Reinventing the Workplace with Windows VD

Reinventing the Workplace with Windows VD

What is Windows Virtual Desktop and what are the key benefits?

Windows VD is a desktop and app virtualisation service that runs in the cloud. It allows users to access their desktop and applications from anywhere and from any device. With built in intelligent security it can be deployed in minutes and can bring down existing costs with its pay for what you use model. As part of the Microsoft Cloud Services suite, Windows VD can be used within your existing M365 or Windows per user licence.

Access from Anywhere

Windows VD delivers a virtual desktop experience to any device making it an ideal IT solution for remote workers. Thanks to the Covid pandemic the remote workforce is now well established in most businesses and is likely to continue. To maintain productivity levels the remote workforce is more dependent on Cloud Services than ever before. With Microsoft’s Cloud Services and infrastructure, businesses can set up multi session Windows 10 deployments which are optimised to run in multi-user virtual environments. From a user’s perspective the desktop experience, no matter what device they use, is exactly the same as sitting in the office at a traditional PC.

Cloud technology

Reduced Cost of Ownership

From a cost perspective Windows VD is an ideal IT Solution that negates the need to purchase, deploy and maintain physical hardware. If your business already subscribes to Microsoft Cloud Services, M365 or an enterprise version of Windows you can create a virtual desktop for each user for free. Talk to your IT Service Provider to find out what is involved in setting up Windows VD for your business.

Scalability

Windows VD is managed through the Microsoft Azure Portal. You can scale up and down as your business dictates. Azure admins can allocate virtual RAM, create additional CPUs, allocate more storage etc.. quickly and easily through the Microsoft Azure Portal.

Security

If employees are working remotely it is inevitable that sensitive company data will be transferred and stored locally at some point which opens a business to risk. Throw in that many employees will be using personal unsecured devices and the risk is increased. With Windows VD the virtual machines are secured within Azure cloud. Data is protected by built in security protocols including Azure Firewall, Azure Sentinel, MFA and Advanced Threat Protection. Role based access can be determined also using the Azure infrastructure. Your IT Service Provider will be able to advise you on the best mix of IT security measures to suit your business needs.

Simplified IT Management

Through the Azure portal admins can easily configure a network and deploy desktops and security measures with just a few clicks. Centralised management means changes in policy can be easily rolled out across the estate. New users can be added quickly regardless of their location.

Seamless User Experience

No matter where, when or on what device a user signs into their virtual desktop they will enjoy the same experience. Whether they are managing their inbox in outlook, sharing files on OneDrive or using Teams to collaborate with colleagues the experience is the same, enabling them to pick up from where they left off with ease.

Microsoft Cloud Services

Reduced Downtime

With built in Site Recovery and Back up, Microsoft Cloud Services can help keep your team running during outages.  Your employees can continue working keeping productivity levels up and customers happy.

Why Now?

Virtualising desktops is the next step in digital transformation. If you’ve already migrated applications and data to the cloud hosting desktops there too gives you even more flexibility and agility. With centralised management and advanced built in security measures Microsoft’s Cloud Services, including Azure and Windows VD, deliver an ideal IT Solution to a progressive business. With more power, better performance, reduced costs and enhanced security Microsoft’s Cloud Services and Windows VD will help a business to run more efficiently, reducing capex costs and enabling innovation.

What Next?

Since its release Windows VD has been gaining traction across the business world. It delivers a better user experience with the latest security features inbuilt and it reduces cost. Windows VD took on extra importance from March 2020 as it enables easy and secure access to critical applications for remote workers. As working from home and BYOD become the norm a business needs an IT Solution that will deliver an efficient user experience, high levels of security and cost savings.

 

Talk to a reputable IT Service Provider with the right Microsoft Cloud Services accreditations. They will conduct a review of your current IT and devise a migration plan to move your business to a virtual environment.

Talk to our experts about moving to the Cloud and Windows VD

Why Choose Microsoft Teams Over Zoom

Why Choose Microsoft Teams Over Zoom

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, employees must now work from home where possible. This has encouraged many businesses to overcome hurdles in relation to maintaining productivity and communication when employees are not in the office.

To enable communication among employees, many are using a Video Conferencing Solution to allow teams to meet regularly. Many are weighing up their options as to what solution works best for them, leaving many choosing between Microsoft Teams and Zoom?

Why Should Your Business Choose Microsoft Teams

Security

Historically, Zoom does not have a trustworthy track record when it comes to privacy issues. Zoom was originally created as a consumer product, which might be the reason they had a poor response to security issues among the business/corporate sector. Whereas, Teams has is developed for the corporate sector and therefore has security and compliance as part of its core offering.

There have been a number of security concerns in relation to Zoom, especially since it has grown in recent weeks. Until recently, a data-mining feature allowed participants to access LinkedIn profile data about other users, without permission.

Integrations

Integration is at the core of any corporate communications platform. It allows employees to work more productively and broadens the potential for the platform. When compared to Zoom, Microsoft Teams can operate with its integrated Office 365 apps and more than 70 Teams integrations.

Unified Communications

Communication excels when you enable Video Conferencing., Instant Messaging and Voice Calls. Enable these various communication channels by embracing Microsoft Teams. Allowing your team to utilise channels that work best for them. If there is no need for a face-to-face conversation an instant message can be jsut as productive, thus saving you team time!

Zoom is primarily a Video Conferencing tool and does not have the same capabilities as Microsoft Teams.

Pricing

In relation to pricing, the most beneficial aspect of Teams is access to the Office 365 suite.

Whereas Zoom has no additional tools in its paid version.

For more on Office 365 pricing and its benefits, contact our team today!

If working from home if your company’s ‘new normal’ then a feature-rich video conferencing solution is essential for maintaining communication with your team.

Book your FREE consultation below!

Cloud Computing When Working Remotely

Cloud Computing When Working Remotely

Due to Covid-19 many employees are finding themselves working from home. This being the new normal for them, it may be difficult for team members to maintain productivity. Although working from home may have some advantages including reduced commute time and the peace of being in your own space, at home workers may also feel they are lacking guidance, direction, social interaction and more.

Did you know an IT Solution can help you overcome these boundaries to productivity?

Cloud Phone Solutions

A Cloud Phone Solution allows your team members to access their desk phone from their computer using a SoftPhone feature or on the go using the Mobile App. A HCS Cloud Phone Solution not only allows your business to be contactable during a disaster but also boosts communication between departments while allowing your business to stop paying over-priced line rental.

 

Microsoft Teams

When working from home communication may suffer and employees may come to miss their usual daily social interactions.

Microsoft Teams allows your employees to connect and quickly message each other, or alternatively use the Teams Video Chat feature to hold a meeting with all the benefits of a Face-To-Face meeting.

Embrace Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is an essential tool for remote teams. Using Microsoft Office 365 employees can access apps and documents anywhere from any device.

Bespoke SharePoint Solution can allow departments to collaborate simultaneously on documents. To learn more about how a Bespoke SharePoint Solution could benefit your business, contact our productivity experts today!

Want To Learn More?

As Microsoft Gold Parters HCS Business Solutions are recognised experts in providing businesses with unique IT solutions to allow teams to Work Smarter With IT!
Boost Collaboration When Working Remotely

Boost Collaboration When Working Remotely

It can be difficult for a business to create a productive, engaged environment when employees are working remotely.  Creating and maintaining a positive atmosphere can be a challenge as employees working remotely may face their own individual challenges throughout the workday, all of which can impact collaboration amongst teams. Below we have compiled a list of tips that a company can adopt to encourage communication and collaboration while working remotely.

1. Create A Collaborative Space

Creating a space where team members can effectively communicate and collaborate is greatly important for employees who are working from home. Microsoft Teams is an effective tool that many businesses who utilise Microsoft Office 365 have access too. Using Teams employees can create specific channels to host conversations amongst specific team members or dedicated to specific projects. But remember collaboration is boosted when employees get along with each other, so why not create a ‘just for fun’ channel where employees can share non-work related aspects of their workday. Not only does this boost collaboration but it also helps create a friendly atmosphere that positively benefits the company culture.

2. Create A Remote Collaboration Communication System

Communication is critical when operating a business. Without communication, collaboration cannot truly flourish. Poor communication can cause the failure of essential projects. To encourage collaboration, employees must be given the tools to communicate efficiently. These tools can involve:

Email: This can be used for more in-depth conversations with teams, that employees may need to refer back to.

Instant Messages: These are ideal for quick interactions and when asking urgent questions.

Video Chat: Although nothing can compare to a face-to-face meeting, a video conference allows team members to communicate with the benefits of a face-to-face meeting from anywhere.

Voice Over IP (VoIP): A VoIP solution is an ideal solution for employees who need to be able to access their office phone and mailbox when not in the office. Using a Cloud Phone Solution your team can use the Softphone feature and Mobile App.

3. Embrace Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is an essential tool for remote teams. Using Microsoft Office 365 employees can access apps and documents anywhere from any device.

A Bespoke SharePoint Solution can allow departments to collaborate simultaneously on documents. To learn more about how a Bespoke SharePoint Solution could benefit your business, contact our productivity experts today!

Want To Learn More?

As Microsoft Gold Parters HCS Business Solutions are recognised experts in providing businesses with unique IT solutions to allow teams to Work Smarter With IT!
Efficiently Work From Home With Office 365

Efficiently Work From Home With Office 365

Employees across the world are suddenly finding themselves working from home due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, leaving many businesses scrambling to maintain productivity and enable employees to work remotely.

Although many businesses use Microsoft Office 365 few are using it to its full potential. To help you, we have put together some tips and tricks on how to get the most from this suite of tools.

Keep In Touch With Teams

Teams is a key tool when working remotely. It is essentially a repository for all files and communications for a team working together. You can use it to create individual workspaces for each project or team, host audio or video meetings (people who don’t use Office 365 can still access these meetings using a special link), files can be shared and more.

Microsoft Teams is basically an all in one solution for managing and working with a remote team.

Access Apps Through The Cloud

The core of Office 365 is, of course, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. While working remotely employees can access essential files through the cloud. Allowing employees to edit documents together or provide comments and feedback. Excel and Powerpoint offer the same capabilities, allowing teams to streamline documents and reduce clutter in folders.

Outlook and Calendar

Outlook is most definitely the feature of Office 365 that almost all people would utilise throughout their workday. Using Outlook you can easily access and manage your emails.

The calendar feature allows you to organise virtual meetings at a time and date that suits everyone.

OneDrive

OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. This is an ideal solution when teams want to store and share large files back and forth.

Enable Your Team To Efficiently Work Remotely With Office 365

Although the above features are just a selection of the many apps that can be used to ensure productivity. HCS Business Solutions are Microsoft Gold Partners and recognised experts on implementing Microsoft Technologies within businesses.

Get The Most Out Of Microsoft Teams While Working Remotely

Get The Most Out Of Microsoft Teams While Working Remotely

Due to the increasing spread Covid-19 many employees are working from home and relying on video conferencing to communicate with team members on a daily basis.

Microsoft Teams can help your employees keep in touch and maintain productivity during these strange times. Did you know many companies with a Business Essentials, Business Premium or Enterprise Office 365 subscription, already have access to this tool.

Similar to other chat tools, Microsoft Teams allows you to create multiple channels for your team to share and store files and conduct live voice and video meetings. As Teams is part of the Microsoft Office Suite, it also seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft apps such as Word, OneNote, Planner and SharePoint.

As many businesses are now using Teams on a daily basis, we wanted to help you get the most out of your Teams experience!

 

Top 5 Tips and Tricks for Microsoft Teams

Get Your Message Across Clearly With Live Captions

Microsoft has introduced Live Captions in Public Preview. This feature will definitely be helpful for those who are hearing impaired or are simply working from a home, surrounded by distracting sounds.

To enable Live Captions, simply go to the Teams Admin Centre, select Meeting Policies and scroll to Participants and Guests. Here you will see Enable Live Captions, choose your setting in the dropdown menu and click Save.

Keep In Touch On The Go With The Teams Mobile App

A Microsoft Teams app is available on Android, iOS and Windows Mobile. This app emphasises team chats, channels and meetings, giving users a streamlined experience.

Teams can also be accessed as a web app or desktop client for Windows and Mac, giving users the freedom to choose which works best for them.

Integrate SharePoint

Many teams rely on SharePoint as a secure platform to store data and collaborate with colleagues. However, did you know SharePoint can be integrated into Teams? In every channel, you can click the Files tab to share files with team members via SharePoint or access SharePoint files already shared to the channel. This allows team members to collaborate on files shared to a channel using Office Online or an Office Desktop.

Get Organised – Title Your Chat Exchanges

Teams Channels generally contain numerous conversations with various departments and internal teams. This can often cause confusion when searching for a particular chat. By naming your conversation you are making it more searchable for when you need it.

 

To change the name of your chat, simply click the pencil icon next to the member names and enter the name you want to use.

Forward Emails Into A Channel

Microsoft understands just how important email is to a business and fortunately using Microsoft Teams you can forward any email to a channel from Outlook!

To do this, simply click the ellipsis next to any channel name and select “Get email address“. This generates an email address for any channel. Copy it, and you can use that address to forward Word docs, messages or just about anything you need to add to the channel!

 

Increase communication while working remotely and ensure your team can collaborate with ease by embracing Microsoft Teams!