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“Co-authoring” is available in Office365, which is the ability for multiple people to edit a file at the same time.  The file must be stored on Sharepoint or Onedrive for this feature to be available (not an internal file server).  To see it in action, along with sharing and invites, please watch this video:

  Read more...

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Several years ago, we hated OneDrive and had massive problems with efforts to implement it with our clients. We’re happy to say now that it works, and works well.  Microsoft has made great strides in improving the product and it is now a valid replacement for third party solutions like Box, Dropbox, FileCloud, and for many small businesses, even an on-premise file server. 

Recently, we’ve been working with clients to remove other collaboration solutions and get them onto SharePoint/OneDrive, and they’ve been happy with the results.  SharePoint allows you to setup shares for teams of people and integrates well with the windows 10 file explorer and OneDrive.  It even allows multi-user editing of documents at the same time with others, much like google docs has for years.  You can tell it to backup your personal documents folder and make it available on all your devices.  

“Syncing” of all the data is not required – you can have access to far more data that is available on your local hard drive – but you can tell it to keep certain files available locally if you want, for offline use and editing.   Read more...


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SpireTech is continually seeking innovative solutions to keep our clients up to date with current options. One of the products we’ve been offering is called FileCloud, which can serve as a file server replacement (when only cloud is needed), or as a hybrid that combines both cloud and on-premises file access that is compatible with Windows servers, workstations, and also Macs. It enables employees to work anywhere, anytime, without the need for VPN software that can sometimes be slow and/or clunky.

Why Might You Choose to Use FileCloud?

FileCloud brings Enterprise level features and capabilities without complex or costly software licensing requirements. The FileCloud price is competitive with other major file sharing platforms, and at the same time allows you to meet data security or compliance requirements in a variety of ways.

FileCloud Sync

The FileCloud Sync app provides the same features you see in some of the major file sharing applications that you may have used in the past, without the worry of not knowing where your data is actually stored and who it is that can access it.  Read more...


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used with permission from Microsoft US Small and Midsize Business Blog

Remote employees have come a long way since the days when trying to work while away from the workplace was like a sentence in solitary confinement. Thanks to the Cloud, they no longer have to use cumbersome methods to access office computer files or receive access codes from special devices just to make a phone call. But, do your remote employees really feel like they are part of the team?

There’s a lot to be said for the sense of community formed by team members who are all in the same physical location. Here are four pitfalls of working remotely and how Microsoft* tools can help employees from San Francisco to South Beach collaborate as if they are all sitting around the same table.

#1. Access to files and software

When attending meetings, the people in the office conference room have an advantage over remote employees.  Read more...


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used with permission from HP Technology at Work

Is your team having a communications breakdown? Or maybe just leaning too heavily on endless email threads? From workflow management apps to all-in-one collaboration tools, here are some of the many services available to help your colleagues cut down on email (yay!), get work done more efficiently, and—here’s the best part—have more fun.

Group messaging

  • Slack: is so popular that there’s a good chance your office is already using it. If not, this cloud-based tool should be the first one you look into. Its themed channels for teams, customizable alert settings, archiving, and search capabilities make it a robust tool for both real-time messaging and storing old conversations for easy reference. Many people are also using Slack channels for personal use outside of work, so your team will probably adapt to it easily.
  • Workplace by Facebook: Speaking of systems that are popular outside of work, Workplace by Facebook lets your staff instant message, group chat, create team groups, and use newsfeed features with tools they are already familiar with from social media.
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used with permission from Microsoft Office Blogs

Today’s workforce is spread across more locations than ever before: 37 percent of workers telecommuted to some degree in 2015. Companies occupy multiple locations, and business partnerships span the globe. In addition to physical separation, teams in the same company are separated by projects and departments. These barriers unfortunately lead to communication silos, furthering separation and limiting teamwork and collaboration.

Silos can have a significant (and detrimental) effect on your business. They create barriers between teams, often disrupting communications across your entire organization. But that’s not all. Let’s look at the wider impact silos can have across your company.

  1. Limits communication and impedes culture—Siloed teams eventually inhibit your company’s culture. Employees crave communication, collaboration and a thriving work environment. They want to feel comfortable being themselves and feel like they’re part of a team. In fact, 47 percent of workers find it motivating when colleagues discuss workplace success.
  Read more...

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used with permission from Microsoft Office Blogs

im-collaborationImplementing an instant messaging platform is important for productivity for teams of all sizes. Enabling a system for quick, informal, easy-to-reference and mobile chats keeps teams connected for nimble collaborations—resulting in a major value-add to your business.

How much value, exactly? Businesses that have embraced instant messaging practice have seen remarkable improvements in productivity and streamlined communication. According to a survey of employees using chat services conducted by SoftwareAdvice.com, 75 percent saw decreased call and email volume, and 66 percent noticed quick resolution for simple questions. When it comes to productivity, 21 percent noted either moderate or significant increase.

As company-wide IM benefits become clear, more and more businesses are getting on board. If you’re interested in these benefits but are wary to ensure proper implementation and use throughout your company, provide best practices for your employees to reference to increase productivity and reduce frustrating growing pains.  Read more...


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used with permission from HP Technology at Work

SaaS Software as a service cloud application access internet subscription basis centrally hosted on-demand softwareIt wasn’t long ago that businesses only had two options when it came to purchasing software: purchasing the product off the shelf or purchasing a license agreement for the software. Even with available on-site maintenance and management services, the costs would vary depending on the number of employees you had, making it financially unpredictable. These models may have been fine for larger companies who could afford to make the substantial upfront investments required to stay current with updates, but for smaller businesses just looking to keep up without breaking their budget, it can be a challenge.

A different approach

Software as a service (SaaS) manages the hardware and software for you—providing you with updates as they’re available—so all that’s left for you to do is take advantage of the benefits of using the software.

With the traditional approach to obtaining software, you may think you’re purchasing the software, but you’re not.  Read more...


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SpireTech is excited to announce that we have been accepted into Microsoft’s CSP (Cloud Service Provider) program at the direct, 1-Tier level.

SpireTech clients can now enjoy unified billing, support, and management services for Office 365 and Azure products. SpireTech President Scott Cook said “Adding Microsoft Cloud services to our portfolio is a natural extension of what we are already doing for our clients, including 100% local IT management services, VIP Support, and hosted private cloud services.”

SpireTech’s pricing for Office365 and available bundles can be viewed at: Office 365.

Office 365 through SpireTech is bundled with SpireTech’s 100% local VIP support services. Existing SpireTech clients that are subscribed to our Proactive support package will receive a discount off of our listed prices for Office 365.

For more information or assistance in selecting your Office365 solution, please contact us today.  Read more...


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used with the permission of http://thenetwork.cisco.com
by Laurence Cruz

cloud_adoptionSurvey: Cloud adoption climbs but strategy lags—even as forward-thinking companies recognize both will help them capitalize on upcoming market transitions.

Cloud adoption is on the rise and bringing significant benefits, and IT architects are becoming more sophisticated in how they think about cloud, but as of early 2015 relatively few companies have mature cloud strategies and many have no cloud strategy at all, according to a worldwide survey by tech research firm IDC.

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents are using or are planning to use some form of cloud—whether for a single project or their portfolio, for test/development environments, or to run mission-critical applications, according to IDC’sCloudView Survey of nearly 3,500 executives from 17 countries. However, only one-quarter of respondents have repeatable, managed or optimized cloud adoption strategies considered “mature,” and nearly one-third have no cloud strategy, the survey finds.

“Most companies are really just experimenting with cloud,” says IDC analyst Randy Perry, one of the authors of a Cisco-sponsored IDC white paper which details the survey results (Don’t Get Left Behind: The Business Benefits of Achieving Greater Cloud Adoption).  Read more...

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