Getting The Most Out Of Office 365 Business: 16 Tips

Microsoft Office 365

You use a lot of different tools to run your business. You have one for talking with employees, schedules, meetings, sharing documents, and another for keeping track of assignments. Running a business is a complex production. Switching to Microsoft Office 365 could save you from needing so many different types of software, and it could save you money as well. 

Then once you are using Office 365 you want to make sure you are getting all that you can out of it to make your business run as smoothly as possible. 

Getting The Most Out Of Office 365 Business: 16 Tips

Don’t let the features go to waste. Here are 16 tips to get the most out of your Office 365.

OneDrive Cloud Storage  

OneDrive keeps your files in one place and allows you to easily share them and collaborate. Files sync between OneDrive and your desktop so you can access them anywhere. Cloud servers and physical servers can have access to documents. You can use the Share + function to attach files to emails as a shareable link. OneDrive is like that box of important things you have, but you can access it anywhere and everywhere with file sharing. 

Online and Mobile Versions 

Office 365 includes mobile applications. If your staff needs to work from home or while traveling, they can open files and apps from any device with an internet connection. No excuse not to be working!  

Microsoft Teams 

You can create teams and groups for specific projects. This helps you to maintain communication, share calendars, exchange files, and conveniently chat with the instant messaging tool. Microsoft is also working on ending Skype for Business and has upgraded Teams to include the Skype capabilities. This will let you have video conferences with teams. It gives you more productivity tools in one place. Team management becomes much smoother. 

Microsoft Planner

Microsoft planner allows users to assign individual tasks and give out due dates. This is even more helpful because tasks are seen by all the members of a group. This transparency allows for smooth communication making it easier for people to work together. You can exchange online tasks and rearrange who is assigned to what. You get an accurate timeline of events and clear communication of what is being done. No more, “I thought you were doing that!” and other miscommunications.  

Clutter Feature

There is a clutter feature on Outlook where Microsoft will pay attention to unread messages in your inbox. Once it understands your email preferences, it will sort your mail and your low priority messages will go to a clutter folder. This puts your important emails in a better view. It also eliminates those spammy, unwanted messages that you never open. 

Message Recall Function 

If both you and the contact you are emailing have Office 365, then you can recall an email you sent as long as it has not been opened yet. Something to have in your bag of tricks when you send something to a colleague after a frustrating conversation. 


OneNote is basically a window to your sticky note-covered fridge, from anywhere. You can take notes, build to-do lists, and access them anywhere. This could become a virtual junk drawer. At least you don’t lose anything!  

Office Lens App

Now, this makes those notes you take even easier. You can use your smartphone to take a picture of a board or a sheet of paper, and turn it into a digital form. Office 365 takes that note-taking scramble down a notch. It also keeps you from losing important notes you might need later. 

Smart Look-Up

Users can highlight any word or phrase and use the Smart Look-up button to show a Bing search window to find out more about it. It’s so easy to double-check the search bar to make sure you are right when you guess the meaning of “blitzscaling.” Got to keep up with office lingo.  


You can share files to OneDrive or Sharepoint and instantly share them with co-workers. Edits will be shown to everyone in real-time, and you can keep tabs on all the changes. When you can’t be in the office together, this gives you no excuse not to join the party. Co-authoring documents and collaboration is a smooth process with Office 365’s collaborative features.   

SharePoint Views

SharePoint views allow you to divide lots of documents up into folders with more specific frameworks. Then you can view only documents within that criteria at one time. For example, if your business has multiple locations, you can divide documents up into those different locations. That way you are getting to the documents you need quicker. 

Sway for Slideshows

Sway offers many templates, background photos, and bonus features to make your slideshows more appealing. You know when your team is falling asleep in the meeting and can’t tell that you have changed the slide six times.

You can also import existing documents and start working with an outline to save a lot of time when using PowerPoint templates. 

Pin Documents to Taskbar  

Microsoft Office 365 allows you to create a shortcut to a document you regularly use. That way it is a quick click of a button away and you aren’t searching through your files every week. You put the important stuff front and center. 

Microsoft Office 356 Security 

Office 365 creates a safe firewall that protects your data from hackers. Microsoft has more security certificates than any other cloud service provider. It is important that you are keeping your company’s data in a secure place and Microsoft’s security features give you just that. 


When you are sharing a document with others you can grant them access, and then take away that access at a moment’s notice. Imagine giving someone a USB stick with important data and instead of letting them run around with it for the rest of their life, you can make it go away. This keeps important information close to home. 

Communicate Changes and Hold Training Sessions 

Fear of new technology is common. We want to continue using familiar tools when learning new methods and routines can be hard. Communicating the change to the new Microsoft software ahead of time makes the transition smoother if this is all new to your team. 

Hold training sessions to dedicate time to teach employees how the new tools are used. That way they feel comfortable diving in with them and communications are smooth. 

Lead by Example 

You get employees excited about the software and its benefits by using it yourself. You need to show them how it’s done. Make your weekly conference calls on Microsoft Teams (the new Skype). Create a shared word document and have everyone make edits. Show them how effective the collaboration is. 

You want to make sure you aren’t paying for any software that you don’t need when you already have Office 365. These features overlap with a lot of popular software that you don’t need to be paying for. 

Office 365 keeps updates coming so you always have the latest version available. You don’t need to have licenses to a new version every few years the way Microsoft software worked in the past. 

You have all of these tools and features at your fingertips. So use them! Keep your business and employees running as a smooth organization. The world has become a friendly place for remote work. Embracing technology and the Office apps can make that a flawless workspace. It also makes the time in the office more effective increasing productivity.


Benefits of VoIP for Business

Have you been wondering about Voice over Internet Protocol, how it works, or the benefits of VoIP for business? Switching to VoIP offers many advantages to small and medium-sized businesses, mainly in the form of cost savings but also in other aspects. 

We’re going to take a look at some of the reasons you should consider using VoIP over traditional telephone systems, what VoIP is, and how this technology works. We will also give you a few pointers on how to choose a provider and plan that best fits your needs. 

Keep reading for more information. 

What is VoIP and How Does it Work?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a type of telephone system that uses computers and the internet to deliver voice and video communications to other users. Because this technology relies on the use of the internet, calls can be made and received from anywhere in the world; communication may also be made to cell phones, landlines, and other VoIP phones. 

Voice over Internet Protocol calling works by using traditional, analog voice signals and changing them into digital messages that can be sent through broadband connections. 

VoIP phones easily wire into your computer and internet with an Ethernet cable or you may choose to use the existing technology on your device to make and receive calls. While purchasing a dedicated VoIP or SIP phone is ideal, it’s not necessary as most traditional phone hardware can be used as a VoIP phone with a VoIP adapter.

Benefits of VoIP for Businesses

As mentioned, using VoIP allows for calls to be made and received anywhere in the world, to any type of phone. This fact alone gives businesses the benefit of flexibility and mobility; allowing for management to be productive while away from the office or employees to work remotely (saving on travel costs.)

To further improve the flexibility and mobility of your business, VoIP systems allow you to easily implement call forwarding. This allows any call made to your business number to be forwarded to your mobile device, preventing you from missing important conversations while still enjoying life outside of the office. 

VoIP systems also make scaling your business easy – adding a new user or removing one can be done by adding or removing a phone from your network. Business owners can also manage, maintain, and optimize their systems by logging onto the software provided by their VoIP service company, typically on the Web.. 

Because almost any traditional telephone hardware will operate as a VoIP phone, your business can save money by opting to keep the existing phones or by slowly integrating VoIP phones into your communications mix. When you do choose to purchase a VoIP phone, these systems are often less expensive than a traditional PSTN and have just as many (or more) features. 

The ease of adding new users combined with the ability to use your existing hardware helps businesses keep pace with increasing consumer demand and call volume. 

Switching to VoIP can improve the overall efficiency of your staff and business operations. This is often done through optimizing how voicemails and calls are transferred to other employees as well as the ability to share multimedia formats with other users during presentations or conference calls. 

Deciding to use VoIP over traditional phone systems can help you save money on your monthly operating costs and calling expenses because domestic long-distance calls are often included in the pricing. The use of the internet allows international calls to remain inexpensive, helping to further stretch your budget.

You can choose to purchase VoIP plans with a multitude of features, unlimited calling, and the lease of your phones – or you can choose a plan with basic features, limited minutes, and to bring your own system. Your monthly VoIP bill can be as inexpensive or as extravagant as you’d like, giving you full control of this operational cost.

Choosing a Plan and Provider to Improve Efficiency

There are a number of VoIP service providers who promise the lowest monthly costs, highest call quality, most features, or the best reliability. While finding a company that offers the best call quality, most features, and the best reliability may be an ideal solution, it usually comes at a price. 

Conversely, many companies that offer rock-bottom pricing won’t always be the best in other facets of service. 

To find the best plan and VoIP service provider for your business, you’ll want to determine the types of technology that are most important to you and consider how much call volume your business uses each month. For the amount of time your staff spends on the phone each month, consider looking at recent phone bills. 

A VoIP service provider should be able to help you find a plan to meet your calling needs while remaining cost-effective and within your budget. Ideally, your provider will own and manage their platform to ensure a high-quality user experience and to address any problems within the network. 

GroupOne is a managed service provider that offers Voice over Internet Protocol phone services. We own and manage our VoIP platform, allowing us to quickly respond to and take action with any issues that may arise. Additionally, should your team need any type of phone-related technical support, our staff is ready to help. 

If you are interested in VoIP for your business or learning more about the benefits of VoIP for business, contact us today for a consultation.

Navigating New Working Conditions in the Year 2020: How GroupOne Was Able to Help

No one anticipated how the novel Coronavirus could impact businesses in the United States and around the world. Many small business owners never expected that a virus from overseas would not only affect daily operations, but do so for an extended period of time, sending many employees to work from home. 

GroupOne was able to help their clients in the transition from a physical work environment to a remote one, helping with the initial set-up and providing support when needed along the way. 

Keep reading to learn how we worked closely with our partners and clients to ensure the continuity of business operations in the face of an unprecedented pandemic!

Transitioning to Cloud Services

At the beginning of 2020, many businesses were uncertain about whether they should transition to the cloud, which cloud platform was best for them, and if the cloud was truly secure. As the year and the pandemic progressed, GroupOne was able to help answer these questions. 

Transitioning to the cloud gives businesses and employees the accessibility they need in order to work from home. Additionally, this computing resource allows for collaboration on projects, easier communication, and the real-time saving of data. 

While cloud technology has been around for a while, business owners came around to the idea after consulting with our team of professionals to learn which platform would work best for them and how to implement it. 

Because GroupOne isn’t partnered with a single cloud platform, we are able to analyze a business to see what their internal workflows are, how they use computing resources, and identify the best solution available. Our partners were able to quickly implement the use of cloud computing with minimal problems and only a small learning curve as they adjusted to the change.

The adoption of this technology allowed our partners to continue business operations as normally as possible and know that their data was secure.

Lacking Hardware

Because of the pandemic forcing many employees to work from home, there seemed to be a shortage of everything office-related – from desks and chairs to important items like laptops, computer screens, and routers. 

When items such as these are in high demand, the prices usually increase. This can cause businesses to pay more for technology – if these items are even able to be found. 

Our clients who choose to lease their hardware from us were able to avoid this problem completely and instead focus on transitioning to remote operations.

Speeding Up and Securing Internet Connections

One of the biggest issues that working remotely can present is internet-related. Many employees will face slow internet connections, spotty service, or the inability to stay connected for an extended period of time. Additionally, security becomes an issue when connections to a workstation or cloud aren’t secure.

We understand that internet access needs to be fast and secure so we work with businesses to find the best possible solutions for this problem. Some of our partners have already given their employees business internet connections; others are considering this choice depending on what the next several months bring. 

Our team has helped businesses make these decisions by working closely with local Internet Service Providers to ensure the most cost-effective solutions. 

Fast internet is only half the battle – security is the other half. 

Because many devices and home internet connections are not secure, we offer our partners continuous monitoring of these networks as well as any business connections that may be used. Additionally, we were able to set up many of our clients with virtual private networks (VPNs) to ensure the secure transmission of data from the employee’s home computer to the cloud.

These two services enabled businesses to ensure that their company and customer data remained secure without being compromised by cyberthreats and attacks.

Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol

When businesses began working remotely, many of them had to move their analog phone service over to an updated Voice over IP (VoIP) service to continue making and taking calls. Our hosted VoIP services allowed this transition to be seamless and allow our partners to continue providing customer service and making sales calls during the height of the Covid pandemic. 

GroupOne owns its VoIP infrastructure which means that all support needs can be taken care of quickly without major interruption to business, making this a great solution during remote operations, and after the virus when business operations returns to normal.

Covid-19: A Great Example of Disaster Recovery

Before people realized how real the threat of Covid-19 was and its impact on daily life, many small business owners were resistant to the idea of disaster recovery. Companies who chose to avoid creating a business continuity plan faced difficult repercussions and some had to close their doors. 

GroupOne was able to help our partners navigate the new remote working conditions in 2020, providing assistance with transitioning to the cloud, improving connectivity, and offering VoIP and VPN services. We gave our partners the IT support they needed in order to ensure the continuation of operations while quarantine orders were in effect. 

Our team is dedicated to finding unique solutions for each one of our partners and is excited to see what the year 2021 will bring in terms of the return to normalcy. 

If you’d like to learn more about how our managed services, VoIP, cloud computing, or IT support can help your business with a disaster recovery plan or while actively recovering from a pandemic, contact GroupOne for a consultation and needs analysis.

IT Consulting: Consulting Services

Ready to migrate your business data and files to the cloud? It’s important to keep your organization’s sensitive data safe and secure. The good news is that safe cloud migration is simple: here are the questions you should be asking to ensure you’re ready for the big move.


Types of Managed Services / Looking at the Various Services and Security Options We Offer as an MSP

Ready to migrate your business data and files to the cloud? It’s important to keep your organization’s sensitive data safe and secure. The good news is that safe cloud migration is simple: here are the questions you should be asking to ensure you’re ready for the big move.

Business Benefits of Cloud Computing / Key Advantages and Best Practices for Today’s Cloud Products

Ready to migrate your business data and files to the cloud? It’s important to keep your organization’s sensitive data safe and secure. The good news is that safe cloud migration is simple: here are the questions you should be asking to ensure you’re ready for the big move.

5 Questions to Consider for a Successful Cloud Migration

Cloud computing is everywhere these days, and for good reason. From improving your business scalability to supporting flexible working practices, the benefits of cloud computing are numerous. However, before you move to the cloud, here are the five questions you should consider to make the transition as seamless as possible. 

1. Why am I moving to the cloud?

While it’s true that around 96% of businesses use some form of cloud computing solution, it’s still important to know why you’re choosing the cloud in the first place. Perhaps you want to reduce operating costs, improve data security, reduce the expenses associated with maintaining IT equipment, or speed up workflows. 

Whatever your reasons, understand what you hope to achieve from cloud migration before you get started. Maintaining a focal point will help ensure your money and resources are utilized where they’re needed most. 

2. What storage do I need?

Choosing the right cloud storage means choosing the appropriate storage for your unique business needs. Your IT service provider can help you with this, but when you’re researching cloud storage options, consider factors such as:

  • How often you’ll access the data
  • Who has access and editing rights to the files  
  • How large are the files and folders

To help reduce costs, you can always choose cheaper storage tiers for data you rarely use or archived files. Don’t rush into a cloud solution – make sure it’s the most cost-effective and functional package for your business. 

3. Am I migrating all business data to the cloud?

Chances are there’s no need to move all your business data to the cloud, at least not right away. To keep costs at a minimum, consider leaving historic data behind until a later date and only migrate the data you need on a daily basis. Migrating all your data can have a noticeable impact on your migration schedule and costs, so only move everything necessary for your business operations. 

If you’re unsure, always consult an IT professional

4. How do I minimize downtime and keep the business running?

It’s vital that you keep your business operations moving during a cloud migration.

Ensure that you keep personnel fully informed of IT changes and provide whatever training they’ll need to get up to speed on a new system. Review your data migration periodically to ascertain how long it will take to complete the process and identify potential downtime costs before they become realities. 

Your data is your legacy, make sure your IT provider has secured your data prior to migration.

5. How will I keep my data secure?

A recent study revealed that 64% of respondents worry about data loss and leakage from the cloud. Since you’re responsible for data security at every stage of the migration process, you’ll want to ensure that you encrypt data for the move. 

You should also ensure that you’re clear on whether any firewalls will hinder your access to the data once it migrates, and you should understand how you’ll manage access privileges if not all file permissions transfer with the data. 

Bonus tip: once you’ve completed your data migration, check the data to ensure there aren’t any corrupted files and that everything moved over properly. To this end, it’s crucial that you move data to the cloud in stages so you can troubleshoot any issues before they arise. 
Moving to the cloud is a big step, and without experience, this can be a daunting undertaking. Remember that your data is your legacy, and should always be in capable hands. For more information on cloud computing and devising a successful cloud migration strategy, contact the team today.


Top 4 Cloud Services Tips for Staying Competitive in 2019

To remain competitive in the modern business world, businesses need to leverage the benefits of technology services. One service that’s become exceedingly popular among businesses is the Cloud. As a virtual storage space that allows you to work from anywhere, the Cloud will accommodate around 67% of enterprise processes by 2020. If you want to learn more about how it could work for you, it’s time to explore some of the ways it can help you stay competitive.

Leverage flexible working

In not-so-distant memory, flexible working was a dream for most people. Thanks to technologies such as the Cloud, that dream is now a reality.

Flexible working allows your employees to work from home, remote desk spaces, or anywhere with an Internet connection. Using the Cloud, your employees can connect with each other as if they’re in the same room, no matter where they are. Flexible working has also proven to increase productivity. For example, allowing your employees to skip their commute and work from home, may result in higher moral, positivity, and as a result, more productivity.  A recent study by Stanford University also found that “employee attrition decreased by 50 percent among the telecommuters, they took shorter breaks, had fewer sick days, and took less time off. Not to mention the reduced carbon emission from few autos clogging up the morning commute.” – Scott Mautz,

By introducing a flexible working policy, you may attract a higher caliber of employees who make your business more competitive.

Save money and increase efficiencies

As your business fluctuates or grows, so will your IT requirements. By owning all hardware and equipment, periods of growth command higher spending on hard disk drives. However, by using the Cloud, you can scale your storage space in line with the natural fluctuations of your business needs. As a result, you won’t waste money on larger disk space that becomes redundant or on hardware that needs to be maintained.

Reduce business downtime

All business are at risk of experiencing downtime due to a security breach of data. On average business downtime can cost $5,600 per minute. Storing data primarily on hard drives makes your data vulnerable, and the resulting downtime restricts productivity, reduces your ability to deliver your services to customers, and in turn, can affect your reputation. 

However, by storing processes and data in the Cloud, you can maintain your usual business processes and reduce financial losses.

Increase data security

The Cloud strengthens the security of your data by storing data in its original form, encrypting data to secure it from illegal editing and corruption, and storing logs of data access, edits and copies. 

As stolen identities and data held for ransom continue to be a threat for businesses and individuals alike, offering a high-level of data security, through cloud storage and backup, you can offer your customers a competitive advantage.
Providing flexible work environments, saving money, and protecting your data are just a few out of the many ways the Cloud can help your business become more competitive. Now is the time to find a dependable service provider that can meet your business’s needs.

trying to remain competitive in a modern business world, you need to use technology to your advantage. One service that’s become exceedingly popular among businesses is the cloud. As a virtual storage space that allows you to work from anywhere, the cloud will accommodate around 67% of enterprise processes by 2020. If you want to learn more about how it could work for you, it’s time to explore some of the ways it can help you stay competitive.

Leverage flexible working

In not-so-distant memory, flexible working was a dream for most people. Thanks to technologies such as the cloud, it’s now a reality.

Flexible working allows your employees to occasionally work from home. It also gives them the chance to work while they’re on the road, such as at conferences and during business trips. Using the cloud, your employees in the office can liaise with their colleagues on the road.

If you’re wondering why flexible working is advantageous, it’s worth considering how it could make your employees more productive. When you allow employees to occasionally work from home, they cut out their commute. In many cases, employees are more refreshed and can become more productive as a result. By introducing a flexible working policy, you may attract a higher caliber of employees who make your business more competitive.

Save money and increase efficiencies

As your business fluctuates or grows, so will your IT requirements. In the past, periods of growth would command higher spending on hard disk drives. Thanks to the cloud, that’s no longer an issue.

Using the cloud, you can increase and decrease your storage in line with changes to your business. As a result, you won’t waste money on a larger hard disk drive that then becomes redundant. You’ll also spend less on maintaining said drives as the cloud is virtual.

Reduce business downtime

Most businesses will face periods of downtime at some stage. Unfortunately, each day your business is down is a day where you’re losing profit. If you store your data primarily on hard drives, you’re at risk of damaging your reputation too.

When most of your business processes are stored in the cloud, you can maintain some of your usual business processes and reduce financial losses. On average, business downtime costs $5,600 per minute. Being able to reduce those losses gives you the chance to invest that money elsewhere. At the same time, you’ll minimize the risk of damaging your reputation.

Increase data security

Like many business owners, you probably understand how much trust your customers place in you. They presume that you’re keeping their data safe, but can you be sure it’s as safe as they’re expecting?

Depending on the type of cloud service you use, you could strengthen your business’s data safety. Many cloud services offer ultra-strong encryption, which is incredibly difficult for hackers to penetrate. When you can promote this safety to your customers and clients, they may feel more comfortable using you over your competitors.

From safer data storage to saving money, there are lots of ways to become more competitive while using cloud services. If you’re ready to make the leap, it’s time for you to find a dependable service provider who can meet your business’s needs.