5 Ways to Leverage Microsoft 365’sNew AI Innovations

Microsoft 365 AI

Microsoft 365 has a powerful suite of cloud-based productivity tools. They can help you work smarter and faster. Microsoft has consistently been at the forefront of innovation. M365 was one of the very first all-in-one cloud tools, introduced as Office 365 in 2013. Now, Microsoft and its business tools are at the leading edge of generative AI.

The Microsoft 365 platform has been adding some amazing AI innovations. They sit inside tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and more. If you know how to use them, these smart features can enhance your experience. As well as significantly boosting your productivity.

Next, we will explore some of the ways you can leverage Microsoft 365’s new AI innovations. So that you can get more out of your work.

Microsoft Copilot: A Game-Changer in Collaboration

Microsoft Copilot is the crown jewel of Microsoft’s AI innovations. It’s designed to be your virtual collaborator. It can help you generate code, write documents, and even craft emails more efficiently. This AI-powered tool is built on the foundations of OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology. This enables it to understand context and anticipate your needs. As well as generate content in a remarkably human-like manner.

Here are some of the tools in the Microsoft universe that incorporate Copilot:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • Teams
  • Edge
  • Windows
  • Bing
  • Dynamics 365 Sales

How can you take advantage of the benefits offered by Microsoft Copilot? Here are a few ways to jump on the added efficiency and time-savings they bring.

1. Speed Up Document Creation

In the realm of document creation, Copilot shines as a versatile writing companion. It helps when drafting a report, crafting a presentation, or composing an email. Copilot provides intelligent suggestions, helping you articulate your thoughts more effectively. It speeds up the writing process. It also ensures that your content is clear, concise, and tailored to your audience.

2. Enhance Your Teams Meeting Experience

One of the key strengths of Copilot is its ability to enhance collaboration across teams. It can create coherent and context-aware responses. Such as a summary of meeting notes and an action item list.

Another helpful feature is the ability to catch up on what you’ve missed. Have you arrived late to a Teams meeting? You can just ask it to summarize the important points of the conversation so far.

3. Create PowerPoints with Ease

More people can become “PowerPoint Masters” with Copilot. The AI-infused features in PPT can create a slide deck for you based on text prompts.

It can tap into Microsoft’s stock images to fill your slides. Copilot will also suggest text to use based on your presentation topic. Do you have a PowerPoint that you need help with? The tool can reorganize your slides for a better presentation flow.

4. Enjoy Smart Business Insights in Excel

Another new AI innovation in Microsoft 365 is Excel Ideas. This feature can help you analyze and visualize your data with ease. Excel Ideas can automatically detect patterns and trends in your data. It will suggest charts, tables, and summaries that best suit your needs.

You can also use Excel Ideas to ask natural language questions about your data. Such as, “What is the average sales by region?” or “Which product has the highest profit margin?” You’ll get instant answers in the form of charts or formulas.

5. Save Time in Outlook with AI Help

We all get those long emails from time to time. The ones that you push to the bottom of your inbox for when you have more time. Well, the new Copilot feature in Outlook can help. Just ask it to summarize the key points of an email for you to save yourself reading time.

You can also use Copilot in Outlook to help write emails. It will save help by providing a first draft. As well as suggesting responses to emails in your inbox.

A Future of Intelligent Productivity

As we embrace the era of intelligent productivity, Microsoft 365 becomes more powerful. Its new AI innovations pave the way for a more efficient work environment.

By incorporating these capabilities into your daily workflow, you’re staying competitive. As well as setting the pace for the future of work.

Tap into the Future with Our M365 Services

Microsoft 365’s commitment to continuous improvement ensures that you have cutting-edge tools. The ones needed to stay ahead, innovate, and thrive. Especially in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Embrace the power of AI. Unlock a new dimension of productivity with Microsoft 365.

Our team of M365 experts can help you ensure you’re getting the full benefit of these features. As well as new ones Microsoft is developing and rolling out in the coming months.  We’ll help your team save time and improve your bottom line.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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How Small Businesses Can Approach Workforce Technology Modernization

Technology plays a pivotal role in driving efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness. For small businesses, workforce technology modernization is both an opportunity and a challenge.

Embracing modern technology can empower small businesses. It can help them thrive in a digital era. Yet many of them don’t keep up with modernization. For example, over 30% of small businesses haven’t upgraded systems in 4+ years.

Some of the reasons SMBs don’t upgrade their tech include:

  • Limited funding
  • Unsure how to modernize technology
  • Stuck in the “old way is fine” mentality

The benefits of upgrading technology are many. One study found the following. That 45% of businesses modernizing tech saw improved ROI for IT investments. Other important benefits include improved employee retention and decreased cybersecurity risk. Not to mention the productivity and time-saving advantages.

Is your small business looking to modernize its workforce technology? Here are some steps to get you started.

Assess Your Current Technology Landscape

The first step in any technology modernization initiative is to conduct an assessment. You need to fully understand your current technological infrastructure. Identify existing strengths and weaknesses. As well as outdated systems and areas where technology could enhance business processes. Understanding your starting point is crucial. It helps in developing a targeted and effective modernization strategy.

Align Technology Goals with Business Objectives

Technology should not be an isolated component. But rather, a strategic enabler aligned with your business goals. Clearly define how technology can support and enhance your business objectives. Whether it’s improving customer engagement. Or streamlining internal processes and expanding market reach. Ensure that your technology modernization efforts align with your overarching business vision.

Focus on Cloud Adoption

The cloud has emerged as a game-changer for businesses of all sizes. Embracing cloud technologies can offer small businesses several benefits. These include scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

Consider migrating key applications and data to cloud platforms. This can enhance accessibility, collaboration, and data security. Cloud solutions can also simplify software updates and maintenance. This frees up resources for other strategic initiatives.

Invest in Collaborative Tools

Effective communication and collaboration are essential for small businesses. Invest in collaborative tools and platforms. These ease seamless interaction among team members, regardless of their physical location. Examples are video conferencing, project management, and document sharing tools. These tools can enhance teamwork and productivity. This fosters a cohesive work environment even in remote or hybrid setups.

Look at Cybersecurity Measures

There is an increasing prevalence of cyber threats. So, cybersecurity should be a top priority for small businesses undergoing technology modernization. Put in place robust cybersecurity measures. Focus on protecting sensitive data and customer information. As well as your critical business assets.

Cybersecurity measures include:

  • Firewalls
  • Antivirus software
  • Regular security updates
  • Employee training
  • Threat identification & response

Embrace Mobile-Friendly Solutions

  1. In a world where mobility is paramount, adopting mobile-friendly solutions is key. Ensure that you’ve optimized business applications and platforms for mobile use. This allows employees to work efficiently from various devices. This enhances flexibility. It also accommodates the evolving expectations of the workforce. Employees value the ability to work on the go.

Look at Remote Work Options

The global shift towards remote work has accelerated. Small businesses should prepare to embrace flexible work arrangements. Modernize your technology infrastructure to support remote work options. These provide employees with the tools and connectivity they need. As well as helping them maintain productivity outside of the traditional office environment.

Consider Automation for Efficiency

Automation can significantly improve operational efficiency for small businesses. Identify repetitive, time-consuming tasks. These can often be automated to streamline workflows. Look at things like customer service chatbots and automated invoicing systems. Embracing automation can free up valuable human resources. As well as reduce the risk of errors in routine tasks.

Provide Ongoing Training and Support

Introducing new technologies requires commitment. A commitment to ongoing training and support for your workforce. Ensure that employees have the necessary skills to leverage the new tools effectively. This may involve providing training sessions. As well as creating user-friendly guides. And offering a support system to address any issues that may arise during the transition.

Watch and Adapt to Evolving Technologies

  • Technology is a dynamic field. Staying ahead requires a commitment to watching and adapting to emerging trends. Regularly assess the technology landscape. Work with your IT provider. We’ll help you identify new solutions that could benefit your business. A proactive approach to staying current ensures your small business remains competitive.

Need Help Upgrading Your Workforce Technology?

Workforce technology modernization is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It’s a strategic journey that requires careful planning. As well as alignment with business objectives. By embracing these practical strategies, small businesses can leverage technology. And use it to enhance their operational capabilities. They also position themselves for sustained success in the digital age.

Need help with workforce technology modernization? Give us a call today to schedule a chat.Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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This new search feature in Edge is a revolution

This new search feature in Edge is a revolution

Microsoft’s at it again, presenting us with new features week after week. This time it’s all about making our online searches smarter and more efficient in the Edge browser. If you’ve been on the fence about switching to it, this might just be the push you need.

Edge has a cool new feature, as revealed by Mikhail Parakhin, CEO of Advertising and Web Services at Microsoft. Imagine this: you’re searching for something important for your business – maybe it’s market research or the latest trends in your industry. You type in your query, and you get results from not one but two search engines at the same time.

How does it work?

Let’s break it down. Say Bing is your default search engine. Now, when you hit the search icon, you won’t just see Bing’s results, you’ll also get a peek at what Google (or your alternative search engine of choice) has to offer. This dual view works both ways, ensuring you’re not missing out on any valuable information.

In business, information is gold. Having access to comprehensive search results means you’re more likely to find the most relevant, diverse, and valuable information. No more switching between browsers or tabs to compare search results – Edge now does that for you in a single view.

Some people have raised concerns about potential visual clutter from combining two engines’ results. It’s a valid point, and thankfully, Microsoft is listening. Parakhin hinted at the possibility of customising your ‘backup’ search engine to streamline the experience. While the sidebar’s width is currently fixed, there’s an openness to explore deeper customisation options soon.

This feature in Edge is quite a lure. It simplifies the task of searching, making research quicker and more effective. You get the best of both worlds without the hassle of juggling multiple windows.

And it’s more than just a convenience; it’s a step towards smarter, more efficient browsing, especially for us in the business community. It demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to improving user experience and staying competitive in the browser game.

For current Edge fans, this is an exciting upgrade. For everyone else, it’s a compelling reason to consider making the switch.

Need a hand finding time-saving tools for your business? Get in touch.

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7 Transformative Technology Trends Changing the Way We Work

Tech Trends

Technology is reshaping the world of work at an unprecedented pace. From artificial intelligence to web3, from the metaverse to the hybrid work model. We are witnessing a series of technological revolutions. They are transforming how we communicate, collaborate, create, and innovate.

Let’s explore some of the most impactful technology trends that are changing the way we work in 2024 and beyond.

1. Artificial Intelligence

AI and Generative AI are not just buzzwords. They are transforming the workplace. These technologies enable automation, allowing teams to handle mundane tasks more efficiently. They free up human resources for more creative and strategic endeavors.

AI is not a new concept, but it has become more powerful and accessible in recent years. This is thanks to advances in computing power, data availability, and algorithm development.

Artificial intelligence is now augmenting and automating various aspects of work. This includes data analysis, customer service, image creation, product design, and more.

But AI also poses significant challenges and risks. This includes ethical dilemmas, social implications, and workforce displacement. Thus, it’s essential to adopt responsible and human-centric approaches to AI. As well as ensure that workers have the skills and support to adapt to the changing nature of work.

2. Remote Collaboration Tools

Advanced collaboration tools have facilitated the rise of remote work. These include video conferencing, project management software, and cloud-based document sharing platforms.

This technology empowers teams to collaborate seamlessly from different corners of the globe. These tools break down geographical barriers, allowing for efficient teamwork and real-time communication.

3. Hybrid Work Model

The hybrid work model is a term that describes the combination of remote and in-office work. This is not a new concept, but it has become more prevalent in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The hybrid work model offers many benefits, such as:

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved work-life balance
  • Enhanced employee satisfaction
  • Improved employee retention

The hybrid work model is transforming the way we work. It requires workers to have new skills, tools, and strategies. For example, hybrid work requires workers to have several capabilities to work effectively. These include strong digital literacy, communication, collaboration, and self-management skills.

4. Web3: The Decentralized Internet

Web3 is a term that refers to the next generation of the internet. An internet based on decentralized technologies, such as:

  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Smart contracts
  • Peer-to-peer networks

Web3 aims to create a more open, transparent, secure, and democratic internet. One where users have more control over their own data, identity, and digital assets. 

Web3 also enables new forms of collaboration and value creation. This includes:

  • Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
  • Decentralized finance (DeFi)
  • Social tokens

Web3 is transforming the way we work. It’s creating new business models, platforms, and communities. These are designed to be more inclusive, participatory, and innovative.

Web3 has the potential to generate $49.10 billion in economic value by 2030.

5. Internet of Things (IoT) in the Workplace

IoT devices are creating smart and optimised workplaces. This includes smart thermostats that adjust office temperatures based on occupancy. As well as wearable devices that track employees’ health and productivity. This connectivity enhances efficiency and reduces energy consumption. It also provides valuable data for informed decision-making.

6. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

AR and VR technologies are revolutionizing training, design, and customer interactions. In the workplace, AR and VR offer immersive training experiences. These allow employees to learn complex tasks in a simulated environment. These technologies are also used in product design. This enables professionals to visualise and modify prototypes in real time. This drives faster innovation cycles.

7. Cybersecurity Advancements

As digital technologies advance so do cybersecurity threats. Businesses are investing in advanced cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data. As well as ensuring the privacy of employees and customers.

These innovations include biometric authentication and AI-driven threat detection. Cybersecurity advancements are crucial. They help companies safeguard digital assets and maintain trust in the online workspace.

The Impact on the Future of Work

These transformative technology trends are not just fleeting novelties. They are shaping the future of work. Businesses that adapt and embrace these technologies gain a competitive edge.

Remote collaboration tools foster flexibility and work-life balance, appealing to the modern workforce. AI and automation enhance efficiency, reducing errors and operational costs.

IoT creates intelligent workspaces, enhancing employee well-being and environmental sustainability. AR and VR drive innovation, offering new ways to engage both employees and customers.

Challenges and Considerations

While these technologies bring immense benefits, they also pose challenges. Workforce training is essential to ensure employees can leverage these tools effectively. Additionally, there are ethical considerations about data privacy and security. As well as the impact of automation on employment. Striking a balance between technological advancement and human welfare is crucial. Especially in this transformative era.

Let Us Guide You Successfully Through Digital Transformation

Navigating new technologies can be complex. There are pitfalls that can waste time and money. Avoid this by working with our team of experts. We can help you customise your transformation to fit your business goals.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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Your 15-Step IT Profitability Road Map For 2024

IT Profitability Road Map For 2024

If you’re hoping to cut costs and boost profitability in 2024 without compromising productivity or efficiency, assessing the technology you use in day-to-day operations is one of the first areas in your business to examine.

We’ve created a road map that you can use to go step-by-step through your organisation to determine if and where you can be saving money or utilizing new or better technology to improve operational efficiency.

  1. Technology Inventory:
  • Conduct a comprehensive inventory of your current technology assets, including hardware, software licenses and peripherals like monitors, printers, keyboards, etc.
  • Identify outdated or underutilised equipment that can be upgraded or decommissioned.
  1. Software Licensing And Subscriptions:
  • Review all software licenses and subscriptions to ensure compliance.
  • Identify any unused or redundant software and eliminate unnecessary expenses.
  1. Cloud Services Optimization:
  • Evaluate your usage of cloud services and consider optimizing resources based on actual needs.
  • Monitor and adjust cloud service subscriptions to match fluctuating business demands.
  • Evaluate security protocols for cloud-based services to ensure you’re not at risk of a data breach. This can be an expensive problem, so do not skip it.
  1. Energy Efficiency:
  • Implement energy-efficient practices, such as consolidating servers, using energy-efficient hardware and optimizing data center cooling.
  • Consider virtualisation to reduce the number of physical servers, saving both energy and hardware costs.
  1. Remote Work Infrastructure:
  • Optimise remote work capabilities to support flexible working arrangements. Inefficiency in this area will decrease productivity, inflate costs and increase cyber security risks.
  • Invest in secure collaboration tools and virtual private network (VPN) solutions for remote access.
  1. Data Storage Optimization:
  • Assess data storage needs and implement data archiving strategies to free up primary storage. Are you saving documents you don’t need? Are there redundant files that should be removed?
  • Consider cloud storage options for scalability and cost-effectiveness.
  1. Network Performance:
  • Regularly monitor and optimize network performance to ensure faster and more reliable data transfer, reduce downtime, enhance the user experience and support cost savings, ultimately contributing to the overall efficiency and success of your business operations.
  • Implement quality of service (QoS) settings to prioritise critical applications and services.
  1. IT Security Measures:
  • Regularly update and patch software to address security vulnerabilities.
  • Ensure that antivirus, anti-malware and other security solutions are up-to-date and active.
  • Conduct regular security audits and employee training to prevent security breaches.

 NOTE: This cyber security measures list barely scratches the surface. If you haven’t had a professional dig into your security solutions, this needs to be a priority. Data breaches are expensive and can shut a business down. Click here to book a call with our team.

  1. IT Help Desk Efficiency:
  • Implement or optimise an IT help desk system to streamline support requests.
  • Use a faster, more efficient ticketing system to track and prioritise IT issues, improving response times and resolution rates.
  1. Mobile Device Management (MDM):
  • Implement MDM solutions to manage and secure mobile devices used by employees.
  • Enforce policies that ensure data security on company-issued or BYOD (bring your own device) devices.
  1. Vendor Management:
  • Review vendor contracts and negotiate better terms, or explore competitive options.
  • Consolidate vendors where possible to simplify management and potentially reduce costs.
  • Evaluate vendor cyber security practices to ensure your data is as secure as possible. If they are breached and your data is released, you’re still at fault.
  1. Employee Training Programs:
  • Provide ongoing training programs to enhance employees’ IT skills and awareness.
  • Reduce support costs by empowering employees to troubleshoot common issues independently.
  1. Energy-Efficient Hardware:
  • Invest in energy-efficient hardware to reduce electricity costs and contribute to environmental sustainability.
  • Consider upgrading to newer, more power-efficient devices when replacing outdated equipment.
  1. Paperless Initiatives:
  • Explore paperless solutions to reduce printing and document storage costs.
  • Implement digital document management systems for greater efficiency and cost savings.
  1. Telecommunications Optimization:
  • Review telecom expenses and consider renegotiating contracts or exploring alternative providers.
  • Utilise Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for cost-effective and scalable communication solutions.

By systematically addressing these areas, business owners can enhance their IT infrastructure, drive productivity and achieve cost savings that contribute to overall profitability. Regularly revisiting and updating this checklist will help businesses stay agile in the ever-changing landscape of technology and business operations.

If you need help implementing the action steps on this list, our team is ready to help. Click here to book a FREE 10-Minute Discovery Call with our team, where we’ll discuss what your company needs and answer questions you might have.

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An AI-charged blast from the past

An AI-charged blast from the past

Happy New Year.

Remember Microsoft Paint? The simple drawing tool that many of us used to create pixelated masterpieces in our youth? It’s probably not an app you use very much these days. But what if I told you there’s a reason you might want to revisit it right now?

Microsoft Paint is getting a serious upgrade in Windows 11 – and it’s all about AI.

The big news is the introduction of Dall-E 3 support to Paint, or as it’s known in the app, Cocreator.

Sound familiar?

If you’ve seen the feature in Bing AI, you know it’s a game-changer. This isn’t just any old image creation feature. With Cocreator, you can tell it what you want, specify an art style, and an image based on your description magically appears.

And this isn’t some gimmicky add-on. When Cocreator first rolled out with Bing Chat (now called Copilot), there was a massive rush to use the image generation capability. And the buzz around how good it is? Well, let’s just say it’s been substantial.

Sure, there have been a few hiccups along the way, but when it comes to AI, a bit of turbulence is par for the course.

Windows Latest reports that Cocreator in Paint has left the testing phase and is ready for prime time – it’s now rolling out to all Windows 11 users.

If you’re not seeing the Cocreator feature yet, don’t worry, it’s coming. Just make sure you’re running the latest version of Paint. If Microsoft asks you to sign up for the waiting list, do it.

The Cocreator feature isn’t the only new addition to Paint. The app has been significantly beefed up this year. We’re talking a transparency effect, layers (a much-requested functionality), and even background removal. And these improvements aren’t just for Paint, Microsoft’s core Windows 11 apps are also getting a makeover.

What does this mean for me?

At this point, you might be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but how does this help my business?”

Well, imagine being able to create custom graphics for presentations, reports, or social media posts in seconds. Think about how much time and money that could save.

With Cocreator, anyone on your team can become a graphic designer. No need for expensive software or lengthy training; just describe what you want, and let AI do the rest.

Raring to try this one out (it’s a nice way to start the new year)? You’ll need to have Windows 11 installed. If we can help with that, or any other tech problem this year, get in touch.

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Out With The Old: Debunking 5 Common Cybersecurity Myths To Get Ready For The New Year

In today’s hyperconnected world, cybersecurity is a critical concern for individuals and organizations alike. However, as the digital landscape evolves, so do the myths and misconceptions surrounding cybersecurity. If you want to be protected, you have to understand what the real threats are and how you could be unknowingly overlooking them every single day. In this article, we will debunk 5 common cybersecurity myths to help you stay informed and protected as you take your business into 2024.

Myth 1: “I’m too small to be a target.”

One of the most dangerous cybersecurity myths is the belief that cybercriminals only target large organizations. In reality, cyber-attacks do not discriminate by size. Small businesses, start-ups and individuals are as susceptible to cyberthreats as larger enterprises. Cybercriminals often target smaller entities precisely because they may lack robust cybersecurity measures, making them easier prey. To stay safe, everyone should prioritize cybersecurity, regardless of their size or scale.

Myth 2: “Antivirus software is enough.”

Antivirus software is an essential component of cybersecurity, but it is not a silver bullet. Many people mistakenly believe that installing antivirus software on their devices is sufficient to protect them from all cyberthreats. While antivirus software can help detect and prevent known malware, it cannot stand up against sophisticated attacks or social engineering tactics. To enhance your protection, combine antivirus software with other security measures, such as firewalls, regular software updates and user education.

Myth 3: “Strong passwords are invulnerable.”

A strong password is undoubtedly an integral part of cybersecurity, but it is not foolproof. Some believe that creating complex passwords guarantees their accounts’ safety. However, even strong passwords can be compromised through various means, including phishing attacks, keyloggers and data breaches. To bolster your security, enable multifactor authentication (MFA) whenever possible, which adds an additional layer of protection beyond your password.

Myth 4: “Cybersecurity is solely an IT department’s responsibility.”

Another common misconception is that cybersecurity is exclusively the responsibility of an organization’s IT department. While IT professionals are crucial in securing digital environments, cybersecurity is a group effort. Everyone within an organization, from employees to management, should be aware of cybersecurity best practices and adhere to them. In fact, human error is a leading cause of data breaches, so fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness is essential.

Myth 5: “My data is safe in the cloud.”

With the increasing use of cloud services, some individuals believe that storing data in the cloud is inherently secure. However, the safety of your data in the cloud depends on various factors, including the provider’s security measures and your own practices. Cloud providers typically implement robust security, but users must still manage their data securely, including setting strong access controls, regularly updating passwords and encrypting sensitive information. It’s a shared responsibility.

Cybersecurity is something you must take seriously heading into the New Year. Cyberthreats continuously evolve, and believing in these misconceptions can leave individuals and organizations vulnerable to attacks. It’s essential to stay informed, maintain a proactive stance and invest in cybersecurity measures to protect your digital assets. Remember that cybersecurity is a collective effort and everyone has a role to play in ensuring online safety. By debunking these myths and embracing a holistic approach to cybersecurity, you can better protect your digital life and business.

To start off the New Year in a secure position, get a completely free, no-obligation security risk assessment from our team. We’ll review everything you have in place and give you a full report explaining where you’re vulnerable and what you need to do to fix it. Even if you already have an IT team supporting you, a second set of eyes never hurts when it comes to your security. Book a 10-minute discovery call with our team here.

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New! A better way to find Chrome extensions

New! A better way to find Chrome extensions

If you use Google Chrome, you’ll love this. Google has just rolled out a game-changing update that’s going to make your browser more powerful than ever.

It’s the revamped Chrome Web Store, featuring a fresh design and exciting new features.

Now, if you’re like me, you’ve probably spent more time than you’d care to admit sifting through the Chrome Web Store in search of the perfect extensions for your browser. Those days of endless scrolling and hunting for that elusive add-on are officially over.

First off, they’ve introduced new categories to help you quickly find what you need. Whether you’re shopping, looking for productivity tools, or are just in the mood for some entertainment, there’s a category for you. And the cherry on top? There’s now a dedicated section for AI-powered extensions.

AI Powered

These AI-powered extensions are not to be underestimated. Many of them integrate popular chatbots and even some of the best ChatGPT extensions available. Imagine having your own virtual assistant right in your browser, ready to answer questions, provide recommendations, and assist with various tasks.

And it doesn’t stop there. Google has also included a ‘suggested extensions’ section that tailors recommendations based on what you’ve previously downloaded.

There’s an ‘Editors’ spotlight’ section which promises to showcase up-and-coming extensions you might have otherwise missed.

Navigating the Chrome Web Store has become even more intuitive. The search bar has moved to the top-right corner of the screen, and Google has enhanced its capabilities. You can filter by all items or focus on featured extensions and themes, making it a breeze to find exactly what you want.

In the top-left corner, you’ll find the Extensions tab to dive deeper into add-ons for your browser. Fancy changing the look of Chrome? Simply navigate to the Themes tab. Customisation has never been this easy.

While this new Chrome Web Store update is undoubtedly exciting, let’s not forget about the importance of staying vigilant when it comes to browser security. Here are a few reminders:

  1. Monitor downloads to make sure they’re safe and relevant
  2. Never download extensions from third-party websites
  3. Make sure everyone in your business is aware of and follows the correct security measures.
  4. Regularly update Chrome and your extensions and educate your team about the importance of strong passwords and safe browsing practices.

If you’d like help finding even more productivity-boosting tools for your business, get in touch.

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7 Helpful Features Rolled Out in the Autumn Windows 11 Update

Windows 11 Autumn update

In a world where technology constantly evolves, Microsoft stands at the forefront. It continues to pioneer innovations. Innovations that transform how we interact with our digital universe.

The fall Windows 11 update is a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to excellence. It’s more than just an upgrade. It’s a leap into the future of computing. Microsoft touts it as “The most personal Windows 11 experience.”

Let’s explore some of the great features that make this update so significant.

Microsoft Copilot: Your Intelligent Partner in Creativity

A standout feature of the fall Windows 11 update is Microsoft Copilot. This AI-driven marvel is like your personal PC assistant.

Need help summarizing a web page? Want to change to dark mode, but forgot how? Looking for a quick custom image for a social media post? Microsoft Copilot can do all that and more.

Image credit: Microsoft

Copilot is seamlessly integrated into Windows 11. It offers real-time suggestions and turns ideas into reality with remarkable ease. Ask it what you need, and the AI engine gets to work.

Updated Apps (Paint, Snipping Tool, Clipchamp & More)

Have you ever wished that Windows’ Snipping Tool could do more? This update grants that wish. The Snipping Tool is just one of many to get an AI upgrade.

Look for new capabilities in Paint, Clipchamp, and Photos. Get a unique image from inputting a text prompt and style. The Cocreator tool in Paint makes it easy to jumpstart your creativity. It will generate the image, then you can edit it in the same app.

Microsoft Clipchamp is one of the easiest video creator tools out there. You can now just drag in your assets and clips. Then, click to have the AI engine work its magic to create a video for you.

The new Clipchamp Auto Compose feature can:

  • Recommend scenes
  • Make edits
  • Create a narrative based on your inputs       

Easy Data Migration with Windows Backup

When you buy a new computer, moving data can be a pain. It can take hours to move your “pc life” between devices. And there’s always the risk you’ll miss something.

The new Windows Backup feature makes moving between computers easier. You can choose backup options and folders. When ready to move, it’s a simple process. You can restore the new PC from another backed-up PC.

Microsoft Edge: A Faster and More Secure Browsing Experience

Microsoft Edge received significant enhancements. These focus on speed, responsiveness, and security. The Edge Secure Network feature offers more gigabytes. Microsoft increased user storage from 1GB to 5GB. This function encrypts your internet connection to secure data.

Edge Secure Network has many features of a VPN. This is great for extra online security. It’s also helpful for companies trying to prevent breaches from clicks on phishing links

Save Energy & Battery Power

A feature called Adaptive Dimming is another enhancement of this update. Your screen slowly dims if you’re no longer paying attention. This has the dual benefit of saving energy and helping you refocus.

PC sensors power this feature as well as two others. So, it’s going to be more common with newer computers.

The other two features that use sensors are:

  • Wake on Approach
  • Lock on Leave

A More Personal Windows 11 Experience

Beyond the technical innovations, this update brings more. Including a more personal touch to the user experience. Tailored to individual preferences, Windows 11 becomes an extension of the user’s identity.

This includes things like:

  • Personalized themes
  • Custom widgets
  • Intelligent assistants

Every interaction feels curated and intuitive. It makes for a truly personalized operating system.

Other Cool Enhancements

There’s a lot of excitement packed into Windows 11. Here are a few more new features you can explore.

  • Copilot in Microsoft Shopping: Find what you need fast when shopping online. Bing will provide tailored recommendations based on your requests.
  • Content Credentials: Add an invisible digital watermark to your AI-generated images in Bing. Cryptographic methods help you tag your work.
  • Bing Chat Enterprise Updates: Boost work creativity and enjoy multimodal visual search. Find information using only images.
  • DALL.E 3 Model from Open AI: Use the Image Creator in Bing and you’ll likely be impressed. It’s had an upgrade and uses the DALL.E 3 model to render images from text prompts.

Harness the Power of Microsoft Products

Microsoft is definitely a leader in work productivity tools. And it has been for a long time. If you’re still working like it was 2020, let us help you upgrade. Employees can be more efficient than ever with the right apps.  

We’ve got your back with Microsoft 365, Windows 11, and other solutions. Our experts will guide you, so you can gain an edge on the competition.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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Is app overload slowing down your team?

Are you suffering from app overload?

Ever had one of those days where you feel like your inbox is staging a coup against your productivity?

You’re not alone.

In fact, a recent study revealed that 80% of our communications are still happening via email.

Yes, despite all the apps, chat services, and digital tools we have at our disposal, we’re still stuck in our old ways, sifting through an avalanche of emails. It’s a little like using a carrier pigeon in the age of the telephone.

The study also found that employees are wasting precious hours navigating through a maze of apps. Imagine this: Your employee is about to send an important report but gets lost between Slack, Teams, Google Docs, and a dozen other tools. It’s like playing a never-ending game of digital hide-and-seek. And spoiler alert: It’s not fun.

What about video conferencing? That’s got to be better, right? Well, not quite. Sure, it gives us the illusion of being productive, but the truth is, most employees find only three in five meetings genuinely valuable. The rest? Unproductive.

And let’s not forget about the constant need to repeat or clarify ourselves. We’re talking about 74% of workers having to repeat themselves some of the time, with almost a quarter saying this happens often. It’s enough to make you want to scream into the void, isn’t it?

So, what’s the solution?

Well, it’s time to take a step back and rethink your digital strategy.

Instead of piling on more apps and tools, why not work with a technology strategist who can help you create a plan that makes sense for your business? Think of us as the Marie Kondo of the digital world, helping you declutter your digital workspace and sparking joy (and productivity) in your team.

If you’re ready to get away from the endless loop of emails and app notifications and boost your productivity again, let us help.

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