Neil Phelan, Author at HCS - Page 2 of 4
Windows 10 Should I upgrade or not?

Windows 10 Should I upgrade or not?

Windows 10 FREE upgrade from Windows 7, 8.0 and 8.1 is available until 29th July 2016. After this date you will have to pay for the upgrade (price unknown as of yet) or the alternative is to buy a new PC/laptop with Windows 10 pre-installed. So should you upgrade or not?

While Microsoft will declare many new features and benefits around functionality, speed and security which for majority of users is irrelevant the single reason to upgrade in our opinion is Windows 8.0 or 8.1. Windows 8.0 and 8.1 is not a pleasant experience for the business desktop user due to its metro style interface and the removal of the start button. Windows 8.0 and 8.1 was more tablet focused and forget about the business desktop user.

Windows 10 however solves this and puts the business desktop users back into the user experience again. The Windows start button is back and while its more modern than Windows 7, Windows 10 in our opinion combines the best of Windows 7 and 8 to give a singular device wide experience for every user including desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile.
In our opinion if you are using Windows 8.0 or 8.1 you should upgrade to benefit from a better desktop experience. If you are using Windows 7 then it’s a matter of preference.

What you need to consider before upgrading?

While system requirements for Windows 10 is minimal for a modern desktop PC, you need at least 16GB of free disk space. The most important thing to consider are the applications you run and do they support Windows 10? (eg. Sage, Quickbooks, Dynamics etc..)

Test Windows 10

If you have a number of PC’s to upgrade on your network HCS recommends upgrading 1 pc to start with as a test. Work with Windows 10 for a period of time to ensure every application or peripheral device that your company uses works as expected. After a successful trial roll out to all other users.

If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 and need help, speak to your account manager at HCS today or contact sales@hcs.ie.

 

 

We’re hiring a .Net Developer

We’re hiring a .Net Developer

The HCS Software Division is a growing team of software developers who specialise in delivering custom applications on behalf of a number of national and multinational customers. We place a strong emphasis on cloud and mobility and therefore work with the latest in Microsoft technologies to deliver our vision of producing quality software that delivers for our customers. HCS uses the Microsoft development stack of Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Azure, .NET and SQL.

HCS Business Solutions is looking for a .NET Developer based in our Waterford office to add to our growing software team.

Scope of role

The role is to develop, test, document and implement custom applications within agreed deadlines to the required standard in order to meet the functional requirements set by our Customers.

Key skills

Primary responsibility for the design, development and deployment of software solutions and components based on Microsoft Technologies.

Development of Custom SharePoint Web Parts.

Developing applications from detailed design specifications.

Ability to liaise with clients during the development life cycle.

Experience/Skills:

At least 2 years design and development experience using Microsoft based tools & frameworks such as: C#, ASP.NET, MVC.

Experience of using SharePoint 2010/2013 and SharePoint Designer a distinct advantage.

MS SQL Server experience essential.

Web development experience.

Excellent written/verbal skills.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Understanding and experience of Agile based development methodologies.

Education:

Relevant third level qualification in IT.

OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Libraries where should I store my documents?

OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Libraries where should I store my documents?

OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Libraries, where should I store my documents?

This is a question that I am asked regularly and I hope to explain in a manner that makes sense. This blog is not intended to be a training manual but it will give you an idea of what each of these products look like and how you should use them.

 

OneDrive

What is it?

OneDrive is Microsoft’s FREE service for storing files in the cloud. If you sign up for a FREE Microsoft personal account to Outlook, Skype etc you automatically get 5Gb of OneDrive cloud storage.

What should I use it for?

To store personal documents or pictures not related to your work.

How to access it?

You can access it from a browser, an app on your phone or direct from your computer using the OneDrive app.

From the browser – 

Browse to http://www.onedrive.com and enter your personal Microsoft account credentials. This is the page you’re presented with.

Onedrive1

From your phone, tablet

Install the OneDrive app on your phone from the Windows Store, Google Play or Apple App Store and when prompted enter your Microsoft personal account details to connect. This is the app you’re presented with.

OneDrive2

From your computer

When you have the OneDrive app on your computer this provides an offline copy of your files meaning that changes to documents are synced between your computer and OneDrive cloud storage. (You can access the documents even if you don’t have Internet access and they will sync up later.) The OneDrive app is already installed on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Pc’s.

If you don’t have it installed browse to https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-ie/download/ and select download under the icon OneDrive. (do not download the OneDrive for Business version yet!)

Install the app and when prompted enter your Microsoft Personal Account details to connect.  This syncs all your documents stored in the cloud to a location on your hard drive. To access these documents open file explore and open the folder OneDrive-Personal. The very familiar file explorer view is what you get.

Onedrive3

OneDrive for Business

What is it?

OneDrive is Microsoft’s paid service for storing files in the cloud. If your business has paid for an Office 365 Subscription that has OneDrive as part of it then you get 1TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage.

What should I use it for?

To store work related documents or pictures which are primarily for your own use.

How to access it?

You can access it from a browser, an app on your phone or direct from your computer using the OneDrive app.

From the browser – 

Browse to your Office 365 portal at http://portal.office365.com and sign in with your Office 365 account credentials. Open your app launcher in the top left hand corner and select OneDrive. (First confusion: Why is this not OneDrive for Business!)

This opens OneDrive for Business as follows.

OFB-OneDrive

 

From your phone

The OneDrive for Business app is available for Windows, IOS and Android and it allows you to open your documents stored in your OneDrive for Business account from your phone. (Second confusion: Microsoft calls the app OneDrive in the app stores!) Open the app and enter your Office 365 Account details and the following is what you’re presented with.

OFB-Phone

From your computer

When you have the OneDrive for Business  app on your computer this provides an offline copy of your documents meaning that changes to documents are synced between your computer and your OneDrive for Business cloud storage. (You can access the documents even if you don’t have Internet access and they will sync up later.)

If you don’t have it installed browse to https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-ie/download/ and select download under the icon OneDrive for Business .

Install the app and when prompted enter your Office 365 Account details to connect.  This syncs all your documents stored in the cloud to a location on your hard drive. To access these documents open file explore and open the folder OneDrive – %Company Name% (In my instance it’s OneDrive – HCS Business Solutions). The very familiar file explorer view is what you get. Note the green ticks beside each folder, this shows you that everything is in sync between the PC and OneDrive for Business storage.

OFB-PC

 

SharePoint – Document Libraries

What is it?

SharePoint is many things  but in the context of this blog it is a Microsoft paid service that provides a document management system in the cloud. If your business has paid for an Office 365 Subscription that has SharePoint as part of it then you get access to a company portal. This portal needs to be setup and configured before you and your team of people can use it.

** HCS have a team of SharePoint consultants who will help setup and configure your SharePoint company portal. Contact us if you’re not sure if you have SharePoint or if you want to discuss setting up a portal.

What should I use it for?

To store work related documents or pictures that will be shared amongst a team of people.

How to access it?

You can access it from a browser on your phone, tablet or computer  or directly from your computer using the OneDrive for Business app.

From the browser
Once it is configured you can access your SharePoint portal from any browser using the following URL
http://domainname.sharepoint.com (replace domain name with your company domain name, if unsure check with your Office 365 administrator.)

SharePoint-Docs

From your phone or tablet

To access documents stored in a SharePoint Library from your phone or tablet (Windows, Android or iPhone) open the document library url (same URL as before) in the mobile browser. This will open the mobile view of your SharePoint Team Library as follows;

Sharepoint-Mob1

 

From your computer
If you want to open a Team Document Library from your computer click on Sync within the SharePoint Portal in the browser, this will install a SharePoint Document Library Sync app called OneDrive for Business. (same version as is used for OneDrive for business)
This provides an offline copy of your team documents library meaning that changes to documents are synced between your computer and your Team Document Library in SharePoint. (Similar to OneDrive and OneDrive for Business this means you can access the documents even if you don’t have Internet access and they will sync up later.)

SharePoint-Sync

 

In summary the grid below will hopefully help you understand the differences. I hope this helped. Any feedback, you’re welcome to email me at nphelan@hcs.ie.

Grid

 

What are you missing? OneDrive for Business

What are you missing? OneDrive for Business

In a recent blog on “What are you missing from Office 365 and Azure”, I mentioned a number of products and benefits that businesses should consider. I plan to delve into a number of these over the coming weeks and months, today I am concentrating on OneDrive for Business.

What is OneDrive for Business?

OneDrive for Business is a place where you can store, sync, and share your work documents and files.  OneDrive for Business lets you update and share your files from anywhere using any device. With your Office 365 subscription, you get a massive 1tb of storage just for you.  That’s a HUGE amount!

If you already have an Office 365 subscription and are not using OneDrive for Business then starting using it today, here’s how.

Sign into your Office 365 portal at http://portal.office365.com and open your app launcher in the top left hand corner and select OneDrive.

OFB-AppLauncher

 

This opens OneDrive as follows…..

OFB-OneDrive

 

What can I do with OneDrive for Business?

1. I can create new documents directly in the browser.
2. I can upload documents from my computer or network.
3. I can open documents and view/edit them in the browser.
4. I can share documents with others (even those outside my organisation) and either allow them to view or edit them.
5. I can have an offline copy of all my docs available to me on my local computer by choosing the sync button. (This is my favourite feature of OneDrive for Business and it makes it very familiar and fast to work with documents.)

How to Sync.

When you choose to sync your OneDrive for Business documents, this installs the OneDrive for Business App on your PC and it makes a copy of your documents on your local PC. Any changes you make are then kept in sync so that you are always up to date. The biggest advantage of this is that if you have slow broadband then you can work on your documents on your local PC and they will sync up when it can.

This is what it looks like…

OFB-Sync

 

OneDrive for Business on your Phone.

The OneDrive for Business (called OneDrive in the app stores!)  app is available for Windows, IOS and Android and it allows you to open your documents stored in your OneDrive for Business account from your phone.

OFB-Phone

Get started

If you already have an Office 365 subscription and are not using OneDrive for Business then start today using the above brief instructions. If you want more detailed instructions review the following;

What is OneDrive for Business?
Sync a library to your computer.
Share items in OneDrive for Business.

 

If you don’t have Office 365 or OneDrive for Business and are interested in discussing further then contact HCS today.

What are you missing from Office365 and Azure?

What are you missing from Office365 and Azure?

 

What are you missing from Office365 and Azure?

The cloud was on the ground in Waterford last week and my sense of humour got the better of me and I couldn’t help but tweet some humour for a change on the cloud! https://twitter.com/HCSBusinessSol/status/649873779695439872

Whatever about the low lying weather clouds, I hope it’s not here to stay, but the technology term “the cloud” is. HCS have been advocates of cloud computing for many years and it’s now at the forefront of every conversation we have with our customers and prospects. Our cloud offerings are all based on Microsoft, Why?

1. Microsoft’s focus is primarily on businesses.
2. Microsoft offers choice of both on premise or cloud.
3. Microsoft is the “staple diet” of the vast majority of servers and desktops so therefore it’s a natural progression to consider cloud.

While some businesses have moved forward and are benefiting from Office365 and Azure, there is still a lot of you that haven’t. So what are you missing? Read below to learn what you are missing out on.

 


 

This isn’t an exhaustive list but it will give you a flavour of what you might be missing out on if you are not using Office365 or Azure.

 

What are you missing?

Hosted Email
• A more accessible and reliable email service.

Office 2016
• Keep up to date with the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. on up to 5 of your devices.

SharePoint
• Ability for teams of people to share documents and team/project information in one location and have it accessible from anywhere, using any device, at any time. SharePoint is your central point for sharing information!

Skype for business
• The opportunity to collaborate with colleagues, customers and suppliers direct from Microsoft Office using Instant Messaging, Tele-calls or Video.

OneDrive for business
• A massive 1Tb of personal storage space for your documents and have them accessible from anywhere, using any device, at any time.


 

What are you missing?

Azure VM’s
• Need a server for a short period of time or longer but don’t want to buy one? Then rent it by the hour.

Azure AD
• The ability to have a single sign on for both your on premise network and your cloud network.

Azure Storage
• The ability to add additional cloud storage to your servers or SAN for data that you want to retain.

Azure Backup
• The ability to backup up your servers, desktops and laptops into the cloud.

Azure Site Recovery
• The ability to have a replicated copy of your on premise server or servers in the cloud meaning you can switch to the cloud and continue to run your business should any disaster happen.

Azure Multifactor Authentication
• Concerned about security, implement two factor authentication to control access to your on premise and cloud data and applications.

Azure RemoteApp
• Make on premise Windows applications accessible from anywhere, using any device, at any time.

Azure Websites/Apps/Databases
• Deploy and build custom built Websites, Apps and Databases in the cloud making them accessible from anywhere, using any device, at any time.

 

If you want to stop missing out contact Neil, Dan or Sean today on 01 8734120/051 595200.

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