PTG specializes in the delivery of IT services with a focus on business continuity, virtualization, and storage solutions to support your line-of-business and communication applications. Our implementation services are centered around IT and business best practices, gleaned from years of working in the industry and from well-established vendor partnerships.

OneNote Modern (Metro) App Sign In Issues

Recently we had an issue with OneNote not allowing organizational accounts to be added in the Modern (metro) app – but organizational accounts could be added to the OneNote Desktop app.  This particular client also had Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) in their environment. 

The problem presented itself in that when the user input their credentials the credentials would not be accepted – it would just keep querying the user for the credentials. 

Here’s the fix:

In your browser, Tools > Internet Options > Select Security Tab
Choose Local Intranet
Click Sites Button
Click Advanced
Add the URL for your ADFS proxy server (https://adfs.yourdomain.com)
Ok from all windows
Problem solved!

Confused By All The New “Gadgets”…

Submitted by Graham Cobb, Projects Manager at Palmetto Technology Group, an Outsourced IT Support and Office 365 Specialist based in Greenville, SC.

Are you confused by all the new gadgets that say they can make your Cloud experience the greatest? I believe I have found the one device that is not only top notch for your business needs but also favors well for personal use. I am talking about the Lenovo X230t, I use this machine daily and am impressed every time I tackle a task or a project. This thing is a work horse that will stand the test of time. I have an i7 with 16 GB ram and a solid state drive which blows most machines out of the water. If your company is looking for the next upgrade our sales team can get a demo out to your location. Speaking of the cloud and Windows 8 (http://www.palmettotg.com/windows8/overview), having a touch screen is becoming a must, you are in luck the x230t comes touch screen ready with a stylus. I am finding more and more that during meetings I will hand write notes using OneNote and sync it to SharePoint for use later. I love having the confidence that when I go into a meeting my machine can keep up while working on multiple items all while having a long battery life that charges very quickly. Trust me, next time your machine is running slow or when you are ready to see what life would be like having a machine that can meet your demands take a look at the x230t, go with the extra ram and a solid state drive and you will never look back.

(Unlicensed Product)…(Protected View)

Submitted by Gary Byrne, System Engineer at Palmetto Technology Group, an Outsourced IT Support and Office 365 Specialist based in Greenville, SC.

How to fix “Unlicensed Product” error for Office products?

Recently, I’ve had several calls with Microsoft Office 2013 users who suddenly get an “Unlicensed Product” red banner across the top of their Office product even though their Office license is valid.  When you click on File – Account, the Product Information shows that it is properly activated.  Of course, this can be very frustrating, but luckily, the solution can be quite easy.

Give this a try for a quick fix.

  • Make sure all your MSOffice applications are closed, including logging off of and exiting Lync.
  • Find your Word or Excel application and right-click on it and choose to open it as Administrator.
  • Click on File – Account and under User Info choose to Sign out, then sign back in (make sure you make note of which email account you are using with your product before you sign out).
  • Close your Office application and then reopen it…your Application should now be fixed.

Unlicensed

If for some reason this does not work, you may have to check and see if you have any other accounts connected to the Products.  Choose to run Word or Excel as Administrator again, then go to File – Account, and under Connected Services, remove any associated accounts except the one you are using to log into your Office Product.

Connected Services

As a last resort, you may have to run a script file to re-register your license.  Once again, make sure all your Office programs are closed.  Next, open a Command Prompt window as Administrator by clicking on Start and in the search field type in cmd and right-click the Command Prompt to Run as Administrator.  In the Command Prompt window, navigate to %Program Files%\Microsoft Office\Office15 (if you have a 32-bit Operating System, replace %Program Files% with %Program  Files(x86)%), then type in cscript ospp.vbs /act and hit Enter.  The output should read Product Activation Successful.

admin

If I had my guess though, you won’t need to go farther than opening your Office product as an Administrator, logging off and back in, then restarting the Product.  I hope this gives some quick relief to a frustrating issue.

SharePoint Misconceptions

Submitted by: Graham Cobb , Project Manager at PTG, a Microsoft Tier 3 Cloud Champion, Cloud Accelerate partner and Cloud deployment partner providing technology solutions including Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Private Cloud, and IT Infrastructure to businesses and enterprises nationally.

One of the biggest misconceptions of SharePoint is that you have to log into the website to access your data. I manage several migrations each month and it is a necessity I have quick access to signed scopes and customer information. The easiest way to get to that information is to download SkyDrive Pro to your desktop and click “Sync” on the SharePoint site you wish to have access to from your desktop.

Sharepoint Image 1

Once this is setup it is as simple as opening a folder on your desktop. You can view all the files in one location.

Sharepoint Image 2

The icon on the file will let you know the status of the file. It will also alert you if the file hasn’t synced or available. This makes opening up your files very easy without having to save them locally to your machine. Setting up this process can be done usually within one afternoon (selecting the files you want to have quick access to and the time for them to sync to your file explorer). Schedule a demo with our Sales team @ http://www.palmettotg.com/contact

Why a ‘Social’ Strategy inside your Business Matters (Part 3)

In our first two posts on this topic we outlined why a social strategy is important and how to get started.  In this post we are going to cover ways to help drive engagement.  (A social media outlet with no engagement is pretty boring.  Have you checked out MySpace recently?)

By now you should have already worked with your Core Team to set up the key groups inside your business.  If you haven’t done that yet – go back to Part 2:)

After you’ve set up your groups the next step is get people to start sharing into the group.  Old habits die hard – so you have to really work to get people to stop emailing so much information and start posting it to Yammer.

1) Designate a ‘lead’ for each group.  That lead is responsible for taking any emails that may be relevant to the group and redirecting the conversation to Yammer.  For example, if John sends an email to the Marketing Team that says:  “I just received the last proof from the designers (attached to this email), please respond with your thoughts.” – your lead would respond (preferably quickly) and say: “I have moved this conversation to the Marketing Yammer Group, please post your comments to that thread.”.

2) Get your leadership team on board.  Studies show people have to hear something 7 times before it starts to stick.  Remind your leadership team (often) that conversations should be started on Yammer, not on email.

3) One of my favorite engagement techniques is to post something to Yammer that involves a treat for those who are actually paying attention.  One Thursday I posted that I would take anyone to lunch that responded that they were interested in tagging along via Yammer.  We had a great (long) lunch and the folks who weren’t engaged on Yammer missed out on a great time and a good meal.

4) Use mentions to draw people into conversations. Similar to ‘tagging’ friends on Facebook – you can @mention individuals in Yammer posts.  This is a great way to let people know that they are needed to engage in a conversation. In the example below, Julian has @mentioned Molly Clark to alert her to the conversation.

image

5) Use hashtags to make content easily searchable.  In the example below, Jamie has used the open enrollment tag so that the post is easily found via searching.

image

Why a ‘Social’ Strategy inside your Business Matters (part 2)

Submitted by: Reed Wilson , President and Founder of PTG, a Microsoft Tier 3 Cloud Champion, Cloud Accelerate partner and Cloud deployment partner providing technology solutions including Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Private Cloud, and IT Infrastructure to businesses and enterprises nationally.

I hate email.  I get too much of it .  More than 50% of it is stuff that may be important – but not urgent.  40% is stuff that is not important or urgent.  Maybe 10% is stuff that I really need to read and requires my action.  If you have email overload – implementing an enterprise social strategy via Yammer may be a good fit for you.

Ask yourself these questions:

1) How many times a day do I get an email that says: “There is cake in the conference room!”?  Or, “Today is the last day for open enrollment for benefits, if you haven’t signed up, do it today!”?

2) How many times a day to I find myself searching my Deleted Items folder (because that’s where you file stuff) for a ‘How to’ document, an update about a client that was sent to the whole company, a marketing piece, or whatever?

3) How many times is important company wide information sent to the entire company via email?  Only to find that a key staff member was on vacation and missed that communication?  Or a new hire started 3 weeks later and, as a result, never got the email?

Enter Yammer.  If nothing else, Yammer is a great way to reduce the amount of email that is passed back and forth inside your organization.  It’s searchable.  It’s as relevant as you want it to be and you can be as engaged (or unengaged!) as you choose to be – similar to Facebook or LinkedIn.

Yammer is built around the Group concept that you may already be familiar with from social sites like LinkedIn.  Inside our business we have the following groups:

1) All Company (everyone is in this group)

2) Sales and Marketing (by default, this is just for sales and marketing members but anyone can join)

3) Services (by default, this is just for services members but anyone can join)

4) Leadership Team (only members of the Leadership Team can be a part of this group)

What groups are relevant for your business?  Human Resources?  Clinical Research?  Tax Experts?  Development?  Training?  These are all groups we have seen (and helped) customers implement.

At PTG we started with a Core Team that represented the key functional areas of our business.  The Core Team helped shape the right Yammer groups for us.  This is a key step in the process – you have to involve your staff.  Social is, by the very definition, all about engagement.  If you are tempted as the administrator, CEO, VP of Sales, etc., to start creating groups to drive engagement – you are missing the point of social in the enterprise.

In our next post we will talk about ways to drive engagement across the enterprise.

Why a ‘Social’ Strategy inside your Business Matters

Submitted by: Reed Wilson , President and Founder of PTG, a Microsoft Tier 3 Cloud Champion, Cloud Accelerate partner and Cloud deployment partner providing technology solutions including Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Private Cloud, and IT Infrastructure to businesses and enterprises nationally.

Facts:

-Social Media is here to stay (even though, admittedly, I am not a fan)

-People love to tell/show other people what they know, what they are doing, and what they have

-Most people are willing to share just about anything with anyone who will listen

Given that these facts are here to stay – how can you harness them inside your business?  Several years back Microsoft purchased a start up called Yammer.  When people ask me what Yammer is – my answer is pretty simple: “It’s Facebook for your business”.  No, it’s not your external ‘brand’ Facebook site, it is literally your own little social media outlet that can be used to harness the three facts that I mentioned above to help you drive engagement, knowledge, and morale with your staff, key vendors, and key partners.

If you are an Office 365 subscriber – you have access to this service today for free.  Over the next few weeks we will be posting our internal social media strategy to this blog.  I hope you will take a few minutes to read how Yammer has changed our business for the positive and consider whether it’s right for your business.

Here’s the best part of all – Yammer is not a complicated solution like Exchange, CRM, SharePoint or ERP.  It’s elegantly simple and just requires a simple (yet controlled!) implementation and use framework to get the most out of it.

Stay tuned for more information on how we use Yammer internally and reach out to us if you’d like to have a deeper dive discussion on how you can use this free solution in your business.

Heartbleed…Vulnerability, not a virus!

Submitted by: Wendy Brooks, Marketing Director at Palmetto Technology Group, an Outsourced IT Support company headquartered in Greenville, SC.

If your brand has any online presence at all, then chances are you’ve heard of the major security flaw dubbed…Heartbleed. Or at least you should have heard about it. As data security breaches go, this one is being considered by many in our industry to be one of the worst security flaws the digital world has yet experienced. Two-thirds of the world’s servers are susceptible and the personal data of millions of users may be exposed.

The security vulnerability takes place in an encryption protocol known as OpenSSL, a technology that many businesses use to protect information such as usernames and passwords. For many consumers, Heartbleed means their credentials are at risk of being stolen. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate these services and users.

Fortunately, this did not affect any Microsoft based sites. However, Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other tech companies scrambled this week to patch their services. If you’re a customer of one of these companies and you haven’t changed your passwords, you will want to do so. First, you want to be certain that the sites you access have been patched. I have provided the link to check this below. Remember,  using the same password for all sites puts you at a greater risk. We recommend using different passwords on  websites that have access to your finances!

Check for site patch here: http://filippo.io/Heartbleed

 

 

Office 365 for Non-profits: Low-cost technology for a major impact

Submitted by: Jim Nichols, Sales Executive at Palmetto Technology Group, an Outsourced IT Support company headquartered in Greenville, SC.

Office 365 for Non-profits: Low-cost technology for a major impact

As a salesperson for Palmetto Technology Group (PTG), I have the opportunity to work with organizations of all types. My clients include manufacturing plants, law offices, financial firms, medical practices, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations including churches. Most of these organizations have on-premise IT infrastructure in place as well as an IT staff, or a contracted third-party like PTG, to administer this IT environment. However, this is not always the case with non-profits and churches due to cost. As such, many of them struggle to manage their server(s), desktops, and associated devices in a proactive way.

At a recent SCANPO convention, I was surprised to see how many non-profit organizations are still not aware of the cloud-based Microsoft applications available to them for free or drastically reduced costs. As a Tier 1 Microsoft Partner we’ve helped hundreds of clients evaluate and migrate to Office 365. This suite offers Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync in the cloud as well as access to Office Pro Plus for desktop installation. Organizations classified as 501 (c)(3) charities can apply to Microsoft for non-profit pricing which usually includes Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync for free. For a few dollars more per month, each user can download Office Pro Plus on up to five (5) devices each. This access to world-class communication and collaboration tools in a cloud environment can decrease their dependency on in-house servers and their associated costs. As a result, their limited resources can then be spent in support of their missions.

Are there any non-profit organizations that you support? If so, reach out and let them know about Office 365 for Non-profits.

Office for iPad–What you need to know

Submitted by: Reed Wilson , President and Founder of PTG, a Microsoft Tier 3 Cloud Champion, Cloud Accelerate partner and Cloud deployment partner providing technology solutions including Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Private Cloud, and IT Infrastructure to businesses and enterprises nationally.

By now you have heard that Microsoft has released an Office Suite for the iPad.  There has long been an Office Mobile for iPhone – but it was really meant for consuming data, not creating data.

You can get Office for the iPad from the App Store (links below).  Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote are each separate downloads – but once you download and open one, your iPad will ask if you want to install the other apps as well.

There are two important things you need to know:

1) Anyone can download each of the products to view and present (assuming you have an adapter that will plug into a monitor or projector) for free.

2) If you want the ability to create content on any of the products in Office for iPad – you will need an Office 365 subscription that includes the Office download. These are, most frequently, the Midsize Business SKU, the Home Premium SKU, the Small Business SKU,  the E3 Enterprise SKU and Education SKU (Note that installing Office for iPad counts as one of your 5 Office client installs.)

We will be posting another blog post in the coming days on how to download and configure Office on your iPad.

As promised – here are those links!

Word: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-word-for-ipad/id586447913?mt=8

Excel: https://itunes.apple.com/app/microsoft-excel-for-ipad/id586683407

PowerPoint: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-powerpoint-for-ipad/id586449534?mt=8

OneNote: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-onenote-for-ipad/id478105721?mt=8