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In April 2020, Microsoft launched Microsoft 365, the successor to its popular Office 365. But it’s not a mere name change. The tech giant is also introducing improvements to its productivity software that will enhance how your business deals with cyberthreats every day.

Name change

Microsoft has time and again shown that they are willing to make drastic changes to their products and services in the name of development. Their Windows 10 operating system (OS), for instance, is a far cry from its predecessor Windows 8. Microsoft made the jump from what they thought would be a revolutionary tile-based design in Windows 8 to a classic, ergonomically designed Windows 10.

The tech giant has once again made drastic changes, this time to their award-winning line of productivity apps Microsoft Office 365. O365, as it was lovingly referred to for nearly a decade, is now the sleeker, more powerful, Microsoft 365 Business.

Microsoft 365 Business is available to small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) on three different subscription plans: Business Basic, Business Standard, and Business Premium.

Available plans

MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS BASIC

Microsoft 365 Business Basic comes with many standard features, including web and mobile app access, full email and calendaring tools, secure file storage, collaboration tools, and support. Rest easy knowing that you have a powerful enterprise-grade software for a fraction of the cost such as:

  • Web and mobile app versions of Office apps
  • Real-time coauthoring
  • Email hosting with 50 GB capacity
  • 1 TB of OneDrive storage
  • Automatic syncs regardless of work platform choice (between OneDrive and SharePoint).
  • Teleconferencing and unified communications via Microsoft Teams for up to 250 users
  • Automatic threat defense via Exchange Online Protection
  • A complete array of cybersecurity tools and protocols, such as automated password policy tools

MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS STANDARD

With the Microsoft 365 Business Standard plan, you’ll get everything Business Basic offers plus:

  • Desktop versions of Office apps for up to five PCs or Macs per user
  • Easy and smart appointments management with Microsoft Bookings
  • Real-time mileage tracking and reporting with MileIQ

MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS PREMIUM

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the brand’s flagship plan, a great tool for businesses ready to take their operations to the next level. It comes with everything Business Standard offers plus:

  • Advanced security tools to protect from zero-day threats and ransomware, via Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection
  • Remote wiping tools for stolen or lost devices, via Selective Wipe from Intune
  • Restricted copying or saving options for unauthorized apps and locations
  • Complete control of company data, via Information Rights Management
  • Pre-breach threat resistance policy options, via Windows Defender Exploit Guard
  • Malware protection, via Windows Defender
  • Unlimited cloud archiving of emails, via Exchange Online Archiving
  • Setup wizards for Windows 10, iOS, and Android
  • Total security policy deployment — even for mobile apps — via Mobile Device Management from Intune

Microsoft 365 Business will change the way your staff powers your business. Contact us today to discuss how you can avail of a subscription.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

IT services are more critical than ever before, proving their value in the face of a health crisis and the abrupt shift to remote working. Here are some ways managed IT services providers (MSPs) are helping small companies leverage technology to support their remote teams and go about business as usual.

Providing infrastructure and service desk capabilities

In today’s digital work landscape, MSPs are keeping their noses to the grindstone to fulfill customer demands and help keep businesses running. While many small companies have taken the first step of transitioning to remote work, they still need help managing the logistics.

Right now, MSPs are providing customers with IT infrastructures and taking on a host of network tasks, including configuring hardware, establishing remote connections, and managing backup and storage options, among other activities. These all help to ensure that company networks are reliable enough to facilitate a remote workforce.

MSPs are also offering service desk capabilities, providing companies with a centralized resource for employees, customers, and business partners to answer questions, troubleshoot problems, and facilitate solutions. Appropriate and timely support is crucial, especially in times of great uncertainty.

Simplifying cloud adoption

Cloud solutions are ideal if IT environments must be quickly modified to meet changing demands or difficulties, which is why MSPs are now helping businesses leverage a variety of cloud technologies and even move their data and applications online.

And because cloud migration can get complex, many MSPs are also offering managed migration plans that help companies transition key workflows and processes to the cloud safely and efficiently.

Offering remote support where possible

The current travel restrictions and social distancing measures make work-related travel difficult and risky. And with highly distributed workforces, many companies would rather source local service technicians for break/fix assistance, cabling, and other IT solutions.

Partnering with MSPs ensures that systems and networks are protected all the time and critical support is provided within 24 hours. What’s even better is that some providers have technicians in different locations, making it easy to provide tools, resources, and support even in hard-to-reach areas.

Delivering flexible solutions

As business needs continue to shift, MSPs must move in lockstep and provide support wherever they can. Here are some other ways MSPs are helping their clients navigate these trying times:

Assisting with IT projects
Because of how broad and challenging IT projects can be, it’s not uncommon for companies to lack the right skills and resources to handle them. MSPs are helping them by providing the expertise and technologies needed to pursue these projects, allowing companies to keep moving forward.

Foregoing long-term contracts
Some companies need IT support and services but can’t afford to commit to long-term contracts. Similarly, some want to augment their IT only for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s great is many MSPs are providing flexible IT solutions, giving customers all the services and support they need, when they need them.

Offering faster response times
Especially now that downtime could likely spell the end of a business, companies seek quick turnaround times. Since MSPs typically offer 24/7 support and tout specialists with a wide range of experience and knowledge, they can proactively address issues and ensure that IT infrastructures are working as efficiently as possible.

Providing better customer service

As many businesses are still adjusting to the new normal, providing positive customer experiences will go a long way to earning trust and ensuring customer loyalty post-crisis. By being compassionate and empathetic to the situations of their customers, MSPs are showing companies that they’re navigating these trying times together.

Call our IT experts today to help configure the perfect remote work setup for your business.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Over the past several years, the debate about cloud technology in business has moved away from “Is it a safe option?” to “How can I move more of my tools to the cloud?” There is an overwhelming number of options and many business owners don’t know where to start. If that’s the position you find yourself in, we recommend starting with six basic tools.

Email

Every business needs email. And while there are plenty of non-cloud options to choose from, they require a lot of maintenance. Opting for cloud-based email means you pay for the service without worrying about hardware requirements or software updates. These issues, among others, will be handled by the provider and backed by service level guarantees.

File storage

Storing company files in the cloud is a great way to give employees more mobility and flexibility. Everyone can access information from almost any internet-enabled device without compromising security, since providers include things like encryption and multi-factor authentication as part of the monthly service fee.

You can opt for either DIY cloud storage such as Microsoft’s OneDrive and Dropbox or a slightly more expensive managed solution that will provide customization opportunities and regulatory compliance management.

Document creation and collaboration

It’s easy to confuse apps like Office 365 and Google Docs with cloud file storage but they’re not the same. What sets them apart is whether or not you can edit documents stored on these platforms. In most cases, multiple users can alter the same document simultaneously and see mirror images on their screens even if they’re hundreds of miles apart.

Between faster document turnaround times and fewer separate versions of files, there’s no reason to keep everything offline. Business owners used to worry about security but vendors today invest 100 times more resources in protecting client info than a small operation could ever match.

Server hosting

Whether your business requires a single low-scale server or several high-powered ones, it’s becoming harder to justify maintaining those at your physical location. They’re too finicky and expensive compared to their cloud alternatives.

Server hosting enables you to accomplish via an app all that you could with in-house hardware. The costs are also spread out month to month rather than all at once during the setup phase.

Backup and recovery

The entire basis of cloud technology is that you have total access to hardware and software that’s located far from your office. That makes things like cloud file storage and server hosting perfect for recovering from a disaster. If a natural disaster or cyberattack renders your office inoperable, all you need to do is log in to your cloud platform from somewhere else.

If you are looking to move your business into the cloud, we have a broad range of products tailored to small businesses.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE