Many businesses in the Washington DC area are embroiled in a debate over the pros and cons of utilizing in-house IT staff support versus outsourcing IT to professional service providers. Some businesses believe that using in-house staff is the preferred option because that is how it has been done in the past and they are comfortable in maintaining the status quo. Others argue that the outsourcing alternative can bring cost efficiencies and technical consistencies. Read more »
IT professionals, by nature, are detailed oriented people who are used to being in control of their IT infrastructure. Microsoft Office 365 gives IT professionals the option of putting their Office suite of products in the cloud and lets users access their work from any web-enabled device. This solution can be scary for IT professionals who are concerned about cloud software. While some may enjoy the idea of having their users in a cloud-based solution with upgrades and support issues handled by Microsoft, some really need to have those functions contained within their on-premise servers. Problems arise when organizations need an elegant solution for their remote users who will be doing a lot of productivity work outside of the office. Can you satisfy both? The answer is in a hybrid deployment. Read more »
Businesses in Washington, DC have no shortage of options for IT services. Whether they work with an outside IT provider, an in-house IT staff, or even a hybrid of both, the various options out there are overwhelming. Deciding on which option is best for an organization, executives tend to look at the features, benefits, and costs associated with each option. Unfortunately, they tend to leave out what some could argue is the biggest cost factor – their time. Read more »
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:
- Close Outlook.
- 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.
- Open Outlook
- 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.
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. Read more »
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. Read more »
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. Read more »
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. Read more »
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. Read more »
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. Read more »