Q3 Newsletter Out Now! Covering Microsoft 365, Project Online Updates and More!

 

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Microsoft Announces Office 365 is now Microsoft 365

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Recently at Microsoft Inspire, Satya Nadella unveiled Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, delivering a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. It represents a fundamental shift in how we will design, build and go to market to address our customers’ needs for a modern workplace.

Microsoft states “the workplace is transforming—from changing employee expectations, to more diverse and globally distributed teams, to an increasingly complex threat landscape. From these trends, we are seeing a new culture of work emerging. Our customers are telling us they are looking to empower their people with innovative technology to embrace this modern culture of work.
With more than 100 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365, and more than 500 million Windows 10 devices in use, Microsoft is in a unique position to help companies empower their employees, unlocking business growth and innovation.”

I really support this change in branding. So many existing and potential customers were confused by the concept of “Office 365” as they assumed it meant only traditional Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.). With “Microsoft 365” it indicates you are accessing a store of products. This is very similar to how people buy applications for their phone. You go to the appropriate store (Google Play, Apple App store, etc.) and select what you want. Now, if you are looking for licenses for Project, OneDrive, Visio and many other products, you simply access Microsoft 365.

I’m also happy to announce that I am able to help customers buy their software from a Microsoft Certified Provider as an alternative to directly purchasing from Microsoft. This allows the customer to choose more personal and premium support as an alternative to the standard Microsoft support queue. Current customers have the option to switch to a certified provider as well. Personally, I have chosen this approach as it ensures I still get the same quality Microsoft products, but my business contact is just a different organization. I’m happy to answer questions about this approach.

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Project Online Update July 2017

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An important note for users of the Project client connecting to Project Online — as you will need a ‘2016’ level client to connect starting at the end of June 2017!

This is very relevant for customers who own a desktop client. I know the Microsoft website initially indicated this would happen at the end of June, but I didn’t notice this impacting customers till the second week of July. If you own a subscription version of Project “Project Online Professional” or “Project Online Premium” you have nothing to worry about as you already have the latest version of the desktop client as part of this subscription.

For the last several years, the option to force a specific version was left up to the organization based on a version number restriction. Now I see that this has changed for Project Online users. My personal feeling is that a number of support issues will be solved immediately by eliminating issues with the wrong version connecting. In discussions with clients who still purchase desktop software by a traditional license agreement with Microsoft, they have discovered that they can upgrade to the 2016 client at no additional charge.

Users of project desktop will notice only minor differences in their user experience when switching from 2013 to 2016. I frequently teach classes with students using 2010, 2013, 2016, and Project Online subscription users, all in the same classroom without any difficulties.

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TIP CORNER: How to Disable Auto Brightness on Windows 8

Throughout the workday and based on your background lighting, Windows 8 automatically adjusts the brightness of your laptop. Initially you might think this is your eyes getting tired, but it actually might be the screen brightness dimming. It is very frustrating when it dims and you don’t want it to. I found this useful tip and am so happy I changed my laptop!

1. Head to the Desktop of your PC by pushing Windows Key + D or clicking on the Desktop icon in the Start Menu.
2. On the bottom right of the screen, locate the battery icon.
3. Right click the battery icon and select More Power Options.
4. Select Change Plan Settings on the currently selected profile (by default it’s set to Balanced).
5. Click the Advanced Power Settings link.
6. Scroll down to Display > Enable Adaptive Brightness.
7. Change it to Off for either or both “Plugged In” and “On Battery”.

Source: https://theunlockr.com/2012/04/20/how-to-disable-auto-brightness-in-windows-8/

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Cindy 3 PMI 12-12-16

Where in the World is….. Cindy Lewis?

Sept. 27 – WMPMI (West Michigan Project Management Institute) Professional Development Day (Sponsor)
Oct. 20 – PMI-GLC (Project Management International Great Lakes Chapter) Professional Development Day (MPUG Booth)

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@LewisCindy

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There’s a lot to Love about Skype!

In Skype for Business, a PSTN conference – commonly known as a dial-in conference – is any conference in which at least one participant dials in to the audio portion by using a PSTN (public switched telephone network) phone. The ability to use a phone to access a meeting is useful for individuals who are on the road or otherwise cannot attend a meeting using a mobile device or PC. Using a phone also can be a better option in other scenarios, such as when internet connectivity is limited or when a meeting is audio only.

The default SKYPE for Business calling uses your internet line for both the screen sharing and the voice sharing, but I’ve found this is sometimes problematic. If someone is at a location where the Internet goes out, the individual has no way to stay engaged in the meeting if you do not offer a dial-in number. Sometimes people are traveling during the meeting and need to join by phone until they are able to get to their computer and participate in screen sharing. I have personally decided to purchase the PSTN conferencing option so every time I hold a SKYPE meeting individuals can choose to join with a computer headset or with their cell phone or conference phone. It’s only about $4 a month, and I do not have to worry about the costs associated with international charges as the system provides alternative numbers based on the country of the attendee. This has saved my meetings and training engagements numerous times when the person who was disconnected by their computer could dial-in by phone and let us know they would be back online soon!

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