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All posts tagged Cloud

Are You Officing In Office 365 Correctly?

This Officing tale may be a one you are familiar with yourself. Names have been changed to protect the less productive.

Tom had begun work a while back at a Tech based company. He had been hired to improve work practises and it was needed. People were working hard, but they weren’t working well together.

People were still using their computers like it was the 1990s; Tom knew that it wasn’t a question of just instituting change, he had to show managers like Lucy, Dick & Harry and their team members that there was a better way. Changing habits like this was not going to be easy…

Officing The GlenGarry Glen Ross Way

Office 365 is the cloud-centric productivity and collaboration suite. It comes with cloud storage in OneDrive or OneDrive Business (depending on account type).

OneDrive can be accessed in the browser, Windows File Explorer or thru the OneDrive app.

Don’t share files as attachments unless necessary; especially to multiple recipients. This is bad Officing.

Enable track changes, agree on using comments in the Office document and share a link to the document you are collaborating on.

Don’t save Office documents to Network Shares and then have multiple users all work on this file at once. This is bad Officing.

ABC - Officing

Office 365 is fully cross-platform. You can be productive and collaborative on the go.

Files and folders in OneDrive can be shared with other users either by sending them a link or an invitation.

Default permission of a share like this is “edit” but you can change this by user to “view” only.

Office 365 Business also allows structured wiki-like file storage in the same Cloud infrastructure thru SharePoint.

Users can define mail notifications for when a file is changed or updated in SharePoint.

All the Office 365 tools you use daily are available to use in the browser too.

There are several tools you may not be familiar with in the Office 365 Business accounts: especially Delve, Sway & Planner.

Sway and Planner are useful but Delve is an incredibly valuable service for personal collaboration analytics and actionable intelligence.

Facebook just decided they need to use Office 365 across their workplace. For its strong collaborative and productivity ecosystem.

Outlook in the browser is divided into Mail, Calendar & People: Mail has a “Like” button for when you want someone to know you agree but don’t want to get into pointless mails of “thanks” > “you’re welcome” > etc.

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Microsoft introduced Office 365 Connectors several months ago allowing Office 365 applications to communicate with 50 (and rising) different 3rd party apps we all use in the workplace.

If you have Office 365 at home, you have a personal One Drive, Outlook.com email, Office in the web and these apps have built in Skype integration (some).

Got Windows 10? If Cortana is enabled for your locale / language & your workplace then you can use the virtual assistant in concert with Office 365.

Cortana is also available on Windows 10 Mobile, Android (Beta) & iOS … and there’s more. (Yammer, Gigjam (Beta), Skype / Skype for Business…)

The Warptest POV

We all use smartphones and rely on Apps for so much. Most of what we are doing is in the cloud. So why when it comes to productivity is it so hard to break our bad officing habits?

It boils down to two things: being aware that Office 365 has this vast potential and a collective willingness to but into this change in the workplace. Facebook are embracing this change with their adoption of Office 365 as their main productivity tool set in the workplace.

Are you ready to work smarter not harder? Get Officing folks.

A Mailbag Question On Video

I was getting questions through a variety of channels and I made the decision to turn this into a mailbag set of posts.

So this is the first of them, where you my readers ask for solutions for issues that are vexing you and Warptest will serve up an answer.

mailbag 1 - video

Today’s Mailbag

This is from a reader A. in Israel who wants to know,

“Which desktop tool do you recommend for one-stop video post processing?”

  1. If you are looking for a basic video editing suite on Windows then simply use Microsoft Movie Maker this will answer all your basic needs for processing video you shot with your Smartphone / Digital Video Camera / Webcam and then uploading the finished video to

*I’m not going to get into fair usage or creative commons laws and rules (I’m no lawyer so if you are looking for that information, I suggest a visit to Google / Bing).

  1. Another tool (or tool set) you should be looking at is a blast from the past, Real Player; a multimedia player available for download for all current versions of Windows.

Real Player (free version) comes with a set of bundled tools: –

  • Real Downloader: a tool for downloading web videos from the browser. Hover the mouse over the video and the Download button will appear. One click and the movie downloads to your PC.
  • Real Trimmer: a tool for taking an existing video file and selecting the part(s) you want and trimming off the rest.
  • Real Converter: a tool for converting the file to a variety of formats based on device, file type or a custom type.

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In addition Real offers their users Real Player Cloud: the latest free version of Real Player combined with cloud based storage. Users get 2Gb of free cloud storage with 1Gb more for each device they install the app(s) on.

Real Player Cloud allows the user to upload / store media in the cloud, share (publicly and privately) and access their media on a variety of devices including iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8x, Roku, Chromecast and PC, without file format restrictions. Best of all users you share a video with get an email with a link and don’t need to install any apps to view the video.

Assuming your video isn’t larger than your Real Player Cloud storage this is a winning solution for a lot of people.

  1. If you have a PowerPoint presentation then in the old days conventional thinking was you could upload the presentation but that was about it. Since Office 2010, PowerPoint allows you to convert your presentation to a movie based on destination device type. You can also choose between MP4 or WMV as output file type. [In PowerPoint 2013: File > Export > Create a Video]

Powerpoint to Video

  1. If you also need screen capture in addition to editing then as I’ve mentioned in a previous post take a look at Microsoft Expression Encoder. This is a bit more of a complex tool but still another great freebie from Microsoft.

Microsoft Expression Encoder - Video

The Warptest POV

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more free video tools out there. These are some of my favorites in terms of solving particular issues, resource use on the PC and learning curve. Real Player may be a bit retro but it gets the job done when other tools have failed me.

Try them out and let me know what you think. If you need more information or some help with using these tools then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Meanwhile, send in your mailbag requests including whether you want your name used and what platform / OS you are asking for.

Welcome to OneDrive

Today marked the rollout of the rebranded OneDrive (the cloud storage formerly known as SkyDrive) across devices for web, desktop and mobile.

Today is about 1 year since the official launch of Outlook.com the outstanding Microsoft web-mail replacement for Hotmail.

SkyDrive was around to see Hotmail evolve, to see the end of Windows Live services (as a distinct entity) and to integrate fully with Outlook.com

5 Things You Might Not Know About OneDrive

  • OneDrive is about as ubiquitous cross-device / cross platform / cross-browser as you can get for personal, shareable cloud storage. I’m using it through the browser, the Windows 8.1 app and on Windows Phone 8 (which updated today to OneDrive). (As of now the SkyDrive folder in Windows 8.1 File Explorer and the Metro / New Windows UI App have not updated to OneDrive)
  • When you sign-up, as a new user you get 7Gb of free storage but Microsoft is giving existing users extra free space all the time (I have 48Gb now) and when I went into SkyDrive today as it became OneDrive I was greeted with this two-fold offer:

OneDrive rebrand wizard

  • OneDrive includes Office Web Apps. Yes FREE Office. This is obviously not full-featured Office Professional but if like most people you barely scratch the surface in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote then this is for you. Especially if you work with others on the shared documents then productivity and collaboration will become your new buzzwords. If you do have Office 365 / 2013 then you will see the integration at folder level in the main File menu.

OneDrive Main Menu

  • Apps: yes there are Apps that work (again cross device / platform) on OneDrive and the ambitious Developers amongst you can find the API here.
  • OneDrive differentiates between documents and photos but stores and allows sharing of both.

The Warptest POV

With a matching flat UI/UX to Windows 8.1 and elegant, ease of use I can strongly recommend to anyone looking to either move or backup to personal cloud storage that they sign-up for OneDrive.

The team working on this seem to understand the need for rapid iteration of robust, user friendly new features and I can recall maybe one occasion where server issues prevented access to my files. This compares very favorably to other services I have used who seem to suffer more frequent outages.

I’m giving OneDrive a strong recommend and if you aren’t using a cloud service for backup/sync or primary storage then you should seriously consider this as one of your choices.