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Due to changes in policy with our vendors, we can no longer credit Microsoft 365 services for partial months or partial years.  This is a change in the cost structure to us, and we are simply passing these costs on to our customers.

Reassignment of licenses are ok, but reductions in license count will not result in a credit for the current month.  Clients on annual Microsoft billing may wish to consider switching to monthly because of these changes at your next renewal.


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Microsoft recently released a new feature for M365 that automatically converts word documents to PowerPoint presentations.  Why is this useful? 

Perhaps you have prepared a proposal for a client that you’re going to be reviewing in Teams.  Instead of going over a boring Word document, you can convert it to a PowerPoint!   This feature is only available in Word online. 

The AI uses what your document “says” to choose icons and images.  Headers and document formatting is used as a clue to create new slides for each header section.  Bullet lists often become stylized lists, sometimes with images. 

Try it out in Word online by going to File->Export->Export to PowerPoint (preview).  Choose a theme and watch what happens – it’s pretty handy!


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Microsoft Teams continues to get better.  Microsoft has introduced several new features: 

  • Together mode– puts everyone in the meeting in a virtual room together, instead of the usual “box for each person”.  You can customize the setting for the room. We thought this was sort of cheesy, but we might try this feature again during our virtual Covid-era Christmas party. 
  • AI-based noise suppression – reduces unwanted background noise during meetings. 
  • Polls during meetings – to use this feature, you’ll need to add the Forms app as a Tab to your meeting.  Learn how. 
  • Improved iOS functionality, including the ability to view shared content, speaker view, and Apple CarPlay support. 


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We have been rolling out Microsoft 365 Business voice to clients that are transitioning to a work-from-home, virtual workplace.  It has been a resounding success so far – and clients are loving the flexibility and savings it has offered them. 

Let us know if you are interested in transitioning your current phone system solution to M365 business voice! 


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Last month, we wrote that this new service from Microsoft promised to be a disruptive technology.  We’ve since learned that discounts will soon be announced on your first year of service.  While we aren’t able to disclose those numbers or timing yet, let’s say the traditional telecom and PBX vendors should be quaking in their shoes, because the savings before the discounts are substantial. 

The convenience of being able to use your bluetooth headset with your computer, the Teams app on your phone, or a compatible desktop phone to make/receive business calls from anywhere without being tethered to the office promises to be a game-changer and key enabler for WFH moving forward.  Since it’s integrated with Microsoft Teams, you don’t need to change your mode of working from one communication device to another.   

We’ve already had several clients express interest in moving to Microsoft 365 Business Voice, and projects are starting soon.  If you want to learn more or get on the list, get in touch! 


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M365 has several optional security features that are not turned on by default.  The capabilities vary based on your subscription, but even the most basic subscriptions have features that we can enable.   

For the quickest, easiest, and automatic enforcement of basic security best practices, subscribe to our M365 security essentials pack.  This is software that runs in the cloud to lock down and keep your M365 tenant secure. 

Clients on M365 business premium have additional features available, including conditional access, Azure identity protection, and various flavors of Advanced Threat Protection. 

Contact us to secure your M365 tenant today. 


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For those of you on Microsoft Authenticator and getting push notifications to approve sign-ins on your email and Microsoft online services, congratulations!  You’ve just added another layer of security to your account.  However – a word of advice: if you get a prompt on your phone to approve a sign-in to your account and you aren’t getting a prompt at your computer – please don’t blindly hit approve. 

This can legitimately happen if your computer is on and you aren’t sitting in front of it – but it can wait until you’re back in front of it to verify it’s really you that prompted that authentication popup. What you never want to do is “approve” someone else that has your password to get into your account.  Only hit approve when you know it’s you that’s doing the asking. 

 If you aren’t on MFA yet – we’ll be getting around to you soon.   


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With recent headlines, has your company considered what might happen if your employees needed to work from home suddenly?  Does your company have policies and procedures in place for working remotely?  SpireTech can help you get ready.

Things to consider might include:

  • A revision to your employee manual adding work-from-home policies, including computer security, timekeeping, communication, and home office standards
  • Setting up VPN, OneDrive for business, or SharePoint access to company data
  • Configuring BYOD (Bring-your-own-device) and MDM (Mobile device management) policies using Microsoft 365 to secure company data
  • Technical documentation and instructions for employees to setup work-from-home access
  • Installing company software on home computers when appropriately licensed, such as Office 365, which allows up to five devices per user
  • Implementing multi-factor authentication and secure password policies
  • Setting up office chat using Microsoft Teams or Slack
  • How employees will access business phone lines, forward calls, and check voicemail from outside the office
  • Determine which software will work from outside the office, and which won’t

If you’d like some help getting your staff ready to work from home, get in touch to start the conversation.