Office365 Remote Working

Remote Working For You and Your Business

Home working, remote working, teleworking, WFH – whatever you call it, working remotely is on the rise.

There are a number of reasons for this, our roads are getting more and more clogged with cars, pushing up the average daily commute time significantly. Public transport is either not an option, due to the infrequency of the service or its spiraling cost make it an uneconomic option. Even organisations are affecting the need for more teleworking as they close there regional centres meaning local office’s are simply not there.

Employees are also demanding more flexible working and many organisation are losing talented people because they are not providing adequate options around this.

Of cause giving people the ability to work away from the office has to benefit not only the employee but also the employer. Luckily recent research has shown that providing this flexibility does give businesses tangible benefits.

CanadaLife found that home workers productivity increased by 10%, while a PowWowNow survey found that more than 60% of workers were significantly more motivated. Additional research from FlexJob showed that employee retention increased by 82% for those based away from the office. While Cardiff University found that employees were happier to work additional hours if they could do this work from home.

However a YouGov report found that while most companies were open and actually wanted to implement a more flexible work place, nearly 20% said there IT systems simply did not allow this.

Our own experience backs this, even companies who have systems such as Office365 just haven’t embraced the benefits and flexibility such as system can give an organisations.

So how can Office365 help bring in a more flexible remote working policy?

  1. Communication – it’s the key to any teleworking strategy, people need to be able to get hold each other no matter where they are. Having the ability to access your Outlook email on any devices is taken for granted now. However showing people your on-line, in meetings, out to lunch using Skype for Business presence features is a great way to show your whereabouts and its ability to turn quick instant message messages to voice or video chats between one or multiple people really does make it a must have for any remote worker
  2. Access to Your Data – You need to be able to be easily access your files and data wherever you are. SharePoint and its tight integration with not only the standard Office applications such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint, but with Power applications like PowerBI, PowerApp and Flow means you can not only save files online but also build in depth analysis of your data and create workflows and mobile applications. OneDrive integration means that you can even access your files when your local internet connection goes down.
  3. Collaboration – Of cause being out of the office shouldn’t mean you lose the ability to collaborate with colleagues. Skype can be used to host conference calls, project sites can be created in SharePoint or with MS Planner and features such as co-authoring means multiple people can even work on a single document at the same time. Teams can create a virtual platform to host meetings, notes and chats in an easy to access location. While Yammer groups can help keep people involved in online conversations and be part of a community in a similar way to Facebook does.

Our hectic lifestyle means that people need more flexibility, while organisations need to become more agile and dynamic. Fully implementing systems based around the Office365 platform can help business of all size achieve this.

If you are looking to bring in a more flexible and collaborative way of working then contact us to help you on your journey.

What Does Microsoft Removal Of OneDrive Unlimited Storage Mean To An Office365 User?

About a week ago Microsoft back tracked on its previously announced and heavily promoted statement that OneDrive users would get unlimited storage for free. As you can imagine that has caused outrage among users of the service especially as the new free tier is just 5GB – yes thats 5GB!!

Here at Purenetworking, we always questions how Microsoft would continue to just give away free storage, especially as no other supplier followed with a offer similar to this. However the way Microsoft has removed this is truly disgraceful. There reason for doing this is that a number of users were abusing the service and using it to backup multiple machines, which isn’t strictly what the service was designed for. This may be true but in our opinion the correct way to remove the unlimited option would have been to give all current OneDrive users 1TB free and then for new user they get say 100Gb or 50Gb. There is currently a campaign to try and get Microsoft to back track on their decision but we don’t expect this to happen.

So many of our customer are coming to us and asking us how this will affect there Office 365 OneDrive for Business allocation. Well at the moment it doesn’t really. Every Office365 gets 1TB of storage and at the moment this hasn’t changed. In fact we don’t expect it to change, because in our opinion Microsoft’s reason for removing the unlimited Onedrive storage option is to drive users to Office365.

The simple fact is that an Office365 subscription is great value, you obviously get the 1Tb of storage but also access to Word/Excel/Outlook etc… just a few pounds a month.

We may not be happy with the removal of the unlimited storage option but Office 365 is still the best storage deal out there.

So if you need assistance setting up Office365 or moving your OneDrive data over please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

OneDrive for Business in Here!

OneDrive Business

We have been writing for a while now about the benefits of Skydrive Pro over it competitors and Microsoft are, with the rebranding of Skydrive Pro to OneDrive for Business, about to get really serious about its cloud storage offering.

For the first time, you will be able to purchase a OneDrive for Business subscription without having a Office 365 plan. This means its even cheaper to move your data to the cloud.

In the coming months great things are due to be included in OneDrive for Business that will put it streaks ahead of its competitors. This includes…

  • Easier to us controls and sharing options
  • Advanced auditing and reporting features
  • Encryption
  • Data loss prevention (DLP),
  • Extensibility improvements
  • Even higher storage limits, and more…

If your looking at moving your storage to the cloud or would like to reduce you current cloud storage costs, why not have a friendly chat with one of our consultants…

 

What Can I Do With SharePoint and Office 365

One of the most of common questions we get here at Purenetworking is “What can I actually do with SharePoint and Office 365?”. Its quite a strange question really because a lot of our customers have already purchased the product and many have been using it for many years.

What we find is that most people are happily running there email system through Office 365 but not really sure what they can do with SharePoint.

I searched through the internet to see if there was a top 5 things to do with SharePoint and was quite surprised how vague many of the answers were to this question. Commonly you get blogs by consultancy firms, who are obviously trying to sell their services, saying “SharePoint can be used to do anything” or “Streamline your business processes using SharePoint”. This type of answer is one of the reasons for the confusion over practically what you can do with the product.

So this is what we are finding our customer are using or want to use SharePoint to do for them:

1) Internal Document Storage
By far the most common request is for an area to be setup were users/departments can centrally store there files and folders that can be accessed both online and offline (Onedrive Pro)

2) External Document Sharing
A very close second to internal document storage is having the facility to share either a document folder or dedicate website with a supplier

3) Intranet Site
Customer that are say 100 users+ and have a number of departments want to use SharePoint as there Intranet. Each department will have its own page and have on there any policies/procedures they have, a list of people in there department and a overview of what that department does. Some departments say HR will have a form on there for say a new starter or leaver.

4) Workflow Approval
Once people get used to sharing documents and having basic forms on SharePoint, the next thing they want is some kind of approval system setting up. Typically the three areas were workflow is looked at are:

  • Purchase Orders were a PO will be raised and then it goes to someone who can approve the order
  • Expenses – Again expense claim raised and then goes for approval
  • Holiday Approval – You request a holiday and it goes to your manager to say yes/no

5) Case Management/CRM
Finally we would say that customers then want to use SharePoint to store all correspondence with a certain customer, be that emails, documents, pictures, contacts, notes, tasks etc…

It is true that SharePoint if developed can do almost any task you want it to do but to get the most out of the product we recommend doing it one step at time. Get used to using SharePoint by doing basic document handling then build on this.

If you want help in getting the most out of SharePoint on Office 365 why not contact us for a friendly chat

Fairyland Choose Office 365

We would like to welcome Fairyland to the Office 365 platform. As a new business Fairyland needed to make sure that they were choosing the right platform. The solution not only had to support there needs today, but was affordable and would allow them to grow as they expanded in the future.

They came down to a choice between Google Apps and Office 365, but the flexibility and integration with Office products meant that 365 became the obvious choice.

Purenetworking provided honest, open and friendly advice. Helping Fairyland make the right choices for there business. Once assigned the project Purenetworking setup and train the Fairland team within the day.

If your looking at moving to Office 365 and want some free and friendly advice, please do contact us