IT Best Practices
Posted on May 22, 2013
One of the top benefits of migrating to Microsoft Office 365 is the fact that Microsoft automatically upgrades your Office software to the latest versions. However, they are not always without bugs. The latest upgrade issue is with the new version of Exchange 2013. This upgrade is actually creating a serious problem with Outlook. Once upgraded, Outlook can’t connect, and users will not be able to send or receive mail at all. Needless to say, this is a major problem for IT professionals, IT support providers, and users.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has not yet release a fix for this buggy update. Through trial and error and classic troubleshooting (and research) we found a fairly simple solution for this problem:
Go to Control Panel, Email, Email Accounts
In Email Account, select click on the Name e.g. email@example.com (this is user email address), then click Repair. This will automatically update the user mailbox connection setting via autodiscover for the domain name. The user needs to enter their email password for authentication.
Click Close to update your setting.
Outlook will ask you to restart to accept the new settings.
Re-open Outlook, and make sure it is not connected Offline (lower right corner of the screen).
NOTE: If you try these instructions, and there still is an issue, you will manually have to replace the server with “mail.office365.com” and Outlook should be able to find the mailbox.
We are hoping that Microsoft will fix this problem relatively soon. In the meantime, IT Support providers will have to devote quite a bit of time to manually correct this issue, particularly in environments with a larger number of mailboxes. Office 365 is a great product that many businesses in the Washington, DC area are migrating to, and it would be a shame for issues like this to continue with their automatic updates. If you receive an notification from Microsoft stating that your Office 365 account will be updated, we recommend that you plan to implement the workaround listed above. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Posted on May 09, 2013
A large number of organizations in the Washington, DC area have implemented telecommuting policies for their staff. Combined with the rising number of remote workers, these telecommuting policies create an environment where proper unified communications is a must. When people are working from out of the office, it’s imperative that they have full functionality and access to their work.
Posted on May 08, 2013
Microsoft recently announced that they will be releasing an update to Windows 8, codenamed “Blue,” by the end of the year. IT professionals are no stranger to Windows updates. For years, IT departments and IT Service Providers have been patching and updating Windows on a weekly basis to ensure proper security and stability for their users. However, since the release of Windows 8 last year, IT professionals have been slow to adopt the new operating system for their users, citing numerous reasons. Microsoft is hoping that “Blue” will change that.
Posted on Apr 11, 2013
Business managers generally view their IT service providers as people to contact when their computers malfunction. They’re more than satisfied if all they have to do is call a number, speak to a “tech person” and await word that the computer is working properly once again. This “break-fix” paradigm is what many consider to be the entirety of satisfactory IT service.
Posted on Mar 28, 2013
Small and medium sized Washington, DC businesses, are increasingly seeking cloud-based solutions to satisfy their IT needs. Popular cloud solutions, such as Microsoft Office 365, provide cost-effective productivity software to their users. However, there are many myths about Office 365, myths that can readily result in an organization making unwise choices that could easily add unnecessary IT costs to an already stretched IT budget.
Posted on Mar 14, 2013
Microsoft Consultants may be characterized more by their diversity than by their uniformity of expertise. Consequently, choosing the appropriate expert for your business may seem like a daunting task. BUT, it doesn’t have to be. Your rationale for selection may be as simple as picking the one with the lowest bid and hoping you’ll receive the service desired.
Posted on Mar 05, 2013
Are you using Exchange 2003? Then don’t buy Office 2013!
Still waiting to upgrade from Exchange 2003 to a newer version? Recently, we posted an article about the reasons for upgrading Exchange, but recently, we discovered a new reason that many IT professionals are not aware of that could lead to potential issues. When working with a client that is still using Exchange 2003, we noticed a problem when trying to install Microsoft Office 2013. Apparently, Outlook 2013 doesn’t support Exchange 2003. This will obviously come as a huge problem for users.
Posted on Jan 29, 2013
How well does your Human Resources (HR) Department understand the inherent nature of its company’s business? Typically, HR managers do not participate in executive policy decision-making. What is their role then and how do HR managers learn to understand the true nature of their organization’s business and the functioning of its Information Technology (IT)? Answers to these questions frequently elude HR managers to the detriment of the organization’s ability to carry out its strategic plans.
Posted on Jan 04, 2013
It all started at the beginning of the week with the discovery of an attack against the Washington DC based Council on Foreign Relations website. A malicious Adobe Flash file was discovered on the site. The file infects unknowing visitors that are using Internet Explorer 8 (and possibly IE 6 and IE 7 users as well). In a nutshell, a malicious Adobe Flash file (called “today.swf”) launches an attack against IE causing a memory overrun that enables an attacker to remotely execute code on an infected computer. Since its initial discovery at the beginning of the year, the website attack, coined the “IE Zero-Day Watering Hole Attack”, has expanded to several other websites including a handful of political websites. It should be noted that since the majority of users have already upgraded to IE 9 and IE 10, the scope of the attack is rather limited.
Nevertheless, Microsoft has already issued a Fix It for the Watering Hole Attack. The fix is the first release in what is surely to be a very busy 2013 cyberwar season. Microsoft has also confirmed that the fix is a temporary resolution. Indeed, Microsoft plans to release a more robust IE update in the near future. Unfortunately, the update will not be part of Tuesday’s upcoming Patch Tuesday security updates.
We strongly recommend that users running IE 6, 7, and 8 deploy the Fix It as soon as possible.
Posted on Dec 19, 2012
Many organizations in the Washington, DC area have IT functions that are essentially “invisible” to the rest of their corporate operations. All too often, what transpires within the confines of the “IT world” remains relatively unknown to the majority of users across the organization. That is, of course, until problems happen and productivity is severely impacted. Unfortunately, waiting for problems to occur before asking questions is too late.