Clean IT up: Emails, chats, and files in one app

It can be overwhelming to have several windows open to manage your company email, chats, and any cloud storage just to perform your daily tasks. Microsoft Teams helps streamline the basic necessities of office work to help you overcome the challenges of multitasking.

The convenience of chat apps has enabled workers to cut time spent chatting with colleagues and spend more time doing their tasks. What’s more, work-related software is increasingly becoming more mobile- and user-friendly, with apps like Microsoft Teams bringing together several different platforms. Here’s how you can use that to your advantage:

Use SharePoint to store and share files

You might already be using SharePoint to store files and collaborate with your teammates. But did you know that in every Teams channel, you can click the Files tab to share files from SharePoint with team members? You can also access SharePoint files already shared in the channel and use Office Online or Office Desktop to collaborate on those files.

Forward emails into a channel

You get countless emails every day, many of which might be buried in your inboxes. Fortunately, Microsoft makes it easy to forward any email message from Outlook to a Teams channel so they show up in both platforms.

To do this, click the ellipsis (…) next to any channel name and select Get email address. This generates an email address for the channel, which you can copy and use to forward files, documents, and messages.

Stick with a few groups

While you can create as many groups within your organization as you like, going overboard can result in a cluttered messaging interface that overwhelms team members. Instead, you can create groups based on the number of projects and team members involved ー you can always add more if necessary.

Set up audio conferencing

Teams lets you host voice meetings with groups or with just one team member. This is particularly useful when communicating with remote workers or clients, in which case you can give them guest access to your Teams channel. Guest access ensures they’re able to communicate with someone but unable to view private information.

Test communication strategies

Just because some of the features in Teams overlap with other Microsoft platforms, such as Yammer and Skype for Business, doesn’t mean they’re all redundant. Think of it as a chance to test different communication strategies to find out what works best for you. For instance, if most of your clients have a Skype ID, you can use Skype for client calls.

Share conversations with new team members

Teams makes onboarding new hires easy. Rather than forwarding numerous emails and documents to new employees, use Teams to share past conversations and projects with them. This enables everyone to catch up without having to deal with cumbersome documents.

Microsoft Teams and other Office solutions are equipped with plenty of useful features that can take some time to master. But by taking advantage of these tools, you’ll be able to save time and maximize efficiency without having to spend a dime. If you have any questions about Microsoft Office and how it can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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Supercharge your office’s chat app

Do the features of your company’s chat application feel limited? With many tasks and people involved in daily work, having a centralized chat app to help you organize your team not only makes you more efficient, but it also saves time. Here’s how you can use a simple app that lets you do much more.

The convenience of chat apps has enabled workers to cut time spent chatting with colleagues and spend more time doing their tasks. What’s more, work-related software is increasingly becoming more mobile- and user-friendly, with apps like Microsoft Teams bringing together several different platforms. Here’s how you can use that to your advantage:

Use SharePoint to store and share files

You might already be using SharePoint to store files and collaborate with your teammates. But did you know that in every Teams channel, you can click the Files tab to share files from SharePoint with team members? You can also access SharePoint files already shared in the channel and use Office Online or Office Desktop to collaborate on those files.

Forward emails into a channel

You get countless emails every day, many of which might be buried in your inboxes. Fortunately, Microsoft makes it easy to forward any email message from Outlook to a Teams channel so they show up in both platforms.

To do this, click the ellipsis (…) next to any channel name and select Get email address. This generates an email address for the channel, which you can copy and use to forward files, documents, and messages.

Stick with a few groups

While you can create as many groups within your organization as you like, going overboard can result in a cluttered messaging interface that overwhelms team members. Instead, you can create groups based on the number of projects and team members involved ー you can always add more if necessary.

Set up audio conferencing

Teams lets you host voice meetings with groups or with just one team member. This is particularly useful when communicating with remote workers or clients, in which case you can give them guest access to your Teams channel. Guest access ensures they’re able to communicate with someone but unable to view private information.

Test communication strategies

Just because some of the features in Teams overlap with other Microsoft platforms, such as Yammer and Skype for Business, doesn’t mean they’re all redundant. Think of it as a chance to test different communication strategies to find out what works best for you. For instance, if most of your clients have a Skype ID, you can use Skype for client calls.

Share conversations with new team members

Teams makes onboarding new hires easy. Rather than forwarding numerous emails and documents to new employees, use Teams to share past conversations and projects with them. This enables everyone to catch up without having to deal with cumbersome documents.

Microsoft Teams and other Office solutions are equipped with plenty of useful features that can take some time to master. But by taking advantage of these tools, you’ll be able to save time and maximize efficiency without having to spend a dime. If you have any questions about Microsoft Office and how it can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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How to get the most out of Microsoft Teams

If you’re like most people, you only use your office chat applications for simple, everyday use — to ask someone a question or to touch base with colleagues. But wouldn’t it be great if you could do more things at once in these apps, such as completing tasks and chatting with colleagues all in a single window? Perhaps you’ve already heard of Microsoft Teams’ robust features to accomplish this, but how do you get the most out of the program?

The convenience of chat apps has enabled workers to cut time spent chatting with colleagues and spend more time doing their tasks. What’s more, work-related software is increasingly becoming more mobile- and user-friendly, with apps like Microsoft Teams bringing together several different platforms. Here’s how you can use that to your advantage:

Use SharePoint to store and share files

You might already be using SharePoint to store files and collaborate with your teammates. But did you know that in every Teams channel, you can click the Files tab to share files from SharePoint with team members? You can also access SharePoint files already shared in the channel and use Office Online or Office Desktop to collaborate on those files.

Forward emails into a channel

You get countless emails every day, many of which might be buried in your inboxes. Fortunately, Microsoft makes it easy to forward any email message from Outlook to a Teams channel so they show up in both platforms.

To do this, click the ellipsis (…) next to any channel name and select Get email address. This generates an email address for the channel, which you can copy and use to forward files, documents, and messages.

Stick with a few groups

While you can create as many groups within your organization as you like, going overboard can result in a cluttered messaging interface that overwhelms team members. Instead, you can create groups based on the number of projects and team members involved ー you can always add more if necessary.

Set up audio conferencing

Teams lets you host voice meetings with groups or with just one team member. This is particularly useful when communicating with remote workers or clients, in which case you can give them guest access to your Teams channel. Guest access ensures they’re able to communicate with someone but unable to view private information.

Test communication strategies

Just because some of the features in Teams overlap with other Microsoft platforms, such as Yammer and Skype for Business, doesn’t mean they’re all redundant. Think of it as a chance to test different communication strategies to find out what works best for you. For instance, if most of your clients have a Skype ID, you can use Skype for client calls.

Share conversations with new team members

Teams makes onboarding new hires easy. Rather than forwarding numerous emails and documents to new employees, use Teams to share past conversations and projects with them. This enables everyone to catch up without having to deal with cumbersome documents.

Microsoft Teams and other Office solutions are equipped with plenty of useful features that can take some time to master. But by taking advantage of these tools, you’ll be able to save time and maximize efficiency without having to spend a dime. If you have any questions about Microsoft Office and how it can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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Web hosting: A brief overview

Are you looking to create a website for your business? Aside from the design and functionality of your website, make sure to also look into your web host. To get you started, here is a quick explanation of web hosts and which hosting type is best for your business.

What is a web host?

A web host sells or leases memory space on its servers so your website can have a virtual location on the internet. Their services include online storage for all of your site’s files and web pages.

Many web hosts also offer domain name hosting, which creates a web address that users can type into a web browser to access your website (e.g., google.com, inc.com, etc.). Combine these two hosting services and you have the main foundations for your website.

You can also get domain-based email addresses (e.g., [email protected]) and website databases from web hosts. Essentially, your web host can store everything your website needs.

When you sign up with a web host, you will usually pay a monthly fee, which the company uses to maintain and invest in new servers for hosting, increase access speeds, and provide better services.

What are the two most common types of web hosting?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of web hosts around the world, but they usually fall into one of two categories:

  1. Shared hosting – Multiple, different websites are stored on one physical hosting server. Sites have their own partition (section of storage) that is kept separate from other sites on the same server.
  2. Dedicated hosting – One website is hosted per server. This means you have all of the server’s capacity to yourself.

Which hosting type is best for my business website?

Most websites use shared hosting because it’s more affordable while still offering generally stable access and access speeds. This is the ideal hosting type for most small- and medium-sized businesses with fairly simple websites.

If your website is going to be large (e.g., thousands of pages) and you are going to host complex features like advanced eCommerce, streaming, and the like, then it would be best to opt for a dedicated hosting service. Examples of large sites include Google, Amazon, and government sites, among others.

With numerous web hosts out there, selecting the right fit can be quite challenging. But with our IT expertise and solutions, we can help you find the web host that will work best for your business needs. Contact us today to get started with your online presence.

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What you need to know about web hosting

Businesses need to have an online presence, especially in a pandemic-ridden environment. Creating an online presence usually starts with building a website, but to access your website on the internet, you need to partner with a web host. This blog post breaks down the basics of what business owners need to know about web hosting.

What is a web host?

A web host sells or leases memory space on its servers so your website can have a virtual location on the internet. Their services include online storage for all of your site’s files and web pages.

Many web hosts also offer domain name hosting, which creates a web address that users can type into a web browser to access your website (e.g., google.com, inc.com, etc.). Combine these two hosting services and you have the main foundations for your website.

You can also get domain-based email addresses (e.g., [email protected]) and website databases from web hosts. Essentially, your web host can store everything your website needs.

When you sign up with a web host, you will usually pay a monthly fee, which the company uses to maintain and invest in new servers for hosting, increase access speeds, and provide better services.

What are the two most common types of web hosting?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of web hosts around the world, but they usually fall into one of two categories:

  1. Shared hosting – Multiple, different websites are stored on one physical hosting server. Sites have their own partition (section of storage) that is kept separate from other sites on the same server.
  2. Dedicated hosting – One website is hosted per server. This means you have all of the server’s capacity to yourself.

Which hosting type is best for my business website?

Most websites use shared hosting because it’s more affordable while still offering generally stable access and access speeds. This is the ideal hosting type for most small- and medium-sized businesses with fairly simple websites.

If your website is going to be large (e.g., thousands of pages) and you are going to host complex features like advanced eCommerce, streaming, and the like, then it would be best to opt for a dedicated hosting service. Examples of large sites include Google, Amazon, and government sites, among others.

With numerous web hosts out there, selecting the right fit can be quite challenging. But with our IT expertise and solutions, we can help you find the web host that will work best for your business needs. Contact us today to get started with your online presence.

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Defining web hosting

Every business, regardless of size and industry, needs to have an online presence these days. One of the best ways to do this is to create your own website. To do this, you’ll need a web host. Here’s a quick overview of what a web host is and the two most common types of hosting.

What is a web host?

A web host sells or leases memory space on its servers so your website can have a virtual location on the internet. Their services include online storage for all of your site’s files and web pages.

Many web hosts also offer domain name hosting, which creates a web address that users can type into a web browser to access your website (e.g., google.com, inc.com, etc.). Combine these two hosting services and you have the main foundations for your website.

You can also get domain-based email addresses (e.g., [email protected]) and website databases from web hosts. Essentially, your web host can store everything your website needs.

When you sign up with a web host, you will usually pay a monthly fee, which the company uses to maintain and invest in new servers for hosting, increase access speeds, and provide better services.

What are the two most common types of web hosting?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of web hosts around the world, but they usually fall into one of two categories:

  1. Shared hosting – Multiple, different websites are stored on one physical hosting server. Sites have their own partition (section of storage) that is kept separate from other sites on the same server.
  2. Dedicated hosting – One website is hosted per server. This means you have all of the server’s capacity to yourself.

Which hosting type is best for my business website?

Most websites use shared hosting because it’s more affordable while still offering generally stable access and access speeds. This is the ideal hosting type for most small- and medium-sized businesses with fairly simple websites.

If your website is going to be large (e.g., thousands of pages) and you are going to host complex features like advanced eCommerce, streaming, and the like, then it would be best to opt for a dedicated hosting service. Examples of large sites include Google, Amazon, and government sites, among others.

With numerous web hosts out there, selecting the right fit can be quite challenging. But with our IT expertise and solutions, we can help you find the web host that will work best for your business needs. Contact us today to get started with your online presence.

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Boost revenue by implementing reliable CRM

As a business owner, you know that gaining and growing a solid base of loyal customers is crucial to the success of your venture. Therefore, the effectiveness and reliability of your customer relationship management (CRM) system will determine how far your company will go.

Imagine buying a product, and it breaks the first time you use it. You contact customer support and describe the issue, only to be told to wait for another representative to call you back. You wait for hours, and still nobody calls. After sending an email to customer support, you finally get a call from a customer service representative, but it’s from someone unfamiliar with your problem. You awkwardly explain your problem for the third or fourth time, during which you wonder if the value of your time has exceeded the value of the broken item.

We’ve all been there before, but this scenario can be avoided by having an effective CRM system. Here’s what you need to know about CRM systems and how they can mitigate frustration among customers and keep them delighted.

What is a CRM system?

CRM is a system that allows businesses to manage, record, and evaluate their customer interactions to provide better services and boost sales. You can use CRM to store customers’ contact details, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities all in one place.

What are the features of a CRM system?

  • Data management – When customer data is recorded, the CRM system centralizes the data into one file called a master file. Everyone within the company then has access to this data source, preventing confusion from inaccurate or duplicate data.
  • Collaboration – Nowadays, clients demand quick and efficient customer service, so all involved departments must work together to quickly resolve client concerns. CRM systems enable collaboration by facilitating the sharing of customer information among departments. This way, everyone is on the same page about clients’ circumstances and requirements.
  • Customer segmentation – A CRM system arranges your customers into groups based on criteria such as age, gender, location, and even their likes and dislikes. This allows you to target marketing messages to your customers more accurately, potentially increasing engagement and conversion.
  • Task tracking – CRM systems have task tracking features that help your employees stay on top of important tasks, such as contacting customers via email or phone and following up on leads. CRM systems also send reminders to employees about their assigned tasks so that nothing falls through the cracks.
  • In-depth reporting – CRM systems provide a thorough analysis of your customer base. CRM reports give details including an overview of product sales numbers, marketing strategy performance, most successful products or services to date, and even a prediction of whether your sales target will be met at the end of the month.

If you’re looking to improve customer service and increase sales conversion using a CRM system, contact us today!

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Here’s why your business needs CRM

No business ever gets very far without a steady stream of customers. They are your primary source of revenue, so taking care of your relationships with them must be your highest priority. To effectively foster customer relationships, your business should leverage customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Imagine buying a product, and it breaks the first time you use it. You contact customer support and describe the issue, only to be told to wait for another representative to call you back. You wait for hours, and still nobody calls. After sending an email to customer support, you finally get a call from a customer service representative, but it’s from someone unfamiliar with your problem. You awkwardly explain your problem for the third or fourth time, during which you wonder if the value of your time has exceeded the value of the broken item.

We’ve all been there before, but this scenario can be avoided by having an effective CRM system. Here’s what you need to know about CRM systems and how they can mitigate frustration among customers and keep them delighted.

What is a CRM system?

CRM is a system that allows businesses to manage, record, and evaluate their customer interactions to provide better services and boost sales. You can use CRM to store customers’ contact details, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities all in one place.

What are the features of a CRM system?

  • Data management – When customer data is recorded, the CRM system centralizes the data into one file called a master file. Everyone within the company then has access to this data source, preventing confusion from inaccurate or duplicate data.
  • Collaboration – Nowadays, clients demand quick and efficient customer service, so all involved departments must work together to quickly resolve client concerns. CRM systems enable collaboration by facilitating the sharing of customer information among departments. This way, everyone is on the same page about clients’ circumstances and requirements.
  • Customer segmentation – A CRM system arranges your customers into groups based on criteria such as age, gender, location, and even their likes and dislikes. This allows you to target marketing messages to your customers more accurately, potentially increasing engagement and conversion.
  • Task tracking – CRM systems have task tracking features that help your employees stay on top of important tasks, such as contacting customers via email or phone and following up on leads. CRM systems also send reminders to employees about their assigned tasks so that nothing falls through the cracks.
  • In-depth reporting – CRM systems provide a thorough analysis of your customer base. CRM reports give details including an overview of product sales numbers, marketing strategy performance, most successful products or services to date, and even a prediction of whether your sales target will be met at the end of the month.

If you’re looking to improve customer service and increase sales conversion using a CRM system, contact us today!

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Reasons why a CRM is good for your business

Business success comes down to whether profitability can be sustained, which is why building and maintaining relationships with your customers is crucial. To help with this, business owners are implementing customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Imagine buying a product, and it breaks the first time you use it. You contact customer support and describe the issue, only to be told to wait for another representative to call you back. You wait for hours, and still nobody calls. After sending an email to customer support, you finally get a call from a customer service representative, but it’s from someone unfamiliar with your problem. You awkwardly explain your problem for the third or fourth time, during which you wonder if the value of your time has exceeded the value of the broken item.

We’ve all been there before, but this scenario can be avoided by having an effective CRM system. Here’s what you need to know about CRM systems and how they can mitigate frustration among customers and keep them delighted.

What is a CRM system?

CRM is a system that allows businesses to manage, record, and evaluate their customer interactions to provide better services and boost sales. You can use CRM to store customers’ contact details, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities all in one place.

What are the features of a CRM system?

  • Data management – When customer data is recorded, the CRM system centralizes the data into one file called a master file. Everyone within the company then has access to this data source, preventing confusion from inaccurate or duplicate data.
  • Collaboration – Nowadays, clients demand quick and efficient customer service, so all involved departments must work together to quickly resolve client concerns. CRM systems enable collaboration by facilitating the sharing of customer information among departments. This way, everyone is on the same page about clients’ circumstances and requirements.
  • Customer segmentation – A CRM system arranges your customers into groups based on criteria such as age, gender, location, and even their likes and dislikes. This allows you to target marketing messages to your customers more accurately, potentially increasing engagement and conversion.
  • Task tracking – CRM systems have task tracking features that help your employees stay on top of important tasks, such as contacting customers via email or phone and following up on leads. CRM systems also send reminders to employees about their assigned tasks so that nothing falls through the cracks.
  • In-depth reporting – CRM systems provide a thorough analysis of your customer base. CRM reports give details including an overview of product sales numbers, marketing strategy performance, most successful products or services to date, and even a prediction of whether your sales target will be met at the end of the month.

If you’re looking to improve customer service and increase sales conversion using a CRM system, contact us today!

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Small- and mid-sized businesses need cybersecurity

If your company has recently suffered from a data breach or a ransomware attack, then you know how costly it can be. You lose not just hundreds of dollars but also the reputation you’ve built through the years. That’s why you need cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions to protect your business from ever-growing cybersecurity threats. The good news? Even small- and mid-sized businesses can partner with managed IT services providers (MSPs) who can provide robust solutions and security expertise to protect businesses from huge losses.

The numbers

According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2019 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) survey, cyberattacks have increased dramatically. Here in the United States, 76% of companies were attacked in 2019, a significant leap from 55% in 2016. Sixty-nine percent of US businesses reported data breaches in 2019, up from 50% in 2016.

The financial consequences have also increased considerably. The average cost spent by companies because of damage to or theft of IT assets and infrastructure increased from $1.03 million in 2017 to $1.2 million in 2019. Costs due to disruption to normal operations increased from an average of $1.21 million in 2017 to an average of $1.9 million in 2019.

The attacks

Globally, the most common forms of attack on SMBs are those that rely on deception: phishing (57%), stolen or compromised devices (33%), and credential theft (30%). Worse, cybercriminals are targeting SMBs more, with reported attacks having increased from 60% in 2017 to 69% in 2019.

Why managed services?

Partnering with MSPs is the most effective way to prevent attacks and protect your business from malicious threats. MSPs offer a full range of proactive IT support that focuses on advanced security, such as around-the-clock monitoring, data encryption and backup, real-time threat prevention and elimination, network and firewall protection, security awareness training, and more.

And because managed services are designed to identify and fix weak spots in your IT infrastructure, you’ll optimize the digital backbone of your business processes. You’ll have faster network performance, a solid business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, and minimal downtime. One of the best things about managed services is that you get a dedicated team of IT professionals ready to assist you for any technology problems you may encounter. This is much more effective and budget-friendly than having in-house personnel handling all your IT issues.

Being proactive when it comes to cybersecurity is the only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build. If you’d like to know more about how managed services can benefit your business, just give us a call — we’re sure to help.

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