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Microsoft 365 subscription prices to rise next year

Microsoft will be increasing prices for its suite of popular Microsoft 365 products. The increases, of up to 20%, will affect business customers and will take effect within six months from March 2022.

The Microsoft 365 cloud software suite combines what was formerly known as Office 365 and Windows 10 with EMS (Enterprise Mobility + Security), Teams and its other applications.

Which 365 plans will be affected and by how much?
The basic business plan will see a rise of 20%, from $5 per user to $6, while the high-end Microsoft 365 E3 will increase by 12.5%, from $32 to $36 per user. Equivelent pound sterling currency increases apply at the same rate as well.
The following Microsoft Office 365 plans will also see an increase in price:

Microsoft 365 Business Premium (from $20 to $22)
Office 365 E1 (from $8 to $10)
Office 365 E3 (from $20 to $23)
Office 365 E5 (from $35 to $38)
Microsoft 365 E3 (from $32 to $36)

As stated, the price increases will take effect from 1st March 2022 but will not include consumer or educational products.

What does it mean for your business?
If you take no action, your licensing costs will increase at renewal, from March 2022. However, Geekheads is offering our customers the ability to renew those subscriptions early before the end of February 2022 to maintain the existing prices up to February 2023. Contact us to find our more.

We’ve planted a tree for every user we support.

It’s was COP26 last month and in support of our commitment to reaching net-zero, we’ve increased our sustainability impact by planting 1000 trees in Marotaola, Madagascar through Ecologi.com – that’s 1 tree planted dedicated to each user we support.

Thank you to our customers – visit their trees.

About Ecologi
At Ecologi we invest your money into a broad range of projects that are able to evidence that they are reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Each month we support a range of carbon reduction projects that are certified at the very highest level by Gold Standard and equivalent. Our funding strategy is guided by our Climate Committee and follow the Project Drawdown framework.

Tree planting
It’s now common knowledge that one of the best tools to tackle the climate crisis and keep our temperatures from rising above 1.5C is to plant trees. They are also crucial in preventing ecological collapse.

Join the movement
Together we are stronger, that’s why we believe in collective action. Signs up, we’ll plant 30 trees in your forest as a thank you!

You’ve probably heard the term “machine learning” coming up more and more often. It’s an exciting #technology that will surely bring a whole host of useful #innovations in all fields, and that includes #cybersecurity, such as #malware detection and such.

What’s the difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning? Put simply, artificial intelligence is the area of study dedicated to making machines solve problems that humans find easy, but digital computers find hard. Examples include driving cars, playing chess or recognising sarcasm.

Machine learning is a subset of AI dedicated to developing techniques for making machines learn to solve these and other “human” problems without the insanely complex task of explicitly programming them.

Classifying malware
A machine is said to learn if, with increasing experience, it gets better at solving a problem. Let’s take identifying malware as an example. This is known as a classification problem. Let’s also call into existence a theoretical machine learning program called Mavis. Consistent malware classification is difficult for Mavis because it is deliberately evasive and subtle.

Training a machine to learn about malware
A major problem for developers lies in proving that their implementation of Mavis intelligently detects unknown malware. How much training is enough? What happens when their Mavis encounters a completely new threat that smells clean? Do we need a second, signature-based system until we’re 100% certain it’s getting it right every time? Some vendors prefer a layered approach, while others go all in with their version of Mavis.

Contact us to see how we can help your business.

By using cloud automation platforms with intelligent data processing, it means companies can do more everyday with less resources, in less time.

It means your company starts to rely on technology to perform data tasks, improving the operations, reducing errors and manual admin and ultimately increases the income of your business.

Contact us to see how we can help your business.

If you are wondering if you need Office 365, we have created a list of the benefits that Office 365 delivers to businesses, large and small.

Work Anywhere

One of the main benefits of Office 365 is the capability to work from anywhere as long as you have internet connectivity. Because it’s entirely cloud-based, email, files and Office programs can be accessed from any location and any device. You can create, edit, and share from your PC, Mac or your iOS, Android, or Windows device with anyone in real time. This is particularly beneficial for companies with multiple locations, remote employees or employees who travel often.

Scalability

Office 365 gives you flexibility to scale your business quickly as it can grow with you. Businesses have the ability to mix and match apps to create your own custom solution for each user or department.

Collaboration

Everyone who needs to contribute to or edit a document can work on the same version (and get real-time changes) rather than having multiple copies. Versioning is also included in case you need to go to back to an older version. With multi-party HD video, shared calendars and team chat, team members will always be in sync.

Reduce Costs

Office 365 is a subscription-based service, which means you pay an annual or monthly fee per user. It eliminates the large up-front costs for new software, you’re essentially leasing vs. buying. This also moves IT costs from capital to operating expenses.

Advanced Security

A common misconception about the cloud is that it’s not secure. However, in reality, it isn’t necessarily any more or less safe than an on premise system. It’s all in how you use it and what security measures you put in place.

Office 365 has a lot of built in security features to keep your company’s data safe. Some of most notable include: Message Encryption, Advanced Threat Analytics, Mobile Device Management and Data Loss Prevention.

Do you have any questions?
Call 020 3637 6095
Or email support@geekheads.co.uk

Your browser is a gateway to the internet but also a potential target for cyber crime.

What browser should I use?

Apple’s Safari
Google’s Chrome
Microsoft’s Edge
Mozilla Firefox
Opera
Tor
Brave

All devices come preinstalled with a browser and most users tend to stick with that but there has always been alternatives such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Tor and the Brave browser. All these browsers offer similar security features and can be found vulnerable to software bugs which could be potentially hacked.

Install updates

Usually browser updates happen automatically, this is vital for security so always check to make sure you are up to date. It is a fact that many home and business users are currently using out of date browsers such as Internet Explorer long after Microsoft announced it would no longer be updating Internet Explorer.

Browser Extensions

There are many browser extensions providing many helpful features but there is always the concern of keeping them up to date since extensions can also be found vulnerable to software bugs which could be potentially hacked. Extensions are somewhat hidden addons and can access browser permissions and spy on your internet surfing.

Brave browser

What? Another browser? Yes, Brave browser is based on the Chromium open-source code used from Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge browsers. Brave browser promises even greater security than all the other browsers and users can access the Tor network by opening a private window.

Do you have any questions?
Call 020 3637 6095
Or email support@geekheads.co.uk

Every team needs an efficient way to communicate, so what’s it going to be? Microsoft Teams or Slack?

Integrations

Teams and Slack have tons of bot and app integrations to improve the user experience. For app count, Slack knocks it out of the park with over 1,500 third-party apps for users to choose from. Microsoft Teams has only been around for about 2 years compared to Slack which started in 2009.

On both platforms, users can find helper bots such as Slackbot for Slack and Who bot for Teams that can help answer their questions. For Teams, the Who bot is powered by Microsoft Graph and can help users find company information based on names or topics.

Meetings

Slack and Microsoft Teams both include online audio and video sharing. But Teams was built with Microsoft’s years of experience catering to businesses large and small in collaboration with communication applications, so it’s only natural that Teams goes above and beyond with its meeting capabilities. Slack provides one-on-one calling in its free version which upgrades to 15 participants with screen sharing capability when using a paid plan. With Teams, on the other hand, even with the free version you can host meetings with up to 250 people. When you upgrade to the paid plan you can use Teams live events to host large meetings, webinars, and company-wide events with up to 10,000 attendees inside or outside your business.

Security

One of the areas that Microsoft Teams truly shines through is in its administration controls and data security. Microsoft Teams and Slack offer data encryption and compliance certification such as ISO/IEC 27001 as well as two-factor authentication. However, Microsoft shows us how they prioritize data security with their four tiers of compliance frameworks. Microsoft Teams also provides admin controls that are more extensive than any other platform.

Conclusion

As a Microsoft product, the integration between the Microsoft Teams platform and Office 365 is seamless. You don’t have to leave the app to work on Word documents, PowerPoint slides, or OneNotes, and you don’t need to upload and download your video and document files to access them. When it comes to Microsoft Teams, the emphasis lies on the needs of enterprise collaboration. This means increased security and compliance measures and seamless integration with workspace applications.

On the other hand, people love using Slack. Slack is a new and fun way to collaborate in the workplace via its many integrations and features. Slack’s biggest downside, though, is that it doesn’t inherently integrate with any capabilities outside of file storage and chat. Consequently, companies need to pay extra for other tools if they want to edit or organise collaboration content or have email services.

Lately we’ve seen more companies migrate from Slack to Teams, especially in light of Google’s announcement of its development of an enterprise communications app. As of now, though, Slack and Microsoft Teams are the leading chat collaboration platforms and their likeness is necessary for an efficient, modern workplace.

Do you have any questions?
Call 020 3637 6095
Or email support@geekheads.co.uk

Host a video call, send Zoom meeting links to Slack and learn a few other tips for using Zoom web conferencing software.

1. Schedule a meeting

While there is nothing to stop you from setting up meetings on an ad-hoc basis, it’s a better idea for all concerned if they are scheduled for a known time. On the first screen of the Zoom application, click the ‘Schedule‘ button and fill in the details such as a date, time and topic, and choose the calendar through which the meeting will be organised – Outlook, Google Calendar, or something else – and click the ‘Schedule’ button again.

2. See who attended

Say you’re using Zoom to hold a mandatory event, like a university lecture or a safety training session. You probably want to know who attends. You can get that information from a report once the meeting is finished. The attendee list for all meetings lives in the Zoom Account Management > Reports section. Look for Usage Reports, and then click Meeting to find the meeting you want, select the report type and date range, and generate the report.

3. Collect information from attendees

In addition to getting an attendance sheet, you can also gather information from meeting attendees about themselves before they join the call. For example, you might want to require that attendees provide their name, company affiliation, or industry. To collect this information, first you need to require Registration, an option found in the My Meetings tab of the Zoom web app. Then, you can set up a form that attendees must fill out before they can join the meeting.

4. Essential keyboard shortcuts

If you use Zoom more than once a week, there are a couple of keyboard shortcuts worth learning to save you oodles of time.

I is for invite. Press Cmd+I (macOS) or Alt+I (Windows) to jump to the Invite window, where you can grab the link to the meeting or send invitations to others via email.

M is for mute. Press Cmd+Ctrl+M (macOS) or Alt+M (Windows) when you are the meeting host and want to mute everyone else on the line.

S is for share. Press Cmd+Shift+S (macOS) or Alt+Shift+S (Windows) to share your screen.

Do you have any questions?
Call 020 3637 6095
Or email support@geekheads.co.uk