Another meeting. Another morning out of the office. Travel time, traffic jams, delayed trains. Now it’s another afternoon out of the office as well. The day’s gone. You’re behind on your workload. What now? Working through the evening? Annoying isn’t it. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but other times it can be unnecessary because let’s be honest, not all meetings need to be face-to-face do they? Especially with the technology on offer these days. Take a look at Office 365. It’s cloud computing from Microsoft and it offers one very useful feature when it comes to meeting mayhem, and that’s Lync Online. You might have heard of it, but did you know just how useful it can be at cutting down the time you spend in meetings? Time is money, so any saving is a good one right? Let’s take a look…
Lync offers a number of features but the ones I’m particularly interested in right now are the live web conferencing, video calling and online meetings because these features give you the ability to make meetings more efficient. The meetings are multi-party so you can include up to 250 participants from inside and outside your business. The video is HD, so we’re talking top quality, and you can join meetings through your computer, tablet or smartphone – so total flexibility.
Once in the meeting, you can share your screen with fellow participants, share a file, give a PowerPoint presentation, view contact card information about other participants, conduct a poll or open a whiteboard to make notes and drawings that everyone in the meeting can use and edit together. It really is pretty slick.
Here’s Microsoft’s promotional take on Lync, and coming up in next week’s blog we’ll give you a step by step guide on how to set up a web conference. Have a look and see whether you think it could work for you. Of course you’ll still want to run some meetings face to face, but if you can cut down on just some of that meeting mayhem you’ll benefit from increased productivity and reduced costs.
And when the bad weather hits, you just might be glad of it – business as usual as the roads grind to a freezing halt.
It looks like one of the oldest ways of spreading malware is making a comeback. I have noticed in the last couple of weeks, a return of the unexpected email stating either that a postal delivery to you has failed as there was no-one at the delivery address, or an unexpected email claiming to be an invoice for goods you have purchased. I have received three such emails into a long dormant personal email account and I know of several that have been delivered to an Axon email address.
Now, I haven’t actually opened the attachment, but I can hazard a guess at what it will contain. It purports to be a label that you have to print in order to collect your undelivered parcel, or an invoice it claims is overdue. Experience tells me that when you open it, you will be directed to an innocent looking website that will allow you to print out a label of some description. What you will not realise is that during your visit to the website, your machine will be infected with malware. This will try to do one of two things – either use your machine to send out further copies of the same email, or your machine will be infected with software that will steal your online identity.
The best way to avoid this – delete any email you receive from an unknown source that has an attachment, especially if that attachment is a .zip file!
If you’ve received or worse, opened one of these attachments you should definitely think about running a virus scan or getting your IT team to take a look over your machine. Often these rogue programmes are unseen to the user, but can be causing all sorts of mayhem in the background.
If you need any help or further advice, give us a call or drop us a line… it’s better to be safe than sorry.
This time last week, we’d just received a phone call letting us know that we’d been nominated for an award. For Best Use of Technology in Business at the Silk 106.9 Local Hero Awards. And last night we won!
It was humbling to stand alongside such worthy winners as Volunteer of the Year, Carer of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Champion Child, but we were thrilled to be recognised for our recent successes and expansion along with our efforts to bring emerging technologies to local businesses. We really do have a hardworking and dedicated team and this is definitely an award for us all to be proud of.
We were nominated by the lovely ladies at Macclesfield Chamber of Commerce, so huge thanks to Sue, Jayne and the rest of the team at the Chamber.
A lovely way to end a great year for Team Axon!
If you’re finding that Office 2013 applications are crashing when opened, the most likely cause of this is COM add-ins. These may have to be disabled for the applications to load. The following add-ins are known to be problematic:
ABBYY Fine Reader
Send To Bluetooth
To resolve the problem, do the following:
1. Windows 7 – Click Start then Run
Windows 8 – Go to the start screen, right-click at the bottom then select All Apps, then Run
2. Enter the following to open the problematic applications in safe mode:
3. In safe mode click File then Options
4. In the Outlook Options box select Add-Ins from the list on the left
5. At the bottom of the page select COMM Add-ins from the Manage drop down list then click Go
6. Un-tick the add-ins listed above
7. Close the application then re-open normally
Further troubleshooting will be needed if one or more of the applications crash with add-ins disabled or the add-ins are not listed.
Brrrr…..getting chilly isn’t it. And it’s only gonna get colder! We’re in for the coldest winter in 60 years, if you believe the hype, with a promise of snow and plummeting temperatures.
Have you thought about how this could affect your business? Snow days, staff stuck at home, unable to work, loss of productivity, drop in profits, unhappy customers….. all possibilities.
What if I told you that all of this could be avoided?
Well with cloud computing of course. Because if you have a cloud computing solution in place you have an instant remote workforce. You move all of your company data, applications, email and software to the cloud and you access it via an internet connection. You work this way in the office, and you can work in exactly the same way from home. Or from Costa Coffee. Or from a hotel. Or abroad. Or… well, you get the idea.
So assuming that your employees have the internet at home, and access to a computer, then when the snow falls and the roads gridlock those stuck at home can still be productive. It makes life that little bit easier. “Snowed in? Don’t worry about it! Just stay at home, don’t even try to get into the office. Stay safe.” It makes sense on all levels really.
What about your telecoms? Sure, you can contact your employees on their mobile phones, but you can go one step further and have them accept incoming calls on the main business line. They can also pick up their direct dial extension and make outgoing calls via the business (so not racking up calls on their mobile bills). How? VoIP. Pardon? That’s Voice Over Internet Protocol technology (aka VoIP) which is a hosted telecoms system. So basically, cloud computing for your phones. Without going all techy on you (I’ll leave that for another blog), the calls you make go via your internet line rather than your phone line. You don’t actually need a phone line at all with VoIP.
We use it here and if I need to work from home I simply boot up my laptop, log into my cloud computing portal (which presents me with exactly the same set up and options as I get in the office), plug my headset into my laptop and away I go. The way that I work at home replicates precisely the way that I work in the office. No waiting for VPN connections. No dodgy slow network performance. It just works.
And it’s not just a lifesaver in bad weather conditions. You can be flexible if members of your team need to work from home for personal reasons and you can use it as part of your business continuity plan. So if your offices become rendered out of action for any reason – think fire, flood, a break in – the chances are slim but it can happen….then your business can continue to run as usual.
It makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
So enjoy the snow, stay safe and think about cloud. It could just save your bacon on one occasion or another.
The title says it all….
Can’t get the wireless button on the quick launch buttons to work on the HP Elitebook 84XX series laptop? I had exactly this problem today.
You can look in device manager and there are no unknown devices. You can check the BIOS and wireless will be enabled in there. No matter how much you press the wireless button you just can’t get it to work.
What you need to do is this….
Install the HP Connection Manager and enable it from here. It will work fine.
The HP Connection Manager will work on all machines, but it’s random as to which machines the wireless quick-launch button will work on. So a bit of trial and error, but worth a punt.