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Did you know that Windows 10 is being released tomorrow?

windows-10-desktop-600

The world’s largest Software as a Service SaaS operating system release ever also marks the end of Windows as we know it. It will never again be released as an operating system the way we have known it up until now. Rather the company will begin releasing upgrades and future “versions” as streamed updates. I will talk about some of the changes in this edition as well as some important information. There are also some important changes for our Office 365 customers and I mention them also.

Telstra Increases Office 365 Pricing in line with Microsoft Changes

telstra apps marketplace pricing

Telstra announced a couple of days ago that they will be increasing Office 365 pricing across the board in line with Global Microsoft Price changes. However there are some important things to know.

First of all while Microsoft changes are as of 1 August, Telstra isn’t changing until 1 September so you get 1 more month to buy additional licences at the old price.

Second, the changes only impact you when you end your current contract period (this is the 12 month anniversary of your original subscription date).

When you login to Telstra Apps Marketplace you should be able to see a table that lists your services and the contract period. This Telstra Apps Marketplace FAQ webpage has step by step instructions on how to see this.

Contact us now if you would like to learn more about taking advantage of the current pricing or how the new pricing changes coming in September will affect you.

Windows 10 is Coming Tomorrow

windows10upgrade

In a major change starting 29th July 2015 Microsoft is ending the Operating System version process as we have known it since at least 1995 when they released Windows 95. From now on all updates will be released as they are tested and made available to all users around the world via the internet. No longer will your operating system be old or out of date. For a 12 month period all existing Windows 7 and Windows 8 /8.1 users will be able to upgrade to Windows 19 for free as well. New machines will be sold with Windows 10 installed and will then update online to the current version.

The upgrade process is fairly simple. Once the upgrades are made available to you (there is a staged release cycle so not everyone will get it on the 29th necessarily) your computer will run preliminary checks to ensure that both the existing hardware is capable of supporting Windows 10 and that you have no known issues with the upgrade. The upgrade will commence and the existing operating system will be rolled back if it experiences problems. There will be no loss of data in either case. Applications will continue to work and your connected peripherals (providing they are compatible) will continue working.

We are recommending that customers ask us to run this for them. Of course if you want to do it yourself you can and we don’t anticipate issues for those of you who are not running server based networks. We suggest waiting for all those businesses with a server and asking us to book a time to manage the upgrade over a weekend or some other time when we can have the least down time for your staff.

Talk to us about Upgrading today. We are anticipating a number of our customers to upgrade from Windows 7 fairly soon so will need to book you in sometime in August or September.

We have some special deals – we will charge only $149 for a single machine upgrade (ensuring we have a backup first). Talk to us about bulk machine pricing.

Windows 10 Changes from Windows 7 and 8 /8.1

windows 10 start screen

One of the biggest changes is the revised start screen. It brings back the familiar Windows 7 interface with windows 8.1 live tiles. It is fully customisable and apps can be dragged and dropped, resized and added to groups. Unlike Windows 8 this start screen personalisation will not sync to all your devices as individual devices have different uses and different screen sizes so can be personalised individually.

windows 10 notificationsNote all the familiar icons can be pinned to the taskbar as in 7 and 8. The new icon directly to the right of the search box is the app switcher – allowing the ALT TAB application switching command to be clicked or touched.

Modern or touch screen apps from windows 8 can now run in a window and do not have to be full screen.

Touch Devices, tablets and 2 in 1 devices will automatically identify what mode they are in, keyboard or touch and change automatically. This can be set to ask you before changing. However it makes the rapid transition from a touch device to a keyboard interface very simple.

A new notification centre on the right hand side (similar to android phone and tablets and windows phone notifications centres) displays on the right hand side and also allows quick access to settings.

Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10 is a Potential Security Risk

Jethro-Facebook-WiFiSense

Most people use a wireless network or Wi-Fi access via their home or office modems for mobile devices including phones, tablets, laptops and even desktop PCs. There is a new setting in Windows 10 called Wi-Fi Sense. By default this is turned on but can be easily switched off. However turning it on can create a potential security risk as it allows you to share your Wi-Fi network settings to your friends so they can access your network. Doing this allows them to also share that with their friends. There is a solution and that is to change the name of your Wireless Access Point or SSID. These links explain the Wi-Fi Sense settings:

http://www.howtogeek.com/219700/what-is-wi-fi-sense-and-why-does-it-want-your-facebook-account/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/30/windows_10_wi_fi_sense/

And this page tells you how to change your SSID. It will need to be named with an “_optout” at the end.

we can re-configure your router remotely quickly and easily

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

Jethro-Facebook-patch-PC

A critical security threat was announced and an out of sequence patch released yesterday by Microsoft.

It affects ALL pcs running Vista, Windows7, 8, 8.1 and Windows RT.

There is specific news here if you want more http://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-rushes-emergency-security-fix-for-versions-of-windows/

And the technical stuff is here https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/MS15-078?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396#ID0EKIAE

Please patch all your PCs and Servers immediately.

2012-07-14 Brisbane French Festival 017Did you know that today was Bastille Day? Will you be celebrating?

Just as this French National day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution I hope that this newsletter can help you begin a revolution at work with some innovative ideas utilising Office 365.

Quickly create an Online Survey – using Excel and OneDrive

When you login to Office 365 you should see an icon in your apps list for OneDrive. This is your personal user accounts 1TB of storage space. Once you go there online you get access to some interesting features not available on your PC.

 

One of these is the ability to create an Excel survey. Click the New icon and then choose Excel Survey. You will get a prompt to create the Survey workbook with a title and then the opportunity to create questions with options for free text, Yes No, your choice selections and so on. The resulting survey that is created can then be shared with anyone you want to. For example please take this short survey.

There are lots of really awesome use cases for this. Use this as a pre appointment data collection option with a tablet with customers who walk into your business, use at trade shows or send it to customers with a QR code after they purchase from you for post sales feedback and follow-up. Results can be seen real time in the office in a spreadsheet that you can customise as necessary.

office 365 apps list

excel survey 1excel survey 2

Contact us now if you would like to learn more about creating Online Excel Surveys.

Using Sway to generate Online Documents and websites – no programming!

Nearly every business uses PowerPoint and Word. Turning your documents into online applications is far easier than you might think. Using Sway (on your Office 365 app list or by going to www.sway.com) you can turn your existing PowerPoint and word documents into websites that you can send your customers to. For example here is the digital strategy presentation we give to our customers. This took 5 minutes to upload and tweak using the visual tools in Sway.

digital strategy

Talk to us about using Sway to enhance your online presence, integrate with social media and incorporate into client presentations. Upgrade your Corporate Look!

Using Delve to improve your Corporate Communications

Businesses today create large amounts of data. From sales reports, customer presentations, tenders and quotes, SOP, Office Procedures and other how to documents to excel spreadsheets and power points there is endless amounts of data being created. SharePoint is the ideal place to store all this data as it is so easily accessible by all users from any location and on any device.

But how do you know what is being created? Are you repeating work that someone else has done, or do you need to copy and paste boilerplate text? What about utilising someone else’s spreadsheet to get you started with that new analysis report your boss just asked for? Office Delve is the new tool being rolled out in Office 365 to assist with surfacing information that is tailored to you.

From the Office Website:

Delve helps you discover the information that's likely to be most interesting to you right now - across Office 365. You don't have to remember the title of a document or where it's stored. Delve shows you documents no matter where they're stored in OneDrive for Business or in Sites in Office 365.

Delve also lets you view your colleagues' profiles, or edit your own. Your profile is like an electronic business card you share inside your organization.

Delve never changes any permissions, so you'll only see documents that you already have access to. Other people will not see your private documents. Learn more about privacy.

When you and your colleagues view, edit, and share each other's documents, Delve learns from how you work and tailors the information to each of you on your personalized Home page. What you see in Delve is different from what your colleagues see.

delve

But how do you know what is being created? Are you repeating work that someone else has done, or do you need to copy and paste boilerplate text? What about utilising someone else’s spreadsheet to get you started with that new analysis report your boss just asked for? Office Delve is the new tool being rolled out in Office 365 to assist with surfacing information that is tailored to you.

From the Office Website:

Delve helps you discover the information that's likely to be most interesting to you right now - across Office 365. You don't have to remember the title of a document or where it's stored. Delve shows you documents no matter where they're stored in OneDrive for Business or in Sites in Office 365.

Delve also lets you view your colleagues' profiles, or edit your own. Your profile is like an electronic business card you share inside your organization.

Delve never changes any permissions, so you'll only see documents that you already have access to. Other people will not see your private documents. Learn more about privacy.

When you and your colleagues view, edit, and share each other's documents, Delve learns from how you work and tailors the information to each of you on your personalized Home page. What you see in Delve is different from what your colleagues see.

Talks to us about getting Delve working in your organisation

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

Some of our standard rates have increased with the increase of underlying costs. Many of the prices below are the still the same as before.

Standard rates as listed below. Not for Profits and charities attract a 10% discount except where noted*.

These prices take effect from 1/7/16.

 

Role

Code

Hourly Rate Ex GST

Senior Engineer

SE

$180

Developer Analyst

DA

$120

Senior Business Analyst

SBA

$180

Business Analyst

BA

$150

Senior Project Manager

SPM

$180

Project Manager

PM

$150

Technician Onsite

TOS

$110

Technician Onsite 1st Hr Call Out Fee

TO1

$135

Technician Remote Access

TRA

$110

Content Writer*

WCR

$50

Photographer*

PHO

$120

Gaffer*

GAF

$70

Makeup Artist per person*

MUA

$120

Level 2 Sports First Aid Trainer 1st Hr

FA1

$45.45

Level 2 Sports First Aid Trainer

FA2

$31.82

 

Item

Code

Per Annum Ex GST

Web Hosting 100MB HDD 1000 MB monthly bandwidth

WH1

$110

Web Hosting 200MB HDD 2000 MB monthly bandwidth

WH2

$175

Drupal / Joomla / Wordpress quarterly SLA

SLA

$550

 

Notes:

  • If you have a contract with different rates you will continue to pay the contracted prices unless negotiated.
  • If you have a signed current SLA (Service Level Agreement) in place with us the prices listed in that will remain until its current expiry. We reserve the right to renegotiate those rates at that point.
  • The US and AUD Exchange rate as at 1 July 2015 means we can offer a 10% discount on rates listed above for our US and AUD clients. Any other overseas clients are charged in either AUD or USD anyway. If there is a significant change either way in the AUD/EX rate (more than 5 points) we will potentially change these rates for the USD clients. Contact us for specific pricing for USD customers.
  • No GST is charged to clients resident in countries other than Australia.
  • Technician remote access will be charged in minimum 15 minute blocks.
  • Onsite technical support attracts a minimum 1 hour call out fee.

Thank you for your business.

Did you get to the end of the Financial Year in good shape?

I certainly hope 2014-2015 was a good year for you and that you are looking forward to lots of new prospects, sales and good business in the next. I have outlined below some end of year things that you should take note of.

Financial Year End Tasks - Backups

There are lots of things to do at Financial Year End. Preparing Trust and Company minutes, getting stocktakes done and preparing final things for your accountant are some of the important ones. However in this newsletter I want to highlight some often neglected ones.

Jethro-Facebook-Alex-Hughes-076-Backup-Peace-of-Mind

First of all remember a copy of your data is not necessarily a backup. If you copy it, label it and store it securely it can be. The important test is that it is not being overwritten. So using your daily backup without taking monthly or at the very least annual snapshots of your data is a poor process. At the very least you should be able to locate and recover from the last 1-5 financial years data. If you do not have a “proper” backup process in place then ask us how to do so. These components should be a checklist for you. A Proper Backup should:

  • Allow you to recover from the last day, week, month, year – meaning you have access to media with those data sets on them.
  • Be labelled – clear and time proof labelling (not post it notes)
  • Be recorded – note who did the backup, when and what was backed up as well as the media it was stored on if your system does not do that for you automatically.
  • Be tested – at least once every 3-6 months you should run a recovery test to ensure that you can recover your data in the case of a failure.

Contact us now if you can’t tick off all those items for your backups.

Financial Year End Tasks – Using Excel Spreadsheets

Nearly every business uses Excel Spreadsheets. And none more so than office staff, accountants and book keepers. While Excel is a fantastic Business Intelligence tool a quick google search on parliamentary inquiries excel errors will scare the pants off you. I have seen first-hand how QLD government has reported incorrect numbers based on spreadsheets with errors in them. Most businesses also have the same problem – even mine! Relying on spreadsheet data for financial information needs to be done with the right auditing tools in place to ensure fidelity of the data, and comparison with the source (accounting) data. Done right Excel Reporting tools can greatly improve a business’s ability to manage their financial information, management reporting and other data. I have 27 years of experience of working with financial data in Excel (since version 1 and Lotus Notes before that). If you would like some assistance to ensure that your spreadsheet design (or your accounting staff’s spreadsheets) are accurate there are some simple things we can do to assist you. Even if that is just a couple of hours of specific training in good spreadsheet design techniques.

Talk to us about Excel and VBA training for your business. We provide customised training that your end users will find useful straight away – not just going through a manual on formulas and functions they will never need or use.

Financial Year End Tasks – Filing and Archives

CB107982_LoResI grew up in businesses with large filing archives, microfiche machines, rooms full of filing cabinets, stacked shelving and the dusty ceiling space storage accessed with a torch in times of desperate need only!

Today we create data in multiples so much greater than those days of typing pools, slow copy machines and dusty archives. However often digital data is stored in the same method that we used to store analogue data. This is really rather ridiculous when we think about it. Before computers data could only be stored in one place in a filing system and the indexing method needed to be able to help you easily find that data. Today with the use of metadata we can store data anywhere and use powerful search algorithms to find and locate data. The key is the metadata. Without it we can be as lost as the person in the archives who discovers all the vertical tab filing labels have fallen off.

The modern office stores data in most if not all the following places. Email, hard drives, network servers and storage, cloud storage places, USB external drives and mobile devices. How many times have you or someone you know spent ages looking for the file, email or image you “saved” and now can’t remember where it is?

Talks to us about how we can help you make the best use of your digital filing systems and reduce wasted time

Quick Steps in Outlook

outlook quick stepsEmail management is probably the largest time waster for businesses and office workers today. From Outlook 2010 on there is an awesome feature in Outlook that enables anybody to quickly and easily automate repetitive email management tasks. Effectively they are shortcuts that you can create that will mark items as read, move them to folders, forward emails to preselected team members and many other customisable actions.

Click on an email and in the ribbon select the quick steps box. You can open the manager and look at the default ones, modify or duplicate them and play with the options. More help online to manage Quick Steps.

If you are processing more than 100 emails a day ask us for help with managing them in significantly more efficient ways than what you probably are doing now. this applies to those people with hundreds of unread mails also!

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

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