Coronavirus Remote Working

Remote or Home Working due to COVID-19

In light of developments concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be concerned about being able to remote/home work. The good news is that there are many ways for teams to remain both productive and connected.

For some of you this may be already a common occurrence for others it may be a new challenge.

Here at Tiedata, we have been remote working from the start, so we have expert advice on hand to help. We hope you find this information helpful in this difficult time.

Be prepared to work remotely

We advise all our customers to consider how they can continue working if their office or usual workplace becomes unavailable.

Would remote/home working be an option for you and your employees?

Have you considered/tested how this will work in practice?

We recommend getting a solution for remote working in place sooner rather than waiting to see how events develop. Preparation is key, if you haven’t done so already we strongly advise contacting us today to discuss how you can access your email and applications and continue to be connected and productive.

Be vigilant

Associated to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, we are seeing a sharp rise in phishing emails impersonating Government and Health Organisations such as the WHO.

We recommend you taking extra care when reviewing your emails. Check the senders email address and consider if you really need to open an email or click on the link, check with Tiedata if you are unsure. You should never need to disclose personal information or passwords over email.

Risk Assessment

You need to identify who needs access to what systems, is it just emails and documents or main business applications.

Do you currently have a method of remote/home working?

And to what extent?

Have a plan and be prepared

There is a risk that any action taken may become regional-based, so many organisation will be affected at the same time. And this is something we both need to be prepared for. It will not possible for Tiedata to enable hundreds of users to be able to remote/home work overnight, it will take time to achieve this.

For an organisations who don’t currently have remote access capabilitys or only a select number of users with remote capabilities, we can assist in enabling you to have remote access to your work computer.

However, you will need a computer at home to facilitate this capability. We have selected to use Teamviewer as a temporary solution, which has a 7-day trial commercial use version. We will assist you in setting this up, with an additional level of security (two-factor authentication) by using your mobile phone. Without two factor authentication, there is an increased risk you could become a victim of cybercrime.

If you would like more details on this option the please contact Tiedata as soon as practically possible. Note this service will incur a charge dependant on the option/s selected. Prioritising your staff and determining those critical users who may need this service would be a good starting point.

Questions and Concerns

Please be aware that resources to deliver such a service may become constrained due to high demands, so please act early.

If you have any questions or concerns, then Tiedata’s team are on hand to help and advise, please contact us.

Microsoft Teams Features

Microsoft Teams – Improve your team workflow

Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s fastest growing application. It is included within all Office 365 Business and Enterprise subscriptions and allows you and your team to share information and work effectively either in or out of the office.


Microsoft Teams now has over 13 million daily users and is a real-time collaboration tool with file sharing and task management built-in. Furthermore, it is well integrated with Office 365 which many organisation’s use today. With Microsoft Teams being included in most Office 365 subscriptions we believe the growth is supported by organisations switching from paid meeting tools such as Zoom and Webex across to Teams.

Tiedata takes a closer look at the Microsoft Teams application features:

Communicate more effectively
Get your team on the same page with group chat, online meetings, calling, and web conferencing.

Work better together
Collaborate on files with built-in Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint.

Customise your workspace
Add in your favourite Microsoft apps and third-party services to keep the business moving forward.

Keep your team secure
Get end-to-end security, administrative control, and compliance—all powered by Office 365. Meetings is one of the main features of Office 365 and has a number of key features which includes:

Meet with anyone, anywhere
Host audio, video, and web conferences with anyone, either 1:1 or live events with up to 10,000 people. Get features such as scheduling assistance, meeting note taking, screen sharing, meeting recording, and instant messaging.

Meet with intelligence
Make online meetings more effective by sharing context and content and leveraging AI for assistance.

Meet with confidence
Get high-quality audio, video, and screen sharing, and the same security and compliance of Office 365.

For more information on how to use Teams within your organisation including setup and training please contact the Tiedata team on 01773 513 513.

Microsoft Planner

Introducing Microsoft Planner

Office 365 includes a really neat tool for task management, allowing you to take the chaos out of teamwork and get more done!

Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organise and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.

The top 6 features of the product are below:

1. Easy to use

Launch Planner from the Office 365 app launcher with a single click. You can then create a new plan, build a team, assign tasks, and update status—in a few easy steps.

2. Organise work visually

Each plan has its own board, where you can organise tasks into buckets. You can categorise tasks based on their status or on whom they’re assigned to. To update the status or change assignments, just drag and drop tasks between columns.

3. Visibility and transparency

The My Tasks view provides a comprehensive list of all your tasks and their status across all your plans. When working together on a plan, team members always know who is working on what.

4. Collaborate around tasks

Built for Office 365, Planner lets you attach files to tasks, work together on those files, and even have conversations around tasks without switching between apps. With Planner, all your team’s discussions and deliverables stay with the plan and don’t get locked away across disparate.

5. Works across devices

Planner works across all your devices. And with Planner, everyone is always on the same page. A glance at Charts is all it takes to know where things stand and if the team is making enough progress towards their goal.

6. Email notifications

With Planner, you’ll never miss a beat! Receive email notifications whenever you’re assigned a new task or added to a conversation.

Getting Started

To try it, from your Office 365 login screen at Office.com click on the blue tile in the top right and click on the Planner application.

Multi Factor Authentication

Have you secured all your access with multi factor authentication?

With an 11% further increase in Cyber Crime over the last 12 months (between 2018 and 2019) it is critical that all the applications you access are secure, and not just with a password.

If a user’s password is compromised, unauthorised users can access your systems. This is where MFA is critical as it empowers you to authenticate access requests using your smartphone.

MFA is a secure and easy to use authentication method that provides an increased level of protection. Your security is only as strong as the weakest link. Without MFA weak or inadvertently shared passwords increase the risk of a security breach.

Reports of cyber attacks are increasing, and hackers are becoming more intuitive in obtaining user passwords. As a solution, we offer MFA to our clients.

If you are using one of the following, please engage with Tiedata so we can establish the best way to assist you:

1. Cloud based systems, including but not limited to CRM systems, office suites and account packages e.g. Salesforce, Office 365 and Quickbooks.

2. Remote access – we recommend that all remote access is initiated via a Virtual Private Network (VPN). MFA takes your security to the next level.

Contact us to find out more about how our MFA solutions can benefit you.
Office 365 Productivity Tools

5 Microsoft Office 365 Productivity Tools you might not know existed

1. Microsoft Flow

Take productivity to new heights by automating business processes across your entire organisation. Microsoft Flow allows you to turn repetitive tasks into multistep workflows. For example, with a few clicks capture social media feeds and add them as leads in Dynamics 365, subscribers in Mailchimp, and much more.

You can also use Microsoft Flow to create, use, and share automated approval workflows to quickly respond to and process requests, from time off and travel plans to documents and sales opportunities.

2. Microsoft Forms

You can easily create surveys and polls to collect customer feedback, measure employee satisfaction, and organise team events. Microsoft Forms is an online survey creator which is included with Office 365. Released by Microsoft in June 2016, Forms allows you to create surveys and quizzes with automatic marking. The data can be exported to Microsoft Excel too. 

In addition, in 2019, Microsoft released a preview of Forms Pro which gives users the ability to export data into a Power BI dashboard.


3. Microsoft MyAnalytics

Work smarter with personal productivity insights in Microsoft 365. You can Explore your work patterns with MyAnalytics and learn ways to work smarter—improving your focus, wellbeing, network, and collaboration. You can also Receive AI-powered suggestions in Outlook from MyAnalytics to help you set aside focus time before your week fills up with meetings, stay on top of tasks and emails, and follow up with important people.

MyAnalytics can improve your work patterns. Understand and improve your work patterns—gaining uninterrupted time to focus, being able to disconnect and recharge, and networking and collaborating effectively—with help from the MyAnalytics dashboard and weekly email digest.

4. Microsoft Planner

Organise teamwork with Microsoft Planner. Take the chaos out of teamwork and get more done! Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organise and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.

With Microsoft Planner you can get organised quickly without the need to purchase additional third party tools.

You can launch Planner from the Office 365 app launcher with a single click. You can then create a new plan, build a team, assign tasks, and update status—in a few easy steps.

Each plan has its own board, where you can organize tasks into buckets. You can categorize tasks based on their status or on whom they’re assigned to. To update the status or change assignments, just drag and drop tasks between columns.

5. Microsoft PowerApps

For more advanced users or aspiring “App-Makers” you can make Office 365 and Dynamics 365 your own with powerful apps that span productivity and business data. Customise SharePoint Online, use PowerApps with Microsoft Teams, and build apps on Dynamics 365.

Build apps fast with a point-and-click approach to app design. Choose from a large selection of templates or start from a blank canvas. Easily connect your app to data and use Excel-like expressions to easily add logic. Publish your app to the web, iOS, Android, and Windows 10.

Getting more out of Office 365

To learn about how you can get more out of your Office 365 subscription, contact Quinton at Tiedata on 01773 513 513.

Office 365 Groups

6 Ways Law Firms and Legal Professionals Can Use Office 365 Groups

Legal practices are usually organised as sets of circles. You will typically have circles encompassing administrative, support teams and practice areas, and within those practice areas you have people and teams working on individual matters. Groups in Office 365 lets you create virtual workplaces for those circles of people.

Read our article to learn more about Office 365 groups and how they can help your firm be more productive.

Web Browsers 2019 Comparison

The Best Web Browsers of 2019

Using the right web browser for the work you are doing can significantly enhance your web browsing experience. Whether your priorities are speed, security or browser extensions this article can help you decide on the best browser for you.

Read our full article to find out what the best web browsers are and how they can help you be more productive.