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ITCloud.ca
A Canadian Cloud Distributor for MSPs

2020-08-28 - Covid-19 and Acceleration of Digital Transformation

During this pandemic, digital transformation has never been more of a priority for businesses. It became a matter of survival and leaders began to rethink the way they worked. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: "We've had two years of digital transformation in two months."

Indeed, it is often in times of crisis that it is urgent to reinvent and adapt:

Promoting remote work: Employees had to be equipped, secured, trained, and put online in order to continue to serve customers. To ensure the continuity of their business, SMBs have had to reinvent the use of their IT systems. The adoption of the Cloud has made it easier to access the services needed for remote working with solutions like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Azure, etc...

Implementing Online Collaboration Platforms: These platforms have allowed employees and customers to work without having to face physical limitations. Collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and SharePoint have been and continue to be widely used and preferred by SMBs.

Video conferencing and chat: Presentations, trainings, events, teams, and business meetings were easily made thanks to video conferencing and chat tools such as Microsoft Teams.

Digitalize tools and processes: Some processes, like signing/approving paper documents, such as purchase orders, contracts, or timesheets, could be digitized very easily with workflow management tools like Microsoft Power Automate or Microsoft Power Platform.

Online file sharing: File-sharing platforms, such as Microsoft OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint, have enabled files to be shared securely and efficiently from anywhere and on any device.

All these tools are more and more intuitive however they require for some training through e-learning solutions such as MOOC 365.

After a time-off, the global economy is now slowly recovering. So, what do we do? Are we stopping or are we continuing our digital transformation? While millions of workers turned into teleworkers overnight, SMBs had no choice but to adapt on the fly. This experience has shown that digital transformation has gone from "a nice to have" to a "unique way of working". It is therefore necessary that mentalities change sustainably, and that the digital transformation continues in a more structured way within companies. As IBM Managing Director Arvind Krishna said, “I think history will remember this crisis as the moment when the digital transformation of businesses and society suddenly accelerated. And together, we laid the foundation for the post-Covid world.”

At ITCloud.ca we have all the tools to help you assist your customers in their digital transformation. Contact-us today at Partners@itcloud.ca and we will be happy to discuss our offers with you.

2020-08-10 - TIPS & TRICKS TO GET STARTED WITH MICROSOFT TEAMS!

Conversations

  • Start chatting with your colleagues in 'chat' mode, whether in one-on-one or group discussion.
  • Use conversations as much as possible to replace short emails, involving only a small number of people such as "can we postpone the meeting ...?", "Bravo for your presentation", ...
  • Select the few recurring contacts to designate them as"favorites". They will thus appear at the top of the list in order to find them quickly (for this, in the "Chat" section, go to Contacts, Favoris and then click on ... and select Add a contact to this group).

Use desktop and phone apps (iOS, Android)

  • Encourage your colleagues to download and use the applications on PC and phone (iOs, Android, Windows 10).
  • The mobile App allows you to receive notifications so that you don't miss anything: follow remote meetings, make calls, answer your conversations, collaborate as a team, ... on the go). You can even set the app notifications in order not to be disturbed at certain days or times.

Set up and customize your team

  • Find the relevant teams within your organization and make sure that the members of each team have a common goal and that they are working in collaboration.
  • Don't forget! A Team is not a corporate social network: it is not about having too many participants. These are really your close teams, with whom you work and collaborate in "project" mode on a regular basis. We advise limiting the number of members to around thirty or even forty people so as not to overwhelm the information.
  • In addition, it's a good practice to have at least 2 administrators per team (in the event that one or the other is absent).

Organize your channels within your teams

  • Do not create too many channels at once, let your colleagues also create some of them according to their needs.
  • Examples of channels based teams:
    • For a team of engineers: website, user experience, performance, architecture, ...
    • For a sales team: marketing operations, budgets, new customers, ...
  • Download the files that are useful to your teams in the "file" tab of the right channels in order to allow them to access, discuss and collaborate.
  • If you already have a SharePoint site or a collaboration OneNote for your team, feel free to make a tab for easy access.
  • Likewise if you use business applications or applications such as Klaxoon, Asana, Trello, ... don't forget to connect them to your Teams using the tabs. It will save you a lot of time.

Have fun!

Don't forget to make your team pleasant and fun! Messages can not only be formatted (underlined, put in bold, contain bullets, hypertext links, ...) for better readability but they can also contain Stickers, Smileys, Gifs and even memes. It creates engagement and fun.

Create usage: make sure your messages are received and read

  • Remember: in order for your colleagues to see what you are posting and to be notified, you need to use the "@mention": @ team and @ channel. This way you make sure that your messages are seen, read and answered.
  • Microsoft Teams will be of value to you when used correctly by all members of your work teams. Do not hesitate to show them what you find useful in the application and how you use it on a daily basis to become more efficient.
  • In order to be notified as soon as a message is published in a channel (whether you are mentioned there or not), it is a question of activating the notifications of the channels which interest you more particularly. To do this, right click on the name of the channel and choose "Notifications"
  • To change the way your coworkers work and help them get some of their email communication through Teams, use channel email addresses. In Outlook, you can transfer your colleagues' emails directly to the associated channel to respond to them and get them to use Microsoft Teams better. In order to retrieve the e-mail address of a channel, right click on the channel then on "obtain the e-mail address".

More Tips

Some useful resources

Ready to start? Contact-us today! Partners@itcloud.ca

2020-03-27 - MICROSOFT SECURE SCORE

Keeping your customers' environment safe is more important than ever!

How many customers have contacted you this year with a problem related to IT security? How many stories of malicious attacks or ransomwares have you seen in the news in the last few weeks alone? Keeping your customers' environment safe is more important than ever. The Microsoft Secure Score tool can help you not only demonstrate the real security flaws in your clients' Microsoft environment, but also get you out of break/fix model by generating new revenue. Available for tenant's administrators, the tool is included in all Microsoft 365 plans and easily accessible via the Microsoft Security and Compliance Center. By performing a Secure Score analysis, you'll be able to show your clients their unique security score. The powerful analytics tool will review the entire Microsoft environment and assign the score based on the sum of the security controls that you have assigned, or not.

The tool will then make a list of prioritized suggestions, based on the effectiveness of the action itself and the impact it will have on users. Thus, the procedures that have the greatest impact on improving security but the least impact on users will on top of the list and those that are less effective and more disruptive to the customer will be at the end. Recommendations will be organized in groups and easy to implement to facilitate the user’s security efforts :

  1. Identity
  2. Data
  3. Device
  4. Apps
  5. Infrastructure

Just select a suggested action to quickly find the items to configure and the best practices to proceed. The simple Secure Score tool will allow you to find the right balance between functionality and security. Not only will you upgrade the organization's Secure Score in comparison to similar tenants, but you will also be able to analyze your score over time and utilize this analysis of each of your customers business lines as a recurring income. Quickly and each month, you'll be able to recommend a series of actions to take to improve your customers security, so essential in today's IT environments.

You understand now that Microsoft's Secure Score is one of the most obvious first steps toward a solid security practice. Combined with the most renown solutions on the market and your distributor's expertise, it is the key to safe and productive IT environments.

Reach out today to find out how ITCloud.ca can help you deliver high quality cybersecurity that keeps your customers safe — and your business stable. Get Started!

2020-03-17 - Cloud Move Assessment

Nowadays, more and more Canadian companies are ready, if not almost obliged, to begin their migration to a cloud infrastructure; the end of support of popular platforms such as Microsoft Windows 7 and Office 2010, local equipment operating costs or ever-growing needs for operational security and continuity are just a few arguments that confirm the necessity for IT professionals to focus on their customers outdated local infrastructure to the cloud.

Indeed, the constraints of local environments are an opportunity! As a trusted advisor, there is only benefits in offering your customers the latest & most secure technologies and direct access to the most sought-after new features within their favorite applications. With a cloud environment, you'll open the door to a world of increased productivity and collaboration for your customers, while minimizing operational costs, making them more competitive than ever.

Where to start? This is a heavy impact question that can only be answered by a professional cloud move assessment. What is it?

The cloud move assessment involves several steps that allow you to clearly define the technological implications of each IT workload, each user and all the company's policies in order to define a new cloud architecture. Subsequently, a priority scale will be established to create a specific project timeline and a clear migration strategy that will avoid unnecessary downtimes and expenses.

In any analysis, we find the choice vendor to be one of the most important decisions of any technology project. The same goes for your cloud service provider. By offering you a solid cloud move assessment service, your distributor will help you develop a concrete and personalized plan for a pain-free transition.

Do you have a customer looking to do a complete migration to the Cloud? Contact us now for an appointment

2020-03-16 - ITCloud.ca’s Business Continuity for Partners and Customers with regards to COVID-19

With the current and potential business and personal interruptions tied into COVID-19 we want to ensure you that at ITCloud.ca, we are always here to support you and your customers.

We wanted to make sure that you and your customers are prepared for the impacts and let you know that we are ready to support you. Below is a checklist that you can follow :
1. Ensure that all your employees have a laptop or a desktop that they can use for work at home
2. Ensure that all remote access apps have been tested
3. Ensure all remote access (VPN, Citrix, Windows Virtual Desktop) licenses are current and that you have enough of them
4. Test telephony adjustments to allow call forwarding to cell phones, deploy and test soft phones if they are compatible with your current phone system
5. Use Microsoft Teams to support remote workers.

How to support remote workers using Microsoft Teams :
We offer a complimentary webinar for our partners and their customers to familiarize them with the possibilities of Microsoft Teams for remote workers. Book your time slot in your personalized webinar here : https://info.itcloud.ca/microsoft-teams-workshop-for-smbs

 

Helpful links :
Get started with Microsoft Teams
Keep in touch and stay productive with Teams and Office 365, even when you're working remotely
End-user training
Microsoft Partner Guidance for Partner-initiated Microsoft Teams Trial

We are here to support you, and our shared customers, and thus if you have specific questions, or require specific support, please do reach out :
Partners@itcloud.ca
Support-ms@itcloud.ca



Henriette