Copeland News - April, 2015
Welcome to this spring edition of CDS News. This season brings new things like Windows 10 as well as new perspectives on tried and true products and practices.
That being said, if you come across anything that you would like to discuss, never hesitate to drop us a note. We are here to help and serve you in any way we can!
In this issue of Copeland News
Windows 10 is the up-and-coming replacement for Windows 7 and Windows 8 (note that Windows 9 does not exist). Microsoft says that Windows 10 is the "next big thing" and is betting that it will become the new standard upon which worldwide consumers and businesses run their software.
Windows 8 users will notice additional functionality and will be comfortable in the new user interface. Windows 7 users will notice the introduction of "apps", but the familiar keyboard/mouse input from Windows 7 will remain front-and-center. Overall, the migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10 should be a shorter learning curve than was the migration from Windows 7 to Windows 8.
Whether coming from Windows 7 or Windows 8, Microsoft is very committed to managing each user's expectations for Windows 10. Evidence of that commitment lies in Microsoft's plan to offer a free upgrade for consumer-based (non-business) Windows 7 and Windows 8 users.
One of Windows 10 main attributes is that it is a single operating system (one code base) that runs across all supported device types, whether it be desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones.
Windows 10 has plenty to offer, most noticeably a revamped and customizable Start Menu. The Windows 8 experience of having no "Start Menu" has brought to light just how important the Start Menu was, so Microsoft worked to get back on track in this respect.
Microsoft has more information available online addressing Windows 10's new functionality as well as their free upgrade offer for non-business users.
In terms of who should upgrade to Windows 10, everyone should eventually. However, each user will have to review the software he or she runs and what devices (printers, scanners, web cams) are attached to his or her systems to ensure compatibility with Windows 10.
At the time of this writing, the exact release date of Windows 10 is not yet known, but is expected to drop somewhere between June and August of 2015.
Office 365 and Exchange Online
Office 365 provides a collection of Microsoft Office tools like Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Publisher via the cloud. Users "rent" these applications as opposed to "buying" the solution up-front, which is a large part of Microsoft's recent business model.
The complete list of tools available in Office 365 for Business can be found here.
While the list of tools is extensive, the most popular tool in Office 365 is Exchange Online. Exchange Online is the answer for two distinct business models:
Companies who previously invested in their own Exchange Server on premises are looking closely at Exchange Online because of the favorable costs when compared to upgrading on-premises solutions. Office 365 also gives users a pathway to adding tools in the future like OneDrive for Business and Yammer.
Companies who have older POP email through through their Internet Service Provider or website host look favorably at Exchange Online because of the full-featured, Enterprise-ready solution. POP account email was designed for personal use; it is outdated, unreliable, and has other shortcomings compared to Office 365's Exchange services (especially when trying to sync mobile devices with the same account). Once a business becomes an Exchange Online customer, Microsoft offers additional tools and upgrades as needed.
Exchange Online is currently priced at $4/user/month. Exchange Online brings business class email to organizations, large or small.
Every business needs to consider Office 365 (Exchange Online, specifically) for their business email. Please let us know if you have any questions with this approach to utilizing Microsoft Office's suit of tools and email within your organization.
Automation of Accounts Payable
Are your AP processes becoming an administrative challenge? ABBYY has announced the release of FlexiCapture for Invoices which can capture invoice header and line item information and send the data to your business system. This out-of-the-box solution can help your organization reduce manual input, automate purchase order matching and help leverage vendor discounts. A list of the benefits are available here. Please contact us for more information.
Did You Know?
Today, many people prefer communicating electronically and some make a traditional phone only as a last resort. This preference has driven the popularity of chat-enabled websites and mobile apps. CDS Chat fills the need for this level of real-time electronic communication with your customers and prospects. If you're interested in adding this functionality on your website or mobile app, let's chat about it. Seriously - click to start a chat right now!
CDS Monitor watches your systems in real-time, quickly determines if a problem is on the horizon, and alerts us of the pending concern. Between the cost of the servers themselves, your priceless data, and lost time/opportunity by employees, real-time monitoring is a necessity today. CDS Monitor is easy to implement and affordable; most systems can be monitored for approximately $50/site/month.
Document Management has recently been in the forefront for many businesses, as the old way of document storage and retrieval simply does not work anymore. Furthermore, natural disasters like fire can render traditional document systems completely useless. Consider reducing your risk and streamlining your document handling with electronic document management.
Remote employees are more common than ever, and this trend will only continue to grow. Businesses have been expanding their use of Remote Desktop Services within their organization to provide a secure, more practical approach to connecting users to internal systems. If you are growing your remote worker base, consider talking to us about Remote Desktop Services.
Charts can speak of a thousand words. Many groups are using charting to present real-time information to customers and associates alike. CDS Interactive Charting is a great addition to any website or standalone dashboard. Its interactivity makes it a "report writer" for your associates and customers, allowing them to filter data and customize its display. You may have noticed the recent addition of CDS Interactive Charting when logging into CDS Online, our customer web portal. If you don't have a username and password for CDS Online, just let us know and we'll set one up so you can chart your current tickets and support history.