Agile IT Microsoft Solution Blog

It’s been an exciting month for Sway and our journey with Sway Preview! At the Ignite conference, we announced that Sway would roll out to Office 365 business and education customers and add support for more languages. Today we’re excited to announce the start of these rollouts, as well as other changes that expand the type of content you can add and the ways you can visualize the multimedia that brings your Sways to life. Check out the details below!

• Sway for Office 365 rollout has started
• Sway now supports six more languages, with more to come
• Insert Wikipedia snippets about people, places and other terms
• Add personal and community images from Flickr
• Add new structure to your Sway with the Grid Card Read more

Last fall, we introduced Clutter, which moves less important emails out of your inbox and keeps you focused what’s most important to you. Today Clutter is moving over one million emails per day and saves users 82 minutes per month on average. Starting in June, Clutter will be on by default to help more people benefit from Clutter. We’re also introducing new administrative controls for Clutter and improving how Clutter interacts with users. Read more

It probably comes as no surprise to most business owners that email is a primary way hackers can gain access to sensitive company data and information. But it may alarm you to know that small businesses are particularly vulnerable. Specifically, overall cyber-attacks on companies with 250 or fewer employees doubled in the first six months of last year—and the loss per attack was more than $188,000 on average. The effect of cyber-attacks on the American economy as a whole is a high cost of $100 billion annually, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

That’s one reason the great Sony email hack of 2014 was such a big deal—it left every business wondering how they could avoid the same fate. It stands to reason that if such a large company, with multiple layers of security, can be hacked, small businesses with fewer resources have no hope, right? Read more

young businesswoman with pen

Everybody enjoys getting together with friends. Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of spending time with thousands of our friends—developers, IT professionals and business decision makers—at two of the most important conferences of the year. At both gatherings, we had a lot of great news to share.

At Build last week in San Francisco, we announced a new wave of capabilities for the Office platform, such as the new Office Graph API. These new capabilities will help developers create integrated experiences to enhance productivity for more than a billion Office users worldwide. Read more

Last month, we announced that the new Skype for Business client for Windows desktop and the online service in Office 365 have begun rolling out. Continuing the momentum, today at the Microsoft Ignite conference, we talked about modern meetings, which require that participants in any location can see, hear and collaborate within the meeting as easily as if everyone is sitting in the same room. We announced today that later this year we will deliver the ability to broadcast Skype for Business meetings to up to 10,000 people at a time. We also showed two new features coming this summer to Skype for Business: pre-loaded meeting attachments, which speeds meeting start times by having meeting content automatically show up at the start of a call; and in-call co-authoring, which makes it easy to initiate a co-authoring session so multiple people can work together on a single document right from within a meeting. Read more

Today’s post was written by Kelli Etheredge, teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator at the St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama.

We all have our “go to” tools when we want to work efficiently. For me, when I really need to accomplish a task, I clear my desk, close my door, turn on Vivaldi, and open OneNote. Regardless of the project—lesson redesign with a teacher, research on learning spaces, creating professional development sessions—all of my notes, ideas, questions… everything is in OneNote. OneNote has been my go to tool ever since I discovered its power eight years ago.

Two years ago, my administration asked me to help the 5th and 6th-grade teachers transition to a 1:1 learning environment with teacher created/curated content rather than textbooks. In my design of the program, the unquestionable tool at the center of this learning initiative was (and is) OneNote. Because I had been using a collaborative OneNote notebook with my own students since 2008, I knew it would meet the needs of every teacher—regardless of discipline. And so the process of building our own textbooks for our 5th and 6th graders began. Read more

Today, businesses are required to understand a growing amount of company, market and social data to drive effective business decisions and remain competitive. This trend of analytics everywhere is driving a shift in the roles of business consumers, as the need for direct data access, ad-hoc analyses and in-depth reporting is growing beyond the capacity of their IT departments. Many specialized business intelligence and analytics solutions are entering the market to take advantage of this trend with most requiring installation of new data systems or new training of employees to learn new tools. But if you look closely—Excel—the Office productivity tool you already know and love, may already have the business analytics tools you need to empower you to drive the information analyses and data-driven decisions critical to your business. Read more

On today’s Office Mechanics show, we’ll take a look at new Outlook mail and calendar experiences across the Windows desktop, Windows 10, iOS and Android. Ben Walters joins Jeremy Chapman again to the give an end-to-end tour of Outlook across platforms and device types.

Email is still the most common way many people communicate at work. New Outlook experiences in Office 2016 Preview, Windows 10 IT Pro and Developer Preview and on phones provide the richest Outlook capabilities to date. Read more

skypeforbiz

A few weeks ago, we announced the technical preview of the Skype for Business client, and today, we’re thrilled to announce that the new Skype for Business client is now rolling out as part of the April monthly update for Office 2013! In addition, Skype for Business Online is now rolling out to Office 365 customers worldwide, and we expect the roll out to be complete by the end of May. Read more

With tax season in its busiest couple of weeks of the year, we thought we’d remind you just how cloud computing and the tax and accounting profession go hand-in-hand.  Store files and data securely in the cloud, and access them from anywhere, at any time with Microsoft Office 365.

As one of the leading Office 365 migration specialists in the world, Agile IT is perfectly equipped to help you move to Office 365 in a cost-effective, efficient and seamless migration. With hundreds of thousands of mailboxes successfully migrated to Office 365 world-wide, we have experienced and resolved many of the issues it is possible to encounter.  Contact us today to see how we can help transform how you do business.


 

From smartphones to movie streaming, most of us use “the cloud” in our personal lives on a daily basis—even if we don’t know it. But is the accounting profession effectively using the cloud to meet the expectations of today’s consumer? Read more

windows10

While many of us are still trying to get used to Windows 8, Microsoft is moving forward with its release of Windows 10.  Microsoft plans on rolling out Windows 10 as a free upgrade to new or existing customers who have Windows 7, 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1.  You can click the link here to sign up for an email to receive information about Windows 10 and the free upgrade.  So what is new with Windows 10?  We’ll explore some of the things Microsoft plans to include with their latest operating system below. Read more

blog3.24.15

As cloud computing becomes more prevalent and accepted, governments are beginning to take the leap and move over to the cloud. While moving to the cloud is a big step away from the traditional on-site servers, the benefits are huge.

Office 365 allows you secure access to your data any time, anywhere.  Agile IT is here to help make it a seamless transition, so contact us today to get started.


 

Can a model procurement agreement speed the adoption of cloud computing?

When cloud computing first emerged, government officials viewed it with some skepticism. Long accustomed to owning and controlling all of their IT hardware, software and networks, states and localities didn’t take very seriously the idea that they could, for a monthly fee, simply stream pretty much everything to a worker’s desktop. Delivering a Netflix movie was one thing, the argument went, but a robust data management system was quite another. Read more

dynamicsCRM

Microsoft has released its first update for Dynamics CRM for the Office Outlook client available here.  More updates will be released later this spring.  The pre-release documentation is already available by clicking here.  Information on setup and new content is available through the CRM Help Center, which has content and videos everyone can check out.  The center provides information for administrators, developers, and end user training.

Get ready

So what do you need to do to get ready for the new updates?  You can expect to see changes in Dynamics CRM Online, Dynamics Marketing, Social Engagement, and Parature to start.  The technical changes in the update will be various additions and deletions from the previous configuration list in order to stay current with technology.  More information is still coming for specific changes to the supported configurations.  The new releases for these features are slated to drop around the second quarter of 2015. Read more

This article below is part two in a two-part series about Moderna Therapeutics’ use of the Microsoft Cloud, and how as a biotech company they are able to use new IT resources to save lives.  Read part one here.

Agile IT has been a Microsoft Partner since 2006, and one of the things we’ve found to be true over the past (almost) 10 years is that Office 365 works across many industries and in many environments.  Whether your organization requires HIPAA PCI, or FINRA compliance, Agile IT and Office 365 have got you covered.  And if your organization requires none of those regulations?  Don’t worry- Agile IT and Office 365 STILL have you covered.


 

Flexible Work Environments Improve Productivity

Everyone at Moderna uses Office 365 to improve their productivity and increase their contribution to the company, no matter where they are working or what device they are using. All employees are “heavy users” of Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, and they expect access to their files anytime, anywhere. Read more

surfacepro3

New technology is thrilling… and kind of scary, at the same time.  We’re all used to using a laptop for our business needs.  But a tablet has traditionally stayed in the realm of “watch movies, check email, entertain the kids on long car rides”.  Microsoft is seeking to change that with the Surface Pro 3.  As we are wont to do here at Agile IT, we asked Tony (who did this series on Office 365) to chronicle his experience with it.

So read below, and when you’re done, contact us to learn how you can benefit from partnering with Microsoft and Agile IT.


I have been an avid fan of Microsoft for many years however the thought of replacing my laptop with a tablet left me skeptical.  I have owned several personal devices as secondary devices to pair with my laptop but have never depended on one as my primary work tablet.  After reading many reviews and articles, and watching a few independent user reviews, I decided to purchase one for myself.

Physical attributes

The Surface Pro 3 offers the versatility of a tablet with the sense and feel of using a laptop.  While this device is not exactly like a laptop, it serves as a very close second.  On the physical side it is much lighter and more portable than any laptop I have ever owned.  The detachable keyboard cover that allows me to “tilt” the screen like a laptop makes me feel at home.  At only 217 mm thick its almost like typing on top of a book cover.

Since I planned to use the device as a laptop I purchased the type cover which is the thinnest keyboard that easily connects to the Surface Pro 3 through a strong magnetic connection.  The device itself has an adjustable arm which allows me to sit it up on my lap or at a desk.  I recommend wearing pants while using this device on your lap as the adjustable hinge can become uncomfortable on your bare skin with extended use.  Typing on the keyboard is just as easy as typing on my laptop keyboard though the clicking sound the keys makes is slightly louder than a traditional laptop keyboard.  The backlit keys make it very easy to type in low light or no light.  The fact that the keyboard doubles as a screen protector is a handy feature as well.

The AC charging cable is very nice as it uses a small magnet to attract the cable to the tablet which makes connecting it a breeze.  The improved fin type design over the previous generation’s cable makes it easy for me to connect the charger in much less time than traditional micro USB connectors.

The surface pen feels more like a pen than a traditional stylus.  I love using the pen in Word and PowerPoint and plan to use it for photo editing and more later on.  The top button is useful to open OneNote.  More than a regular stylus, the Bluetooth connection pairs seamlessly with the tablet.  Just like using a mouse I can use the right click button on the pen for apps like OneNote to open a menu with options to change the pen’s on screen “ink” color, line thickness, and many other options.  When I click and hold it down I can select text.  The eraser button is easy to use to erase text or whatever I want to erase.  I can write and draw naturally with the tip.

Since I travel a lot I decided to purchase the car charger.  I have no problem plugging it into my 1970 Chevy or my 2013 Toyota.  I have noticed the battery life of the Surface Pro 3 could be improved for the next generation, however, considering how much I use it and the fact that I’m close enough to a power supply everywhere I work, power is not an issue.

Video

When I’m not working I often use my Surface Pro 3 for watching videos.  The video capability is great. I can easily view videos at full screen in daylight or at night.  I have a Google Chromecast that I paired with my Surface Pro 3 through the Chromecast app and can display TV shows, movies, and other videos on my large screen TV.  The only issues I have experienced with video use were due to either the Internet connection or website.

Portability

One of the main reasons for my purchase of the Surface Pro 3 is because taking my laptop with me everywhere I went was becoming a hassle.  Whether traveling by air or auto, the Surface Pro 3 is very light and portable.  I use it as a tablet when taking notes and convert those notes to larger documents or articles later on with the keyboard cover.

The Surface Pro 3 may not be a complete replacement for a laptop however I find it quite useful and while I still use my laptop at times I find myself migrating more data and files through OneNote to use on the Surface Pro 3.  This powerful tablet is more of a hybrid than a tablet with Windows 8 and Office 365.  As I continue to discover more features I find myself using it more often than my other devices.  Uploading and sharing files is a breeze through Office 365 and the fact there is no USB port or CD-ROM is not as big of an issue as I initially thought.  I highly recommend this device to anyone who loves tablets and is looking for an all-in-one type device they can use for many of the applications and software they currently use.

moderna1

Agile IT has been a Microsoft Partner since 2006, and one of the things we’ve found to be true over the past (almost) 10 years is that Office 365 works across many industries and in many environments.  Whether your organization requires HIPAA PCI, or FINRA compliance, Agile IT and Office 365 have got you covered.  And if your organization requires none of those regulations?  Don’t worry- Agile IT and Office 365 STILL have you covered.

This article below is part one in a two-part series about Moderna Therapeutics’ use of the Microsoft Cloud, and how as a biotech company they are able to use new IT resources to save lives. Read more

Olso_dd_02

In this series, we’ve been exploring Office 365 from a user’s point of view – how it works, how easy it is to adapt to, new features, cool features.  In part one, we looked at why someone would choose Office 365, what the migration process was like, and the ease of establishing Office 365 Groups.  In part two, we explored the different kinds of Office 365 Groups (public and private), went through the discussion group experience, and delved into Office Delve.

Today, Tony explores Office Graph, talks about the newness of subscribing to Office products rather than outright purchasing, is grateful for the ease of accessing his data from multiple devices, and discusses security in the Cloud.   Read more

professional services must act now

Never once has a business consultant told an organization “no, you’re fine- don’t ever change”.  Change is vital to relevance, in multiple aspects of your business. Here at Agile IT, we focus on technology- and as technology grows and changes, it is necessary to adapt.

The leaps and bounds that cloud computing has taken, even in just the last year, are astounding.  Are you still worrying about space on a hard drive, or making sure that you’ve emailed yourself the work that you want to do away from your desk, or having an outdated infrastructure?  With Microsoft Azure and Agile IT, you can stop thinking about your IT environment, knowing you’re in good hands.  Let us handle your IT, and let you do what you do best- continue to grow your business.

AgileDataCenter, Agile IT’s service that utilizes Azure, is designed to make it dramatically faster and easier to move the contents of your server to new hardware – whether on-site or in the Cloud – and to maximize your existing server(s) as you grow.  Contact us today to schedule a free discussion with our team, and see what AgileDataCenter and the Cloud can do for you. Read more