3 common computer problems & how to fix them yourself

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
The IT Crowd

It’s become a catchphrase because it’s effective and really works. And while that solution can solve a lot of issues, there are other things you can try to when your computer is acting up.

Here are 3 common computer problems and some simple steps you can take to troubleshoot them yourself without having to call in the IT support cavalry.

Your computer is running slow

Computers need rest, just like us. If you leave your computer on for long stretches at a time, your computer can begin to feel sluggish.

Here are some things you can try when a slow computer has got you down:

  • Close unneeded programs and tabs: Whatever your workflow, it’s easy for extra windows, open files, and internet browser tabs to pile up. Each of these is eating up system resources whether you’re actively using them or not. Close what you don’t need and see if that improves performance.
  • Open Task Manager or Activity Monitor: Sometimes background process hang around or become bloated. In order to really see what’s going on, use the Windows Task Manager or Mac OS X Activity Monitor. They provide easy to read diagnostics that show how much of your system’s resources each process is using. From there you can see what program needs your attention and force quite programs that are frozen or not being used.

If you’re running into this problem a lot, it could be time for a more thorough, professional evaluation.

Difficulty connecting to the internet

As more of our work moves to the cloud, slow or intermittent internet connections can be maddening when you’re trying to work. It could be the issue is with the connection itself, in which case you’ll need to address that with your internet provider (or try a different coffee shop down the street). But sometimes your computer or location is causing the problem.

Here are some things you can do to try and improve your internet connection.

  • Check your computer: The first step is understanding exactly what is acting slow. Is it your whole connection, or just your browser? Try closing different applications to see if that makes a difference. If you like to listen to an online radio service, it could be hogging all your bandwidth.
  • Check your surroundings: Our lives are increasingly networked, so odds are you have your smartphone nearby and maybe your smartwatch or other accessories too. Wireless frequency bands are surprisingly narrow bands of frequencies and it’s easy for signals to get crossed and performance degrade. Try to adjust your devices so they have sufficient breathing room to send and receive without conflict.
  • Check your network: Is the person next to you having the same problems? Check your hardware and make sure that everything is plugged in and receiving a signal.

Deeper issues such as how your business utilizes its WiFi and data transit may require expert management.

Your document won’t print

We may be more digital than ever, but sometimes we still need paper. All it takes is one temperamental printer to back everything up.

If you’re trying to print and nothing is coming out, here are some things you can try.

  • Check the printer status from your computer: Open the Printers & Scanners menu of System Preferences in OS X or in Windows, open Device Manager, so you can see if there’s a paper jam, an offline printer or something else.
  • Check the physical printer: Maybe it has a paper jam, or is out of paper.
  • Check the size of the document you’re printing: Just like when you download something from the internet, when you send a document to the printer, it has to download the entire file before it can print. If you’re sending a large document that’s full of graphics, it can take your printer longer than you might expect to download the entire document before it starts printing. Really large files can also cause the printer to get overloaded and freeze.
  • Reset the printer connection: In Mac OS X, when you have the Printers & Scanners menu up, Right-Click on the list of devices and select “Reset Printing System”. On Windows 10, you can use the Printing Troubleshooter by typing “Printing Problem” into the system search bar to get started.
  • Turn the printer off and on again: Yes, this technique works on printers too.
  • Update your drivers: Printers don’t often get the same love our computers do in staying up to date, so it’s easy for them or our connection to fall behind. Check your computer’s printer drivers.  In Windows 10, use the Device Manager and find your device. Then right-click and select “Update drivers”. Check for a System update with OS X and if it’s built-in, your system will update automatically.

Increasingly, printers are shared across whole departments and keeping them running well may require reaching out for more help.

7 tech gadgets that improve productivity

Technology advances are shaping the way businesses operate and opening up a world of opportunities. Enabling better and more efficient productivity is one of the advantages of implementing tech gadgets in the workplace. These operate in a variety of ways and work across functions.

Here are 7 tech gadgets that can improve efficiency and productivity in your workplace.

LVL Hydration Monitor

Healthy workers are more productive. A major cause of an energy slump is dehydration. Modern offices with heating and air conditioning enhance dehydration which leads to tiredness and diminished productivity. The LVL Hydration Monitor tracks things like workout rates and heartbeat but it also keeps an eye on hydration levels. It informs workers when they need to drink more fluids and the productivity boost they can expect when they do.


Using technology to hold meetings is a great way to connect departments across a geographical area. It saves travel time for employees, boosting the time they have to work instead of being on the road. Additionally, Skype is easy to set up and can transform decision making and productivity with the click of a mouse. Using teleconferencing is another way of connecting remotely, saving travel time.

Multi laptop windows

Having a computer screen with multi laptop windows is a great way to improve productivity. By being able to display several items on different screens, time is saved from flicking between web pages and mistakes are minimized by having work displayed simultaneously. Up to three screens can be displayed at once.

Yo-Yo mini standing desk

There’s a significant amount of medical evidence suggesting that too much seated activity is dangerous for health. It also leads to energy slumps, reducing productivity. Standing regularly reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. The Yo-Yo Mini Standing Desk is a great tech gadget that enables people who spend a long time seated to work in a stand-up position. This not only promotes healthy working but can improve productivity.

Connected whiteboard

One of the best tech gadgets for the office is a connected whiteboard. This cloud-based technology uses a large whiteboard screen to connect remote workers or those on multiple sites. It is ideal for brainstorming and planning when working offsite. This tech gadget also improves productivity by connecting people instantly instead of repeat meetings or email exchanges.


The office environment is ideal for bttns, interactive buttons that can implement a series of tasks with the touch of a button.  Automating business processes is a great way to improve both productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

Bttns can be used for a variety of tasks including callbacks, ordering supplies, marking off time sheets, and more, simply by pressing a button. They can also book meeting rooms and operate either as a stand-alone device or as an interconnected function.

Solar powered wall mounted battery charger

Reliance on mobile phones is increasing with technology advances. This means constantly needing a fully charged battery. One of the simplest ways to ensure your phone is always ready to go is to have a wall mounted solar charger. This maximizes the use of natural resources and ensures you are not caught out with a dead battery. Energy powered cycle chargers are a novel way of ensuring the staff stays productive by exercising and keep their mobile phones charged.

Contact your managed IT services provider for help implementing these and many other tech gadgets into your workplace.

4 tech trends to watch in 2019

The winter holidays will be over before you know it and 2019 will be upon us. Tech trends move faster than ever before because innovation moves faster than it used to. Follow these tech trends in 2019 to make sure you don’t fall behind. Make it your resolution to work with the right IT service provider and keep your technology going strong year-round.

1. More Autonomy

In 2019 the robots will start to think for themselves a bit more. That’s not to say that we are getting anywhere close to some of the more scary science fiction movies with fully autonomous robots.

Some predict that cars put out in 2019 will have more autonomous features than ever before. Now, some new cars have features like assistance with parallel parking, but experts predict that at least 10% of cars hitting the road by 2021 will be fully autonomous. However, in May of 2018, GM announced that consumers would be able to buy the first fully autonomous car in 2019.

2. “Digital Twins”

A digital twin is not a new virtual pet toy for your kids to enjoy. It’s actually a useful tool that helps businesses monitor physical devices or even entire buildings. A digital twin can be a full 3D model of a device like a plane engine, or simply a monitoring system for your building or office.

Digital twins are a helpful way to meet safety requirements or monitor utility usage. Using a combination of sensors in physical objects & digital twins will help companies get more useful data than ever before, and this trend is expected to continue in 2019.

3. Blockchain Becomes More Than Bitcoin

Blockchain is the incredible technological idea that has enabled the widespread use of digital cryptocurrencies. It can be used to enable privacy and digital protections like never before. Other uses for blockchain are also being explored.

Expect this trend to continue in 2019. Some creative uses for blockchain include making the transfer of and collaboration on documents even more secure, verifying the authenticity of high-end luxury goods and some experts even believe it can be used to prevent voter fraud.

4. Video & Live Video Continue to Dominate

It’s not just enough to have social media channels anymore, it’s important to note that channels with video, and especially live video tend to have much more interaction. This is due in part to algorithms used that sometimes favor video posts..

According to one study, 90% of people use online videos to help with purchase decisions and even just mentioning the term video in an email newsletter subject line can increase opens by up to 19%. People spend 1/3 of their time on the internet watching videos.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time and resources on pre-recorded videos According to information put out by video giant Vimeo, 80% of people would rather watch a live video than read a blog, and similarly, 82% of people would rather watch live video than look at a static social media post.

Expect this trend to continue to grow in 2019. Make sure to use live video features on your brand’s social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others.

Contact your Managed IT service provider to keep up with these and other tech trends in 2019!

Which CRM solution is right for your organization?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software empowers businesses of all sizes and sectors to make smarter, more accurate decisions.

According to some estimates, over 90 percent of companies make use of a CRM solution—and for good reason. On average, CRM solutions see a return on investment of $8.71 for every dollar that you invest.

Despite the obvious benefits of CRM software, however, it’s not so obvious how to choose the best solution for your organization. There are a lot of options available to you. Plus, your company’s situation may be influenced by a number of different factors:

  • Number of employees
  • Industry
  • Specific business requirements
  • Preferred pricing model
  • Upcoming projects
  • Existing resources and technologies

Whether you’re making your first CRM purchase or replacing an existing system, this article will go over the most important concerns that you should consider when choosing a CRM solution.

Defining CRM return on investment

There are essentially three different approaches to CRM solutions: basic, standalone, and integrated.

  • Basic CRM systems include standard functionality without any custom features or coding. This enables you to get up and running quickly and easily.
  • Standalone CRM solutions include more complex processes than basic CRM systems, including custom features for reporting, views and workflows.
  • Integrated CRM systems connect a standalone CRM system with external applications, websites, and systems. This helps you share data and make your workflow more efficient.

No matter which type of CRM you select, you need to understand the value of your CRM solution to evaluate whether it’s the right choice.

For example, focus on how a CRM will improve your customer relationships by giving you easy access to important metrics and key performance indicators, as well as helping you manage connections on social media.

On paper, defining the ROI of a given CRM is easy: simply weigh the costs of using it against the benefits that you gain by doing so.

In practice, however, calculating CRM ROI involves a good deal of subjective assessments and estimates about how much given features are worth to you. Note that most of the value you extract from your CRM will likely come from a few of the most frequently used functionalities.

CRM factors to consider

The cost of a CRM solution is perhaps the best factor to contemplate first since it can disqualify certain options right off the bat. Consider questions such as:

  • What is the pricing model? Subscription-based or a perpetual license? Most CRM applications, especially those that are cloud-based, use a per-month, per-user pricing model.
  • What are the different pricing tiers? Which features that you consider important? Make sure you’re looking at the price for the tier of service you’ll need.

CRM software comes with many different features and functionalities. Some of the capabilities that might interest you include:

  • Lead management and sales for finding, nurturing, and converting new customers
  • Marketing tools for email and SMS campaigns
  • Reports and dashboards for highlighting important metrics
  • E-commerce integration

Depending on your business, you may have other questions to ask when evaluating CRM software options, such as:

  • How easy is it for employees to learn and use the software?
  • What kind of support and maintenance plans are available?
  • How will the software integrate with your existing technical setup?

Final thoughts on your CRM solution

With so many advantages at stake, deciding on the right CRM solution isn’t a task to be taken lightly.

If you need help selecting the right CRM software for your business, contact your IT managed services provider for additional guidance.

4 Microsoft Dynamics CRM tips to help you become a superuser

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a customer relationship management (CRM) software package from Microsoft. Dynamics CRM is intended to help users improve the productivity and effectiveness of their sales and marketing campaigns and get better business insights, especially by integrating with other Microsoft products such as Office 365.

If you’re like most Dynamics CRM users, you’ll want to get the most mileage out of the application, uncovering any hidden tips and tricks that’ll help you along the way. In this article, we’ll go over 4 Microsoft Dynamics CRM tips that’ll help you become more efficient.

1. Know your keyboard shortcuts

Time is money when you’re working with CRM software, and every little bit can help you become more productive.

Let’s start our Microsoft Dynamics CRM tips with some of the most useful Dynamics CRM keyboard shortcuts.

  • Shift + Tab: Move backward to the previous field or option (just as Tab moves you forward to the next one).
  • Ctrl + [: Switch to the first tab on the command bar.
  • Ctrl + ]: Switch to the last tab on the command bar.
  • Ctrl + K: Automatically fill the current field with the correct value after typing a few letters.
  • Ctrl + Shift + S: Save and create a new document or workspace.
  • Alt + S: Save and close.

2. Add members to different marketing lists

Since the release of the 2015 version of Dynamics CRM, you can now add Leads, Contacts or Accounts from one marketing list to another marketing list. This saves you the time and effort of looking up and adding each member individually.

Here’s how you can do this.

  1. Under Marketing, select the Marketing Lists option.
  2. You will see a list or grid view of your active marketing lists. Click on the list whose members you wish to add to another list, and then click on the Record Associated View icon.
  3. Select the members of the list that you want to add to another list, and then click on the ellipses icon. Click on “Add to Another Marketing List.” From here, you can select the desired list or create a new list.

3. Use business rules

One of the benefits of CRM software such as Dynamics CRM is the ability to define your own business rules.

In Dynamics CRM, business rules are pieces of business logic that can be expressed by non-technical users, without having to write code in a programming language such as JavaScript. This empowers business users because they no longer have to wait for developers to do the work they need.

In fact, this is so powerful that our list of Microsoft Dynamics CRM tips wouldn’t be complete without it.

For example, users can define a business rule that hides a field or changes the value of it based on the size of a value in another field.

To use business rules in Dynamics CRM, select the Fields or Business Rules section beneath a given entity when you’re in the Solutions section. Keep in mind, however, business rules can’t replace all the functionality you can achieve with JavaScript.

4. Automatically generate documents

Sales and marketing campaigns are absolutely rife with piles of paperwork that must be created and reviewed. You can save yourself time and improve your customer relationships by automatically generating templates in Microsoft Word.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. From the Settings menu, select Processes. Create a new process of type “Workflow” on the Campaign entity, and set the scope to Organization.
  2. Set the workflow to run when record fields change and select the field as “Status Reason.” Click on Add Step > Check Condition, and then Add Step > Perform Action. The Action should be “SetWordTemplate.”
  3. Click on Properties to the right of Action, and choose the “Selected Template” that you want to generate. Finally, choose the Target to be your current campaign.
  4. Save and activate the workflow.

How to enhance Office 365 collaboration

Office 365 provides a variety of ways to let your employees collaborate effectively, whether you’re in a large enterprise or an SMB. However, in order to be effective, you need to develop and implement a collaboration strategy and the training that’s necessary to allow you to leverage the collaboration tools that are part of the Office 365 product.

Effective collaboration isn’t automatic

Recent research indicates that collaboration can have a very positive impact on productivity and business outcomes.

For example, a Stanford study found that participants working collaboratively stayed on task 64 percent longer than solitary workers did, and they reported a higher success rate. Another study found that companies that encouraged collaboration were five times as likely to be high performing.

This type of research is motivating many companies to jump onto the collaboration bandwagon by implementing software such as Office 365. However, when you complete an Office 365 installation, you’re asking your employees to change the way they work, not just the tools they use. As a result, many organizations migrate to Office 365 and then find that employees aren’t taking advantage of the collaboration tools. On the other hand, sometimes the tools are overused, usually in the area of social networking.

Either situation will cause your organization to waste your investment. In addition, you won’t get the benefit of increased productivity and better business outcomes that collaboration can produce.

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RELATED: 8 simple Microsoft Office 365 best practices for making your documents more accessible

Why Office 365 collaboration isn’t automatic

Two factors influence the success of establishing Office 365 collaboration. One is the fact that employees must change the way they work. The other factor is that Office 365 is a multi-faceted system that can be overwhelming.

Here’s a summary of the services, apps, and features that you can use, depending on your Office 365 subscription plan.

Exchange Online Icon

1. Exchange Online

A hosted messaging application that includes access to email, calendars, contacts and tasks.

Microsoft booking icon

2. Microsoft Bookings

An application that allows you to schedule and reschedule appointments both internally and with customers.

Microsoft flow icon

3. Microsoft Flow

This cloud-based service allows you to build workflows to automate business processes.

Microsoft Forms logo

4. Microsoft Forms

You can use this to create quizzes, surveys, questionnaires and more; built-in analytics evaluate the results.

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G Suite vs Office 365 – What’s the best office suite for business?

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5. Microsoft MyAnalytics

This application was previously called Delve Analytics; it provides personal data about how you spend your time and help you to prioritize.

Microsoft Planner icon

6. Microsoft Planner

Teams can use this tool to visually organize teamwork by creating plans, assigning tasks, sharing files, sharing and editing documents associated with tasks, and chatting.


7. Microsoft PowerApps

This Platform as a Service (PaaS) lets you create mobile apps without worrying about the difference in mobile operating systems.

Microsoft stream

8. Microsoft Stream

Allows employees to upload, view and share videos on a secure platform.

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9. Microsoft Sway

You can produce professional reports and presentations without the need for extensive formatting or training to achieve a visually appealing end product.

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10. Microsoft Teams

Teams is an application that provides a hub for teamwork, combining chat, shared content and various Office 365 tools into one workspace. SharePoint and OneNote are included.

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Microsoft matches Slack with a free version of its Teams chat app

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11. Office 365 Groups

This feature creates a shared workspace where group members don’t need access to Dynamics 365 to join.

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12. Office Delve

A cloud-based service that helps users discover information across several Microsoft products.

Microsoft One Drive

13. OneDrive

A cloud storage capability allows users to store, sync and share files among themselves and with other internet devices.


14. Power BI

These business analytics tools connect to hundreds of data sources and simplify data preparation to produce and publish reports.


15. SharePoint Online

A cloud-based service that provides a hub for accessing internal or outside information.

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16. Skype for Business

A unified communications platform used for a wide variety of communication vehicles including instant messaging, online meetings, video conferencing and more.

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17. Yammer

This private social network allows for discussions internally and with outside users such as customers and vendors.

How to Promote Office 365 Collaboration

Based on the review of Office 365 capabilities above, it’s easy to see how effective collaboration can get lost in the rush of new technology that follows an Office 365 implementation. Therefore, take these steps to help solidify a collaborative workplace.


Define an Office 365 collaboration environment

Determine how collaboration needs to work in your organization and select tools accordingly.


Communicate the vision

Take a top-down approach to communicate the vision to everyone that will be affected by increased collaboration, identifying the tools that will be used.


Complete the implementation/migration

Choose the right Office 365 subscription to acquire the right options for your organization. In addition, pay particular attention to mobile requirements that may require customization.

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USEFUL TIPS: 4 steps to drive Microsoft Office 365 adoption in your organization


Conduct ongoing training

Without extensive training, collaboration will get out of control. In fact, some employees will often turn to third-party tools to get the job done, even if they’re not using the right tools. You need to train on the correct types of collaboration and enforce abandoning other tools.


Monitor activities and results

You’ll need to know if employees are using the new collaboration tools. Be prepared to identify and address issues such as email distribution of document drafts rather than shared editing. Measure your progress to inform future projects.


Establish a strong administrative function

The Microsoft 365 Admin Center is the place to manage users, devices, apps, and services. Large organizations will often prefer to use the Office 365 PowerShell. A strong administrator will help ensure that Office 365 is being used to its fullest potential.

Next Steps

Experts often cite Microsoft Office 365 as the most powerful collaboration suite on the market today. There are a variety of tools to support implementing collaboration in a way that specifically suits your organization.

Careful planning and a well-controlled migration will help your business grow.

Unlocking the power of OneNote

With Office 365 now in use in more than 120 million businesses around the world, interest in OneNote is higher than it’s ever been before. But this surprisingly versatile bit of software is still rarely used to full effect.

For the most part, this is because users are unaware of the wealth of built-in features that could be making their lives a whole lot easier, or streamlining the working processes of their whole office.

However, you don’t need to be an IT pro to make smarter, more efficient use of OneNote. Here are seven tips, tricks and shortcuts that will help you unlock the power of OneNote and put it to work effectively in your company.

Password protection

Robust cybersecurity is essential for any sensitive files or data. Sometimes, however, you may also want to password protect an internal document or notebook simply in order to give different users different levels of access.

OneNote has a feature specifically for this. What’s more, it’s extremely quick and easy to use, with password protection available in just a couple of clicks from the “Review” tab.

Simple, efficient email

OneNote allows any user to quickly and simply email their notes. By using the “Email Page” button, any user can send an email-friendly copy of the contents of a given page—including attachments and embedded files—to any number of addresses.

This is ideal for sharing minutes after a meeting, but this feature is also frequently used as a quick and simple way to transfer notes between devices even in the absence of a cloud.

Embed, embed, embed

One of the most useful things about OneNote is that it allows for the embedding of lots of different kinds of data. You can, for example, embed an Excel spreadsheet into a OneNote page. This makes the information from the spreadsheet instantly available, without the need to attach or refer to another file.

Videos, audio clips, and content from a variety of websites including YouTube and Slideshare can also be seamlessly embedded.

Transcribe from images

Pulling text from images may not be an everyday job, but when it’s necessary it can be a slow and labor-intensive process. OneNote contains a tool designed to streamline this process by copying text from an image with a single click.

The “Copy Text From Picture” option (shown when an image in OneNote is right-clicked) copies text directly to the clipboard, from which it can be pasted wherever the user requires.

Dock OneNote

Although it may seem trivial, the ability to dock OneNote to the side of a screen can be a massive productivity enhancer. It allows users to take notes from videos, websites or another program without constantly flicking back and forth between the two.

It’s super convenient to have those notes immediately at hand when, for example, making a video call or completing another task.

Employ page templates

Page templates are exactly what they sound like. They allow users to set up and save a document with a range of features such as text boxes and checklists. A clean version of this template can be opened any time it is required, making this a feature which can be applied to great effect across an office.

If you want to unify the way in which your employees take notes or approach another common task, OneNote page templates are a vital resource.

Check your history

Relatively few users are aware that OneNote preserves a version history for each and every notebook it handles. This means if a section is deleted in error or some vital notes are edited out of existence, the key information can be easily retrieved by referring to a past version of the notebook.

This is no replacement for a full backup solution, but it can be extremely useful on a day-to-day basis!

3 different approaches to CRM systems

It’s essential that you have a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) for managing customer data. Deciding which type will best fit the needs of your business will depend on various aspects of your company, including your budget and who’ll be using it.

There are three general types of CRM systems to choose from.

Implementing a basic CRM system

A basic CRM system is your general cloud-based implementation. The configuration would be limited to UI layout, with built-in configuration that would edit necessary fields. This type of CRM typically does not include any type of customized coding or involve any extensive processes.

This is a basic cloud solution that can provide standard functions, yet is still powerful enough to make a difference for your company.

Using this type of CRM system, you would likely focus on one single component of the modules such as sales, which would further limit the scope. Pre-built additions can be added to the basic CRM.

A basic CRM also involves transferring data of your accounts, contacts and leads into a CRM application. It won’t be necessary for the user to have all the data entered manually before using the application. With a basic CRM, a company can implement and use the CRM solution with a minimum amount of costs and in the shortest time. Some of the benefits include saving time in tracking and consolidating customer information.

Choosing a standalone CRM system

Standalone CRM is considered the superset of a basic CRM system.

This will involve the implementation of more complex processes including custom reporting, custom views, customized workflows and add-ons. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • Send automated emails or notifications
  • Gather and accurately maintain customer information
  • Analyze data and uncover various trends
  • Improve your customer service

It’s important to note that the data migration sometimes involves multiple sources which can require the need for data cleansing.

For a company that decides to use a standalone CRM, employee training will be required. CRM training for administrators will also be required if the business plans to self-maintain this kind of CRM application. This training will help those using the system gain greater efficiency and enable your company to better understand and meet the needs of your customers.

The benefits of an integrated CRM system

Integrated CRM includes the range of a standalone solution while integrating the CRM application with an external system. An external system could include an ERP application, different websites or some type of home-grown application.

This enables the systems to share data.

The integration of systems can be accomplished by either using some type of commercial off-the-shelf middleware application or by custom programming. By creating your own website to function seamlessly with the CRM system you’ll find there are several benefits for your business.

  • Maximize the company’s overall operational efficiency
  • Increase and improve the automation process
  • Spend less time on administrative duties
  • Increase employees’ time spent marketing and servicing customers
  • Eliminate the duplication of data entry
  • Provide synchronization for all your data
  • Provide better leads for your sales team

Companies using an integrated CRM solution will need to provide training for their employees. And, like a standalone CRM system, administrator training for an integrated CRM will also be needed if the company plans to self-maintain the CRM application.

We recommend finding an experienced technology company to assist with both implementation and maintenance of your CRM system, no matter which type you choose. Many managed IT services providers can help with your CRM, in addition to other critical areas like cloud solutions, enterprise resource planning, security services and basic IT support.

Office 365 migration made easy

Go into any mechanic’s garage and you’re going to find a common set of tools. There will always be a socket wrench, for example. No one who works on cars can function without one. It’s essential.

Office productivity tools are no different. You can’t do business without email and some form of a word processor. For an overwhelming number of folks—more than 1.2 billion users—the go-to productivity suite is Microsoft Office.

Cloud-based applications are on the rise

Most likely, you already have experience using Microsoft’s suite. Programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint are common fixtures in businesses both great and small. However, there’s a significant shift in how these applications are being implemented and utilized.

An increasing number of businesses are putting heavy emphasis on cloud technology. In fact, recent analysis indicates that 90% of organizations use the cloud in some way, with 50% using cloud services as their preferred solution.

Simply put, the cloud is changing how business is done at a fundamental level, and Office 365 is a major player in the move to cloud-based services. While there are other cloud tools out there—most notably, Google’s G Suite—Office 365 is currently the most used collaborative platform on the market.

Why Office 365?

It’s hardly surprising to learn Microsoft’s offering takes the top spot. The advantages of Office 365 are considerable.

First, there’s the convenience. With Office 365, you can work and collaborate with team members from any connected device—even your phone or tablet. For business leaders on the go, that alone is invaluable.

Second, documents, spreadsheets and email messages housed under the umbrella of Office 365 are backed up in the cloud. Users can access everything from their desktop computers, just like older versions of Microsoft Office, but redundancy is also baked in. If you’ve ever dealt with any kind of data loss, you know how important backups are.

Finally, the cost savings can be compelling. Many organizations are able to justify migrating to Office 365 based purely on the numbers. This is due in part to the scalability of the platform. Microsoft offers multiple subscription options for Office 365. You just have to pick the plan that works best for your organization, isolating the products and services you need.

Additionally, adding new users to your subscription is a breeze. For companies in growth mode, Office 365 provides an easy, cost-effective way to make sure new employees have the tools they need from day one.

Migrating to Office 365

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to adopting a new software solution is the anticipated pain of making a change. Some organizations have a history of hiccups, even when just moving from one version of a program to a newer version of the same program. Moving to an entirely new solution is understandably off-putting.

Speaking frankly, who cares about improvements in efficiency in the long-term if an update puts you out of commission for weeks right now? The migration from your current solution to Office 365 has to be smooth to be worth it.

The good news is a hassle-free Office 365 migration is entirely possible. Whether you’re only migrating your email to Microsoft Exchange or planning to incorporate the full Office Suite, getting your organization online and up to full functionality doesn’t have to bring daily business to a grinding halt.

The key is working with an experienced, knowledgeable partner who can guide you through the process.

Migration done right

At CCS Technologies, our guiding philosophy is simple. Every part of the technology experience should be convenient and efficient, including upgrades and migration.

Our goal is to take the headaches out of IT services by delivering fast, effective solutions. We’ve completed full migrations to Office 365 in as few as seven days. And when migration is done, we’ll still be here, ready and able to provide ongoing support.

You can’t achieve success without the right tools in your toolbox. Think of us as your tool provider. When it’s time to move your organization to the cloud and take advantage of everything Office 365 has to offer, we’ll be happy to guide you through the process.

Get in touch with us today to let us know how we can help.