Share & Communicate externally with Teams

Share & Communicate externally with Teams

Communicate & Collaborate externally, effortlessly

Microsoft Teams, a cloud-based platform offering a flexible space for collaboration across a substantial number of unique devices, providing a more central approach to communication.

With Teams, you can share, communicate and work externally, (including internally), with clients as well as suppliers, within your personal teams and channels.

Dissimilar to more traditional (perhaps out-dated) applications, Microsoft Teams allows all stakeholders an unparalleled ability to work together & communicate in one place; creating one team, whether they work within your business or not. This creates a more malleable & elastic method for working as a unit, allowing effective and efficient collaboration.

 

All-inclusive

Leave no stone un-turned, Teams has infinite possibilities; Award winning communication and collaboration tools, third-party applications to create an unmatched level of value to your workspace, improving efficiency in offices all over the globe.

Whether it’s individual access or external access you’re after, Teams offers both. Team owners can grant guest access, authorisation to chat, call and access files & resources. External access gives permission for an entire domain, a basic, straightforward technique to link up teams on a much bigger scale.

 

Team up in a safeguarded environment

Enjoy peace of mind with Microsoft Teams, with its safe, shielded environment, work outside the office with ease and minimal difficulty; Engage with members of your team freely, whether they’re next door or down the road, knowing your data & personal information is sheltered and in your complete control.

 

We’re Urban Network, we can help save your Business.

We specialise in managed IT & technology services to help businesses across London & the wider-South East, from our base in Wapping, East London.

Urban Network has a proven track record, with extensive experience and a full portfolio of industry accreditations & certifications.

Among our range of skills, we have a specialism in boosting productivity. Ensuring we aid our clients with employing the best & most appropriate practices, procedures and tools to increase efficiency in the workplace.

If you have any concerns or challenges with your technology generally, we would like to hear from you. Please contact the team today.

 

Work Together within one application

Work Together within one application

Combine your day to day operations within one application

With a range of tools available to us on our computers these days, it’s difficult to work out what’s the best to use. Few apps are good at more than one job, driving us to juggle copious services to achieve our daily tasks, and worse; everyone has their personal preferences, which means we’re often forced to jump between many applications to achieve the same objective.

Teams is Microsoft’s answer to a single-pane-of-glass application covering a large range of our day to day communication & collaboration requirements. Performing both internally & externally to your business, Teams cuts out the time that is lost in the dark of numerous third-party services, along with the pain & irritation that comes with more traditional team working by older methods, such as email.

 

Stop the continuous back & forth emails

Do away with the ceaseless email chains, being cc’d into emails needlessly, and losing track of the latest file version following multiple versions being passed as attachments between everyone. With Teams, you can merge the conversation.

Every user within Teams, can refer to the “Conversations” pane for that specific group. Just like the feature we’re all acquainted with on social media platforms, users can be tagged, to ensure they are alerted to a point of reference within the conversation appropriate to them. Files, images and videos can all be shared and embedded into the conversation stream. The history can easily be searched through, and importantly all information is viewable on any device in a matter of seconds. Save hours in scanning your Outlook mailbox trying to find that specific conversation from months earlier.

Beyond the chat stream, your users can collaborate on files live – right within the app. Microsoft Office Web Apps are supported within Teams, so you can have several team members, (both internally and externally to your organisation), working on the same document, at the same time. You can actually see your colleagues entering information to the same document right in front of you.

 

You would rather a quick chat over the phone?

Text-based instant message conversations are excellent, but you’d prefer a quick voice chat? No worries, Teams has that covered too. Built from the foundations of Skype, within the very same Teams application, you can access voice & video conferencing between one or multiple users. Calls can be setup on the fly or pre-scheduled – if you use an Outlook calendar, you can create a Teams appointment just like any other calendar entry. The invitation generates a web link button to join the meeting within the details of the Outlook calendar appointment. So, whether you are inviting colleagues, clients or suppliers to a call – with one click, they can join the meeting regardless of whether they are Office 365 or Teams users or not.

Those non-Teams users won’t need to download any software or go through a prolonged setup. They can join the call from their favourite web browser and simply have at least a microphone active on their device.

At the same time of calling, you can be sharing desktop screens or access the same Office file via the cloud and work together as though you’re sat in the same area.

 

Need support?

If you are swimming in a sea of far too many options and are considering consolidating, Teams might well be the best response.

At Urban Network, we take a consultative approach to working with our clients. Unlike most IT providers, we take the time to learn our client’s business, operations and processes; enabling us to better tailor workable technology solutions.

If you are considering migrating to the Cloud, use Office 365 but not to its full extent or need guidance around technology solutions to your operational problems – please get in touch.

 

We’re Urban Network, we can help save your Business.

We specialise in managed IT & technology services to help businesses across London & the wider-South East, from our base in Wapping, East London.

Urban Network has a proven track record, with extensive experience and a full portfolio of industry accreditations & certifications.

Among our range of skills, we have a specialism in boosting productivity. Ensuring we aid our clients with employing the best & most appropriate practices, procedures and tools to increase their efficiency.

If you have any concerns or challenges with your technology generally, we would like to hear from you. Please contact the team today.

 

Too many options to manage within Microsoft Office 365?

Too many options to manage within Microsoft Office 365?

Perplexed by all the choices in Office 365? Skype, Teams, SharePoint…

Cloud platforms are advancing and so has the range of features and tools available to users within them. As much as they may make many of our lives easy-going, they can also bring a lot of misunderstanding & disorder between a variety of employees.

Giving people access across too many tools and they’ll use them incorrectly or not at all.

Don’t let ‘shadow IT’ tiptoe into your business by letting team members go off and find their own acquainted, often consumer-style products. Why not instead give them a strategy & training on the correct tools that best fit the desires of the business.

 

An understanding into Microsoft Teams

Uniting a long-line of communication and collaboration tools; Team’s is Microsoft’s single-platform response to a variety of business operational desires.

Working from a single ‘pane of glass’, users can access instant messaging, file sharing, calendars, video conferencing, intranet-style information wikis and notes all within one desktop application or online application.

By connecting to the platform, you won’t need to look back on the days of shifting between a host of apps, losing track of your files or sinking under a mountain of emails.

A quite surprising, but totally understandable statistic, is showing Teams to be already outstripping all previous Microsoft products to be their fastest growing platform yet! The simplicity combined with an all-encompassing approach, has secured the crowds looking for a 365-linked substitute to the likes of Slack.

Teams is available on most Office 365 subscriptions at no added cost. Most of the core features are available as normal, however there are further features such as the embedded phone system, which can carry additional fees.

 

Lost in an array of tools and resources?

If you are flooding in a sea of far too many choices and are considering consolidating, Teams might well be the most fitting answer.

At Urban Network, we take a consultative style to working with our clients. Unlike most IT providers, we take the time to learn our client’s business, operations and processes; enabling us to better tailor workable technology solutions.

If you are considering journeying to the Cloud, use Office 365 but not to its full extent or need direction around technology solutions to your operational problems – Please get in touch.

 

We’re Urban Network, we can help save your Business.

We specialise in managed IT & technology services to help businesses across London & the wider-South East, from our base in Wapping, East London.

Urban Network has a proven track record, with extensive experience and a full portfolio of industry accreditations & certifications.

Among our range of skills, we have a specialism in boosting productivity. Ensuring we aid our clients with employing the best & most appropriate practices, procedures and tools to increase efficiency in the workplace.

If you have any concerns or challenges with your technology generally, we would like to hear from you. Please contact the team today.

 

Improve IT efficiency – Why better equipment matters

Improve IT efficiency – Why better equipment matters

You may have heard of Moore’s Law which is an observation of the speed in the advancement of computing power. The most simplistic way to describe this is that computing power doubles roughly every year to year and a half. This prediction has pretty much held up fairly well over the last thirty years. Now, with computing power doubling every year and a half over thirty years, it means that today’s computers are roughly a million times faster than the first personal computers.

In recent years and with the innovation of “Cloud” the need for a higher specification workstation is even greater, but is often overlooked. The role of business workstations has rapidly changed from a local client/server relationship to a client to Internet relationship. Users data and indeed large email data would have been stored on a physical on-premise server are now more often stored in cloud repositories and replicated locally to users machines. Effectively, the workstations are directly communicating across the Internet to retrieve and process the data. Previously with the client/server approach the operating systems were architected such that the server handled more of the processing and the local machine focused on retrieval with a lower performance overhead. However, with the changed approach we are finding users machines physical hardware is a missed consideration, and is sometimes insufficient.

At Urban Network, both internally and with some of our client base, we have changed the strategic approach to computer hardware and what really fits the user’s needs. For users with a large mail footprint, running multiple applications accessed frequently, we are recommending machines with a high-end processor, greater levels of memory – significantly above minimum requirements of operating systems, and a Solid State Drive that processes transactions faster than a typical workstation hard disk. The resulting increase in performance, and in turn productivity vastly outweighs the higher purchase price, performing tasks faster and increasing the useful life of the machine and investment.

We would strongly suggest that businesses and individuals consider the huge benefits of spending a bit more at the point of purchase, to get a machine that will deliver the performance to improve the experience of using technology.

You can also check out our blog on “9 free tools to up your computer performance” to help keep your computer performance at its best.

60 years of downsizing & upgrading
(Credit: ZDnet)

10 Hidden IT Risks That Might Threaten Your Business

10 Hidden IT Risks That Might Threaten Your Business

Today’s big IT advantages come with major risks. Your networks and systems serve as your silent partner in operations. Should they fail – and when they do, it’s usually without warning – you’re exposed not just to an IT problem, but to a potentially large business problem.
This blog exposes 10 silent threats that might be quietly undermining your operations now – and proposes one quick, easy and FREE way to bring these threats under control, fast.

Risk #10: Wrong keys in wrong hands

It’s just common sense: you restrict crucial information, such
as bank accounts and inventory access, to carefully designated employees. Yet many businesses have lost control of their network’s user level access privileges, exposing vital company and client data to people without authorization. One of the first steps toward security is to be sure the right people have the right level of access to appropriate applications and data.

Risk #9: Bring your own headache

On the one hand, new devices such as smartphones and tablets can increase employee productivity – and when employees use their own devices, save the company money. But this new “bring your own device” (BYOD) environment brings new headaches, too. These devices are easily lost and stolen. When they are, any information available to the device – including confidential practice and client data – may be vulnerable to illicit access. Yet fewer than 50% of businesses report the ability to use data encryption and/or remote data wiping to protect their assets. Take stock of your data inventory: you need to share permissions reports that reveal which devices and users have access to which files and applications.

Risk #8: Who’s knocking at your backdoor?

Your business isn’t limited to your own systems. Thanks to access to outside servers and systems, you can leverage potent tools like Gmail and Dropbox to communicate with customers, share files and more. While these cloud services increase your capabilities without busting your IT budget, it’s important to remember that every connection that reaches out from your network may open an opportunity for someone else to reach in. Protect your portals: run an external vulnerability scan that reveals every “backdoor” through which an intruder might break into your network.

Risk #7: Weak passwords

Your password protections are only as strong as the passwords themselves. Having no passwords – or using obvious passwords such as “12345” – undermines the very protection you seek. Yet employees often fail to establish passwords or, when they do, frequently use ineffective ones. Review your passwords’ strength to identify weak spots any unauthorised user could punch through.

Risk #6: Whoa, back up

If you lost a significant chunk of your data right now, how much business would you lose as well? Too many businesses run without sufficient policies, plans and procedures for backing up critical data essential to their ability to operate. If your business depends on manual procedures that are executed inconsistently, you’re exposed to unnecessary losses; it’s time to look for automated backup solutions that are always at work – even when employees might be forgetful.

Risk #5: Show me the compliance

Sensitive data demands special attention. In many businesses, the law obliges you to preserve client confidentiality – and demonstrate that you have processes in place to ensure compliance. The best way to prepare for a regulatory audit is to run regular compliance audits of your own that allow you to take corrective actions before your operation is called into account.

Risk #4: Printing (lost) money

Despite high hopes for the “paperless” office, the reality is that businesses spend lots of money printing, faxing, copying and scanning paper documents. Consider the math: paper plus toner plus maintenance plus employee time, etc. It’s possible to bring these printing costs under control, but the first step is to discover who prints what, how often, and why. By monitoring your multi-function printers, you can limit access to authorised users, discourage unnecessary or wasteful usage, and encourage less-expensive options – such as scan to email or scan to file directories – that save time and money

Risk #3: “Ghosts” in the machines

There may be “ghosts” haunting your networks – inactive users or inactive computers that remain part of your system, even if they are no longer contributing to your productivity. While the threat may not be immediately obvious, defunct computers represent an expense you don’t need to carry. Worse, inactive users may reflect open accounts (perhaps of people who are no longer employed by your business) that could present security holes for unauthorised access. Run audits that show you what’s active or not, then clean house – and close security loopholes – by burying the “dead” devices and accounts.

Risk #2: When IT can’t keep up, your business goes down

Smart businesses and wise managers protect their critical networks with redundancy: backup servers and routers that are designed to kick in should the main system go down. But the contingency plan is only as good as the processes and practices behind them; should these be inoperative, your business will not maintain continuity in an emergency. To safeguard your business, analyse your network before disaster strikes to be sure that your contingency technologies – such as your backup designated router or alternate domain control – are online and ready for action.

Risk #1: Hiding in the dark

You want to run your businesses, not an IT department. While IT may not be top of mind, it should never be out of sight. Lack of vision into the true status of your technology, and the quality of your defences against attack or failure, may leave your business vulnerable to disruption, legal consequences and loss of revenue. By implementing regular monitoring and review procedures, however, you can anticipate challenges before they become problems, and take adequate measures to ensure the smooth conduct of your firm.

Is your IT a sure thing?

We all depend on IT. Given the stakes, it’s important our confidence is well placed. Are you sure the technology you rely upon is adequately protected? Take a moment to complete this quick self-analysis. If you
 cannot answer YES to every question, request our FREE network assessment to give yourself – and your business – the confidence you deserve.

– Have you assigned appropriate access levels and authority to restrict data and applications to the right people?

– Can you create and review permission reports that tell you which devices and personnel have access to which data and applications?

– Are the connections you use to access online services protected against backdoor invasions by unauthorised intruders?

– Are your data and applications password protected, and are your employees using sufficiently strong passwords to ensure security?

– Do you use automated backup programs for data protection, rather than random and irregular manual backups?

– If the regulators arrived at your door, are you confident you comply with legal and regulatory mandates for your data?

– Can you monitor and control printing, faxing, scanning and copying to lower costs?

– Is your system cleared of ghosts users and computers that waste resources and expose your network to unauthorised access?

– Can you verify that your data recovery and network restoration plans are operative and ready to work in an emergency?

– Do you have timely and actionable visibility into your IT status, so that you can intercept problems before they interrupt your business?

Give yourself, and your business, a “yes” vote of confidence by requesting our FREE network assessment! Your network assessment will give you insight into the true status of your IT system, and point the way to appropriate corrective actions you can make to secure your business effectively and efficiently.

To get your FREE network assessment, visit our Network Health Check service