integration with OneDrive and SharePoint for “real-time” editing. These applications also include features such as the “Share” button, granting users the ability to share files within their organization and allowing individuals and management to see who is working on a particular document. Users can also send large files through Outlook, which will then convert said files into a downloadable link for those actively on OneDrive or SharePoint.

    Office 365 Plans & Pricing

    Another unique feature of Office 365 is the ability to view “historical versions” of a particular document from within the traditional desktop office suite itself. Everyone has experienced the of frustration of accidentally deleting a portion of a document and this feature acts as a safeguard for this inevitable occurrence.

    These additional offerings, such as Skype for Business integration, data forecasting, improved cross-device support, and document collaboration arm nearly any business with the latest, most powerful industry-grade tools necessary to compete in the ever-evolving world of business communications.

    For more information on Office 365 plans, pricing and features, contact us today.


  • What Happens During A Microsoft Audit (SAM)

    How to Survive a Microsoft Audit

    Avoiding unforeseen liabilities is an ongoing reality for most businesses, and one of the biggest expenses can come from the licensing problems associated with Microsoft software. The management of such high-value software can be a difficult problem, exasperated by ever evolving licensing agreements with greater levels of complexity and lack of best practices for software license management.

    In medium to large companies, the risk of fees associated with failed audits is compounded due to the sheer number of software license contracts they must manage. With an average of 70 software license contracts, determining compliance can become almost ambiguous until an actual audit is performed. A failed audit can lead to company embarrassment and fees that can negatively impact company profitability.

    Internal Management Is Costly; Outsource SAM to a Partner

    Microsoft is reported to have an especially aggressive audit strategy, from informal audits through audit partners and workshops, to more formal, official on site audits. These expensive ordeals are highly likely for medium and large sized companies, with over 60 percent of executives reporting some sort of Microsoft audit associated activity occurring in the last 12 months. Preparing for an audit begins with understanding the terms of your software license agreements.

    Illegal Software Audits

    Until recent years, internal SAM management systems haven't aligned with the cost-conscience business models most companies utilize, encouraging the tendency for reliance on poor data. This leads to costly miscalculations and mistakes, but is also where Software asset management systems come into play. These services handle the complex issues presented by high value enterprise applications. The best methods for asset management include maintaining continuing compliance utilizing SAM services, keeping a roster of active software licenses (using VLSC or others) and ensuring constant preparation for any potential upcoming audit.

    Centralizing license operations can give managers access to all agreements for tracking and maintenance. Automating licensing operations also ensures software availability and easy reassignment or bill-back. One best practice is to analyze usage reports, in order to make sure usage data is as accurate and complete as possible and adopt the right management tools. Effective management of software assets is almost impossible without effective tools and software.

    Preparing for a company-wide SAM audit can be as simple as meeting with a Microsoft Certified Partner, and setting up an free consultation. With the right plan and tools, maintaining compliance can be largely automated and easily managed to prevent future worries.