Technology is always changing, and just keeping up with the latest innovations in IT is enough of a challenge – forget having the time to really dig in and understand them and what they will or won’t do to make your work life easier. We’ll be the first ones to tell you that just because something is being hailed as the latest and greatest for businesses doesn’t mean it’s right for you.  It might be too expensive, not flexible enough, not the right solution for your specific business, or just plain not necessary. After all, just because you can implement something doesn’t mean you really need to.  If it doesn’t offer any real benefit over and above what you have in place, then adopting the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach is always advisable.

Finding Technology Upgrades That Are Just Right For You

But, the beauty of the innovative nature of IT is that chances are something IS out there that offers real benefits at a great value, while at the same time helping you to stay ahead of the curve. It’s just like what Goldilocks went through with the porridge – one was too hot, and one was too cold.  But then there was that 3rd option, which was just right! Of all the new software, operating systems and devices we’ve checked out this year, we believe that a couple of Microsoft’s products are absolutely worth a second look, particularly as you evaluate year-end budgets and forecast for IT investments in 2016.  After all, you can’t afford to invest in technology that is going to be obsolete before you get used to writing the date as 16 instead of 15.

Microsoft is Offering Some “Just Right” IT Upgrades for Business

Microsoft has put a heavy emphasis on its cloud-based services, which have very real and practical advantages for business – benefits like lower costs, increased flexibility and mobility, and strong security practices are among the many reasons we like what they are offering. There are two upgrades/updates in particular that we would recommend checking out.

Microsoft Office 365 – The Fast Track for Modern Business

In an increasingly competitive environment, cloud services like O365 can become your business advantage, allowing you to keep IT investments affordable and providing a flexible, go-anywhere suite of tools for your team. With O365, you can eliminate the need for (and expense of) an email server, a file server, and pricey software licenses.  Why?  Because it offers a cloud-based subscription model that is priced per user, per month.  You get hosted email and cloud storage, so you aren’t paying for the hardware or the cost to maintain it, but you are getting all of the same familiar business tools like Word, Excel and PowerPoint that are available anytime, anywhere and on any device thanks to the apps that support them. MS Office 2016Office 2016 was recently released as well, which means Office 365 subscribers will benefit from the many new features of these application.  In Excel, improvements include Quick Analytics which instantly converts data into a chart; a Flash Fill feature that can recognize patterns and auto-complete data for you; and a Recommended Charts feature that will recommend the most suitable chart for your data. Outlook has been enhanced to include Inline Replies – a feature that allows you to type directly into the reading pane for quick replies, the ability to sneak a peek at your schedule without switching from email to your calendar, and Quick Action Commands that let you flag, delete or mark messages with handy commands in the message list.  PowerPoint has also been updated to include a Presenter View and improved design tools like Alignment Guides and Eyedropper that simplify the slide design process.  You can also track comments and replies directly in a slide. Another O365 benefit is Skype for Business (Lync), which provides a secure IM environment with added video capabilities. OneDrive for Business is another great element that IT admins like for the fact that the risk of data loss or theft is mitigated by having all corporate files stored in a known location with rock-solid security.  OneDrive is not just a cloud-based file storage service – it is a productivity solution that gives you the flexible tools you want, while still giving IT and management the security compliance they need. O365 essentially represents the new, modern way of utilizing these familiar desktop apps – and the benefit to you is that this “new” subscription model is much less expensive than the traditional method of buying both the hardware and the software licenses outright. If you are interested in learning more or are ready to leave the cumbersome hardware and licensing process behind and instead spend less with a “just right” modern business model, we can help with an O365 migration.

Windows 10 Update

In late July, Microsoft launched Windows 10, which was announced as the very last numbered operating system update by the software giant. Moving forward, they will just release regular updates and introduce enhanced features to this OS, as opposed to holding them back for the next big release. Windows 10 introduced new features like Cortana the Digital Personal Assistant, Windows Hello for easy sign-on, the new browser Microsoft Edge, and efficiency features like virtual desktops, the improved Windows Store and many others.  But it also went back to the familiar Start menu of Windows 7, based on the nearly universal dislike of the Start Menu of Windows 8 and 8.1. The feedback on Windows 10 has been mostly positive – while not perfect, most industry sources lean towards it being a better mousetrap.  And there is again general agreement that Microsoft is fulfilling its vision of creating Windows as a platform for all, and bridging the gap between working on PC’s and tablets or smartphones. Windows 10 is still available as a free upgrade for qualified and genuine versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 devices, including devices you already own.  Click here to find out how to get the upgrade for Windows 10 Home. Traditionally many people and businesses tend to wait and let the early adopters to any new OS discover the bugs so that the vendor can resolve them before they upgrade.  But with over 110 million Windows 10 users worldwide, it’s safe to say that the early adoption phase is over.  Microsoft has been releasing weekly updates to the OS and these get pushed automatically to anyone using Windows 10. So what does all of this mean for you?  It means that if you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 yet, it’s a great time to do it. Corsica Tech can manage this project for you at minimal cost, ensuring that you have a smooth and seamless transition with no business interruptions or downtime.

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