Tag Archives for " Office 365 "

O365 Encryption Blog Featured Image

How to encrypt emails in Office 365

Office 365 now offers the ability to send encrypted emails, which is a fantastic way of securely sending any sensitive or confidential information via email. Here is how you enable the feature and start sending out encrypted emails in only a few steps.

What is email encryption?

Email encryption is a way of protecting the contents of an email message. This utilises technology such as TLS (Transport Layer Security) to achieve the encryption.

Why would I want to use it?

Email encryption is not necessarily required for every email that you send (although this is possible to configure), this functionality is particularly useful for sending out sensitive information such as passwords, login details, sensitive company information, intellectual property and finance details. The email encryption protects the contents of the email and prevents the recipient forwarding the email on or copying the contents out of the email.

How do I send an encrypted email in Office 365?

The process of sending an encrypted email in Office 365 is actually very simple and doesn’t require any particular technical knowledge. Here is the process of how to send your first encrypted email.

Outlook Web App

If you access your Office 365 email via the browser using the app, follow these steps.

Make sure you have the Outlook open and click on New to compose a new email.

 

 

As long as email encryption has been enabled for your tenant, you should see a Protect button.

 

A grey bar will appear informing you that the email is now protected. If you wish to change the level of protection, click on the Change Permissions link.

 

 

You will have various options for protection, including Encrypt. If you simply want to encrypt the email, this option is fine. However, if you require additional security in addition to the encryption such as stopping the recipient forwarding the email on, these options are also available.

 

 

Here is a useful guide on the differences between the various settings: http://www.slashadmin.co.uk/exploring-the-new-office-365-email-protection-and-encryption-options/

Outlook 2016

Users of the Outlook 2016 application will need to go through a slightly different process. Again, encryption will need to be enabled by your system admin or these options will not be visible.

Start by clicking on New Email to compose a new email.

 

 

In the window for the new message, click on File and Properties.

 

Step 2a

 

Click on Security Settings…

 

Step 3a

 

Tick the checkbox for Encrypt message contents and attachments.

 

 

Compose and send the email as usual.

 

How do I enable email Encryption for my company’s Office 365 account?

As mentioned, this functionality will need to be enabled in your Office 365 admin settings. Not all versions of Office 365 offer this functionality. According to Microsoft, these versions are eligible:

“Office 365 Message Encryption is offered as part of Office 365 E3 and E5, Microsoft E3 and E5, Office 365 A1, A3, and A5, and Office 365 G3 and G5.”
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/securitycompliance/ome-faq

If you are unsure if you are covered under your subscription, consult your MSP or pop us an email and we can point you in the right direction.

To enable email encryption for your Office 365 account, you will need to sign into your Office 365 admin portal as a Global Administrator. From here, you need to enable the Azure Rights Management. This is straightforward and the steps can be found here.

Note that if you signed up for your Office 365 subscription from February 2018, this may already be enabled by default.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/information-protection/activate-service

Once the above has been completed, all of your Office 365 users should be ready to go. Happy encrypting!

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Case Study – How we migrated Esdevium Games over to Office 365 with zero downtime

Esdevium selected Coretek to perform a migration from their on-premises Exchange 2010 environment to an Asmodee Group Office 365 tenant. Due to large mailbox sizes, high message counts and a requirement for minimal downtime, the migration was a priority.

Coretek recommended an Exchange hybrid migration as well as deploying Office 365 ProPlus.

This is what the client had to say about our work within this project –

“Coretek implemented Office 365 in an extremely professional and efficient manner. They guided us every step of the way and the success has led them to work with our group on further migrations across the EU.”

Michaela Keene, Head of IT

Take a look at the full case study to learn all about this project.

 

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Microsoft in Education: Whats new

In May of this year Microsoft unveiled their vision and development for Microsoft in Education at the Microsoft Education Event in new York City. Their vision is to not only move the classroom from physical to digital but to also to provide ‘more outcome-driven, personal learning paths for students’ as they stated in their education blog. They vowed to create an affordable and accessible learning platform.

‘Empowering the students of today to create the world of tomorrow’ – Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

So we are going to look at some of the new developments to Microsoft in Education.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft teams is a digital hub for teachers, students and staff that brings together content, conversation and apps into one place. You can create classes within Microsoft Teams which can then connect with the schools information systems to populate the student rosters. In every class there is an integrated OneNote notebook which enables the teacher’s to create interactive and immersive lessons. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Planner are all easily accessible through Microsoft Teams too. Distribute, collect and grade assignments within Microsoft Teams. You can create instant meetings as well as sending quick videos and face to face chat through the camera. Because teams is a digital hub, it can be used anywhere, on any device. Meaning students can work together at any time.

Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is a new version of Windows. The S stands for ‘streamlined, secure and superior performance’. One of the most important things on Windows 10 S is its speed. Log in takes less than 30 seconds.They have got rid of the use of apps from any other third parties and you can now only use Windows apps meaning you can ensure you will have a faster experience. This also makes it a safer experience too as Microsoft have confirmed these apps to be secure. There will also now be many free apps available on the Windows store for education as well as a 1-year free subscription for Minecraft. You will get a modern PC experience with the Windows 10 S. We had a look at Windows 10 S in a little more detail in a previous article we wrote.

Intune

Intune for Education is an exciting development from Microsoft. This is a cloud based service that allows schools to manage their Windows 10 devices efficiently. With Intune you can easily manage policies, settings and apps on all of your classroom devices. Intune for education is tailored for schools. When purchased you will have the express setup dashboard where you configure your devices. This includes customised settings and options for which apps you would like. When the student goes to use the device it will be set up under these desired settings. If you have many devices for all of your students that you need to set up, Microsoft have thought of a great solution. Create your desired settings and apps on one device then insert a USB into that device. The information will download onto the USB. You then simply insert these into the other devices and your preferred settings and configurations will be applied to that device. You can do an entire classroom of devices in under an hour.

Story remix

Story remix is a video creator that will be coming into the Windows 10 Autumn Creator Update. It is created to inspire students and educators to create and tell stories using video, music and photos. It has a Story Editor so students can show their teacher the process of creating their video. You can easily add music, filters, text and transitions to your creations. You can put animated characters into your video enabling it to become mixed reality. Students can work collaboratively on projects seamlessly. This will be available on iOS, Android as well as Windows devices. You can work on Story Remix across your devices so if you start a story on your iPhone you can then finish it off on you Windows 10 PC.

Learning Tools – Immersive Reader

Learning tools for OneNote is transforming the way that students learn. One featured tool is Immersive Reader. Immersive Reader teaching students who struggle to read and write to really immerse them into the literature experience. Students who could only read a few words per minute are now achieving to read 20+ per minute. The tool shows the words of your part of text in a large font, it then has a voiceover which will read through the text out loud. You have the ability to change the background colour theme to what works best for you as well as changing the spacing between the text and the font type and size. The language can be changed and there is also the ability to choose ‘nouns’, ‘adjectives’ and ‘verbs’ which then highlights these in the paragraph of text. This enables the student to differentiate between them with colour coding. You can also choose ‘syllables’ and this will separate the text with dots to show you were the syllables are. Pretty much everything has the ability to be personalised making all of the reading experience just right for you.

 

 

How to do IT on a budget

Top 5 ways to slash your IT costs

A reliable IT infrastructure is fundamental for almost any business but costs can certainly mount up. By being smart and using the latest technology, there are numerous ways to save money on your IT budget.

Here are just a few examples:

1. Cloud Computing

There is a reason why ‘Cloud’ has been the buzzword in IT for the past few years. This model offers a complete revolution over the on-site model which was commonplace until recently. Rather than having to buy, own and maintain every single piece of IT equipment that your business needs, Cloud Computing allows you to rent just enough for what you need.

Cloud computing Tablet

So Cloud Computing comes in at number one in our list as this has the greatest potential for cost savings. But how exactly does using the Cloud save you money? That could fill an entire blog post in itself but here are a few examples :

Removal of on-site servers and equipment

Buying on-site hardware to run your IT will probably make the biggest dent in your IT budget. And that’s only the start with energy and maintenance to consider. Then when the hardware is decommissioned, you have to buy new hardware and start the process all over again.

This is why so many businesses are moving to the Cloud. Costs are traditionally billed per-user, which is much easier for your accounts team to manage. As you only buy enough for your needs, there is no waste.

There are various options for moving your IT systems to the Cloud. Microsoft’s Azure platform allows you to “spin up” virtual servers at the press of a button, with the ability to build these to your exact requirements. If you would rather have an expert deal with the hassle, consider contacting CoretekCloud who can build a Cloud environment tailored to you.

Save with Cloud Storage

Much like costs can be saved by moving on-site servers to the Cloud, the same can be done for storage. Physical storage is expensive, whether this is additional capacity in your on-premise server, right up to a complete SAN (Storage Array Network) for larger clients. Cloud storage can be very affordable in comparison.

An example of affordable cloud storage for startups and small businesses is Microsoft OneDrive. This comes as part of the Office 365 suite and each user gets 1Tb of storage included in the monthly subscription, which is fantastic value. This should be more than enough storage for a business of this size. Office 365 also includes a SharePoint Team Site which is an ideal central location to store company data that everyone can access. This also come as standard at no additional cost.

For the larger organisations who are looking to store large amounts of data in the cloud, there are a number of options including Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Storage and Rackspace.

Cut costs with Cloud Backups

You may not be ready to move all of your company data to the Cloud just yet but moving your backup data is well worth considering. There are the same arguments for saving money on buying and maintaining on-site hardware but there is also the security aspect that you can have a secure off-site copy of your important company data just in case disaster strikes. Again, there are numerous options. We offer a Cloud Backup solution from CoretekCloud and in addition to this, we also like and recommend Microsoft Azure.

Save money on client machines

Another advantage that comes with a hosted cloud environment is that most of the hard work is done in the Cloud. As such, your client machines don’t need to be nearly as powerful and entry-level desktops are often powerful enough to be a cloud client which equals more cost savings to you.

Reduce management

Having all of your IT centralised simplifies management and could save hours for your IT team. For example: rather than having to deploy the latest version of Office to dozens of client machines, this will only need to be installed centrally in a Cloud environment. Saving time troubleshooting software issues on the client machines is another benefit.

2. Move to a VoIP Phone System

Moving away from an on premise phone system is another potential area of cost saving. Again, removing the cost of purchasing a physical piece of equipment that has to be replaced every few years is a clear benefit.

Close up of phone handset

In addition to this, using your internet Line rather than a standard phone line results in reduction to your phone bills as well. For example, many VoIP packages (including our offering) will sometimes offer free phone calls to all employee numbers and certain area codes.

3. Make your existing equipment last longer

Not everything can be moved to the Cloud and there will always be a requirement for some on-site hardware in any business. For this equipment though, there are still potential cost saving measures. The first one is to consider if new machines are being ordered to the right specification. We have seen customers attempt to save costs by purchasing the cheapest hardware available, only for this to fail within a couple of years and need to be replaced. This may seem to contradict the advice point 1 above – save money on client machines – but there is a subtle difference. If you are using a cloud environment, you don’t need to buy high performance machines but we still recommend sticking with one of the leading brands. Here at Coretek we like Dell and their OptiPlex Micro Desktops are both affordable and reliable. They also come with the best warranty (in our humble opinion) of all the IT equipment providers.

Computer Motherboard

Which leads on to the next way to make your equipment last longer – buy a longer warranty. Many people are unsure on purchasing a three or five year warranty and view this as an unnecessary expense. We have found this not to be the case. The standard one year warranty that most machines come with is OK but the fact is that most machines are more likely to go wrong the older they get, hence the need for a longer warranty. We have found buying the shortest possible warranty often proves to be false economy.

Aside from machines failing from hardware faults, the other reason that computers need to be replaced is that they sometimes become simply too slow to be productive. Clever upgrades can sometimes increase the performance of the machine, sometimes by several times. The two upgrades that will provide the best ‘bang for your buck’ are: adding additional memory and replacing SATA hard drives for SSD’s (Solid State Drive).

4. Affordable Wireless

The need for wireless is paramount with mobile devices being widespread in every office. Most people these days have a mobile, laptop and probably a tablet as well. Being able to provide fast, reliable wireless access can be very beneficial to your staff. Until very recently it was very expensive to install a decent managed wireless network but this is becoming more and more affordable.

Wireless Concept

Coretek offer Ubiquiti Access Points which meet the latest 802.11ac standard but do not need a physical controller. This brings the possibility of wireless to a number of smaller businesses where the costs would have previously been prohibitive.

5. Cut down on printing

Printing is probably one of the least considered areas for cutting costs but has a massive cost saving potential. Some schools and business may as well be pouring toner (and money) down the drain as they rack up huge printer bills. So how can these be reduced? Here are a few suggestions…

Get rid of unnecessary printers

Sounds obvious but we have frequently seen office and schools with dozens of printers, often a plethora of makes and models. This is a recipe for wasting money with surplus toner and wasted pages burning through your budget. Do a printer review and ask: “Do we really need all of these printers?” and “What is the minimum number of printers we can get by on?”. Reducing these down to a handful of fast and economical printers or copiers of the same model can make a big improvement.

Printer toner

Print to PDF or OneNote

Before you hit that print button, ask yourself: “Do I really need to print this?”. If you are simply going to file the piece of paper, why not print to PDF and save this into a network folder? If you use Microsoft Office, you will even have a ‘Print to OneNote’ printer that you can print to and will automatically save the document to OneNote for you.

Use software to restrict printing

If advising people on best practice isn’t doing the trick, there are options available to enforce quotas on printing. Programs such as PaperCut provide users a bank of credit and once this has been used up, only a designated admin can replenish this. This can also be set on a daily or weekly basis.

So there are our top 5 tips that can really make a big difference to how much you are spending on your IT.

Just for good measure, here is a bonus tip for you:

Bonus Tip: Subscription software

Just like Cloud computing has made managing the costs of your IT system into a regular monthly or yearly payment easy, many businesses are moving to a similar model for software. This is known as SaaS (Software as a service). There are numerous examples such as: Office 365 and Adobe CC but many software providers are moving to this model. The main advantage is that software is a recurring cost that can be easily budgeted for and upgrades are included in the price, meaning no unexpected surprises.

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Make the most of Microsoft’s free quick tips video’s!

Are you a teacher using Windows 10 as your Operating System and you still haven’t quite got to grips with it? Or do you use Office 365 and need more of an insight on how to use it to its full extent? Well, Microsoft have created a set of videos showing teachers how they can full utilise their Windows 10 and Office 365.

Microsoft have included these videos onto their Microsoft Education website to show you how teachers are using these tools within their classroom. Take a look aty these 2-3 minute videos in order to get great tips and ticks that will engage your students, therefore enabling their productivity.

 

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An introduction to Office 365 with Cowplain school!

Following on from our successful event at Microsoft HQ, we visited Cowplain School so they could receive their prize from being the runners up on the day!

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The theme for the Microsoft event was ‘Office 365 in Education’, so we decided to develop and expand on this topic in order to enhance the students knowledge on what really is Office 365.

The day consisted of two 2 hour sessions with the year 7 pupils at Cowplain School. We begun the day with a presentation that outlined what Office 365 is and how to sign up. We then touched on each of the Office 365 apps and how they can be used in education. The last app of the presentation was Sway, this is wen we introduced the days activity. The pupils were tasked with creating a Sway on their school, to be showcased at the upcoming open evening for new potential year 7 students.

The students separated off into 3 IT suites and begun the activity. The students currently have experience with Google Drive but wanted to learn more about Office 365 in order to begin using it at home and at school. So this was a totally new experience for all of the students. What followed was an array of collaborative, exciting sways that outlined why they enjoy their school. Throughout this activity we took into account how the students were working and how they were using the Office 365 app.

We gathered back in the gym at the end of each session to have a roundup of the days activities. We then announced a group from each class who really impressed us with their work. Each group was awarded with an Amazon voucher to use at their pleasure.

This day enabled us to teach many students about the wonders of Office 365 and how each of the apps can help within their education. It also meant the students were able develop within an app they had never even heard of before! Overall, a successful day!

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What’s new for PowerPoint?

Office 2016 launched around two months ago and there are now even more advances and innovations that are available for Office 365 subscribers. Office are rolling out new updates each month, and this month features updates to PowerPoint.

Two new updates to come to PowerPoint is Designer and Morph. ‘PowerPoint Designer and Morph are new intelligent tools that work for you by automating the creation of slides and presentations.’

Designer

Designer

PowerPoint Designer allows you to create high-quality PowerPoint slides within seconds. You simply drag and drop an image to your slide and designer gives you several design ideas, then its down to you to choose your favourites. The benefits of this is that you now do not have to dwell on the design of your PowerPoint as it’s done for you. You can now focus on the content and the PowerPoint presentation as a whole.

‘Designer applies cloud intelligence to analyze and identify the most compelling portion of your images to determine which blueprints work best with your content.’ – Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

Morph

Morph

‘Morph creates cinematic motion seamlessly animating between your slides.’ Morph can actually animate 3D shapes along with regular text for images and can even be applied to a word or even character level, including text wrapping. For Morph to work you need to duplicate slides that you want morphed together and alter to your needs you then choose ‘Morph’ under the transitions selection. Your slides will now ‘morph’ into each other to make a continuous flowing presentation. Your presentation now seems like an animation sequence with a click of a button.

Both of these updates are available in Office 2016 to office 365 subscribers. This is available for Windows desktop and Windows mobile, but soon these same features will be coming to other platforms. To learn more, take a look here.

 

What happened at the Microsoft and Coretek ‘Office 365 in Education’ event?

Tuesday 23rd February 2016 saw  our first joint event with Microsoft. The day revolved around ‘Office 365 in Education’, and what a day it was!

The day began with an Introduction to Office 365 from a guest speaker at Microsoft called Richard Green. He explained what Office 365 and how you can sign up to it. thumb_DSC_0797_1024

Following on from this, Stuart Ball held a very impressive talk on ‘the cool things you can do with Office 365’. We particularly focused in on PowerPoint. Stuart showed that there is so much to PowerPoint than you could ever imagine. Features include active text boxes, impressive graphic editing and annotation. One feature that really impressed the students was being able to program the buttons on an Xbox controller or guitar hero to write/draw on and control the slide. He also did an interactive display of how an electrical current running through the students holding hands, can power the PowerPoint.

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The next part of the day saw the students and teachers split. The students were given the task to create a PowerPoint presentation about Office 365 and were given strict criteria to aim towards. This included a total of 5 slides, an image and a word beginning with ‘S’ to describe Office 365 on each slide. The teachers on the other hand stayed in the auditorium with Stuart to learn about the advantages of Office 365 from a teaching perspective and how they can use it better within the classroom.

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Steve Oke from Coretek assisting the student with their presentations!

Lunch was the next part of the day. After lunch, everyone was treated to a tour around Microsoft Headquarters. The student’s were very excited to say the least! We were shown the Microsoft Xbox centre, which was a particular favourite for the students! Other key features were the Microsoft Experience room and the state of the art Gym supported by Nuffield Health.

 

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Some of the children enjoying the tour!

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The Microsoft Xbox room!

The next part of the day saw the children finishing their presentations in preparation to present them to everyone later in the day. At this time, the teachers and the students were split once again. This time one of Coretek’s team, James Bell, held a session for the teachers on signing up to Office 365. Within his presentation James showed the teachers the Office 365 portal. This included where to access the different Office 365 programmes as well as where to download the latest software which is available as part of the subscription.

To finish the day, we saw the group of students from each school present their PowerPoint presentations which they had created. Each school received certificates at the end of the day.

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The event was a complete success as the very first Microsoft and Coretek integrated event.

Microsoft and Coretek’s main mission was to empower these students and all students on the planet to achieve more. Teachers are the key goal and we are committed to providing teachers the tools and training needed to redefine learning.

The new Microsoft Educator Community has a wealth of resources to support training and professional development. This allows educators to stay current with the right mix of student-focused technology, experiential learning, and virtual collaboration to help students learn and grow. Find out more from one of the expert educators here.

If you would like to find out more, please contact us at marketing@coretek.co.uk or through our social media channels.

Learn about Office 365 at the Microsoft and Coretek Educational Event!

Educational technology experts Microsoft and Coretek are proud to present this unique one-off event on Office 365 for schools. Get expert advice on the latest Office tips and tricks from the very company that brought you the Office suite.

Learn how to empower staff with new levels of efficiency and access your files from anywhere with OneDrive. Pupils can collaborate and work together in new ways using OneNote. Plus much more!

In addition to this, every school that attends will be shown through the whole Office 365 sign-up process. By the end of the day every pupil that is invited, will learn to set up their own Office 365 account and access their 5 free copies of Microsoft Office. These pupils will then have the knowledge to become “Office ambassadors” and teach their fellow pupils how to create their own accounts.

The event will be hosted in Microsoft’s UK Headquarters: the famous Thames Valley Park campus. This is a unmissable opportunity to gain access to one of the biggest technology companies in the world.

This is an event that any school that uses Microsoft Office will not want to miss!

To find out more and to sign your school up, visit the event here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/office-365-in-education-tickets-20865069986

 

 

Office 365 Outage!

Microsoft Office 365 has had an outage which has affected thousands of people across Europe. This has had impact upon users email and  online access to Word, Excel and other software.

So if you have had any issues with accessing your Office 365 email, Microsoft have said that they now have fixed the issue.