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We work with organisations from all walks of life, with different ambitions and requirements. Explore how we’ve helped them reimagine everyday, and align technology with their culture and business goals.

Choosing the right Microsoft 365 subscription for your non-profit

Microsoft 365 has six subscriptions offerings for non-profits, presenting affordable options to improve productivity. With that many options, how do you decide which plan is right for you? Our latest blog breaks down each of them to help you find your golden plan >
View case study >
Microsoft OneDrive

Prepare for OneDrive for Business deployment

Explore these key considerations for deploying OneDrive for Business and learn more about what's available from Microsoft. Learn more here >
View case study >

5 minute cheat-sheet on the next OneDrive for Business Sync Client

Microsoft released the update to OneDrive late last year that gave business users the option to take advantage of the more stable consumer sync client.
View case study >

OneDrive for Business news released at Microsoft Ignite

I’ve been lucky enough to be in Chicago for the Microsoft Ignite conference this week, and here are some points I have picked up about changes to OneDrive for Business. Microsoft have been talking about their current storage solutions on OneDrive for Business and they have realised the enterprise storage solution isn’t enough for what you need. What Microsoft are also doing is changing that. The key steps for OneDrive for Business will be delivered in 2015 and consist of: Building upon the current codebase of the consumer version. The consumer version of OneDrive is far more stable than it’s enterprise counterpart and that has been recognised. Microsoft will have one sync client to sync both personal and business data. Selective sync – probably the most sought after feature and it will be part if the new sync engine. Support for files of up to 10GB. Removal of the 20,000 item sync limit. No more double caching of files – currently if you sync 1GB of files you end up with 2GB of disk space been used up. This won’t happen with the new sync client. Installation size – currently the program is around a 1GB installation file. This will be cut down to under 100mb. With the ability to sync personal and business accounts with one sync engine Microsoft will provide ability to block users from syncing their personal data. There will also be the ability to block unmanaged devices from syncing corporate data. With a new sync engine coming users will need to migrate their data. Microsoft are going to concentrate efforts on making that as pain free as possible. They have promised IT admins that they won’t have to visit each workstation to reconfigure the new sync client. For SharePoint libraries, the new sync client won’t support syncing their data, the current OneDrive for Business sync client (groove.exe) will still work and can be run side by side with the new client. This also means that all SharePoint restrictions still apply (5,000 item limit, 2GB per single file size). It was also previously updated back in October that there are now unlimited storage options for customers on Office 365 “Today, storage limits just became a thing of the past with Office 365. Moving forward, all Office 365 customers will get unlimited OneDrive storage at no additional cost. We’ve started rolling this out today to Office 365 Home, Personal, and University customers.” Microsoft Blog, 27 October 2014   To stay up to date, the Microsoft OneDrive for business news will be on the Microsoft blog. http://blog.onedrive.com/ Microsoft are also encouraging users to submit ideas, feature requests and vote on the next steps for OneDrive and other Office 365 services via the UserVoice site. http://onedrive.uservoice.com Hopefully we can update you with more news from Chicago this week! Read about what else we found our at Ignite here >  
View case study >

Business collaboration sharing links and Alerts on OneDrive for Business

Here are a couple of tips to get the most out of your business collaboration on OneDrive for Business. Create anonymous download links OneDrive for Business allows you to create anonymous links for access to individual files however this feature only allows users to view or edit the files in the browser. If you need to be able to provide an anonymous download link you can follow the steps below: Create a compressed (zipped) folder Place the files you want sharing in the compressed (zipped) folder Upload this folder into OneDrive for Business Create a guest link for the zip file as shown below (it doesn’t matter whether the guest link has ‘view’ or ‘edit’ permissions) Copy and paste the link into an email, the recipient will be presented with the ability to download the compressed folder and gain access to the contents. Warning: The guest links you create are completely anonymous, once you share the link, this can be shared with other people without your knowledge.If you need to, you can disable the link at any time to revoke access to the folder. Setting an alert It is possible to set alerts on a OneDrive for Business library, folder or files. This is a useful feature if you’ve shared an item and want to track the changes that other people are making. Select the file Click the File tab Select Alert Me Select Set alert on this document Choose from the alert preferences in the next window Fore more OneDrive for Business tips, please see the links below. https://support.office.com/en-ca/article/What-is-OneDrive-for-Business-187f90af-056f-47c0-9656-cc0ddca7fdc2 https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Sync-OneDrive-for-Business-or-site-libraries-to-your-computer-23e1f12b-d896-4cb1-a238-f91d19827a16
View case study >

Choosing the right Microsoft 365 subscription for your non-profit

As software companies look to penetrate new markets, the breadth of solutions targeted at non-profits has increased substantially. Aware that charities face a high degree of budgetary scrutiny, software providers offer generous pricing models and customisations to suit non-profit organisations. When combined with government funding that is increasingly available, now is a great time to adopt technologies to enhance productivity.

Microsoft 365 is a key solution that non-profits are embracing. With the shift to remote work, organisations are seeing large communication improvements thanks to Microsoft’s suite. With tools like Microsoft Teams offering real-time, remote collaboration, non-profit employees are able to easily plan fundraising efforts, hold virtual meetings, and host live informational events.

Microsoft makes this possible through numerous charity-specific SKUs designed to improve operations and IT. However, in this lies a conundrum: how do you choose the right 365 subscription plan for your organisation when there are so many available?

Book a discovery call with one of our 365 experts, and we’ll take you through the options available >

365 subscriptions explained

First and foremost, choosing the right Microsoft 365 subscription requires an understanding of the benefits they provide. Only then, and with a deep understanding of your organisation’s needs, can you ensure your budget is spent in the best way.

Microsoft Business Basic, Standard, E3, and E5

The first thing to know is that Microsoft’s non-profit subscriptions, like its enterprise offerings, are tiered. As you’d expect, each jump in price offers access to more apps and features, with some key differences to be aware of.

For many small non-profits, the free Microsoft 365 Business Basic offering will be attractive. Charities who meet the requirements will gain access to Exchange email services, 1 TB of OneDrive storage, and video and chat services via Microsoft Teams.

It’s worth noting, however, that the Business Basic plan does not provide access to Microsoft’s suite of productivity apps, Office 365. Non-profits won’t be able to take full advantage of the real-time collaboration SharePoint offers, nor will they gain access to the powerful productivity features of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. This is primarily for organisations with workers who are primarily frontline, or those who have an existing productivity solution in place.

For those who do need the apps within Office 365, a paid subscription is the only option. All paid non-profit subscriptions include the suite, with the cheapest being Business Standard, which additionally provides the services of Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams from the basic tier. At £2.30 per user/month, it’s a no-brainer for most non-profits with under 300 employees.

Larger non-profits will need to consider an Office 365 enterprise plan to get past that 300-user limit. Office 365 E1 is the free tier, providing the same services as the Business Basic Plan, but for unlimited users and with additional compliance and auditing tools. E1 users can run virtual meetings for up to 10,000 participants and access 50GB per user of business-class email, calendar, and contacts storage.

Microsoft 365 E3 comprises the same apps and services as the Business Standard plan but comes with some notable additions. As well as removing the 300-person limit, it bundles in 100GB per user of email storage, additional OneNote features, and unlimited personal cloud storage. It also provides IT departments with apps to manage software and information while providing data loss and rights management tools for email. Finally, organisations can make use of self-service business intelligence to visualise and analyse data with Excel. This all comes in at a respectable £4 per user/month rather than the £17.60 a commercial business pays.

Finally, there’s Microsoft 365 E5. It’s more than double the price of E3, and that’s because it ties in a ton of extra functionality. As well as everything from the previous tiers, it throws in various analytics tools to power data-driven decision making. eDiscovery enables predictive text and coding analytics, while Power BI and Microsoft MyAnalytics provide personal and organisational insights.

This alone makes E5 a wise choice for large non-profits, but it also brings significant upgrades to a company’s communications and security infrastructure. For £12.30 per employee/month, organisations can:

  • Join audio conferences in Microsoft Teams via landline or mobile phone
  • Make use of a cloud-based call management system to make, transfer, and receive calls from a wide range of devices.
  • Be better protected via Microsoft’s advanced security offering, which automatically protects against zero-day malware and virus threats while better safeguarding messaging systems.

Microsoft 365 has a plan for any type of non-profit, and we’ve covered the basics of them in this blog to help you understand what’s available. If you’re still not sure what subscription plan is right for your business, give us a call. We’ll give you a detailed rundown of which is best suited to your non-profit and how you can get the most for your budget.

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Microsoft OneDrive

Prepare for OneDrive for Business deployment

OneDrive for Business has had a busy year. Microsoft have delivered a really solid sync client that we now know works in the real world, fantastic mobile apps and the online features keep coming.The new sync client is also on the cusp (in preview now and going GA by the end of this year) of being able to sync your team folders from SharePoint to your local device.

What does this mean?

It means there is one sync client for all your work data and your personal data. It means Office 365 is more capable than ever of allowing you to migrate from an on-premises file server to the cloud, and I can safely say that getting user adoption is a whole lot easier. Plus post deployment support of OneDrive will not scare the helpdesk.

Download our free OneDrive for Business guide for a list of all the configuration options for administrators >

If you choose to deploy OneDrive to your business, the control of data and access will need to be defined. There are a host of options already available to us, some just aren’t visible through the Office 365 portal. They are however easily configured using simple PowerShell cmdlets.

Considerations include: 

  • Sharing permissions
    • Can users share externally?
    • Should external user be required to sign in?
  • How sharing invitations and links appear to end user
    • Set the default sharing links
  • How to keep a record of all external sharing invitations
  • OneDrive clean-up and retention settings
    • How long should deleted user data be stored for
    • Grant Managers access to a users’ OneDrive when they leave
  • End user notification settings
    • Email alerts for invitation acceptance and when others share your files
  • OneDrive group policy deployment settings
    • Control OneDrive update release schedule
    • Block Groove.exe from being used
  • Exclusion of File Types for synchronisation

We have created a OneDrive governance document that will allow you to quickly record the options available and references on how to configure these options.

 

OneDrive for Business guide

5 minute cheat-sheet on the next OneDrive for Business Sync Client

Microsoft released the update to OneDrive late last year that gave Office 365 users the option to take advantage of the more stable consumer sync client. This also links within SharePoint, an enterprise tool to boost productivity and facilitate collaboration.

At present this means there are two OneDrive for Business sync clients. To distinguish between the two we will reference them as Groove.exe and OneDrive.exe.

Groove.exe – Part of the Office Pro Plus suite – Used to sync SharePoint libraries and OneDrive for Business libraries.

OneDrive.exe – The consumer sync client – Used to sync Microsoft account OneDrive documents and now supports Office 365 OneDrive for Business libraries.

Get support for Microsoft cloud issues, enjoy a 14 day free trial of our Cloud Care Managed Support. Click here for details >>>

OneDrive.exe Sync Client Benefits

The benefits of using the OneDrive.exe sync client with Office 365 include:

  • A sync engine that works far better than Groove.exe – we’ve deployed this to many of our customers and the support tickets have been reduced by far!
  • Selective Sync – choose which folders to download
  • 10GB file limit
  • Removal of 20,000 item sync limit. You can now sync unlimited items.
  • Support for windows 7, 8 and 10
  • Multiple OneDrive for Business accounts can be added
  • Users have 1TB of space this is being increased to 5TB and you can request more from Microsoft if required.

    Specifically, this includes unlimited storage for individuals in organisations with more than five people subscribing to one of the following plans:

    • Office 365 Enterprise E3, E4 and E5
    • Office 365 Government E3, E4 and E5
    • Office 365 Education
    • OneDrive for Business Plan 2 and SharePoint Online Plan 2

Limitations & Considerations

Things to know about and consider when deploying the OneDrive.exe sync client for use with Office 365:

  • Documents are identified as local files which means:
    • Co-authoring does not work unless a file is opened from the browser
    • Using the ‘share’ feature from within an Office application does not work
    • Cloud (Modern) attachments are not available in Outlook 2016 because the file is stored locally. This means you cannot add a link to the file and allow sharing – you can only attach a file.
    • Recent items stored in Office will break.
  • Windows 8.1 is not supported
  • SharePoint libraries are not supported.
  • No transition/migration to the new sync.
  • Re-syncing files could cause excessive bandwidth usage
  • Duplication of content on a HD may cause issues

Microsoft suggest that the above limitations will be remediated by Q2 of 2016.

Configure/Install the new sync client

The below table shows the reg keys that help you configure the OneDrive.exe sync client.

You only need Reg Key 1 to get it OneDrive.exe working with Office 365 however the additional keys can help you configure as required for your users.

ID

Reg File

Description

1

 [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftOneDrive]
“EnableAddAccounts”=dword:00000001

Enables Office 365 accounts to sign in to OneDrive.exe sync client

 

2

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftOneDrive]
“DefaultToBusinessFRE”=dword:00000001 

Default OneDrive.exe to launch the Welcome to OneDrive wizard to direct users to sign in with their Office 365 account.

 

3

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftOneDrive]
“DisablePersonalSync”=dword:00000001

Prevents users from syncing their consumer OneDrive account.

4

 [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftOffice15.0CommonSignIn]
“SignInOptions”=dword:00000002

Removes references to OneDrive – Personal from Office 2013 applications

5

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftOffice16.0CommonSignIn]
“SignInOptions”=dword:00000002 

Removes references to OneDrive – Personal from Office 2016 applications

Once the above keys have been set, run the OneDrive.exe client.


Transition to the new sync client

There is no transition/migration to the new sync client. So here are some steps to help you out.

  1. Stop sync for OneDrive for Business from the system tray
  2. Exit OneDrive for Business
  3. Exit OneDrive
  4. Deploy the registry key/s
  5. Run OneDriveSetup.exe

Once this has completed, users will be able to login to OneDrive with their o365 credentials and it will give them the option to sync selected files. 

If you want to find out learn more about SharePoint click here, or if you would like to know more about OneDrive governance, download our OneDrive governance document that provides the configuration options for administrations when planning and deploying OneDrive for Business to your organisation. (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener” class=”rank-math-link”>Click here >


Additional Resources

For additional resources about the new OneDrive for Business sync client:

Introduction to the OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client

Get an overview of what the Next Generation Sync Client is all about.

Deploying the OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client in an enterprise environment

Learn how administrators can deploy the Next Generation Sync Client for Windows to users in their enterprise environment.

Deploying the OneDrive Next Generation Sync Client on OS X and configuring work or school accounts

Learn how administrators can use options for configuring the OneDrive Next Generation Sync Client on Mac OS X computers.

Get started with the OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client in Windows

Learn how Windows users can configure the Next Generation Sync Client.

Get started with the OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client on Mac OS X

Learn how Mac users can configure the Next Generation Sync Client.

Transition from the previous OneDrive for Business Sync Client

Learn how Windows users can transition from the previous OneDrive for Business Sync Client to the Next Generation Sync Client.

Which OneDrive sync client am I using?

Learn how to easily tell which OneDrive sync client you are using.

OneDrive Next Generation Sync Client Release Notes

Knowledge base article with release note and limits.

OneDrive for Business news released at Microsoft Ignite

I’ve been lucky enough to be in Chicago for the Microsoft Ignite conference this week, and here are some points I have picked up about changes to OneDrive for Business.

Microsoft have been talking about their current storage solutions on OneDrive for Business and they have realised the enterprise storage solution isn’t enough for what you need. What Microsoft are also doing is changing that.

The key steps for OneDrive for Business will be delivered in 2015 and consist of:

  • Building upon the current codebase of the consumer version. The consumer version of OneDrive is far more stable than it’s enterprise counterpart and that has been recognised. Microsoft will have one sync client to sync both personal and business data.
  • Selective sync – probably the most sought after feature and it will be part if the new sync engine.
  • Support for files of up to 10GB.
  • Removal of the 20,000 item sync limit.
  • No more double caching of files – currently if you sync 1GB of files you end up with 2GB of disk space been used up. This won’t happen with the new sync client.
  • Installation size – currently the program is around a 1GB installation file. This will be cut down to under 100mb.
  • With the ability to sync personal and business accounts with one sync engine Microsoft will provide ability to block users from syncing their personal data. There will also be the ability to block unmanaged devices from syncing corporate data.
  • With a new sync engine coming users will need to migrate their data. Microsoft are going to concentrate efforts on making that as pain free as possible. They have promised IT admins that they won’t have to visit each workstation to reconfigure the new sync client.
  • For SharePoint libraries, the new sync client won’t support syncing their data, the current OneDrive for Business sync client (groove.exe) will still work and can be run side by side with the new client. This also means that all SharePoint restrictions still apply (5,000 item limit, 2GB per single file size).

It was also previously updated back in October that there are now unlimited storage options for customers on Office 365

“Today, storage limits just became a thing of the past with Office 365. Moving forward, all Office 365 customers will get unlimited OneDrive storage at no additional cost. We’ve started rolling this out today to Office 365 Home, Personal, and University customers.” Microsoft Blog, 27 October 2014

 

To stay up to date, the Microsoft OneDrive for business news will be on the Microsoft blog. http://blog.onedrive.com/

Microsoft are also encouraging users to submit ideas, feature requests and vote on the next steps for OneDrive and other Office 365 services via the UserVoice site. http://onedrive.uservoice.com

Hopefully we can update you with more news from Chicago this week!

Read about what else we found our at Ignite here >

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Business collaboration sharing links and Alerts on OneDrive for Business

Here are a couple of tips to get the most out of your business collaboration on OneDrive for Business.

Create anonymous download links

OneDrive for Business allows you to create anonymous links for access to individual files however this feature only allows users to view or edit the files in the browser.

If you need to be able to provide an anonymous download link you can follow the steps below:

  1. Create a compressed (zipped) folder
  2. Place the files you want sharing in the compressed (zipped) folder
  3. Upload this folder into OneDrive for Business
  4. Create a guest link for the zip file as shown below (it doesn’t matter whether the guest link has ‘view’ or ‘edit’ permissions)

  1. Copy and paste the link into an email, the recipient will be presented with the ability to download the compressed folder and gain access to the contents.

Warning: The guest links you create are completely anonymous, once you share the link, this can be shared with other people without your knowledge.
If you need to, you can disable the link at any time to revoke access to the folder.

Setting an alert

It is possible to set alerts on a OneDrive for Business library, folder or files. This is a useful feature if you’ve shared an item and want to track the changes that other people are making.

  1. Select the file
  2. Click the File tab
  3. Select Alert Me
  4. Select Set alert on this document
  5. Choose from the alert preferences in the next window

Fore more OneDrive for Business tips, please see the links below.

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