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1504022FC-Q4-promo-A4x4_1.inddDid you know we are FlexiRent and FlexiCommercial providers? That means that if you are interested in leasing new computer equipment we can not only supply, build and configure it but you can also lease it through us. And if you prefer a Finance lease (talk to your accountant) we are also partners with Microsoft Financing. All you need is one qualifying Microsoft product and they can finance the whole deal. T&Cs apply obviously.

Seminar News

If you have a business website then you probably want to come to this seminar. And if you want to improve your sales skills then you definitely want to come!

Jerrod D. Smith (aka the Attitude Coach) will be providing some real hands on mini workshops that will give you selling skills you can take away and use straight away.

Tim from Jethro will be helping you analyse your website for its selling effectiveness as well as providing some excellent productivity tips.

We are still finalising the location – expect it to be in the Strathpine or Brendale area. Get in and buy your tickets now. We will be providing refreshments – and our 100% money back guarantee applies as well!

Register now and buy your ticket at https://jethroseminar4.eventbrite.com

Windows 10 Free Update can be reserved now

GetStartedApp_Image_1xMicrosoft have today announced that you can reserve the upgrade from your computer. Make sure your PC is up to date and you should see a small Windows Icon in your taskbar.

Click on it, then Click “Reserve your free upgrade” in the app window. Enter your email if you want a confirmation of this reservation. That’s it. There’s no obligation and you can cancel your reservation at any time.

Talk to us first if you are not sure about updating to Windows 10.

Using Windows 8.1 Search to search everything

Did you know you can search the web right from your desktop? Windows 8.1 has search built right into it. Try it now. Click the Start button (or the Windows Key on your keyboard (it’s the one between CTRL and ALT)

The windows start tile screen will display.

Simply start typing. This opens up a whole range of powerful options:

This is the fastest way to open an application. E.g. type Word – and Word 2013 will show up – probably before you even finish typing it.

This is a really fast way to locate documents you can’t remember where they were saved. (Even I do that!) Type a keyword from the document title or in its content and then hit enter.

For example I searched “attitude”

win 8_1 search example attitude

The first column displays the documents containing the word attitude in them. There is a link to all 1060 documents there as well which will open a desktop search of my system.

The second column displays images with the word attitude in them. There’s also a link to the other 72 images. And it seems I have some jazz music with attitude in the title.

The next columns over are web searches for the word attitude. Try it with your favourite band. Here’s my search for Led Zeppelin.

The first page shows my local search and includes Xbox music and video links to online content.

win 8_1 search example led zeppelin 1

Scrolling right (down using the mouse scroll wheel) shows me more web searches for music, images, videos official sites and other search information.

win 8_1 search example led zeppelin 2

This is a really powerful research tool when working on a document or project. Show your kids at least when helping them with their homework!

Let us know if you like these tips or want to know how to use any of the Microsoft Windows more effectively. Training your staff in how to use their computers and tablets more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Google Mobile Friendly Website Check

mobile friendlyBecause we care about how well your business performs, especially how it ranks on search engines, we wanted to reach out and let you know that if your website is not deemed to be mobile friendly by Google, from 21 April, Google will not rate your website well in their search engine results for local search.

We've already reached out individually to many of our clients that have mobility issues, supplying them with a report from Google showing them evidence of these issues and encouraging them to do something about it.

The fact of the matter is, sites designed pre 2013 aren't mobile friendly, so if you had a website built by us or somebody else prior to this date, it is a high chance that your website is not mobile friendly!

Not sure if it is or not? Go to this helpful link to find out.

Discovered it’s not mobile friendly and need to get it sorted? Contact us now. Do you want a brand new mobile responsive website? We can provide that for you as well.

Follow us on Social Media

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:

Web design seems to be considered rocket science and a mythical art form by many small business people, who simply have no understanding of what’s involved. What is worse there are numerous web developers and design agencies that continue to perpetuate this myth, charge exorbitant amounts of money and deliver poor results. Ok the websites might look spectacular, but for a small business (any business actually) results mean delivering sales.

So lets get started. I’m going to debunk several myths, try and explain the methodologies that should be used in web design and give business owners some empowering questions that they can use to either vet potential developers or quiz their existing one.

This article isn’t intended to be a rant at either business owners or developers, but to simply try and help both achieve their goals. Business owners want a cost effective investment in a website and developers want to be paid fairly for what they do.

First lets start from a business perspective. Unfortunately it seems the majority of web developers do not do this.

A websites primary function is to do one of three things.

  • For an e-commerce (shopping) site it should provide a seamless experience for a customer to enact a transaction and the business owner to fulfil the order and meet all accounting requirements. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of goods sold as a direct cost. Sales less direct costs = gross profit. Simple formula to work out the profitability of a site.
  • A brochure-ware (usually just a few static pages – about, contact, products and services) site’s primary reason for existence is to simply state who you are and how to contact you. It should if done right have as good as possible SEO and you should be able to measure the number of enquiries received from the site. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of acquiring these new customers with a ratio of customers won over total enquiries.
  • A educational and news site (often utilising a blog) is really just a better brochure-ware site with more opportunity for SEO and also social engagement. Blog and news posts can be constructed to deliver keyword searches, and generate enquiries and contact for your products and services. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of acquiring these new customers with a ratio of customers won over total enquiries.

A business MUST approach this with the same business intelligence they would approach any other marketing or advertising opportunity. The marginal gain from new customers MUST be more than the overall cost – or the ROI is negative. No one is in business to lose money. Yet it seems common-sense decisions go out the window when choosing a web developer. A web developer should be able to help a business make the decision based on the economic value of the site to the business. And a business owner (who wouldn’t employ a sales assistant to stand in a corner doing nothing) shouldn’t be buying an expensive selling tool only to leave it standing in the corner doing nothing. To be fair to web developers many business owners are their own worst enemies here and do not understand this paragraph. Thus they allow developers to charge way to much for ineffective websites that do not produce $ results.

Understanding the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

SDLC chart

Unfortunately it seems many developers also have forgotten this – or conveniently ignore it when talking to gullible business owners (of which there are plenty waiting to have their wallets lightened). I’m not going to explain the SDLC in depth here – use Google or Bing for that!

While some take a waterfall approach to design, the more accurate approach is the circle – with an ongoing cycle that can span years.

As a minimum I would expect a web developer to follow this basic outline – and for a business owner to be prepared to pay on these approximate milestones.

  1. Requirements Analysis and Design. If a business owner is not able to do this themselves then they should definitely be prepared to pay their developer to assist them to do this. Setting out up front the goals for the site, the functional requirements and the actual stages of development provide a sound platform that any competent developer can then quote to – giving the business owner the ability to play the field. A good business analyst will develop a design requirement that they can quote to as well as any other developers.
  2. Initial development – usually a 50% or similar deposit is required to get the large amount of backend work completed. Host setup, often domain registration and business name registration, graphic design and image and other site asset compilation and generation, back end configuration and very importantly documentation.
  3. Go Live. the point where the site is up and running and visible to the public. At this point all social media connections should be made, search engine optimisation complete (for what is there now)
  4. Ongoing maintenance. This is all too forgotten component. Web software is constantly being updated and patched for security issues, additional features, bug elimination and so on. It should cost less with a good Maintenance Service Level Agreement (SLA) to keep o a site updated than to repair it when something goes wrong or to to do a massive number of major upgrades several years later.

Theming – function and form.

While it is possible to have function and form, e.g. great looking websites that provide great UI for the user as well as looking great, it has to be said function is more important than form. If budget is a consideration than definitely drop theming and focus on function. its not good having a snazzy looking website with poor navigation, difficult shopping cart completion etc. These days a professional quality theme can be purchased for WordPress, Drupal or Joomla for around US$50 and a good developer should be able to configure that to suit your site in 1-2 hours. And to be honest if you are a small business owner looking to invest less than $5K into a website than there is no reason to choose anything other than one of these solutions. They are popular for a reason.

Finally great content beats pretty graphics every time. People will be attracted to your business by what you say not what you look like.

So what can a business owner do to ensure they don’t get ripped off?

First, understand your own business, and set goals for the website. What does it need to do to assist your business grow, attract customers, sell products and so on? What results do you need to measure this by? And over how long? Calculate your own ROI.

Second, ensure that the web developers you are looking at can answer these questions:

  • Can you assist me to develop a requirements specification that i can take to any web developer for quoting?
  • What measurement tools can you put in place to ensure that my goals for this site are being measured?
  • What stages of development do you require payment on?
  • What is the total component cost of my site in theming?
  • What documentation do you provide?
  • What training do you provide and how much does it cost for additional training?

Authors note and disclaimer. We have been developing software and websites for over 20 years. While we approach all our clients development needs with best practice in mind, many clients choose to cut costs by cutting corners, don’t complete projects and in many cases don’t choose to follow all our advice. That is their prerogative.

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Did you know that email newsletter campaigns are more effective than any social media campaign as a way to grow your business? If you want help writing and sending newsletters like these that you can send to your mailing list then just talk to Tim today. Let me know if these are useful for you – and if you have a burning “how the heck do I do that?” question then ask that as well and we can write about it next newsletter.

Advance Notice

We will be running a Seminar early June with Jerrod D. Smith Attitude Coach. Pre-register your interest as we expect to sell out early as seats are limited to 25

Cloud Management Tips – Accounting systems

One of the easiest places to find potential time and therefore cost savings is in shifting your business accounting into the cloud. There are numerous advantages, but also some things to watch out for.

Advantages of cloud accounting

This isn’t an exhaustive list but some of the more popular features that most cloud accounting packages will offer or use as promotional or sales features:

  • Access to your data anywhere on any device (note this isn’t always true – many do not have apps that work on all mobile platforms and many have plugins that are also similarly hampered.)
  • Access to your accountant for live data review. Not having to close off your accounts, send them to your accountant and then wait for them to finish with them before carrying on working (or go and make the same end of year journals they just made) is a huge advantage. Your accountant can login (usually free) and make the changes while you can continue to operate.
  • Up to the minute reporting. This sounds good but isn’t necessarily so. As a management accountant for many years I know the danger of providing inaccurate data to business owners. GIGO or Garbage in garbage out is a software development acronym that also applies to Accounting packages. If you don’t have all the data entered in correctly then the reports you might be relying on could be inaccurate.
  • Licensing cost means updates are “free” and you are only paying an easy monthly fee. This has a catch for some systems – if you stop paying – your stop having access to your data. Some systems have offline data, others will allow you to download into excel. But this can catch people out so make sure you choose the right package.

So how can you choose? We are partners with Financials for Office 365 so our advice could be biased but we can certainly give you some broad level advice as to which package might or might not be right for you. However for true unbiased advice feel free to get in touch with one of our customers Dianne Kennedy from Small Business Know How on 07 3343 3796.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current accounting system and how to migrate this into the cloud in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Call to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 10 is Nearly here – crazy amount of news being released

Windows 10 will be released later this year. And if you upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 in the first year from its release you will get the upgrade free*.

I'm not going to try and talk about everything Windows 10 related that has happened in the last 2 weeks. There’s been an avalanche of news both from Microsoft itself and also from the media speculation and hype growing around release dates, inclusions and exclusions and so on.

w10-solitaire

Here are a few key points:

  • We are telling customers to hold off on Win 8.1 upgrades now. There is no point in spending money on that when the Win 10 upgrade from Win 7 will apparently be free and “painless”. Of course we will be testing that thoroughly before we start assisting our customers to upgrade. However if you want to be a test dummy then feel free to let us know. There is a 12 month free upgrade deadline from release date so you do need to factor that in.
  • The new apps store will include carrier billing – that means not having to enter credit card details on a mobile device – it will bill your mobile carrier instead. And there’s a rumour that iOS and Android apps will be ported into the store.
  • A release date was “leaked” for July – still not confirmed officially but seems pretty likely. A second release of October will likely be for the first major refresh with features that didn’t make the cut in July being implemented in this one.
  • Solitaire is back – hooray! The best time waster of all. Where is the productivity tip here?

If you are interested in previewing Windows 10 we can show you some devices with it running and then talk about when your business will migrate to Windows 10 and take advantage of the under the hood features that will make your staff more productive.

*Doesn’t apply to customers running Windows Enterprise or on Software Assurance.

Office 365 Introduces Outlook Clutter Feature

o365-clutterClutter is a new feature being progressively rolled out to Office365 customers. If you want to try it ask me and we can see if it is available for you and turn it on. It is turned on organisation wide but off by default and needs to be enabled per user account.

How Clutter works

Clutter learns from your actions to determine the messages you are likely to ignore. As less important messages arrive, they are automatically moved to the Clutter folder. Clutter does this by leveraging Office Graph’s sophisticated machine learning techniques to determine which messages are Clutter. It gets smarter over time, learning from your prior actions with similar messages, and assessing things like the type of content and even how you are addressed in the message. The Clutter experience is personalized to each individual and reflects an email experience that adapts to your actions and preferences without you having to do anything. The information Clutter learns from each user’s actions are only applied to that user’s experience and are not shared with anyone else.

More info here http://blogs.office.com/2014/11/11/de-clutter-inbox-office-365/

Let us know if you get a lot of email per day. There are smart ways to work with your inbox that can help save you time and money. Training your staff in how to use email more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Using Absolute References in Excel

Excel uses a powerful vector system for managing formulas. Each cell can be linked to many others using formulas. In a simple way of explaining this, 2 cells can be added together in a third cell using a formula that references them. Most people do not know how to use absolute references to speed up their formula development time, and ensure accuracy of formulas in a table. I have a comprehensive article online detailing what they are as well as how to use them. Read all the instructions on how to use absolute references in your formulas at http://spyjournal.biz/back-basics-using-absolute-references-excel

If you want to know more about using some of the more powerful functions in Excel to improve your productivity then give us a call.

Google Mobile Friendly Test – do you pass?

 

In case you haven’t heard the biggest thing in recent times in search engine optimisation happened back on 21 April 2015 (22nd for Australia). Google implemented a major search engine ranking algorithm change for mobile search. With a huge rise in the use of mobile devices for search, and the high likelihood of local search using these devices it makes sense for Google to deliver localised results. However they are now saying for a mobile user the results should be optimised for the mobile device. So if your site is not optimised for mobile (passes the mobile friendly test) then it will automatically drop down the rankings in preference of sites that are friendly.

Test your site today https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ Enter your domain name.

If you fail the test talk to us about if you even need to pass. And if you do then we can work out the most cost effective way for you to achieve that. It doesn’t need to cost thousands of dollars.

Follow us on Social Media

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.

Hope you had a relaxing and safe Easter break. Did you check your email while you were away from work? Typically most people do. Did you set up an out office email response? If you didn’t remember how to do that then check out this previous newsletter where we showed you how to do it.

All our previous newsletters can be found online at www.jethroconsultants.com

As always I am available to respond to your requests, queries and provide you with information.

Cloud Management Tips – Protecting Data in the Cloud?

Cloud data is just like computer storage in one respect – but with some big differences.

All data is subject to accidental or deliberate deletion.

If you have an adhoc approach to cloud usage, where employees bring their own cloud storage, no policies on where data is to be stored and accessed then you have potential issues if that employee leaves or accidentally or maliciously removes or deletes data. Even with a corporate storage solution like SharePoint, Box or Dropbox for Business, data can still be deleted.

2014-11-26 Walk to Park 050-580So how do you protect against that? We have numerous different solutions we can implement into a customer’s business to safeguard against that. SharePoint has some very good built in protection levels including major and minor version history with different permission levels. Access to data can be read only or edit to certain user groups. Dropbox for Business and Box Enterprise also have similar features. Putting in external backup solutions can work or implementing a cloud backup service that backs up your cloud and non-cloud data to a repository like Amazon web services or even another cloud service like google Drive can also be setup for minimal cost. Peace of mind for a few cents a day.

There is no one size fits all solution – we tailor each solution to the customer’s specific needs and risk levels.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current data management, disaster recovery and backup services you could be using to protect you against data loss. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Office 2016 for MAC

2012-01-14 DDU2012 010-387Finally a refresh of Office for our clients using Apple Macs is close. The preview is out for those who want to take advantage of that. The current version of Office for Mac 2011 is very dated and its functionality is very limited compared to what the PC users get with Office 2013. For the last 12 months I have been suggesting users use SharePoint and Office online or the apps on the iPad for a better experience.

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SKGIJ2brzg to see all the updated versions of the Office programs for Mac.

Special Deal – If you are a Mac user and you currently don’t have the 2011 version installed at least let us help you with that. We can connect remotely and install it for you for $44*

*Qualifying Office 365 subscription required

Using The SUMIF Function in Excel

excel logoThe SUMIF function is one the most powerful and easy to use functions in Excel. It is used to sum the values in a column when the value in another column is equal to a certain value. E.g. In the table below you might want to know the number of casual staff in Victoria. The SUMIF function is the key to unlocking this data easily.

excel sumifRead all the instructions on how to use this powerful function online at http://spyjournal.biz/excel-function-week-sumif

 

If you want to know more about using some of the more powerful formulas in Excel to improve your productivity then give us a call.

iPhone and iPad Apps for office 365 Email and Calendar

outlook logoIf you have an iPhone or iPad then check out either OWA or Outlook from the Apple store. Both of these free apps will connect to your Office365 Exchange email account and give you a much better experience than the standard Apple mail and calendar apps. If you are a power email user than the Outlook app is probably the best. If you need access to colour categories in calendar and tasks than the OWA app is probably better. If you are not sure install them both and trial them. I would love to hear your feedback on these Apps.

Social Media Tips and Information – Advertising on Facebook

facebook_logo-200Social Media Marketing (SMM) can be hard to understand. Facebook advertising is one of the places for businesses to be investing money – but how do you know you aren’t just throwing away your cash when you Boost posts. We recently presented an article on how to use Facebook Advertising to a business group. Feel free to view it online.

If advertising in social media seems like a foreign world or nightmare to manage (and it can be) then try out sourcing it to us. Our global team of social media experts can work with you to successfully represent your business in social media with cost effective measureable results

Web Design – Should you invest in theme design or content?

NEWSFLASH

Google has announced that from 21 April sites that are not meet mobile friendly will be penalised in search. More information on what that means can be found at this site http://searchengineland.com/everything-need-know-googles-new-stance-mobile-216870

If your site is not going to pass the test than a simple resign refresh might be the answer.

It used to be that to have a great looking website you had to spend thousands on a designer creating a theme (graphical content, visual layout and navigation elements, buttons, menus and colours) in order for you to stand out from the crowd and visually represent your brand.

However that is no longer the case. Any website developer who tells you otherwise (at the expense of creating good quality fresh content) is just feathering their own nest at the expense of your pocket. While it is true that good design is important, spending large amounts of money to get it isn’t necessarily needed. And it should never be spent in place of creating content.

Here’s why.

A responsive mobile design theme that meets Googles mobile design requirements as well as showcasing your brand and company can be purchased for as little as US$50. Within a few hours a good developer can customise (with no coding required) this theme to your needs including adding your logo, changing the colour scheme and utilising one of the several built in templates to give you a unique look. You can then spend the rest of your web development investment budget to generate the good quality content that will rank you in search engines, establish your expertise in your field, and give you great content to share in social media.

Here are some sites we have built recently or installed new themes in which in all cases the theme budget has been a maximum of $500 including purchase and configuring. In no case has there been custom code meaning that ongoing upgrades can be applied for minimum of effort and cost (in most cases covered by our maintenance SLA and performed automatically).

Note; most of these sites have plans for content creation that have yet to be implemented.

· http://attitudecoach.com

· http://sentinel-erm.com.au

· http://irlabs.com.au

· http://opalhatblocks.com.au

· http://jonomiller.com

· http://narangbabaptist.org.au

· http://kinshagold.com.au

· http://paintplaceburpengary.com.au

· http://psychscreen.net.au

Contact us today if you need help making your site mobile friendly, or for a whole new refresh! Mention this newsletter and we will provide a free site review – normally worth $199.

Follow us on Social Media

As always we are 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 on these platforms:

· Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

· Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

· Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

· Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

· Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

· Subscribe to our daily Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345852972

· Subscribe to our weekly Newspaper https://paper.li/spyjournal/1345853288

· Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

· Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

· Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

· Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

· Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

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.

The first quarter of 2015 is almost done so let’s get straight into it.

Cloud Management Tips – Who Owns the Cloud?

cloudLast newsletter prompted a question of “Who owns the cloud?

The answer is it depends – on what sort of cloud you are talking about.

Common public cloud scenarios like drop box, or Flickr, or Office365 the infrastructure is owned by the company involved. The data is always yours. Always check the terms and conditions!

Common private cloud ones like all your online banking for instance are owned by the bank – but you can access your data – though I suspect it’s not actually ours.

And then you can own your own private cloud. For as little as a few hundred dollars, the right router and some hard drives you can create a private cloud structure where you can access your data anywhere – while it is stored right at your house or office. Mind you this is not a safe a scenario as using something like Office 365. For instance your encryption layers will not likely be anywhere near as good as Microsoft’s. Neither will physical access to your premises be anything like as secure as theirs.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current business technology usage and what cloud services you could be using that could benefit you in one or more of these areas – cost reduction, efficiency, data security and access, and business continuity. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

windows8I think all of our customers are finally off Windows XP. Hopefully there are none left using Vista – please contact me if you are! We still have quite a few customers using Windows 7 and in some cases we have plans to migrate them to Windows 8.1 soon. However many people don’t like change and think Windows 8.1 is strange, scary or confusing. So this section is a little bit about why you should be thinking seriously about upgrading to Windows 8.1 now and Windows 10 soon.

First of all here are some of the major reasons Windows 8.1 is better than Windows 7.

  • Improved Start-up times – the same PC will boot up a LOT faster with Windows 8.1
  • Better Battery Life – laptops get longer battery usage with Windows 8.1
  • Faster PC – your existing PC will run faster with Windows 8.1
  • More stable – Windows 7 was pretty good – Windows 8.1 is even better
  • Synchronisation – Windows 8.1 synchs your data, settings and desktop through OneDrive – it’s the same on every PC you log into
  • More secure – Free antivirus and anti-malware built in
  • Designed for Touch – if you have a touch screen or device you will rapidly find speed gains over using the mouse – especially useful for tablets

We recommend Windows 8.1 Pro for all businesses as there are some significant additional features over the standard (consumer) edition including:

  • Join a domain – required to network to your company server
  • BitLocker – encrypt your hard drive against theft – very important with laptops
  • Remote desktop application – connect to another PC remotely
  • Hyper-V – ability to run virtual machines inside your computer

Windows 10

http://blogs.windows.com/business/2015/01/21/windows-10-an-exciting-new-chapter/

Office 2016

http://blogs.office.com/2015/02/04/next-chapter-office-windows/

Skype for Business

http://blogs.skype.com/2015/03/17/welcome-skype-for-business

Windows 10 builds on Windows 8.1and according to Microsoft “is their best enterprise platform yet enabling our enterprise customers to be more productive, simplifying management and deployment, working with all of their existing apps, and helping to protect corporate data better than ever.”

More on Windows 10 in another edition. Right now we are trialling the developer previews of Windows 10, Office 2016 and Skype for Business in a virtual machine and learning about them.

Typically we upgrade a computer to Windows 8.1 from Windows 7 for $150 plus the cost of the software - $189 for Pro and $129 for Standard. All your existing programs and data will remain in place.

Special Deal – mention this newsletter and get a 5% discount off our Windows 8.1 upgrade price. Call us and we will help you identify exactly what you need and what benefits you can achieve with an upgrade to Windows 8.1.

Using Paste in Excel

excelCopying and Pasting is an important PC skill to know and learn. Office 2013 has built on previous versions of Office and provides many options for pasting.

Some examples include just pasting the formats, just he values, just the functions or more esoteric things like column widths in Excel, and even utilising mathematical functions. This article gives you some great tips and information about pasting in Excel.

http://spyjournal.biz/pasting-office-2013-newsletter

If you want to know more about improving your spreadsheet design for more efficient use and ensuring your results are accurate then give us a call.

Other office 365 News and Updates

Office 365 continues to pump out updates, improvements and features.

The latest news is that OneDrive for Business comes to Mac and iOS devices

onedriveSometimes One Drive stops synching correctly. If you have One Drive folders that are not synching correctly try this Repair tip.

Right click the blue cloud in the task bar and click Repair. Follow all the prompts.

Social Media Tips and Information

Today we are just going to give you a list of some great information that has come across our desk in the last 2 weeks. If you want to get more regular updates, follow us on twitter, or our daily or weekly newspapers.

If social media seems like foreign world or nightmare to manage (and it can be) then try out sourcing it to us. Our global team of social media experts can work with you to successfully represent your business in social media with cost effective measureable results

Web Design - What should your website be trying to achieve?

Many websites are confusing. Why do I say that? Because if you stand back and look at the site there is no clear purpose or intention of the site. A businesses website should be very obvious. Either its purpose is to inform and educate, sell product, or provide a mechanism for the enquirer to quickly and easily contact the business. Sometimes it is a mixture, and when that occurs the separation should be clear. E.g. a blog should be used for the education and information component. It should be used as a tool to drive customers to calls to action either on the site or directly with your business. Sales and shopping pages should be obvious and easy to navigate.

When considering a basic website for a small business the primary purpose of the website is effectively marketing. It is to create a way to bring customers into the business and add sales revenue and profit. If the website does not do that it should be retrained or sacked just like you would with a non performing sales employee.

Spending sometimes several thousand dollars on a “brochure ware” site that contains some outdated historic information about the companies past, a google map and some very bland generic product or service statements is basically a waste of money. The first and foremost goal is to create a way for prospective customers to actually contact you. This should be done through sales messages, advertising images and text, calls to action and contact forms. Showcase your company’s offers, deals and discounts, provide easy access to virtual sales people, real world online chat or at the very least a telephone number and email address.

The first marketing action we perform is to first find out what exactly the clients goals are. We ask the client about what they want the website to deliver to the business in terms of sales, contacts or enquiries. We then do some market research – search keywords, audience insights from social, competitive analysis. This allows us to set the site up correctly for SEO analytic tracking and measurement. Finally the customer has something that can be used to effectively replicate them in an online world.

webdesign

Here are our basic design principles:

  1. Keep it simple stupid – KISS - Don’t make it hard to find things. One layer of navigation, front page calls to action, side bar enquiry forms and information.
  2. Clarity, Conciseness and Care - Short simple sentences work best. Say exactly what you mean. Spellckecha evyrething!
  3. Use The Correct Heading Hierarchy - Websites have structure. We use this because SEO loves it and it reads better.
  4. Limited use of colours - We use colour palette generators by much smarter people than us who have thought these things out already. Readability for vision impaired is smart as well as thoughtful.
  5. Keep people on your page - We use content sharing tools to recommend further content from within the site
  6. Keep people coming back for more - Regular updated content is extremely important for SEO, and keeps people coming back. It is a great driver for ongoing social engagement and interaction.
  7. Be Social - We use simple recognisable tools to make it easy for people to like and share your content as follow you on social media

Contact us today if you need help fixing your site, or for a whole new refresh! Mention this newsletter and we will provide a free site review – normally worth $199.

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As always we are 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 on these platforms:

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What people say..

Tim has always been a pleasure to deal with, all my problems are sorted out with minimum fuss.

— Michelle - Salon Owner

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