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What are some SharePoint features and benefits
Teamwork is one of the critical components of any successful business, and it is important that the proper infrastructure is put in place to make collaboration as easy as possible in today’s modern workplace. Microsoft has taken out much of the drudgery of this by continuing to deliver the excellent Sharepoint software with 2016 being the latest full release.
Document Management and Storage
A primary emphasis of the SharePoint software is document management and storage across and organization so that information can be created, updated, retrieved and governed all through a central framework that keeps everything ready and secure. There was a time when a company had to rely on something like an FTP server or web server in order to maintain a proper grip on all of the documents that are part of every business process. However, SharePoint 2016 replaces all of that with a cloud-inspired infrastructure (or datacenter based) that keeps information accessible from the various points of commerce within a business while still providing security and other features to ensure that it does no leak or become exposed to the wrong people. All businesses should be concerned about legal ramifications and the like so that a system like the aforementioned should be an easy choice in the modern arena.
Intranet and Social Network
No longer is SharePoint just about documents and information as there is now a plethora of tools to help increase employee collaboration and teamwork. The baseline and add-ins available allow everything from instant messaging to calendar sharing to a time-off management tool and so much more. All of this can generally be accessed through mobile devices which mean that employees will be able to stay abreast of the latest changes and developments wherever their workday takes them. Tacit knowledge is one of the important separators that can set an organization ahead of the rest, and SharePoint has all of the right stuff to keep it viable.
Project scheduling is now a breeze with all of the features available to assist with a team effort. As with many of the other features, this is all integrated seamlessly with Outlook and Project so that shared mailboxes and other document management tasks can all be handled through interfaces that are simple to understand yet powerful in the functionality that they provide.
Everything within SharePoint is designed around well-defined structures so that policies and tracking are effortless. Pages are one of the basic types of content available and they generally can be edited in-browser so that there is no need to bring up another tool or to worry about updating the page manually through some type of upload process. Web-based configuration is one handy tool which allows pages to be created in order to lay out how a user will experience the company portal. For example, a list of departments might be presented so that individuals can then click the link to take them to the area that they are searching for. The potential is limitless and the reward great when using SharePoint in such a manner.
Web-parts and App-parts are another type of structure that can display information from SharePoint or other programs. This is a great way to provide interfaces for customer support and other roles with the organization so that everything is at hand for the best response time and result. Sites are yet another type of structure that can work with the aforementioned as well as libraries, lists, and content in order to keep everything in a recognizable form for the users.
The only real decision seems to be which version of the SharePoint software to install across the organization. There is the SharePoint Online which comes with most Office 365 subscriptions and allows Microsoft to maintain the workload behind the scenes through integration with its cloud-based services. However, SharePoint Server and SharePoint Enterprise are other great ways to access an even heftier SharePoint features and give the system admins around the office a little more room to work with.
So many companies provide add-ons and extra applications (including Microsoft itself) that there is a never-ending array of options to keep things fresh and functional within the office. IT support desks can use one of the many IT help desk applications found online that will provide all of the templates necessary to have personnel answering tickets in no time at all. Asset management tools are available to track everything that belongs to the company so that nothing gets lost and wasted money is not spent on things which are simply misplaced or being used in the wrong way. Then there are top apps like Sidekick which is a sales and opportunity maximizer, the BlackCompass Visualizer for beautiful charts and graphs, and FlowForma for great workflow building.
It is definitely worth a trial if SharePoint has not already become a sturdy foundation of your business.
How To Choose The Best Cloud Storage Option For Your Business
You might ask, why even use cloud storage? Storing your information this way will benefit you in a number of scenarios. It makes it possible for an employee to work from home or abroad. This technology makes it possible for two people to collaborate on documents with someone else simultaneously, in two different locations. Storing your data in the cloud could become a part of a disaster recovery plan, giving you the ability to access your data even if your company has been damaged by flood, fire or tornado. There are numerous benefits including helping your company work more efficiently. The cheapest cloud storage will give you the most bang for your buck.
What are the ups and downs of OneDrive?
This storage option gives you multi-user access. This software has more limitations regarding the operating system you can use it on. It works with Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows only. You get 5 GB free with the basic version.
You can easily get 50 more GB for only $1.99 per month. By choosing storage with Office 365, you get 1 TB for one user at $6.99 per month. The home version with Office 365 provides you with 1 TB of space for up to 5 users for $9.99 per month.
By choosing the Business version with Office 365 Plan 1, you get 1 TB per user. The Business version requires an annual commitment and comes in two different versions, Plan 1 offers 1 TB for $5.00 per month. Plan 2 gives you 5 TB at $10.00 per month. Both Business versions allow you to securely share data, have offline access, and sync files across devices. However, Plan 2 includes data loss prevention, access restriction, and In-Place Hold. The latter feature lets you preserve documents that have been deleted or edited. All Office 365 plans include 24/7 phone support and an active directory of users. The directory allows you to easily manage permissions.
Dropbox has plenty of benefits too
In 2013, this provider had at least 10,000 servers to cater to the more than 1 billion uploads every 24 hours. Every person you invite to use this platform grants you 500 MB in free storage. Quite a bit of people trust the service to easily share files with other people using the team folder, perfect central hub for teams.
You get to see who is editing and viewing files. This online cloud storage option is compatible with numerous operating systems. Employees can easily access data from anywhere since it is compatible with Android, iOS, Linux, Blackberry, Mac OS X, and Windows. When you sign up, you automatically get 2GB of storage space with the free Basic account.
You can opt for Pro, which is a paid subscription that affords you 1 TB or 1,000 GB of space. This Pro version has additional features that are left out of the basic account. It’s $9.99 per month or $99.00 per year for the Pro version. You get additional security features like password protected links and expiration dates on documents.
Dropbox Business was created specifically for enterprises with teams. This option ensures that everyone on your team has their own separate box and unlimited storage across the board. You can continue to use as much storage as needed at no extra cost. The business version gets you unlimited versioning and file recovery and centralized billing. With the Business option, the annual and monthly price changes depending on how many users will be using the system. In order to make the Business version cost effective, it’s best for smaller teams of 5 to 10 to use it. A team of 10 using this version will cost $1,500 per year or $150 per month. A team of 20 will cost $3,000 per year or $300 per month. The minimum package is 5 users at $750 per year or $75 per month.
How do you decide who has the best cloud storage?
Both products provide similar solutions, but we at CM3 Solutions prefer OneDrive over all others. This is largely because we mostly use Microsoft products and this option integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products we use like Windows 10. Even though both storage providers have compatibility differences, they both work for our Android phones. Both products allow you to sync files too. CM3 Solutions has utilized Dropbox previously, but found that it slowed down the PC, whereas OneDrive does not.
When it comes to storing your information in the cloud, choosing one of the two main providers is ideal. You can privately store your data, making it impossible to physically destroy your business. It’s wise to have a backup copy of your data, so you can rest assured that the information is safe and accessible from anywhere.
The best cloud storage for you and your company depends upon how much privacy is necessary and budget. It just may be that choosing the Microsoft storage option with a single user account at $5.00 per month is the cheapest cloud storage you can get for your business. Plus, you can get started for free with 5 GB from Microsoft, as opposed to 2 GB from from the other provider.
Leave us a comment below on what you think is the best cloud storage solution.
If you are a business owner who does some or all of your business online, chances are you will need an image hosting service at one time or another. In order to better help you upload, manage, or share your photos, we’ve compiled a list of the top five free image hosting sites for your business.
For your convenience, we’ve broken down the individual perks of each site in order to help decide which service will work best for your individualized business needs.
Dropbox in one of the most popular choices for online image management. You can access the traditional site or manage your images through their app, Carousel. Dropbox offers cloud storage, which means your images are stored on the host’s servers and are available online, freeing up major hard drive space for you or your business. If you do need offline access to your shared photos, don’t fret. Dropbox offers an option to select offline viewing on individualized photos.
Another convenient component of Dropbox is the way photos are stored and organized. You can sort through your images by date or by the person whom you shared the image with. Dropbox also helps to speed up the sharing process by offering the option to share multiple images at once.
The service is free up for up to 2 GB of photo storage; depending on the quality and size of the photo, you could probably upload around 500 photos for free. Should you desire more space, you can upgrade your membership for a small monthly fee. There are various account options, such as a business account for an individual and a business account for teams of 5 or more users. You have the option to try own of the paid programs for free for 30 days.
2. Google Photos
Google Photos is one of our favorite free sharing options. For google account holders, this choice is no brainer because you are able to link it to your Google account, making it extra easy to share images from your Gmail account if necessary. Better yet, it offers automatic uploads from all of your devices.
If you are looking to get organized, Google Photos offers the ability to search by people, places, and things. You can also go ahead and search by whatever you might remember about the photo, and chances are it will turn up. If you opt for Google, you can also consider yourself having gained a free editing service. Google Photos offers the option to crop, add a filter, or even adjust the basic qualities of your photos.
What’s more, make collages, slideshows, and share away!
TinyPic is a lesser popular image sharing option, but we believe that it has a lot to offer. For one, we love the basic site framework. When you launch their web page you are automatically provided with an upload screen. You have the option to upload both images and videos which will then be stored on the TinyPic server.
You also have the option to join TinyPic for free. This allows you to edit your photos, create albums, and tag your images as desired. The uploader offers the option to upload single or multi photos. You also have the option set your account to a variety of levels of privacy and set a personal profile image.
We recommend this site for someone looking for a no-frills upload experience.
4. Img Safe
Img Safe is another no-frills image uploader that isn’t getting its due spotlight. This option provides users with a variety of convenient options for your business needs. For example, uploads can come in a variety of file formats, including JPG, GIF and PNG images up to 20MB each. Users can upload images from the internet or they may download their own images. The images are then saved on the Img Safe server until you choose to remove them.
Users can register their own account. The process to do so is extremely simple. We recommend this option to someone who is looking to quickly upload images and save time doing it.
5. Img Up
Img Up offers users a free upload and sharing service that allow you to quickly upload images and share them with your personal contacts or use them on a variety of web pages. Img Up is completely free and is currently funded in whole by advertisements. JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP or PSD image files are available to upload. While the site itself is rudimentary, they offer more file options that many more popular image sharing web pages. The maximum file size for an image is 8192 KB per image, so we don’t you’ll have to worry about resizing your photos to comply with Img Up.
We highly recommend you try out this relatively new site. However, be sure to register for a free account. Because the site is free and has limited users at this time, registering will assure that none of your photos will be deleted to free up server space. Furthermore, registration allows you to save images for better organization and create albums. While many business owners believe photo hosting sites are only utilized by photographers and graphic artists, this is not the case.
If your business does not yet utilize an image hosting service, we recommend you give it a try. There are many photo hosting services available for free or a low monthly payment. These picture hosting sites will assist your business in streamlining your images for use amongst employees or to share with clients. While many business owners believe that picture hosting is only for photographers and professional graphic artists, this is not the case. In fact, by localizing your photos you can help your employees to better manage their time and offer clients a convenient service that will make your business more desirable.
Check out one of our top five photo hosting sites for businesses and see for yourself without ever spending a dime!
In the email world, the pop3 account is kind of the lowest form of email. Unlike it’s fancier brother Exchange, a pop3 account is very limited in what it can do.
When on your PC and you open the windows Mail client, it makes a connection to your mailserver and downloads emails to your PC. The process then ends there.
The problem clients run into, they also want to check email on their phone or tablet. If you are using a pop3 account, then that will be a problem.
If you download your latest messages to you PC. If you do the same on your phone, there will be NO messages. If you send an email on your phone, it wont appear in you sent folder on the PC.
We recommend if you are using a PC as your main business hub. That main PC will be the ONLY place you check email. If something happens to your PC and it dies, then those emails will be gone.
In Exchange Online, you don’t run into any of these issues. We explain the differences between a pop3 account and Exchange online in a later blog post.
If you are a one or two person small business and looking to save a bit of money. Then it is OK to use a pop3 account. However as your business grows and demands on you go outside and need mobility are your part. Exchange online would be your next step up.
If you are interested in using pop3 for your business please contact us and we can get you started. Feel free to drop a comment below to ask any questions.
When we tell clients we offer Microsoft Office 365 Exchange online services. The first response we usually get is… What is that?
I will explain it like this. If you have ever worked for a large organization that uses Outlook for their email. Most likely, the program running their email is Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Exchange Server has been around since 1996. Pretty much any business used it, that is until players like Rackspace and Google came on board.
The Benefits of Microsoft Exchange are EMail, Calendar, Tasks and Contacts is synced across any device. So whether you check your email on a phone, tablet, PC or web browser. Your email is there where you can view it, when you need it. This is basically the main benefit over using a pop3 account. In this blog post I explain http://www.cm3solutions.com/what-is-a-pop3-account/
We always recommend to our clients or any business to use Exchange over pop3.
If you are interested in using Exchange online for your business please contact us and we can get you started. Feel free to drop a comment below to ask any questions. Let us what you think of Microsoft Office 365 Exchange online or any other online email services.
Email Signature For Office 365
Office 365 can seem confusing at times. Lots of options you can choose from and configure. Finding what you need, like how to add an email signature, probably can be an issue.
Lets cover one of the main issues our clients run into. How do I set up my signature?
You are all set.
Note: Your signature is separate from the email signature in Outlook on the PC. Seems like they would be both stored online but they are not. They are both stored separately. So, if you email from Office 365, it will use the one you just created. If you email through Outlook, it will use the one in Microsoft Outlook on your PC. Due to this issue, make sure you keep your signatures the same.
Start ->Control Panel->Mail (You might need to switch the view to “Classic View” to see the Mail icon. Look at the left column for a link to switch the view)
Using Windows 7 or Windows Vista – Try the start icon (lower left hand corner) and in the box type mail -> E-Mail Accounts
Creating a new pop 3 account
After you click on Mail – > Email Accounts – > New
Make sure you input your name and current email address. Your password has been given to you.
Next click More Settings
Make sure you input your name and current email address. Your password has been given to you.
Next click More Settings
Click Close – > Next -> Finish
Baseball season begins April 4th 2016. If you are a Major League Baseball fan like me, especially a Fantasy Baseball fan, then you would love to watch different games outside your local area. You can do that by signing up for MLB.TV. Its is less than $110, for the YEAR! . All the games and all the teams. Well….. not all the teams.
The problem is, MLB blocks your local team games via your own IP location. That is the trade-off MLB made with the cable companies and local teams. You see, TV money is where baseball franchises make a TON of revenue. So Major League Baseball does not want to cut that cash cow off. So how do we get around this?
You need to use a VPN service. I use ibVPN or invisible browsing VPN. They have been great so far. Using a VPN service basically tricks the MLB.TV server into thinking you are from a different state. Hence bypassing the local blackout restrictions. This works fine if you are on your PC or tablet. But what if you want to watch it on your TV?
Step 2. Options for TV.
If you want to watch baseball games on your TV you have two options.
You can buy Google Chromecast and stream the live games to your TV. Once you configure Chromecast to work with the Google Chrome browser. Going to mlb.tv on the Google Chrome browser, will give you the option to stream the games through Chromecast to your TV.
If you have something like a Rokuor Xbox One . You can download the MLB app. Whoever the problem is still with blackouts. Well you are in luck.
ibVPN has a feature called SMARTdns. Follow the instructions to change your ISP’s DNS on your router. Then your whole home, no matter what device, will bypass the blackout. You wont even need to turn the VPN service on anymore when you are on your PC or device. SMARTdns works on your router so the bypass happens before it gets to your device.
Caution. Sometimes this can mess with things like Netflix or Amazon so just keep that in mind if you notice any weird error messages when access these services.
I have been a cable cord cutter for over a year. My biggest fear was live sporting events. How do I watch them online. More importantly, how do I watch live NFL games online. With a bit of trial and error. I found a system that works.
You need to use a VPN service. I use ibVPN or invisible browsing VPN. They have been great so far. The issue for fans is the exclusive deal the NFL made with DirecTV. It prevents the NFL from letting fans in the US, sign up for their full NFL Gamepass package. Using a VPN service basically tricks the NFL server into thinking you are from a different country. Hence bypassing the US restrictions.
There are two different versions of NFL Gamepass. The US version https://www.nfl.com/gamepass. Which allows people in the US to see replays of games. http://gamepass.nfl.com is for people outside the US, who can watch all the games online LIVE. Notice when you click on http://gamepass.nfl.com it redirects you to https://www.nfl.com/gamepass.
Sign up for ibVPN and configure your router or PC. Then click on http://gamepass.nfl.com. It redirects you to a whole different NFL Gamepass site. There, use your information to sign up and you are good to go. Now you can watch NFL games LIVE on your PC.
Step 2 optional TV.
If you want to watch the games on your TV. You can buy Google Chromecast and stream the live games to your TV. Once you configure Chromecast to work with the Google Chrome browser. Going to http://gamepass.nfl.com on the Google Chrome browser, will give you the option to stream the games through Chromecast to your TV.
Now NFL fans can cut the cable once and for all.
Post any questions or comments below and I will try to answer them.
I use Google Chrome almost exclusively as my main browser. When checking my personal email in Outlook, I noticed there is NO spellcheck button. Microsoft figures why have that feature when the browser can take care of spelling. So how do I enable spell checking in Google Chrome.
Enable Spell Checking