Office 365 vs. Google Apps on Android

For business owners who want to increase employee productivity, one of the most heated debates is over which cloud productivity software is best. If your company uses Android devices, we have some tips on deciding whether Microsoft Office or Google Apps is better for you.

Text-based documents

Google Docs sacrifices a few features in the name of speed. Simultaneous editing from multiple users, syncing with cloud storage and sharing documents with colleagues on an Android device is a breeze, but doesn’t afford users the same level of customizability as Office 365.

Microsoft’s productivity platform has been evolving for decades, which means there’s very little it can’t do. Depending on which Android device you have, this can translate to a slower, less responsive user experience.

Spreadsheets

Tables that store data and simplify calculations may seem pretty straightforward, but Google has found a way to set its offerings apart. Although Sheets lacks power features when compared with Excel, it does have some cross-platform integrations with considering. For example, Forms is much better at surveying users and organizing their responses into easy-to-use spreadsheets.

The main selling point for Excel on Android is that it can do almost anything on a mobile device that it can do on a desktop. Using templates, creating charts and formatting Office 365 spreadsheets isn’t any more difficult with finger gestures than it is using a mouse.

Presentations

Similar to Sheets, G Suite’s Slides shines when it comes to integrations. Adding images to a presentation from the web is intuitive with Google’s built-in search function, and Q&A sessions are streamlined with customized URLs where participants can submit questions that are displayed on the presenter’s screen.

PowerPoint was the original platform for creating presentations, and its core functionalities are unmatched, even on Android devices. There are no shortages of pre-made themes, transitions and layouts, which means the time between tapping Create New and saving the final draft is much shorter.

Conclusion: it’s speed vs. functionality

The difference between these two platforms on Android is obvious. Both will be able to accommodate basic tasks, but G Suite prioritizes responsiveness and simplicity while Office 365 favors more features and a broader range of capabilities.

Creating eye-catching work on a six-inch screen isn’t ideal, but depending on your business model it could revolutionize how your team works. For advice on all things mobile, call us today!

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Microsoft vs. Google: Using them on Android

There are so many variables to consider when choosing a software solution, especially now that cloud-based options run on mobile devices. If you’re choosing between Office 365 and Google Apps for productivity software, understanding what they’re capable of on an Android phone or tablet could make the answer much clearer.

Text-based documents

Google Docs sacrifices a few features in the name of speed. Simultaneous editing from multiple users, syncing with cloud storage and sharing documents with colleagues on an Android device is a breeze, but doesn’t afford users the same level of customizability as Office 365.

Microsoft’s productivity platform has been evolving for decades, which means there’s very little it can’t do. Depending on which Android device you have, this can translate to a slower, less responsive user experience.

Spreadsheets

Tables that store data and simplify calculations may seem pretty straightforward, but Google has found a way to set its offerings apart. Although Sheets lacks power features when compared with Excel, it does have some cross-platform integrations with considering. For example, Forms is much better at surveying users and organizing their responses into easy-to-use spreadsheets.

The main selling point for Excel on Android is that it can do almost anything on a mobile device that it can do on a desktop. Using templates, creating charts and formatting Office 365 spreadsheets isn’t any more difficult with finger gestures than it is using a mouse.

Presentations

Similar to Sheets, G Suite’s Slides shines when it comes to integrations. Adding images to a presentation from the web is intuitive with Google’s built-in search function, and Q&A sessions are streamlined with customized URLs where participants can submit questions that are displayed on the presenter’s screen.

PowerPoint was the original platform for creating presentations, and its core functionalities are unmatched, even on Android devices. There are no shortages of pre-made themes, transitions and layouts, which means the time between tapping Create New and saving the final draft is much shorter.

Conclusion: it’s speed vs. functionality

The difference between these two platforms on Android is obvious. Both will be able to accommodate basic tasks, but G Suite prioritizes responsiveness and simplicity while Office 365 favors more features and a broader range of capabilities.

Creating eye-catching work on a six-inch screen isn’t ideal, but depending on your business model it could revolutionize how your team works. For advice on all things mobile, call us today!

Posted in Android, General Articles C | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Android app showdown: O365 vs. G Suite

There are more than 3 million apps in the Android app store, but there are only two contenders for productivity software: Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite. The key to deciding which is better for you is understanding the respective pros and cons of each. Let’s run through what those are.

Text-based documents

Google Docs sacrifices a few features in the name of speed. Simultaneous editing from multiple users, syncing with cloud storage and sharing documents with colleagues on an Android device is a breeze, but doesn’t afford users the same level of customizability as Office 365.

Microsoft’s productivity platform has been evolving for decades, which means there’s very little it can’t do. Depending on which Android device you have, this can translate to a slower, less responsive user experience.

Spreadsheets

Tables that store data and simplify calculations may seem pretty straightforward, but Google has found a way to set its offerings apart. Although Sheets lacks power features when compared with Excel, it does have some cross-platform integrations with considering. For example, Forms is much better at surveying users and organizing their responses into easy-to-use spreadsheets.

The main selling point for Excel on Android is that it can do almost anything on a mobile device that it can do on a desktop. Using templates, creating charts and formatting Office 365 spreadsheets isn’t any more difficult with finger gestures than it is using a mouse.

Presentations

Similar to Sheets, G Suite’s Slides shines when it comes to integrations. Adding images to a presentation from the web is intuitive with Google’s built-in search function, and Q&A sessions are streamlined with customized URLs where participants can submit questions that are displayed on the presenter’s screen.

PowerPoint was the original platform for creating presentations, and its core functionalities are unmatched, even on Android devices. There are no shortages of pre-made themes, transitions and layouts, which means the time between tapping Create New and saving the final draft is much shorter.

Conclusion: it’s speed vs. functionality

The difference between these two platforms on Android is obvious. Both will be able to accommodate basic tasks, but G Suite prioritizes responsiveness and simplicity while Office 365 favors more features and a broader range of capabilities.

Creating eye-catching work on a six-inch screen isn’t ideal, but depending on your business model it could revolutionize how your team works. For advice on all things mobile, call us today!

Posted in Android, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Virtualization saved SMBs from hurricanes

One of the most brutal hurricane seasons on record is coming to a close and many small businesses are already planning for the next. Regardless of your organization’s location, you need to be prepared for any kind of disaster, natural or manmade. Virtualization is one of your best bets for staying operational through thick and thin.

Virtual desktops

In most offices, employees are still dependent on desktop computers. Their workstations grant them access to everything from customer relationship software to company databases and when these computers go down, there’s no way to get work done. Virtualized desktops allow users to access their files and even computing power from across the internet.

Instead of logging on to an operating system stored on a hard drive just a few inches away from their keyboard, employees can take advantage of server hardware to store their files across a network. With barebones computers, employees can log in to these virtual desktops either in the office or from home. Floods, fires and other disasters won’t prevent your team from working because they can continue remotely.

Virtual applications

Devoting a portion of your server’s hardware and software resources to virtual desktops requires a fair amount of computing power. If the majority of your employees’ time is spent working with just one or two pieces of software, you can virtualize just those applications.

If a hurricane destroyed your office and the hardware inside it, virtualized applications can be restored in minutes. They don’t need to be installed on the machines that use them, and as long as you have backups these applications can be streamed to employee computers just like a cloud-based application.

Virtual servers

If you use virtual desktops or applications, it makes perfect sense to use virtual servers as well. With a little help from a managed services provider, your servers can be configured to automatically create virtual backups. Beyond preventing data loss, these backups also make it possible to restore server functionality with off site restorations.

Virtualized servers are incredibly useful when clients need access to a website or database that you maintain in the office. For example, if you provide background checks on tenants to rental property owners through your website, an unexpected power outage won’t cause an interruption of service. Your virtualization solution will boot up a backup server away from the power outage and your customers will be none the wiser.

The benefits of virtualization extend far beyond disaster recovery planning. Your business can also reduce IT costs and increase hardware capacity — all it takes is some help from trained experts. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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Virtualization and disaster recovery plans

Preparing your business for every type of disaster is critical. Even if you weren’t affected by this year’s historic hurricane season, earthquakes, fires and power outages are ever-present threats to any business’s future. Virtualization might just be your ticket to surviving the next disaster.

Virtual desktops

In most offices, employees are still dependent on desktop computers. Their workstations grant them access to everything from customer relationship software to company databases and when these computers go down, there’s no way to get work done. Virtualized desktops allow users to access their files and even computing power from across the internet.

Instead of logging on to an operating system stored on a hard drive just a few inches away from their keyboard, employees can take advantage of server hardware to store their files across a network. With barebones computers, employees can log in to these virtual desktops either in the office or from home. Floods, fires and other disasters won’t prevent your team from working because they can continue remotely.

Virtual applications

Devoting a portion of your server’s hardware and software resources to virtual desktops requires a fair amount of computing power. If the majority of your employees’ time is spent working with just one or two pieces of software, you can virtualize just those applications.

If a hurricane destroyed your office and the hardware inside it, virtualized applications can be restored in minutes. They don’t need to be installed on the machines that use them, and as long as you have backups these applications can be streamed to employee computers just like a cloud-based application.

Virtual servers

If you use virtual desktops or applications, it makes perfect sense to use virtual servers as well. With a little help from a managed services provider, your servers can be configured to automatically create virtual backups. Beyond preventing data loss, these backups also make it possible to restore server functionality with off site restorations.

Virtualized servers are incredibly useful when clients need access to a website or database that you maintain in the office. For example, if you provide background checks on tenants to rental property owners through your website, an unexpected power outage won’t cause an interruption of service. Your virtualization solution will boot up a backup server away from the power outage and your customers will be none the wiser.

The benefits of virtualization extend far beyond disaster recovery planning. Your business can also reduce IT costs and increase hardware capacity — all it takes is some help from trained experts. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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SMBs survive disasters with virtualization

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused millions of dollars in damages. Some of that damage was unavoidable, but hundreds of businesses managed to stay open thanks to innovative virtualization solutions. If you’re not already taking advantage of this technology, it’s time to find out what you’re missing.

Virtual desktops

In most offices, employees are still dependent on desktop computers. Their workstations grant them access to everything from customer relationship software to company databases and when these computers go down, there’s no way to get work done. Virtualized desktops allow users to access their files and even computing power from across the internet.

Instead of logging on to an operating system stored on a hard drive just a few inches away from their keyboard, employees can take advantage of server hardware to store their files across a network. With barebones computers, employees can log in to these virtual desktops either in the office or from home. Floods, fires and other disasters won’t prevent your team from working because they can continue remotely.

Virtual applications

Devoting a portion of your server’s hardware and software resources to virtual desktops requires a fair amount of computing power. If the majority of your employees’ time is spent working with just one or two pieces of software, you can virtualize just those applications.

If a hurricane destroyed your office and the hardware inside it, virtualized applications can be restored in minutes. They don’t need to be installed on the machines that use them, and as long as you have backups these applications can be streamed to employee computers just like a cloud-based application.

Virtual servers

If you use virtual desktops or applications, it makes perfect sense to use virtual servers as well. With a little help from a managed services provider, your servers can be configured to automatically create virtual backups. Beyond preventing data loss, these backups also make it possible to restore server functionality with off site restorations.

Virtualized servers are incredibly useful when clients need access to a website or database that you maintain in the office. For example, if you provide background checks on tenants to rental property owners through your website, an unexpected power outage won’t cause an interruption of service. Your virtualization solution will boot up a backup server away from the power outage and your customers will be none the wiser.

The benefits of virtualization extend far beyond disaster recovery planning. Your business can also reduce IT costs and increase hardware capacity — all it takes is some help from trained experts. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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Five steps to ensure VoIP service continuity

Telecommunications systems are extremely valuable, especially for businesses focused on sales and customer service. One day without these services can prove fatal for any business, which is why a well-crafted disaster recovery plan that protects Voice over IP (VoIP) networks is crucial. If your business relies on VoIP phone systems, here’s what you can do to minimize downtime.

Invest in VoIP monitoring services
Before implementing any disaster recovery solutions, it’s a good idea to install third-party VoIP monitoring services to check on the status of your phone systems. This identifies whether there are any network issues disrupting your phone systems, so you can resolve them quickly.

Choose your VoIP provider wisely
When evaluating VoIP systems, you must verify your provider’s service-level agreements. Ask them about their security and availability guarantees, and how they’re able to achieve them.

Whomever you partner with, be sure they’re hosting your VoIP systems in facilities that are safe from local disasters and use advanced network security services to protect your calls.

Have a backup broadband line
Because VoIP solutions are dependent on the internet, you should have a backup or alternate internet service in case one network goes down.

Ideally, one internet service provider (ISP) will be dedicated to your VoIP service, while another supports your main computer network. Once you’ve installed both networks, you can then program them to automatically transfer services to each other should one network fail.

In other words, if your main phone network goes down, you can simply switch your VoIP solution to the other network so you can keep working.

Of course, subscribing to two separate ISPs will increase your internet expenses, but the cost to maintain both is far less than the cost of significant downtime.

Route calls to mobile devices
The beauty of hosted VoIP is you can choose where to receive your calls with call forwarding — a feature that automatically reroutes incoming calls to other company-registered devices. This means if your main office ever went down due to a local disaster or network outage, your employees can keep working from their mobile devices as if nothing happened.

To benefit from this feature, make sure to register all employee mobile devices to your VoIP system and configure which devices calls will be routed to.

Also, don’t forget to set policies for remote working. For example, you should have rules that forbid staff from connecting to public WiFi networks, as this can put them at risk of VoIP eavesdropping.

Test your plan
There’s little value in a VoIP continuity plan if it isn’t tested on a regular basis. Test your VoIP service and check whether contact details are up to date, call forwarding features are routing calls to the right devices, and your backup internet service works. Ultimately, your goal is to find flaws in your VoIP recovery strategy and make necessary adjustments to avoid them from occurring in the future.

If managing VoIP is too time-consuming and complex, call our professionals today. We design, implement, and test a powerful, disaster-proof VoIP phone system to ensure your communications are always online.

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Is VoIP part of your disaster recovery plan?

Disasters can strike at any time, and can put you out of business if you’re unprepared. One way they can do the most damage is by disrupting your Voice over IP (VoIP) systems. If they’re offline, you lose customers, productivity, and money by the minute. To avoid this, follow these simple disaster recovery procedures.

Invest in VoIP monitoring services
Before implementing any disaster recovery solutions, it’s a good idea to install third-party VoIP monitoring services to check on the status of your phone systems. This identifies whether there are any network issues disrupting your phone systems, so you can resolve them quickly.

Choose your VoIP provider wisely
When evaluating VoIP systems, you must verify your provider’s service-level agreements. Ask them about their security and availability guarantees, and how they’re able to achieve them.

Whomever you partner with, be sure they’re hosting your VoIP systems in facilities that are safe from local disasters and use advanced network security services to protect your calls.

Have a backup broadband line
Because VoIP solutions are dependent on the internet, you should have a backup or alternate internet service in case one network goes down.

Ideally, one internet service provider (ISP) will be dedicated to your VoIP service, while another supports your main computer network. Once you’ve installed both networks, you can then program them to automatically transfer services to each other should one network fail.

In other words, if your main phone network goes down, you can simply switch your VoIP solution to the other network so you can keep working.

Of course, subscribing to two separate ISPs will increase your internet expenses, but the cost to maintain both is far less than the cost of significant downtime.

Route calls to mobile devices
The beauty of hosted VoIP is you can choose where to receive your calls with call forwarding — a feature that automatically reroutes incoming calls to other company-registered devices. This means if your main office ever went down due to a local disaster or network outage, your employees can keep working from their mobile devices as if nothing happened.

To benefit from this feature, make sure to register all employee mobile devices to your VoIP system and configure which devices calls will be routed to.

Also, don’t forget to set policies for remote working. For example, you should have rules that forbid staff from connecting to public WiFi networks, as this can put them at risk of VoIP eavesdropping.

Test your plan
There’s little value in a VoIP continuity plan if it isn’t tested on a regular basis. Test your VoIP service and check whether contact details are up to date, call forwarding features are routing calls to the right devices, and your backup internet service works. Ultimately, your goal is to find flaws in your VoIP recovery strategy and make necessary adjustments to avoid them from occurring in the future.

If managing VoIP is too time-consuming and complex, call our professionals today. We design, implement, and test a powerful, disaster-proof VoIP phone system to ensure your communications are always online.

Posted in General Articles B, VoIP | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Stay on the line with a VoIP continuity plan

Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems offer far superior mobility, functionality, and cost-efficiency than traditional landlines. But like any computer system, it can be vulnerable to service disruptions, equipment failure, and cyberattacks. With proper preparation, however, your phone systems can weather any disaster.

Invest in VoIP monitoring services
Before implementing any disaster recovery solutions, it’s a good idea to install third-party VoIP monitoring services to check on the status of your phone systems. This identifies whether there are any network issues disrupting your phone systems, so you can resolve them quickly.

Choose your VoIP provider wisely
When evaluating VoIP systems, you must verify your provider’s service-level agreements. Ask them about their security and availability guarantees, and how they’re able to achieve them.

Whomever you partner with, be sure they’re hosting your VoIP systems in facilities that are safe from local disasters and use advanced network security services to protect your calls.

Have a backup broadband line
Because VoIP solutions are dependent on the internet, you should have a backup or alternate internet service in case one network goes down.

Ideally, one internet service provider (ISP) will be dedicated to your VoIP service, while another supports your main computer network. Once you’ve installed both networks, you can then program them to automatically transfer services to each other should one network fail.

In other words, if your main phone network goes down, you can simply switch your VoIP solution to the other network so you can keep working.

Of course, subscribing to two separate ISPs will increase your internet expenses, but the cost to maintain both is far less than the cost of significant downtime.

Route calls to mobile devices
The beauty of hosted VoIP is you can choose where to receive your calls with call forwarding — a feature that automatically reroutes incoming calls to other company-registered devices. This means if your main office ever went down due to a local disaster or network outage, your employees can keep working from their mobile devices as if nothing happened.

To benefit from this feature, make sure to register all employee mobile devices to your VoIP system and configure which devices calls will be routed to.

Also, don’t forget to set policies for remote working. For example, you should have rules that forbid staff from connecting to public WiFi networks, as this can put them at risk of VoIP eavesdropping.

Test your plan
There’s little value in a VoIP continuity plan if it isn’t tested on a regular basis. Test your VoIP service and check whether contact details are up to date, call forwarding features are routing calls to the right devices, and your backup internet service works. Ultimately, your goal is to find flaws in your VoIP recovery strategy and make necessary adjustments to avoid them from occurring in the future.

If managing VoIP is too time-consuming and complex, call our professionals today. We design, implement, and test a powerful, disaster-proof VoIP phone system to ensure your communications are always online.

Posted in General Articles A, VoIP | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

My Workspace: Office 365 tool for Mac users

Mac users can now access their Office 365 apps and files with My Workspace, Microsoft’s handy new tool for macOS. Although in its early stages, My Workspace brings significant benefits to users who want all their Office tools in one place.

Office workspace for Mac

My Workspace sits in the Menu bar along the top of the screen and provides macOS users of Office 365 with a quick and easy access to pinned documents, recently accessed files, OneDrive files, Skype calls, and iCloud Calendars. It also makes their lives easier by offering quick buttons to Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, and OneNote. You can download the app for free at myworkspace.ms.

The app is the brainchild of four interns at the Vancouver offices of Microsoft Garage, Microsoft’s Washington-based experimental projects division. It was created when the interns were tasked with developing a tool to “add value to a person’s day.”

Benefits to macOS users

For those who use several Office apps at once, My Workspace’s unobtrusive placement and long list of accessibility features will make their Office experience far more efficient.

By clicking the icon located at the right-hand corner of the screen, you can get a quick overview of your day, respond to event invitations in your calendar, and join Skype calls. The intuitive tool determines recently opened files and displays them on the Recent tab, which gives you quick access to your most important documents.

Under the Pinned column, you’ll find a full list of recently opened files along with shareable links, making collaboration easier.

Account management and customization features

With My Workspace, you can easily access your Office 365 account settings, making account management a breeze. From this window you can manage Subscriptions, Security & privacy, App permissions, Install status, and other general settings.

What’s more, My Workspace allows you to customize your App Settings, where you can set the number of events and recent documents you can see, and decide which apps you would like displayed in the launcher.

Small yet substantial improvements such as My Workspace make Office 365 a thoroughly convenient business tool. There’s plenty of productivity-boosting functionalities within Office 365 regardless of device, and if you want to explore its useful features, call us today for tips and recommendations.

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