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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:

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We’ve been recommending for quite a while that our clients implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) on their email and Office365 accounts – really, anything that can have MFA enabled should.  You may have heard of two-factor authentication (2FA) before, multi-factor can use two or more methods of authentication. 

We’re asking our clients to use two factors to login now.  This is because like it or not, employees will use weak passwords – or use the same password on multiple websites.  If a hacker gains access to your email, they can trick your clients or employees into sending your hard-earned cash to them, or worse.  Some regulated industries have penalties associated with data breaches.  At a minimum, your reputation is at stake – do you want to have to tell your clients you’ve had a breach?   

Microsoft has made two-factor authentication easy to use with the authenticator app for iOS and Android.  Once connected to your account, all you have to do is push the “approve” button when prompted on your phone.   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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If you regularly use Skype for Business in your organization, you may now know that Microsoft has begun replacing Skype with Teams. Microsoft Teams is a new platform that acts as a hub within Office 365 and brings together chat, meetings, notes, and integrations with other Office 365 applications like SharePoint.

Depending on how your organization is handling this transition, you may already be using Microsoft Teams and be rerouted to it for your chats, meetings, and presentations. The Teams UI is certainly different from Skype! Here are some quick tips on starting a chat, voice call, or video call with another person, and presenting your desktop to others when in a meeting or call.

Start a chat with a user in Teams

  1. Go to the search bar at the top of the Teams application.
  2. Begin typing the name of the person you want to connect with.
  3. Select the user when they appear.
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used with permission from Microsoft, by Athima Chansanchai

If you need to allot time to take care of the items on your to-do list, wouldn’t it be great if you could drag and drop those tasks right into your calendar? Now, you can.

The new Tasks experience in Outlook.com helps you manage tasks without breaking your flow or leaving your inbox. Powered by To-Do, you can now create tasks by dragging and dropping an email to your task list. Or, easily schedule items by dragging a task to your calendar. Your tasks then travel with you on the To-Do app.

Check it out in action:

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Microsoft will soon be disabling the ability to add new connected accounts to Office 365 and Outlook Online. This update will only affect Office365 Business accounts. This change will prevent you from being able to read or send mail from any email addresses that are not controlled by Office 365. New accounts will no longer be able to be connected starting September 15th. On October 30th all connected email accounts will stop syncing. This only affects the Outlook online web application and will not affect your ability to use the Outlook application installed on your computer.

While this change may be alarming Microsoft has a few suggestions, which can be in found in this article which will allow you to continue to see your other emails: link  Read more...


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If you’re using Styles in your Microsoft Word document, you can insert an automatic Table of Contents with just a few clicks. And if you’ve ever wondered how to insert updatable references like “see page 9 for more”, you’ll learn how to do that as well in this tip.

Use Styles for Speed and Consistency

The first step before you can insert Tables of Contents or page references is to use Styles. You can find these in the Styles groups under the Home tab on the Ribbon. If you want to switch to a different Style set, go to the Document Formatting group under the Design tab.

All you have to do is select your document’s headings, and apply Styles like Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.

Inserting a Table of Contents

A table of contents is automatically generated from the Styles you’ve applied, such as Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, and so on.  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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Within the last month SpireTech has hit several major milestones in providing superior solutions to our customers. We have earned our Microsoft Silver CSP status, and earned our SMB Cloud Competency. What does this mean for our customers? Read about each of these below:

Microsoft Silver CSP

Microsoft Partner Signature Support provides partners with support to help keep their customers’ services operating smoothly. Signature Support handles technical support scenarios for Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Microsoft Azure. This means that if you ever need help with your office products, such as a Hybrid Exchange server, or Sharepoint Online site we have Microsoft Partner Signature Support backing us up.

Microsoft SMB Cloud Competency

IDC forecasts that worldwide public IT cloud services revenue (i.e. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) will reach $141.2B USD by 2019, a 19.4% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR): almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth.  Read more...


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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.
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