In this year 2019, I beg you to name one small business process where printing on paper cannot be accomplished in a digital manner instead. If we can sign contracts electronically, file our taxes digitally, apply online for government benefits, opt for paperless bank statements, order services and products online, accept payments online or with mobile apps, pay with our mobile device at the market…  then why do we really need to print?

  • When I use the Walmart Pay service when buying groceries at the store, they don’t even offer a receipt – it’s all done digitally.
  • When you can push work orders from your line-of-business app out to employees with mobile devices, then you don’t have to prepare a printed form for them to drive back to the office, pick it up, and then drive to the customer’s premises.

I haven’t owned a printer or even printed on anyone else’s printer for years. The last time I bought a printer was to get a scanner as part of the deal as a multifunction device – I needed an input device, not an output device. But now I do all my scanning with my iPhone and Office 365 mobile apps, especially as scanning can be performed directly from within both OneNote    and OneDrive   .

If I enter into an agreement, let’s say with a vendor, then I become the digital signee. But If I have a contract that a customer would want to sign, then I request an electronic signature from them with using Adobe Sign, that is, using the add-in that works right within the Office 365 (Mac or PC) apps and services, like Outlook   Word/PowerPoint   SharePoint   Flow   , or Teams.

Now consider this scenario when a Microsoft employee, Jon Levesque, gave a demonstration:

“During this session, he displayed an amazing use of Microsoft Form and Flow in a way that I honestly did not know was possible. He had a form with multiple choice answers, and he let the audience fill out the form on their mobile phones. He then used Microsoft Flow to take the data from all the multiple-choice questions and turn it into a streaming data set for Power BI and he had all these pretty little pie charts for each of his multiple-choice questions. Then the Flow sent out a simple and sweet thank you email to the person who submitted the form to finish it up!”

Like above, your digital creativity when leveraging the various Office 365 apps and services has become boundless.

I’ve spent a great deal of time tonight searching for a convincing reason to print ink onto paper. And I cannot find a single one.

The nature and beauty of Microsoft Office 365 is that it is cloud-based. There are no geographic boundaries – you can be anywhere with internet access and be virtually down the hall from your office.

And like the cloud-based service itself, support for Office 365 (or other plans such as Microsoft 365 Business) can happen from anywhere. As long as we have internet access, we can communicate with you and remediate your devices and services without having to spin our wheels – this is quite a ‘green’ business model.

Remote tools are plentiful these days, many of them available for free. As a rule, we try to maintain three different remote methods as three layers of backup for remote remediation. If one isn’t working, then another will. These little remote programs run in the background – or not – sometimes people prefer to start an ad hoc session.

And it isn’t only about remote control. Over the next few years, you’ll see that our primary support method will take its form in Microsoft Teams. Not only can we chat by text through Teams, but we can initiate an impromptu meeting with audio (and video as an option). And during such a meeting, you can share your desktop (circled icon above) on one monitor, two monitors, or you can share an application that you are running on your computer, such as Outlook or your line-of-business application.

With Microsoft Teams, there will be no reason to use a conventional telephone, cellphone, or even email, although both phone and email systems will be around for a long time – Skype for Business, the enterprise telephone system for Unified Communications, is now deprecated as a service and Microsoft Teams will become the default client for its new Intelligent Communications. Look for a not-too-distant announcement from us about Phone System and Calling Plan becoming our new voice solution as an integral piece of our Microsoft 365 tenant.

Due to our affiliation with Ingram Micro, a $6 Billion, global, Fortune 500 company based in California, we have over 700 engineers available to you when we can’t pick up the phone. During standard business hours and early evenings, Resolute IT will most likely answer your call, text, email or other method as frontline support for Office 365 helpdesk, but this 24/7 helpdesk acts as your second line of support.

 

In addition to immediate response after your purchase, this same affiliation provides us with access to a Microsoft pre-sales engineer – that is, direct connections to employees of Microsoft that are embedded within the Ingram Micro organization. In effect, this gives us direct access to the creator of the office productivity software and services that you purchase, which enhances the overall support experience that we already provide. Informed decisions are critical to any company’s success. 

#Office365 was officially launched ‎on June 28, 2011. At the time, I was already (since 2008) working in the Microsoft cloud by subscribing to a Hosted Exchange account, which included Exchange and SharePoint. But as you can see, I jumped on board with the Office 365 platform about 6 months later (over 7 years ago). Back then, OneDrive was called SkyDrive with just 25 GB of storage space. 

When seeking Office 365 customer support, you want to find articulate, coherent and effective answers to your problems. Microsoft offers free telephone support; however, US-based English is usually not the first language of the technician. They might (or might not) be technically qualified to resolve your Outlook or OneDrive complaints, but the time and the patience required to resolve your helpdesk ticket sometimes feels like you’re beating your head against a wall. I know; I’ve been there myself.

And ironically, I nearly became one of those technicians. I was hired, went through a 2-month long onboarding process, and started training as a home-based Office 365 Concierge Ambassador, but the only internet access provided at my residence did not meet their security and reliability requirements as part of the employment contract. I’m back in business for myself and, quite frankly, happier to be here again.

Many have complimented me on my communication skills. They know that they’ll be able to hear me speak clearly and without so much technical jargon. They know how tenacious I am when a problem arises, knowing that I’ll see them through to a satisfactory result without frustration.

To put me on ‘retainer’, I have an annual helpdesk service for $250 per person. For companies with 5 or more end-users, then we’ll have to consider a managed services option that includes proactive efforts and cloud-to-cloud backup services in addition to the immediate helpdesk.

To open a ticket, I leave several doors open to convey your message:           

Microsoft 365 Business is the new way to get Office 365. It’s all the features of the Office 365 Business Premium plan, plus Advanced Security (including Windows 10 Pro upgrade) with Safe Links and Safe Attachments, plus Device Management using Intune to manage remote computers and devices (think remote wipe of a company-owned device).

The graphic above shows the left-hand, blue-highlighted column as a stack of 3rd-party services that a company might combine to create a desktop productivity solution, a comprehensive security solution, and a device management solution. As a sum of the whole 3rd-party stack, the company might very well spend over $100 per month per end-user.

If we were to consider all the various Microsoft offerings individually to accomplish the same, then the company would pay $33.50 per month per end-user.

But as a bundle of services called Microsoft 365 Business, the company can opt for the $20 plan per month per end-user.

I use Microsoft 365 Business myself. Prior to this, I paid the same amount for the Office 365 Enterprise E3 plan. But now I get all the added features for the same price. To switch from Office 365 E3 was a wash.

For those currently on the Office 365 Premium Business plan, you can realize a considerable improvement to your company’s security, data integrity and overall productivity for only $7.50 additional per month per end-user. From my point of view, just the addition of Safe Links and Safe Attachments as integral parts of Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection would make the investment worthwhile.

OneNote isn’t just a throw-all repository for all that you’ve clipped from the web or meeting notes that you took and forgot about. It can be a powerful system for storing your files where you can access them not just from their actual location in OneDrive, but these files can be accessed from anywhere that you put them within the OneNote hierarchy of:

Notebooks | Section Groups | Sections | Pages and Subpages

Let’s say you have a photo that you took while on vacation. The photo is of a unique menu found on a whiteboard at a Farmers Market that listed the ingredients, so you’d like to recreate the dish at home. You might create an album of your vacation experience within OneNote, but you also might want to add that menu to a collection of recipes that you keep within OneNote.

You might have a Notebook called Personal. Within that notebook is a Section Group called Vacations. As a Section within that Section Group is Sarasota. The Sarasota Section has a Page called Farmer’s Market. And under the Farmer’s Market Page is a Subpage containing the photo of the menu and you’ve entitled the Page as Menu Photo.

Personal | Travel | Sarasota | Farmer’s Market | Menu Photo

The same photo might want to be found under a Section for Recipes.

Personal | Health | Food | Recipes | Menu Photo

Either way, the original image document remains within your OneDrive repository, so that menu photo can be found by navigating through folders and then files within your locally cached files under File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).

And while still within OneNote, you don’t have to click through nested Subpages, Pages, or Sections for your file. The search functionality in OneNote is brilliantly fast, that is, if you use key search terms within the titles of your Pages.

Method: Use the Insert menu within the OneNote ribbon to choose a file, picture or PDF to insert into any given Page.