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Scott Abbotts
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For small businesses, moving to the cloud is a frightening, yet inevitable transformation. It means business change, especially in regard to systems, processes, and people.

Just about every software vendor in the SMB space has a cloud-based option. In some cases, the only option ever available was cloud, such as with Salesforce CRM and Clio legal practice management. But there are QuickBooks Online, Sage Business Cloud, Oracle Financials Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk A360, Abacus Private Cloud, Amicus Online.. The list goes on naming programs that were formerly client-server models requiring a host server for the main application combined with client desktop software, all designed to interconnect within the confines of the office.

Microsoft was also among the list of on-premise, server-based systems. But in 2007, Microsoft began offering BPOS, a precursor to today’s Microsoft Online Services, which put Exchange email services and SharePoint document management into the cloud. After BPOS, Office 365 was born in 2011 and now serves over 120 million subscribed users per month. From personal experience, I shut down my on-premise Exchange/SharePoint server in 2008 and have never looked back.

Systems: This is the easy part. Subscribe to your cloud service of choice and then sign in. The engineers have designed the system and they continually make improvements (included upgrades).

Now with so much importance placed upon the ability to connect to the Internet, many companies subscribe to a second ISP for failover.

The old client-server system authenticated user identity through its Active Directory, a service found within the Windows Server operating system. But now that more users are logging in from afar, the new authentication system that can manage devices and users beyond the four walls is known as Azure Active Directory.

Processes: Probably the most important aspect of business processes is related to security. Password management and protection from malicious attacks are key to preserving the integrity of business operations.

Microsoft has been doing a fine job with authentication by offering a variety of options, including Windows Hello, which is essentially face recognition that performs in an elegant fashion. In addition, there are other biometric systems, as well as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) using your mobile device as an authenticator.

What used to be considered a mediocre antivirus product, Windows Defender has evolved to become an integral part of a collection of security tools all working as a holistic solution across Windows 10 and Office 365. Recent tests by outside parties have found Windows Defender to be 100% effective, especially when combined with other layers of security within the Microsoft ecosystem.

People: Here’s the hardest part because people generally do not like change. They’re afraid of the unknown and frustrated with what they don’t know. It is here that the business has the intrinsic responsibility to properly train its users.

With training comes knowledge, and with knowledge comes confidence – confidence to lead others as a champion and confidence to represent the company in all affairs.

Without training comes the danger of ignorance.

Scott Abbotts | https://resolute-it.com | https://office365techguy.com
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During periods in our human history, some believed that the Earth was flat. And evidently some still do! But as Pythagoras and others have proved otherwise, we have experienced a paradigm shift in how we perceive our world. We've reluctantly let go of long-held myths and adopted a new mode of thought.

In 1992, a group of about 100 scientists sent the first email attachment. Some were aghast, exclaiming what an obscene waste of bandwidth it was. Twenty-six years later, we think nothing of sending a massive file attached to an Outlook message.

But aside from file size and bandwidth concerns, we should consider other worries today. As we've adopted email as the primary collaboration vehicle, we continue to swap versions of files back and forth creating dozens, perhaps hundreds, of versions of the file with most iterations slightly different than the other. And of course, we have to find the corresponding message buried within our Inbox and then open that attached file to know how they differ, which is a blatant waste of time and productivity.

Now comes along came SharePoint. And OneDrive, too, which is actually a hidden SharePoint library. We can now share a link to a file as it remains in its place. The single file resides in its single location, yet it lives a dynamically unique life. When a link is used to access that file, we will open and view the most current version, sometimes so current that we are viewing a colleague co-author that document in real time right there on the computer screen.

This real-time scenario and unique document sharing is never more evident than when collaborating within Microsoft Teams. If we've shared a file while in a 1-to-1 Teams chat, then that file resides within the OneDrive document library of the person that shared the file. If we share a file to a Team or rather to a Teams' Channel, then the file resides within the SharePoint document library and the sub-folder that corresponds to that particular Channel.

But when an Office document is opened while Teams, the document appears right there within the Teams environment. We can chat with co-workers in the right-hand rail alongside the document. And we can create an impromptu meeting to discuss edits without ever leaving the Teams interface.

Aside from the mechanics of what goes where within SharePoint, files need to remain in their designated online location and not be copied as disparate versions within various emails as attachments. Also, when a file is stored in this manner, then a history of the file remains available - if needs must, then you can revert to a previous iteration.

We have to step outside of our box and look at collaboration from a new perspective. Just because we did it one way for so many years does not make it right today.

Scott Abbotts | https://resolute-it.com | https://office365techguy.com
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In every company, there is a primary decision maker. The leader guides the company with innovation, common sense and wisdom. The leader inspires others with persistent enthusiasm. The leader makes fair decisions and exemplifies honor.

Most companies have employees. In some companies there are none. But a company's value consists of more than the sum of their hired hands. By recognizing and then leveraging the valuable skills of partnering firms, we can harmonize our concerted efforts to entirely satisfy the business needs expressed by our clients.

With singular responsibility, our leadership provides integrated products and services with complete responsibility - there is no evasion or dodging of liability. We are small enough to acknowledge problems and we honestly own them.

Our mode is always on. We keep multiple avenues of communication open for commerce. Do we always answer the phone? Of course not. But calls are never ignored and every response is promptly returned. Small things matter and timeliness is a graceful courtesy.

Too many technicians in the IT world have 'better than thou' attitudes. It's too evident to deny this. But to know humility is to succeed. We have the utmost respect for others, we are openly grateful to serve, and we grasp every opportunity to learn about you and your business.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ― Ernest Hemingway

It is with calm purpose and determination that we remain resolute. But it is with humility that we remain lesser mortals. And it is with steadfast tenacity that we accomplish the tiniest tasks, as well as it is how we conquer seemingly monumental projects.

Scott Abbotts |  https://resolute-it.com  |  https://office365techguy.com 
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