Unlock the potential of remote work with these tools

While the COVID-19 pandemic has waned, we may yet see a resurgence if we fail to suppress its current and future variants. One way we’re preventing the spread of coronavirus is by implementing remote work strategies. Remote work allows people to work through quarantines, as well as keep companies and even economies afloat. Here’s a rundown of exceptional tools many remote teams are using.

But first, here’s why remote work is a boon for businesses

For both employers and employees, a remote working arrangement has attractive benefits. Many remote workers report increased job satisfaction ⁠— being spared the stress of a daily commute and having a better work-life balance boost their productivity and overall happiness.

At the same time, organizations can tap into a potentially larger labor pool, hiring from just about anywhere and finding highly skilled talent at lower rates. And in the face of natural calamities, outages, and the ongoing pandemic, a distributed workforce becomes a necessary business continuity measure — a means to protect employees and keep productivity up, even as traditional workplaces remain unavailable.

All of this is possible because we have the technologies to support remote work. With a plethora of software to choose from, we’ve selected the ones that will help your remote teams thrive.

Real-time communication and collaboration software

Every successful organization needs to communicate. When communication breaks down, productivity and engagement suffer. Given the lack of face-to-face contact, regular, real-time communication is arguably more critical for remote teams and their managers. The following apps make it possible, seamless, and simple.

Our picks: Slack, Mattermost, RocketChat, Microsoft Teams, and Join.me

Deemed the alternative to email, Slack is the leader of the pack since it is the easiest to integrate with countless applications. Its basic functionality enables remote workers to direct message (DM) or create “collaboration hubs” around departments, projects, or any topic. Meanwhile, Mattermost and Rocket Chat are open-source tools that recreate many of Slack’s capabilities.

Microsoft Teams and Join.me are well-known video chat and conferencing apps. However, as a full collaboration and communication suite, Teams offers more for Windows users. It allows Voice over Internet Protocol, direct and group messages, and integration with all the Office 365 apps. On the other hand, Join.me does not only provide free video conferencing services,, but it also allows participants to use a cool brainstorming feature called “whiteboarding” for real-time interaction on a shared document.

Remote desktop applications

Work computers often have business apps that our PCs don’t. Accessing your work computer while on the go or out of the office was once unheard of. Remote desktop apps have made it possible, allowing users to work remotely on a computer through another device and from any location.

Our picks: TeamViewer and Splashtop

TeamViewer has capabilities such as screen sharing, file transfer, wake-on-LAN, and clipboard transfer. Free for personal use, the app is easy to set up and is available for multiple operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, and Android. Splashtop has similar capabilities but with the added benefit of “low-latency” transfers or the transfer of a high volume of data and messages with minimal delay.

Project management essentials

When you’re managing dozens of team members located in different parts of the globe, things can start to fall apart quickly. Time differences and distance can create significant complexity if you lack the right tools. These two apps can help you overcome the challenges and streamline project organization and collaboration.

Our picks: Trello and Basecamp

Trello’s overall shining feature is its simplicity. The web-based tool’s approach to project management is built around one concept: the bulletin board. Users can create boards that represent projects, and each board can be populated with cards assigned to specific members and customized with deadlines, comments, and attachments.

Basecamp, on the other hand, is a web-based management tool for planning and collaboration on projects. There’s no installation needed, just your regular web browser to access its powerful core functions that include task management, messaging, collaboration, file sharing, scheduling, quick search, and reporting.

With the current global crisis, remote working tools have become even more crucial to sustaining productivity, accomplishing projects, and solidifying distributed teams. It’s important your organization chooses ones that are well-suited to budget, infrastructure, and goals. Our experts can help make a proper assessment and configure the perfect remote working setup. Talk to us today.

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The value of AI to eCommerce businesses

Over the past few years, eCommerce has experienced rapid growth, with more and more consumers preferring to do their shopping online. In 2022, the industry is expected to grow further with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) by e-tailers worldwide. Here’s how AI will change the face of eCommerce and fuel its growth in the coming year and beyond.

Personalized recommendations

Machine learning (ML) is a branch of AI that enables software applications to more accurately predict outcomes using data and algorithms. In eCommerce, ML can be used to identify customer habits and interests based on search histories (both inside and outside a specific eCommerce business’s site).

With proper configuration, ML can be used to analyze shopping behaviors to customize the online shopping experience to specific users. This enables e-tailers to make product recommendations, pairings, and promotions that target individual customers. As a result, customers’ overall experience improves and, in turn, businesses’ sales significantly increase.

Improved search capabilities

Voice and image searches in eCommerce are gaining widespread popularity. By integrating voice and image search tools into eCommerce sites, e-tailers make it easier, faster, and more convenient for consumers — especially those using mobile devices — to find the products they are looking for.

To start a voice search, customers can simply click on the microphone icon on an eCommerce site. Using AI voice recognition and natural language processing, the website will identify what the user said and display all products relevant to their search query. On the other hand, to initiate a visual search, all a user has to do is upload a photo of the item they are looking for or something similar to it. AI will then make suggestions based on the data from the uploaded image.

More efficient inventory and warehouse management

AI-powered demand forecasting solutions can help e-tailers better keep track of their supplies, ensuring that they don’t run out of or overstock particular items. Such solutions enable this by leveraging sales trends and consumer behaviors, projected increases or decreases in demand, or possible supply chain issues that could affect inventory levels.

Many eCommerce businesses are also deploying AI robots in their warehouses. These robots can be programmed to retrieve products once an order has been placed or to store items once they’ve been delivered to the warehouse. This facilitates product dispatch and delivery, so customers receive their orders on time.

Better customer service

eCommerce businesses can leverage AI chatbots to deliver more efficient customer support. These bots can be programmed to facilitate simple transactions that simulate conversations with a live agent, such as questions about when orders will be delivered or the availability of an item. This frees up customer service representatives to focus on addressing higher-level or more complex issues.

Learn more about AI and how it can foster your business’s growth by getting in touch with us today. We’ll tell you all about AI and other innovative technologies that will enhance your operations and improve your profitability.

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Why technology business reviews are worth it

Are your IT assets contributing to your business’s profitability and overall growth? If you can’t tell whether your IT is helping you turn a profit, it’s time to seek the help of professionals who can evaluate your technology’s performance and spot any anomalies before it’s too late. One way to evaluate your IT systems is to conduct regular technology business reviews.

A technology business review reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your company’s IT framework. It’s often performed by a third-party IT consultant who will give an objective assessment of your technology and provide recommendations to help you meet your goals. If done properly, technology business reviews allow you to:

Save money

Every review starts with a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether an implemented solution is worth the continued investment. If there are technologies costing you a fortune in management and maintenance fees, consultants will advise you to cut them from your budget. They will also recommend cost-effective alternatives so you can do more with less.

Increase productivity

System-wide reviews of your IT infrastructure show you what processes are hindering business operations. This allows you to formulate solutions to increase productivity. For example, if employees are mainly sharing files via email, consultants might suggest cloud collaboration platforms, like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, which store data in a centralized location for seamless file sharing.

Enhance security and compliance

Technology business reviews can also uncover security risks within your business. Consultants look for missed patches, poorly configured networks, and other software vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by cybercriminals.
They’ll then compile their findings to create a more robust cybersecurity strategy, usually one that involves implementing advanced solutions like intrusion prevention systems, file access restrictions, and patch management software.

If you operate a business that’s subjected to data regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), consultants will also pinpoint noncompliant IT practices and solutions and then customize a strategy that ensures the privacy, integrity, and availability of your data.

Implement appropriate technologies

Considering that new technologies are released at a breakneck pace, it’s important to pick those that will help you achieve your business goals. Technology business reviews keep you up to date on the latest technology trends and gauge the impact of implementing them so that you can make informed decisions.

Whether your goal is to increase profits, productivity, security, or all of the above, technology business reviews can put you on the right track. Our seasoned IT consultants can conduct these reviews for you and develop a strategy that gives you an edge over the competition. Just give us a call.

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Why is Windows 11’s TPM requirement important?

Months before Windows 11’s official release date, conversations were already focused not just on the new operating system’s (OS) new features, but also on how its hardware requirements compared to its predecessor’s. Among the points raised was the compulsory Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 chip in Windows 11-supported devices — a marked upgrade from Windows 10’s TPM 1.2 requirement. Now, better hardware generally costs more, so it won’t be surprising if you’re looking for ways around this particular requirement in order to save money. In this post, we discuss why you shouldn’t do that.

What is a TPM chip anyway?

A TPM is a security chip embedded in modern systems that provides a hardware-based tamper-resistant environment to generate, store, and protect encryption keys. Commonly found in the latest smartphones and PCs, these chips supply the cryptographic key that unlocks your machine and permits you to access your data. Should a hacker or any unauthorized party gain access to your device and try to tamper with your encrypted drives, then the chip will prevent the device from booting up.

TPMs are also used by some apps and web services. For instance, Outlook uses a TPM for handling encrypted emails. Web browsers, on the other hand, utilize it for maintaining SSL certificates used to authenticate and create encrypted connections with websites.

Why shouldn’t you circumvent Windows 11’s TPM requirement?

Some users felt that requiring TPM 2.0 on devices running Windows 11 was too restrictive. From their point of view, Windows 10 ran with just TPM 1.2 and it has remained fairly secure. As such, some users have been searching for ways to run Microsoft’s newest OS even on devices without the required TPM 2.0 chip. But even if such methods are eventually found, here’s why you’d be wise to avoid them:

TPM 2.0 is more advanced than TPM 1.2
As is the case with most types of tech, iterations with higher numbers aren’t just newer, but they come with better features too. In particular, TPM 2.0 supports more and newer cryptographic algorithms than its predecessors. This means it can generate keys that are harder to break, making devices that use it more difficult for hackers to infiltrate.

Compatibility issues may arise
Like any software manufacturer worth their salt, Microsoft tested Windows 11 extensively prior to the product’s release and they very likely did so on supported devices. Therefore, running the new OS on devices that don’t meet hardware specifications may result in compatibility issues that can lead to various problems, ranging from glitches to outright failure. In any case, addressing these issues may prove to be more expensive than investing in supported hardware from the get-go.

Microsoft won’t release updates for unsupported devices
The software giant temporarily relaxed some of its restrictions and allowed unsupported devices to run Windows 11 for some time. They made it clear, however, that unsupported devices won’t be receiving any future updates.

Updates are extremely crucial. Apart from helping improve user experience through new features and quality-of-life upgrades, updates also bolster your OS’s defenses against the most recent threats. Not receiving future updates will leave your IT systems and your business vulnerable to cyberattacks.

When it comes to bypassing Windows 11’s hardware requirements, especially if these have something to do with security, just remember this adage: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” If you have any other questions about Windows 11 and how you can make the most out of its features, just give us a call.

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What are distributed spam distraction attacks?

The average person goes through anywhere between one and a dozen assorted emails per day, but have you ever experienced receiving a few thousand emails in a span of a few hours? If so, you may be experiencing a distributed spam distraction (DSD) attack. Here are some things you should know about it:

What is DSD?

DSD is a type of attack wherein cybercriminals bombard email inboxes with tens of thousands of emails in a short span of time, typically between 12 and 24 hours. These emails don’t contain dangerous links, ads, or attachments, just random excerpts of text taken from books and websites. But because of the sheer volume of these emails, deleting and blocking each one of them can be overwhelming. Worse, the email and IP addresses used to send them are all different, so victims can’t simply block a specific sender.

While these spam messages may seem like harmless annoyances, their true purpose is to draw victims’ attention away from what attackers are doing behind the scenes, which is stealing and using personally identifiable information to conduct a raft of illegal activities. These include stealing money from the victims’ bank accounts or making unauthorized purchases in their name. In a DSD attack, the thousands of spam emails serve as a smokescreen that hides payment confirmation messages.

In other words, if you are receiving an unusually large volume of emails from legitimate-looking accounts, you should act very quickly because the attackers likely already have access to your login credentials.

What signs should users look out for?

Over the years, attackers have developed new DSD tactics. Several reports show that instead of nonsensical emails, these crooks are using automated software to trick their targets into signing up for thousands of free accounts and newsletters to distract them with authentic messages. This allows DSD blasts to slip past spam filters that weed out the email text used in traditional DSD attacks.

Also, anyone can go on the dark web and pay for DSD services. For as little as $40, you can get an attacker to send out 20,000 spam emails to a specific target. All you need to do is provide the attacker with your target’s name, email address, and credit card number — all of which can also be purchased on the dark web.

What to do if you’re experiencing a DSD attack

DSD is a clear sign that your account has been hijacked, so if you receive dozens of emails in quick succession, contact your bank to cancel any unfamiliar transactions and change your login credentials as soon as possible. Also, you should install anti-spam software, or update your existing software if you already have one to protect your inbox from future DSD attacks.

Attackers only initiate DSD attacks after they’ve obtained their target’s email address and personal information, so make sure your accounts and identity are well protected online. Regularly change your passwords and PINs, enable multifactor authentication, set up SMS and/or email alerts for whenever online purchases are made in your name, and be careful about sharing personal information with others.

DSD is just one of many cyberthreats out there. For expert advice on how to ensure your safety and security online, get in touch with our team of IT professionals.

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Bolster your mobile security with MTD

Malware attacks are continuously on the rise. In 2019, cybersecurity experts calculated that one organization succumbed to a malware attack every 14 seconds. In 2021, that figure rose to one malware victim per 11 seconds. For this reason, businesses must implement a mobile-first security strategy. Leveraging mobile threat detection (MTD) solutions is an excellent way to accomplish that.

MTD and malware detection

Mobile threat detection solutions prevent network-based attacks and malware infections on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Since most malware programs are cleverly disguised as legitimate apps, the key to finding and defending against them is to recognize irregular patterns in user behavior and device function — something that MTD tools excel at.

When applied to business networks, MTD solutions can monitor network traffic for suspicious activity, such as invalid or spoofed certificates, in order to stop man-in-the-middle attacks. This enables them to respond to threats in real time while providing insight on the risk level of all devices connected to the network.

MTD and machine learning

All MTD tools are supported by a machine learning mechanism, which allows them to recognize usage patterns and flag any behavioral outliers. MTD solutions are also very scalable, and they are able to monitor dozens of Android mobile devices simultaneously. When one of these devices starts functioning in a way that deviates from the rest, machine learning helps the MTD tool log the anomaly and notify IT administrators.

Implementing an MTD solution

Integrating an MTD solution into your mobile security strategy requires a thorough evaluation of various critical factors, including industry regulations and the sensitivity of the data stored and/or exchanged on your mobile devices. Ideally, your MTD solution should be part of a larger security strategy that allows you to block harmful network traffic and strengthen the business’s overall cybersecurity posture.

Developing strong defenses for mobile devices is fast becoming a critical component in many businesses’ cybersecurity strategies. And although mobile threat detection remains an imperfect means to detect malware, it is far more powerful than traditional anti-malware solutions.

Other benefits of using MTD tools

Rolling out an MTD solution comes with several benefits essential to today’s remote or hybrid work environments. For one, it gives a company confidence in implementing a bring your own device policy. Not only is an MTD solution able to thwart cyberattacks before they become serious problems, it also gives IT administrators critical visibility into the risk level of the company’s mobile workforce. What’s more, deploying MTD solutions makes regulatory compliance a breeze, as it ensures that the organization’s sensitive data is safe regardless of where it’s stored.

Businesses like yours need comprehensive security solutions to fend off cyberattacks, whether on your PCs, laptops, or smartphones. For expert IT security recommendations, call our experts today.

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Use Windows Migration Assistant to import data from Windows to Mac

There are several ways to transfer data from a Windows PC to a Mac. You could save your files to an external hard drive, share them over your network, or sync them up to the cloud. There’s also Windows Migration Assistant, a special utility that Apple created to easily and seamlessly import data from Windows to Mac. Here’s how it works.

Preparing to migrate data

Both the PC and the Mac need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, or if you prefer, you can run an Ethernet cable between the ports on the PC and the Mac for a direct connection. Since newer Mac models do not have an Ethernet port, you may need to purchase an Ethernet adapter, such as the Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter or Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that your PC drive doesn’t have any issues. You can check for issues by following these steps.

  1. Type “Run” in the search bar. You can also press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run field.
  2. In the window that opens, type “cmd” and press Enter.
  3. In the command prompt, type “chkdsk” and press Enter.
  4. The check disk utility may report that it found problems. In that case, type “chkdsk drive: /F” and press Enter. Note that drive is the letter that represents your Windows startup disk, such as C: or D:.
  5. At the prompt that appears, press the Y key, then restart your PC.

This process might need to be repeated until the check disk utility reports no issues. If you can’t clear these issues, you may need to have your PC serviced before you migrate data to your Mac.

Migrating data from PC to Mac

You’ll need to download and install the Windows Migration Assistant on your PC based on the version of macOS on your Mac:

Once the Windows Migration Assistant is installed on your PC, you can start the migration process.

  1. Quit any open Windows apps.
  2. Launch Windows Migration Assistant.
  3. Click Continue to begin the process. If Windows updates are configured to install automatically on your PC, you may be asked to disable this feature. When you’re ready to proceed, click Continue.
  4. Start up your Mac, if it’s not already up and running. If it’s a brand new Mac and has never been booted up before, Setup Assistant automatically launches. If you’ve already set it up, go to Applications > Utilities and launch Migration Assistant.
  5. In Migration Assistant on the Mac, go through the on-screen prompts until you reach the prompt asking how you want to transfer your information. Select From a Windows PC, then click Continue.
  6. When prompted, enter the administrator name and password. Then, click Continue and all other open apps will be closed.
  7. In the migration window on the Mac, a list of available computers will appear. Select your PC from the list, then wait for the PC to display a passcode. That same passcode should show up on the Mac as well. Once it does, you can click Continue on both the Mac and PC.
  8. The Mac will scan the drives of the PC and create a list of information you may wish to migrate. When the scan is complete, select the data you want to transfer, then click Continue. If you’re transferring a large volume of data, the process might take several hours to finish.
  9. When the migration is complete, quit Windows Migration Assistant on the PC, then log in to the new user account on your Mac. You’ll be asked to set a password for your new Mac account.

What types of data can you transfer?

A surprising amount of the data on a PC can be transferred to a Mac. For many business PC users, it’s important to know that transfers from Outlook are only supported for 32-bit versions of the program, as Migration Assistant doesn’t support the 64-bit versions. Outlook users can also run the app on Mac (as part of Microsoft Office for Mac) and connect to the same servers for access to their contacts, calendar, and so on.

Photos show up in your Mac’s Home folder, which is the one in the Users folder with your name. A good way to import all of those photos is to launch the Photos app on your Mac, select File > Import, and then choose your Home folder. The Photos app scans that folder for all photo files and presents them for review before being imported.

If you use either Windows Live Mail or Windows Mail on your PC, both your IMAP and POP settings and messages move to the Mac Mail app. For Windows Mail, People moves to the Mac Contacts app.

Any bookmark you had saved for Internet Explorer, the old Safari for Windows, and Firefox on the PC is transferred to Safari on your Mac. iTunes content like music, movies, and other files stored in the Windows version of iTunes are transferred to iTunes on the Mac. Finally, some system settings from the PC — language and location settings, web browser home page, and custom desktop pictures — are also moved to System Preferences.

Changing hardware and operating systems, as well as updating applications, can be a burden, especially if you have hundreds of workstations to manage. These tasks, however, are vital for growing businesses. If done right, scaling hardware and software can be secure, efficient, and cost-effective. Consult with a certified IT support expert today.

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Cleaning tips for your work computers and mobile devices

Allowing work PCs and mobile devices to accumulate dirt can lead to glitches and hardware failures, both of which can affect productivity. To avoid these issues, you must properly maintain your work devices. Here are a few tips to keep them clean.

Desktop monitors

You spend several hours looking at your computer monitor, so it’s important to make sure it doesn’t have any dust or smudges. To clean your monitor, turn it off first and gently wipe the screen with a microfiber cloth.

If there are still spots, try dampening the cloth before wiping but make sure you don’t spray water onto the screen. Don’t press too hard on the display, as this could damage the pixels on the monitor. Also, don’t use paper products like napkins or tissues, as they can leave a residue and scratch the monitor.

Mobile screens

Mobile devices will usually accumulate fingerprints. The best way to clean your mobile device’s screen is to wipe it down a microfiber cloth. For tougher spots, dip the cloth in a small amount of water and then gently wipe the screen. Don’t splash water onto the device itself, as the liquid could get inside and damage internal components, which can void your warranty.

Some people suggest rubbing alcohol to remove fingerprints and disinfect the device. While this will work for some screens, many manufacturers advise against this because the alcohol can wear down the protective film on some devices.

If you find dust or gunk in the edges or cracks of your screen, take the device to a mobile shop for more thorough cleaning. Do not open the device yourself, as this could also void the warranty.

Keyboards

Debris and dirt can accumulate between the keys of your keyboard. Before you start cleaning your keyboard, be sure to unplug it. Then gently run cotton swabs dipped in water or rubbing alcohol over the keys.

To remove dirt between keys, you can use a keyboard brush or compressed air, which can be purchased at most office supply and computer stores. Spraying compressed air in between keys should be enough to get rid of most of the dust and grit.

Computer mice

Similar to the keyboard, mice can get quite dirty with grime from dust and your fingers. To clean a mouse, unplug it then use cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Computer towers

Before you start cleaning your computer towers, disconnect the power source and all wires to avoid short-circuiting.

Next, take a slightly damp microfiber cloth and wipe down all sides. Be careful when cleaning the front and back, as these parts house sensitive ports and components.

Dust can also clog up cooling fans, causing them to stop working properly. This can potentially lead to other components overheating. To clean the insides of your computer tower, remove the casing with a screwdriver. Then, use a brush or short bursts of compressed air to remove accumulated dust.

Making sure your computer is clean and running optimally is important to staying productive at work. If you want more advice on how to optimize your IT, our technicians are here to help. Call us today.

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Get VoIP-ready for the holidays

For many businesses, the holidays can be one of the busiest times of the year, with clients calling left and right. Fortunately, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems offer numerous cloud-enabled features that ought to help you handle large volumes of calls and cover periods when you are closed. However, if you don’t optimize their utility, you may run into some problems. Beat the rush with these tips.

Check your VoIP equipment

Sometimes, problems with VoIP don’t have anything to do with your service provider or even the servers that host the solution. Issues may stem from the physical VoIP lines and phones themselves. One common issue with VoIP is that if your equipment is stacked too closely, users may experience a degradation in call quality.

You can ask your employees to check call quality, especially if two or more VoIP devices are close to one another. If there are issues, moving the devices further apart should clear this up.

Beyond this, take the time to inspect all cables and connections to ensure they are in good condition and are able to deal with increased wear and tear during the holidays. If your equipment is old and outdated, you may need to replace them with newer models.

Establish VoIP system monitoring

With people rushing to get their last-minute shopping done, your staff will likely experience a sharp spike in inquiries and assistance. A monitoring solution can predict when issues may arise. Whether you are open or closed for the holidays, make sure to implement the following:

For busy periods

  • Set up call queuing with hold music or estimated wait time.
  • Leave recorded messages with complete information and an alternative way to contact support, such as a hotline, an email address, or your website.
  • Change your configuration to help you manage shorter business hours.
  • Reroute or put messages on hold when the company has reduced hours.

For closed periods

  • Set automated messages or announcements to inform customers that your business will be closed during the holiday season and what day you will reopen.
  • Update receptionist greetings before Christmas to remind callers of your holiday hours.
  • Reroute incoming calls for employees who will be working remotely.

Enable dedicated support

The great thing about VoIP is the support that comes with it. You can keep call costs low, as employees working from home can still communicate with the office. A good VoIP system can be configured to work for you and your customers no matter what hours you are open during the holidays.

Whether it’s diverting calls to mobile devices or remote machines, a good VoIP service provider understands that your business needs to be operational even during the holidays, and can accommodate those needs.

Work with an experienced IT provider

Christmas is busy enough without having to worry about something like a phone outage. If you need help with your phone systems or want to discuss how VoIP could help your business, call us today and we’ll recommend the best VoIP solution to ensure that your customers are happy and satisfied.

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The difference between Groups, Yammer, and Teams

Yammer, Microsoft 365 Groups, and Microsoft Teams are all Microsoft 365 tools that are designed for sharing files and communicating with colleagues. So what differentiates them from one another, and when should you use which? Let’s find out.

Microsoft 365 Groups

With Microsoft 365 Groups, every member gets a shared inbox, calendar, project planner, notebook, and document library. You can also integrate third-party apps like Twitter, Trello, and Mailchimp to Groups so notifications are sent directly to your shared inbox.

This means all relevant messages and information are sent to one place, so if your organization normally communicates via email, Microsoft 365 Groups is ideal. What’s more, HR and sales departments that communicate with external parties will also find plenty of uses for its email features.

A big downside of Microsoft 365 Groups, however, is email overload. Since all messages and notifications are sent to one inbox, users may become overwhelmed by the number of emails they have to sort through every day.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams, a chat-based collaboration platform, works with Skype for Business, so you can text, call, video chat, and share files with colleagues. Thanks to its seamless integrations with other Microsoft 365 apps, you can even work on shared files without leaving the app.

Unlike Groups, Microsoft Teams is designed for more advanced collaboration, making it great for completing projects with tight deadlines or other tasks requiring immediate feedback.

Yammer

Much like Groups and Teams, Yammer works well with other Microsoft 365 tools like Outlook and OneDrive. However, Yammer is a professional social media app designed to foster open communication and break down barriers between teams.

Yammer serves like a virtual office bulletin board: important files and announcements can be shared with the entire company through this platform. Users can also see the most popular post on their feeds, follow it, and even comment.

Yammer also takes design elements and features from social media apps like Facebook, making it a popular choice for companies with millennials in their workforce.

Although we’ve discussed the fundamental differences between Groups, Teams, and Yammer, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what each app can do. To figure out which apps you need, you must understand how your employees work, how they like to collaborate with one another, and what you want to achieve from such collaborations.

Fortunately, there’s another way to find the right app for your business: ask the experts. Contact us today for an IT assessment!

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