Streamlining Collaboration: Microsoft Teams vs. Slack

Streamlining Collaboration: Microsoft Teams vs. Slack

Teamwork may make the dream work, but choosing the right collaborative software for your business can be a nightmare without the right information! AE Technology Group is here to help. Microsoft Teams and Slack are two excellent options for the growing corporate technology sphere. Explore the benefits of each prior to selecting the ideal collaboration platform.

Teams

Microsoft Teams is a specialized powerhouse that creates efficiency through streamlining processes and communications. This platform is great for interdepartmental collaboration. 

Get Integrated with Office 365 

If an all-in-one technology solution is vital to your business, utilizing the full range of Office 365products revolutionizes project management and strategic staffing. Teams is a tried and true product that integrates with Word, Excel, Access, and many more. First line employees will benefit most from the ease of managing schedules, projects, and communicating flawlessly between departments with instant messaging. 

Information at a Glance

Teams is typically considered the most user friendly option when it comes to a secure communication system for businesses. The program requires little to know input as far as set up costs, training, and troubleshooting. Better still, Teams allows users to view activity, deadlines, productivity, and data by simply clicking on the dashboard. Small businesses especially may wish to opt for the convenience and simplicity the app provides. Teams is also the more budget friendly option for lean and mean results.

Slack

When it comes to integrated technology solutions, Slack is the O.G. of business communications. Slack predates Teams and offers a broader, more comprehensive structure that allows companies the freedom to create and explore.

Third-Party Integration, First Rate Results

If your business doesn’t use Office 365, Slack may be the better option as this app integrates with a collective of third-party apps and programs. This gives companies the ability to pick and choose which software works best for complex functions that may not be supported by traditional Office applications.

Investing in the Future

Rapidly growing industries that anticipate changes within the next few years should take the opportunity to invest in Slack. Not only will Slack withstand the test of time, but switching to different third-party apps while keeping the same IM system and collaborative network is easy. Office may become obsolete or unable to keep up with the demands of a changing enterprise. Unless your company is certain to be operating with Office for at least the next several years, you’re better off going with Slack.

Looking for more technology breakthroughs? Check out Office 365 vs. G Suite Google and contact our IT experts today to get started.

Why Choose Office 365 Over G Suite Google Apps

Why Choose Office 365 Over G Suite Google Apps
Office 365 vs G-Suite

Google is known the world over for their search engine, free email, Android smartphones, along with a host of other technologies such as AI and self-driving vehicles. So it might seem natural for companies to assume that Google’s G Suite is in some way superior to Microsoft’s Office 365 line of productivity tools. After all, if Google is everywhere, they must be the best, right? Not necessarily.

In this post, we will outline several factors companies will want to consider before deciding which set of productivity tools will work best for their particular needs.

Scalable and Reliable

Companies want productivity tools they can count on and they want those same tools to scale along with their business. Microsoft is so committed to delivering just such a product, they are willing to prove it. If any of their on-demand services drops below a virtually perfect 99.9 percent availability level of service, Microsoft covers it with their comprehensive service level agreement. In contrast, Google does not acknowledge service downtime until at least 5% of a company’s user base is affected.

Consistent and Familiar  

The use of Office’s products remains consistent, regardless of device and whether a user is online or offline. Consistency breeds familiarity, which leads to a shorter learning curve and an increase in user productivity. Google’s G Suite products are not as user intuitive, meaning employees will spend more time trying to learn how to use their products rather than actually producing. Google’s capabilities are not as robust offline as when online, thus reducing the number of convenient “anytime, anywhere” access opportunities.  

Better Security

When it comes to security, Google simply adheres to their standard, one-size-fits-all privacy policy for both business and personal users. While robust, this security policy may not necessarily address all the security and regulation requirements needed for a variety of industries. Microsoft provides their business users the higher level of security required in many industries. Microsoft’s commitment to business security includes state-of-the-art data centers, multi-factor authentication, encrypted data access, and premium antivirus, anti-spam protection.

A Stronger Commitment to Productivity Innovation 

While it is clear in a broad sense that Google is a strong leader in technology innovation, unlike Microsoft’s commitment to their Office 365 apps, Google’s commitment to productivity tools is more of an afterthought. Microsoft’s approach to their productivity tools is different. They are fully committed to supporting their current business customers through their Office 365 line of products, along with committing real investment dollars for future innovation.

If you would like to know more about the differences between Office 365 and Google’s G Suite, please contact us.

Office 365 vs. Office 2019 for Business

Office 365 vs. Office 2019 for Business
Office 365

Microsoft is an essential part of many business’ operations. Businesses rely on Microsoft Word for their word processing needs, Excel for spreadsheets and PowerPoint for presentations. The cloud has become an integral part of Microsoft’s offerings, and this had led the company to offer two different versions of Microsoft Office: 

  1. Office 365
  2. Office 2019

 Each version can be used for business, but which is ideal?

Office 365: Cloud-based

Office 365 is cloud-based, so you pay for a subscription either monthly or yearly. Cloud-based, Microsoft worries about updates, infrastructure and security. You or your employees simply log into Office on your web browser and can make Word documents, spreadsheets or any other file under the Office suite of products.

What’s nice about Office 365 is that it can be accessed anywhere on any Internet-connected device.

You can work on a document in the office, go home, and then work on the document some more. Automatic saving makes the process streamlined. Office 365 for business comes with the following office applications:

  • Access (only on PC)
  • Excel
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Word

All versions come with OneDrive, but the higher version comes with a few extras:

  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • Teams

You will receive a desktop version of Office applications with Office 365. The maximum number of users on the business plan is 300, so everyone in the office can have access to Office 365.

Office 2019: Standalone Version

Office 2019 is a standalone product, so it’s a one-time purchase. You won’t have to pay subscription fees, but you won’t have the benefit of online collaboration on the cloud. Licenses are valid for one PC or Mac, and fully-installed versions will include the following:

  • Excel
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Word

You’ll need to update Office 2019, and all of your files will be stored on your computer or server. A disaster recovery plan should be in place when using the standalone version of Office 2019, or you risk losing your data if your hard drive fails, you get a virus, or data becomes corrupted.

Which Office is Best for Your Business?

If you don’t have the budget for Office 365, Office 2019 may be the best option. In most other cases, Office 365 will offer the most flexibility. Not only does Office 365 come with its own version for your PC or Mac, but it will also offer:

  • Regular updates from Microsoft (you never need to upgrade)
  • Cloud-based data storage
  • Ease of collaboration for larger teams
  • Linking directly to files in the cloud
  • Access to all applications on multiple devices

Office 2019 will need to be updated when Office 2020 is released, but you can continue using Office 2019 for as long as you wish.

Contact us today to develop an Office 365 solution for your small- or medium-sized business.

New Features in Microsoft Teams – Shifts and More

New Features in Microsoft Teams - Shifts and More
Microsoft Teams

As technology advances, organizations find they can plan more, direct more and execute more because they have more relevant and timely information, thus allowing them to better decisions. As part of the trend of providing more effective and efficient ways to relay information, Microsoft has expanded multiple features within their Microsoft Teams app. Features that promise to connect the right people with the right information, at just the right time.

Shifts

Not every group of employees works together in a close environment. In many cases, staff members are spread out across the local landscape or perhaps even the globe, as in the case of flight crew members. Regardless of the physical location of their employees, shift coordinators need an intelligent mechanism that allows them to plan and coordinate work schedules, which in turn enables seamless delivery of services and/or products to their customer base. With the Teams app Shift tool, managers can easily create, keep track of and update an entire work schedule, thus ensuring that even employees disbursed all over the globe, know where they need to be and when they need to be there.

Updating Made Easy

Especially when employees work out in the field, they need features that will allow them to connect to and update other members of the group who made not be physically nearby. For mobile users, Microsoft’s Team app has a location sharing feature, allowing managers to keep tabs on their employees, as well as allowing employees to verify they are where they say they are. Workers can easily snap and upload photos of work-related issues and share with others, thereby garnering additional insight for problem-solving. They can also immediately text or share their comments by voice, or they can record audio or video messages for viewing at a later date.

Integrate With Current Systems

Microsoft understands that moving an entire organization over to new software takes time. That’s why they created a Graph API that enables organizations to seamlessly integrate their current workforce management system with the new features of their Teams app.

Give Recognition 

Lastly, Microsoft’s Team app allow managers and others to send out praise and recognition to individual employees, as well as project groups for a job well done. For those who often work independently, managers can use Microsoft’s Praise tool within the app, thereby helping employees in the field understand their employer truly appreciates all their hard work.

If you would like to know more about the Teams app and how it can help organize and coordinate your company’s team efforts, please contact us.

Should Your Company Move to Office 2019? Here’s What you Need to Know

Should Your Company Move to Office 2019? Here's What you Need to Know
Should Your Company Move to Office 2019

Microsoft recently launched their cloud-based suite of office products, aptly named Office 2019, a successor to their Office 2016 suite. The successor, offered for both Mac and Windows users, contains new versions of all of Microsoft’s popular office software applications. Namely, Microsoft Word, their Excel spreadsheet software, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, Visio and Project. As always, it’s important for organizations to research new applications in order to determine the impact upon their organizations, as well as determine their upgrade readiness if they decide to move ahead with the new suite.

Getting Ready for the Cloud

Microsoft’s Office 2019 is cloud-based software. For those organizations who have already made the transition and are ready for cloud-based products, the transition to Office 2019 should be fairly seamless. But what about organizations who for one reason or another, are lagging behind transitioning to the cloud? According to Microsoft’s own support page, although they certainly encourage everyone to make their way to the cloud, they understand that organizations are in varying stages of transition. Therefore, Microsoft remains committed to providing additional releases post Office 2019 to their on-premise users.

Is Upgrading Required? 

Up until fairly recently, Office 2016 users thought they would be required to upgrade either to Office 2019 or Office 365 ProPlus if they wanted to connect to Office 365. Microsoft has reversed this position and is now stating that Office 2016 users will be able to connect to their Office 365 services through at least October 2023. This is good news for Office 365 users since it gives them a little more breathing room before upgrading.

Why Office 2019?

Some organizations may decide they want to move to Office 2019 in order to take advantage of the some of the new features within the suite. The new version of Word will offer features such as text-to-speech and learning capabilities and Excel will offer new functions, 2D maps, and enhancements to both PowerQuery and PowerPivot. The new PowerPoint will have 3D image management, enhanced zoom and will incorporate roaming pencil case capabilities.

If you would like to know more about the new features found in Office 2019, or if you have questions about upgrading, please contact us.