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May 23rd, 2014

Office365_May19_BFor businesses to be able to spot trends when it comes to data on a graph, trendlines are able to connect the dots - literally. By connecting points on a graph, trendlines can reveal upward and downward trends of a group of values identified in a presentation. This is an important analysis tool which can help businesses understand not only where they are at right now but where they are heading in the future.

Predicting the future

Trendlines allow businesses to see the difference in various points over a period of time. This helps foretell the possible path the values will take in the future. This can help reveal performance, value, and competitiveness of specific products and services, along with the relevant business departments, such as sales.

By knowing how to add a trendline to your presentation, you can create a graphical representation of the values you have computed. This will enable the user to easily comprehend and analyze the message you are trying to imply.

Add a trendline to your Excel chart

If you use Office 2013, you can create a trendline to complement your reports by right clicking the data series (e.g., the information that has been graphed to charted) in the chart you created. This will show a drop down menu where you can find the option to Add a Trendline. This will open another window where trendline types are available. You can choose the one which suits the chart you created.

Another option is to click your chart and look at your Excel menu bar. Head on to the added tab, Chart Tools, and in the Design tab, click Add Chart Element where another drop down list will appear. At the bottom part of this, you will see Trendline, click this for a list of options that will best fit your data.

  • Exponential trendlines: This creates an uneven arc that is more curved at one side than the other on charts with values that fluctuate. It cannot be used when you have a zero or a negative value in your chart.
  • Linear trendlines: Most common when the values in your chart create a straight line. This shows a continuous rise or fall trend that indicates a path it will steadily continue in the future.
  • Logarithmic trendlines: Where there is a sudden increase or decrease in the chart, which then continues on to become level.
  • Polynomial trendlines: Used for larger set of data with fluctuating values. If the direction of your values continuously changes, then this option could suit you best.
  • Power trendlines: Almost the same as exponential, only in this, the arc is more symmetrical.
  • Moving average trendlines: Used when your points seem to have too many ups and downs. This levels out the extreme fluctuations for easier trend analysis. Depending on the number of periods set, this option gathers the values together and computes its average which is then used as the trend point.
Whatever your reports, it is easier to spot the direction of values when you use graphical tools to show data. This ensures that reports are easily understood, along with the trend at which your values are headed as a result of the lines appearing in the chart. The ability to fully grasp the value and use of trendlines and other Excel functions will allow you to use your computer programs to unlimited use. Want to know more? Get in touch!
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office 365
May 7th, 2014

Office365_May06_BIf you are thinking about purchasing an Office 365 subscription, you might want to read up on the different plans that Microsoft is offering first. With lots of valuable features, you just need to make sure that the plan you opt for fits with your business setup. This article aims to guide you in making a wise and informed choice in deciding which Office 365 subscription plan will bring the most value to your business.

The world can’t seem to get enough of the options that Office 365 offers. However, the variety of subscription plans can challenge your decision-making skills. Arming yourself with good research and knowledge allows you to gain more confidence in making wise business choices. You are off to a good start by reading about this article's comparison of the different Office 365 subscription plans.

Choosing the right subscription should start by identifying your business size. Whether you are running a small enterprise or a business empire, Office 365 has the subscription plan to fit every business need. In Microsoft standard definition, a business with 1-10 employees is considered small-sized. A medium-sized business has between 25-300 employees. Anything beyond is deemed to be a large-scale enterprise.

Office 365 for small businesses

If you anticipate having more than 25 employees in the near future, it is highly recommended to skip to the medium-scale subscription. If you are certain about your business size and you don’t have plans to expand, you can choose from two small business subscription plans.The Office 365 Small Business has all the standard features as follows: hosted email, Web conferencing and hosting, spam protection, 24/7 phone support, guaranteed uninterrupted service, SharePoint and file management via Web browser. The other subscription plan is The Office 365 Small Business Premium which comes with three additional functions on top of the standard features, namely the ability to download desktop versions of office applications, site mailbox access and mobile functionality.

Office 365 for midsize businesses

For medium-size businesses with up to 300 users there is a plan that has all the inclusions of the Small Business Premium Plan but provides reinforcement for your business IT infrastructure through better management of user permission credentials. If your business uses a huge chunk of Excel spreadsheets, this plan is for you as it has the Excel add-ons, with Power Query, Powerpivot, Power View and Power Map from multiple sources. In addition, this plan also includes a desktop version of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013.

Office 365 for large businesses

The high rollers in the business realm can choose from three plans, namely E1, E3 and E4. E1 has more or less the standard features of the Office 365 Small Business Plan and can support an unlimited number of users, plus it has the feature of user credential management, Yammer integration and access to a site mailbox. With E3 and E4 you can install the desktop version of the office applications. The only difference is that E4 has call capabilities via Lync Online calling, which is ideal for companies in countries where there are no VoIP prohibitions.

There are a lot of productivity tools in the market today and it can be a challenge to choose between the sea of options. In the realm of business, critical thinking should be observed, whether for small or big decisions, as any one of these choices could impact the success and productivity of your business. These decisions can range from low-impact, such as deciding which productivity tool to use for your day-to-day business functions, to high-impact, such as your long-term business plans.

Choosing the right productivity tool to use in your business needs to be taken seriously as this can take create a lot of difference. A good productivity tool makes a better organized work style and this can only mean a business that is easier to manage.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office 365
August 1st, 2012

There have been many different versions of Microsoft Office released for an equally large number of different operating systems. One of the latest versions is Office 365, the cloud based version of Office aimed at small businesses which replaces Office Live Small Business. It has proven to be a solid product. There is one issue however that businesses need to overcome before they fully migrate to the cloud.

With the release of Microsoft Office 365 last year, Microsoft said that they would not be supporting Office Live Small Business (OLSB) and users would have to migrate over to Office 365. If your company used OLSB, you already know that your website was taken offline and all data was inaccessible as of April 30.

Microsoft hasn’t left businesses without a solution, they offer OLSB users a six-month free trial to Office 365. The major problem with many cloud services emerged at this point however, businesses had to get their data off OLSB and onto Office 365, not an easy feat, especially for small business owners lacking the required technical know-how.

If a small business owner chose to do the migration themselves, Microsoft had a 21 page help walkthrough for the migration process. Any migration is a daunting when you also have to focus on running a business, one with a 21 page document can be downright dreadful.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t use Office 365, it’s a great office suite for small businesses that offers many improvements over OLSB and many businesses have been happy they switched over. The issue is that when it comes to your business and its documents, the migration needs to be done right the first time, no mistakes. How do you ensure this? By contacting us, we will be able to help with your migration, and have you up and running an a newer and better system in no time.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office 365
July 3rd, 2012

One of the most common pieces of software found on nearly every computer is the office suite. Microsoft is arguably the most popular office suite out there and their cloud office suite, Office 365, is a viable option for small business owners looking to save money. One of the integral parts of Office 365 is Word, which has many useful features including the ability to make templates.

Believe it or not, everytime you start a new blank document, you’re actually using a template. Word offers a number of pre made templates to choose from, but they’re not really designed for business users. Instead, you can create your own custom templates. Here’s how.

How to create a template based off a current document If you’ve created a document and would like all other similar documents to have the same layout and styling, you can turn the document into a template by:

  1. Opening the document in a new window. Be sure that you’ve saved the changes to the final document.
  2. Making changes to the document so that in the future, you can easily add missing information. Note: don’t save the document, as any changes will be made to the original version.
  3. Clicking File followed by Save As. Be sure to save the document in the Documents subfolder of the Libraries directory. This can be found on the left side of the Save As window.
  4. Naming the document as you like. It’s a good idea, but not necessary, to put template in the title.
  5. Selecting Word Template from the Save as type field.
Your template will show up as a selectable template when you start a new Word document. Click on My templates to access it. Be aware that whatever you have in the document when you create the template will be in every new document you open using the template.

If you realize you’ve made a mistake, open the template, make the changes and select Save As. Instead of entering a new file name, locate the original template, and click on it. Word will automatically apply the name of what you’ve clicked. Press Save and confirm the overwrite. You can use this method to any template, including the premade ones. If you do make changes to a premade template, the updated version will be located in the My templates section.

There are many ways you can tweak Word to meet your needs, and templates are a great way to ensure similar documents will look the same, while saving you time. If you’d like to learn more ways you can customize Word, or any other program in the Office 365 suite, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office 365
June 19th, 2012

Survey, poll and voting. Whatever you call it, there’s a good chance that you use these in your office. Whether it’s to ask your employees where to go for lunch, or ask them how you think you should answer an email, they’re an important part of the modern office. Did you know you can use Microsoft 365’s Outlook to conduct these surveys?

Here’s how you can create polls and votes in your emails using Microsoft 365’s Outlook.

  1. Open Outlook, and click New Message. If you have an email you’d like to attach a poll to, and forward it to others, open the email and click Forward.
  2. Click on Options, located at the top of the window you compose the email in. From the drop-down menu, select Tracking.
  3. Click Use Voting Buttons.
  4. Choose from the options.
If you choose Custom, you’ll be able to customize the names of the buttons. This is done by:
  1. Follow steps 1-4 above, and select Custom.
  2. A window called Message Options will open, under Voting and Tracking Options select Use voting buttons.
  3. Delete the default names and enter the name of the buttons you’d like to use. Be sure to separate them with a semicolon, with no spaces e.g., Choice One;Choice Two;Choice Three.
  4. If you want a read and delivery receipt sent to you, press the two respective boxes below Use voting buttons.
  5. Click Close. You’ll notice the buttons show up in the area where you compose your email. Compose the rest of your email, and click Send.
You can review the results by opening the email you sent, usually found in the Sent Items folder on the left-hand side of the Outlook window. In the open email, press the Message tab followed by Show and Tracking. If there haven’t been any responses the Tracking option will be grayed out, and you’ll be unable to click on it.

Being able to include a poll in your emails is a great feature of Office 365 that can be used for many situations. If you’d like to learn how to use other features of Office 365 please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office 365
June 6th, 2012

The cloud has become one of the most talked about technical trends of the past few years, it seems like every company is trying to utilize it. A large number of businesses have developed versions of their software that have cloud elements, like storage. Microsoft is one of these companies, offering a cloud version of their popular Office suite - Office 365. There are some great benefits to using Office 365.

There are four main benefits to using a cloud based office suite like Office 365.

Prevent save disasters. One thing every employee has done is get caught up in their work and forget to save, only to have the program or computer crash resulting in the loss of their work. By using Office 365, changes are automatically saved and synced with the cloud, so if something does happen, you probably won’t lose any of your work.

Access from more devices. As Office 365 is browser based, you can access it on a tablet or smartphone. This means you don’t have to be on your computer to access and edit documents. If you give lots of presentations and have a tablet with a data connection, you could ditch the laptop all together.

Eliminate forgotten documents. It can be embarrassing to show up to an important meeting only to realize that you’ve forgotten an essential document back at the office. If this happens, you can just log into Office 365 and access the document.

More storage. With computers, there’s generally a fixed amount of storage available, when it’s used up, you have to free up space by deleting old files. This can be a problem, especially if you have to keep files and information due to legal requirements. Office 365 has plans that allow your company to have as much storage as you need.

These are just four of the benefits to using Office 365 in your business. If you’re looking to move your office suite into the cloud, or would like to learn more about Office 365, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office 365
May 24th, 2012
Topic Office 365
May 24th, 2012

When we use office suites like Microsoft Office 365, we tend to spend a large amount of our time using the mouse to switch between tasks and features. In the interest of making you more productive and it easier to move around the program, Microsoft has introduced a number of keyboard shortcuts, no mouse required.

If you use Office 365, you probably spend a large percentage of time using Outlook. Here are some time saving Outlook keyboard shortcuts. These will work with both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Control + 1: Pressing this will switch to Mail. If you’re using a Mac, press command + 1.

Control + 2: This shortcut will switch to your Calendar. On the Mac press command +2.

Control + 3: This shortcut will open your Contacts. On the Mac press command + 3.

Control + Shift + M: This shortcut will open the compose a new message window. You can press this from anywhere in Outlook. On the Mac press command + Shift + M.

Control + Shift + A: When you press this, you’ll be able to set a new appointment. You can press this from anywhere in Outlook. On the Mac press command + Shift + A

F3: This shortcut will open the search pane. On the Mac you can press command + F3

Control + , or .: With a current message open you can press control + , (comma) to switch to the previous message in your Inbox, or press control + . (period/full stop) to switch to the next message in your Inbox. Pressing command + , or . will do the same thing on a Mac.

Control + Enter: When you have an email message open, pressing these keys will send the email. The Mac shortcut for this is command + return.

F4: If you press F4 Office 365 will close. To close the program on a Mac press command + Q

These are the most common shortcuts for Office 365. If you’d like to learn more Office 365 shortcuts or time saving tips, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office 365
May 18th, 2012

As we become more technologically advanced, the need for physical interaction is diminishing. More often than not, today’s young managers prefer to meet using technology. Microsoft has caught onto this and has integrated some innovative online meeting tools into their small business software, Office 365.

If you use Office 365 in your company, you can have online meetings through Microsoft’s messaging tool, Lync. Here’s how to start a meeting, and some features that make face-to-face meetings unnecessary.

How to start a meeting In Outlook’s calendar, schedule a meeting and invite the participants. When it’s time for the meeting, simply log into Lync, go to your calendar and select the meeting. You’ll have the option to Join online meeting, click it and the meeting will start. If a colleague is online and you would like them to join the meeting, click on their name and drag them over to the meeting window.

Features you can use during the meeting There are a number of useful things you can do in the meeting including:

  • Video calls. If you and the attendees have webcams, you can turn the meeting into a video call by pressing the webcam button beside the attendees’ names.
  • Share and share alike. Press Share (beside video) in the meeting window to get a dropdown menu with a number of things you can share with the participants. Say you are going to do a demonstration on your screen, you can share it with the attendees by selecting Main Monitor. You can also share presentations or programs.
  • Change the presenter. If an employee would like to show something from their screen, or is going to present something, you can give them presenter status by right clicking on their name and selecting Make a Presenter.
  • No interruptions. If one person is presenting, and another has a question, they don’t have to stop the presentation to ask a question, they can simply select IM and type the question. All participants will see it, and the presenter can answer the question when they are finished.
If you’re looking for an alternative to physical meetings, Office 365 has a great set of products that will allow you to do just that. To learn more about Office 365 or any of Microsoft’s other products please contact us, we’re ready to assist you.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office 365
May 10th, 2012

Businesses have been using Microsoft Office for years and many users, if polled, would count themselves as experts. Users in their numbers have already adopted Microsoft’s cloud offering, Office 365, as their main office productivity suite. The same features from previous versions are included, not forgetting the option to include electronic business cards in your emails.

Here’s how to create and share an electronic business card:

Create an Electronic Business Card

  1. Open Outlook and select Contacts followed by Home. Click on New Contact.
  2. When the Contact window opens, press Business Card and the Edit Business Card window will open.
  3. You will be able to enter contact information into the relevant areas under the Fields box.
  4. If you want to add an image or change the layout of the business card, press the Layout button located in the right side of the screen.
  5. When you have entered the information, press Ok and the business card will be saved as a .vcf file which is readable by most email clients.
Add an Electronic Business Card to an Email If you have saved a contact’s information as a business card, you can easily attach the card to an email.
  1. In a message select the Contacts pane and search for the business card you would like to attach. When you find it, click it.
  2. Select the Home tab, followed by Forward Contact. A drop-down menu will open, select As a Business Card.
  3. You will see the business card as an attachment in the email.
Add a Business Card as a Signature You can add a business card to your signature in any email.
  1. When you create an email message click Signature and select Add signature.
  2. Select the signature you would like to use, if you have one. If not, press anywhere in the white space below Edit signature.
  3. Click Business Card beside the paragraph alignment buttons in the Edit signature field.
  4. Select the contact name you use and press Ok. Your contact information will show up at the bottom of the email as a downloadable .vcf file.
If you’re a user of Office 365 and would like to learn more, or would like more information on Office 365 or other products, please give us a call.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office 365