Is your IT Support & Business Telecoms equipped for the ‘New Normal’?
Find out how to embrace and optimize the new normal with our IT Support & Telecoms “Coronavirus return to work checklist”.
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a demanding year. Your employees were tasked with adapting almost instantly to remote workplaces, only to now be asked to transition back when they’ve just about settled in. These constant changes are difficult, but there are ways to help. Your business should no be longer reacting to Covid-19, but be strategising for it. As a business, you need to look at the business communications solution you quickly put in place and decipher whether it was the right solution for your company.
You need to be asking where your pain points have been and if the current ways of working are sustainable long-term.
Starting April 21, Office 365
will be called Microsoft 365. More than just a name change, this is a move that
illustrates the company’s desire to shed the stuffy image of the Office
branding, and position it as a people first suite of apps.
The changes come at a time when Microsoft apps
are more important than ever as the coronavirus outbreak forces
people to work from home wherever possible. Apps that aid productivity whilst
people negotiate this ‘new normal’ are fast becoming vital for SMEs.
The good news for small and
medium sized businesses is that there are no price or feature changes for the
subscriptions and there are no changes to the Office 365 for Enterprise or
Education product names.
So, what do you need to know?
Microsoft Teams for Everyone:
In the blog post announcing the rebrand, Microsoft said the new names were meant to indicate that Office is more than Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; it also includes new apps like Teams, Stream, Forms and Planner.
Teams has seen significant growth over the last year, with Microsoft announcing a burst in popularity – the app went from 20 million business users in November to 44 million in April this year. Approximately 12 million users joined the service between March 11 and March 18 as more people around the world began working from home due to coronavirus lockdowns.
Microsoft’s move to bring more functionality to its productivity suite of apps comes as the company’s software is forced to contend with more competition – such as Google, and Slack.
Word and Powerpoint get an AI Boost:
The company will also be significantly
expanding its AI-powered editors in Microsoft 365.
The Editor software will help you improve your
writing by offering suggestions to make your text more concise and
grammatically correct. There will also be a plagiarism checker in this software
that will let you know if what you’re writing is a duplicate of content that is
already out there – as well as a feature that will eliminate by potential bias by,
for example, changing the word policeman to police officer.
PowerPoint also gets an AI boost, with a feature that listens to your voice before you give a presentation and can offer suggestions for how to adjust the pitch to ensure you don’t sound monotone.
Excel’s new ‘Money’ feature:
Excel is also gaining a new financial feature so
it can rival online apps like Plum and Cleo: the Money feature will give users
means to track spending in the spreadsheet app. Money will allow you to import
your financial data from participating banks and credit unions, and provide you
with information including how much you spend on certain categories like
groceries, and whether recurring payments for services have increased.
will see the new name for the services start to appear on your invoices after
April 21st and all name changes in the service will be delivered by
Microsoft, there is no need for you to do anything.
WebOffice 365 becomes Microsoft 365 – What you need to know
Prepare for Remote Working: Phones – Emails – Data Files
COVID-19 Business Continuity: A number of small and medium size businesses are undoubtedly considering the effects coronavirus may have on your business.
Ensure Business Continuity: Plan ahead and engage with us now before the situation concerning corona virus forces your team work from home. We are here to support you and your business.
If your staff need to work from home, do they have the correct equipment and resources to do so? Are they able to forward office calls to their mobiles? Can they access work files? Are their systems secure? See our checklist below to ensure you and your business are prepared:
Phone Number Failover: Ensure your office phone system has capabilities to divert calls to designated numbers.
ITCS Cloud Phone Systems are ideal for COVID-19 Business Continuity. Along with a PC/Laptop soft-phone and mobile app, the system will let you connect your office phone to your preferred business device. Your PC/Laptop or Mobile becomes an extension of your desk phone, allowing you to make and receive calls, transfer to colleagues, view any missed calls and record call statistics, just as you would from the office.
Emails and Calendars are available with Office 365: View and edit files on Windows Phones, iPhone®, and Android phones with Office mobile apps.
Office 365 and Outlook work wherever you are. Outlook mobile delivers a connected experience across email, search and calendar and deeply integrates with Office apps, files and teams to power your productivity and collaboration. Protect your data without compromising productivity with security, with the world’s leading email solution.
Files and Data are accessible and secure from home: Sharepoint enables staff to work as normal from wherever they are. Ensure you have this software, or similar, on employee devices.
Share your files from anywhere with SharePoint: Get more done with secure access, sharing, and file storage at home, or on the go. Microsoft file storage and sharing products are designed to help you store, access, co-author, and update files from anywhere, and easily share files inside and outside your organisation.
OneDrive gives you anywhere access to all your files, seamlessly integrated with Office and pre-installed with Windows. Automatically sync your files to your desktop so you can work with files offline. Access files on Windows, Mac, or mobile devices.
Off-site Backups: offsite backups to a loan server at your IT Providers’ preferred location
Ensure you have server hosting off-site, in a secure data centre. ITCS can provide your business with a private cloud service that enables your business to run even in the case of system failures or technical mishaps. Cloud hosting also ensures everyone in your business can access data across multiple offices or different locations on the go. With ITCS, you can be sure your data is stored safely and securely by professionals who care about your business.
Secure VPN for remote working: Ensure your team are working on a secure network, wherever they are
A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) is an encrypted, virtual “tunnel” between off-premises devices and on-premises information. Connecting to your business files and data through a VPN whilst working remotely prevents data theft between the server and your off-premises device.
Inform Staff and Clients of your Plans: Make sure all relevant stakeholders are made aware of your plans
Put both employees and clients at ease by letting them know of your COVID-19 Business Continuity plans. Make sure you include key messages, processes, avenues for feedback and updates. If Covid-19 does impact your business directly, let staff know what happens if they need to self-isolate, as well as reminding all staff about policies regarding group meetings, travel and policies regarding remote working.
WHAT ITCS ARE DOING:
As of Monday, 16/03/2020, ITCS will be engaging its own contingency plan so that we can continue to provide emergency support to our customers. We are prepared to support our clients through this situation. As a control measure to ensure ITCS staff don’t all come down with COVID-19 at the same time, as of Monday we will split the workforce into two working groups. Some of us will work from home, and some from the office. We will not be engaging with opposite working groups in person. Anyone office-based will be refraining from going into other departments and remaining within their own working areas. Wipes and hand sanitiser will be readily available on premises, along with regular washing of hands. Site engineers will be using gloves if they are required to attend site, or handle any materials/devices.
SERVICES: Bridgend Port Talbot Football League needed a Logo design, Office 365 Support, Exclaimer e-mail signatures, social media management, website build & CRM system
Scroll through the slideshow below to see screenshots of the site and the ‘Full Time’ section:
Following years of discussion regarding the amalgamation of
the Bridgend & District Football League and Port Talbot & District
Football League, the new league merger was agreed in early 2019 in order to focus
on trying to grow the game for juniors within the area.
The Bridgend Port Talbot Junior Football League is the
newest league within Welsh Football, hosting 32 clubs and various cup
competitions with age groups from Under 7’s to Under 16’s.
Bridgend Port Talbot Football League needed a professional
image which honoured its’ predecessor’s rich history whilst incorporating a
bright, modern and fresh image to appeal to its’ target audience. They required
the following services:
A full, dynamic and professional email signature
Website design & build
Social Media Management
Office 365 for all league officers to give them a professional platform and appearance
The logo redesign needed to merge the two predecessors’ logos, and also incorporate the original league colours – blue for Bridgend and red for Port Talbot. There also needed to be a clear message of the two leagues moving forward together.
Five designs were created by ITCS incorporating the league’s design requirements. Research was also undertaken to come up with the strapline ‘Onward with Confidence’ – this is the strapline on the Bridgend Town Crest. Elements of the Port Talbot town crest were also used. These five designs were submitted to be voted on by league members and the community, and the final decision was made by them.
The BPTFL website was designed and built to act as a brand
ambassador and showcase for the league, highlighting the exciting merge between
Bridgend & Port Talbot with an emphasis on eye-catching visuals and large
banner images. The website needed to cover everything any club would need to know
in a Junior Football League including real time fixtures, results and league
table. In addition to this, it needed to include a profile page for each club.
The front end needed to be bright, fresh, user-friendly and welcoming for all members of the public to be able to use.
Parents and players are able to see results and league
tables as well as where upcoming matches are being played – with directions
available to venues:
There is also a club directory available. When each club is selected, you are taken to a club profile with club details and contact information:
There is also a search function to find all the clubs in the league that have teams at different age groups:
For clubs, we included a login portal for submission of
results, as well as an admin area for use by the league officials for
allocating fixture details and referees, as well as authorising submitted
Once the site’s design was finalised, the team could get to
work on building the functionality of the back end. The aim of this was to
streamline the processes of organising league fixtures as much as possible, and
make everything accessible across all devices.
A bespoke CMS system was built into the site that would
allow admins to see and add clubs and club information, as well as seeing the
league tables for each age group. The system also allows users to organise
fixtures and tournaments and to allocate referees to games – as well as seeing
information on how many games each referee has been assigned to.
Each club is given a login to the Fulltime system and after each game, each club uploads their match results to the system. Once verified, these are displayed on the front-end of the website.
Office 365 and Exclaimer
With a new, fresh, professional image comes the need for a
professional email presence. The sporting crest of any football club or league
is an integral part of its identity, needing to appear on anything relating to
said organisation, from the football kits, club merchandise and official
marketing communications. This also relates to the email signatures that are
used by its employees. It makes no sense for a club or league to leave email
signature management to every single end user, just as it would not for any
other professional organisation.
We provided the league with Exclaimer, with Office 365 integration. This provides league officers with a professional email platform that can be used anywhere, as well as ensuring brand consistency through their email signatures.