Back in March of 2011, our President, Dave Monahan wrote a blog post titled: “Clear the Fog about ‘The Cloud’.” In an attempt to demystify the cloud he summarized it as a metaphor for the Internet. If you are using the Internet, you are most likely cloud computing. From Facebook to Skype, to Dropbox to Office 365—the cloud is a part of our daily routine.
Adoption of the cloud continues to skyrocket and the pace of technical change is not slowing down. And, there’s still a lot of confusion about the cloud. So, we decided to create a straight-forward cloud computing presentation. Join Paul Holmes, Smart Dolphins’ Technology Ambassador for an introductory seminar on cloud computing Thursday May 12th.
• What the heck is the Cloud?
o Personal and work examples
o 3 Pillars of cloud computing
o Cloud types
• Benefits and drawbacks
• 3 Critical considerations
• Q & A
RSVP required. Lunch included. Capacity limited to 15.
A couple of months ago, we launched our Microsoft Office 365 Educational Series. The first seminar in the series was aimed at helping business leaders decide whether or not Microsoft Office 365 was the best tool for them. Next week, we host our second Office seminar, this one on Outlook.
Outlook is very commonly used but underutilized. The aim of this seminar is to teach users how to use features that will improve your organizational skills, save time and boost your productivity.
Andrew Sureshkumar (Andy) Smart Dolphins Technology Solutions Developer
Andy, our own in-house Outlook Wiz will deliver the demo. Sureshkumar brings 6 years of experience supporting companies like Nissan, Chevron and Hewlett Packard. Over the last year, he’s provided technology solutions to hundreds of professionals throughout Southern Vancouver Island.
Key areas of focus include:
- Quick Steps
- Q & A (Come prepared with areas/tasks you’d like some 1-on-1 assistance on)
Our next available Outlook seminar is at the Chamber of Commerce in Nanaimo April 7th 11 am to 12:30 pm. RSVP here.
Over the past year, we’ve hosted two lunch and learns every month. If you have an interesting idea that you’d like us to consider, send us an email to [email protected]
It’s also for you, if you are forced to use Microsoft Outlook in your business, but hate it. The kind of serious hate that makes you want to pull out your hair.
Or, perhaps, you’re one of those people who has had the opportunity to learn what outlook.pst is, and probably when you broke it.
Here’s my truth: I hated it too. A lot.
I really, truly did. In fact, as far as Outlook was concerned, I always hated it. There was always something better.
In the early days, there was Eudora (remember that?), and Thunderbird.
“Please, please, just let me use Thunderbird instead of Outlook!” he shrieked, while throwing his computer across the office.
Then, it was GMail – the saviour of the whole idea of webmail. Hook up your POP3 account (which Hotmail couldn’t do at the time), and gone was Outlook – forever!
Until you joined a larger organization, and they were using it. Why? Because shared calendars, tie-ins to other Microsoft programs, office standards, etc. You know, IT stuff. And you’ve suffered through with it, because you’ve had to.
OK, I think you get the sense of where I’m coming from.
I managed to avoid using Outlook for several years, until in 2011, I joined a company that REQUIRED it be used. And it was painful. Slow loading. Slow searching. Nothing you ever searched for was found. Calendar invites that wouldn’t sync with your cell phone, without plugging them in, or some other big work-around that wasn’t really worth the effort in the end.
When, after 25 years in the IT business, I arrived as Technology Ambassador at Smart Dolphins, I was seriously Outlook Jaded.
I actually even asked about it during the job interview…
Do I have to use Outlook?
Well, I’ll suffer through, just as I had for the last few years.
Then, day one on the job happened, and a gleaming light from on high appeared! OK, maybe not choirs of angels, but still pretty awesome.
My e-mail and calendar works everywhere – my browser, my tablet, my iPhone. And there’s apps – really good apps. And it’s easy. And it works. And it’s fast. And searches work well. And it has a really great interface that’s intuitive. And Calendar invites aren’t painfully horrible.
I think I like it.
In fact, by the end of day one, I almost bit my tongue when I said, “Wow. I might even like this better than GMail.”
And I do.
Why do I tell you all this? Because I care about you.
You may be suffering through with Outlook, nodding along as you’ve read this far. If you hate it as much as I did, you may want to give 365 a serious look.
IT managers have many choices when it comes to cloud-based productivity tools for email, documents, calendar and file-sharing. While Microsoft Office is widespread in today’s business community, there remains a weariness surrounding the 365, subscription-based service. Come hear the pros and cons (but, honestly, mostly pros) at my upcoming seminar in Victoria on January 14th, or Nanaimo on January 28th.
This is a free information session. The presentation is ideal for those considering Microsoft Office 365 but not sure where to begin.
It’s not a sales pitch for Office, nor for Smart Dolphins. My primary mandate here is to improve lives with better technology, so whether you are a client, or never become a client, I hope you’ll get some value out of this session that makes your life happier and more productive.
We will also have time for questions and comments, and 1-on-1 questions. Please RSVP online or contact us directly.
Can’t make it to the lunch-and-learn but you would like to discuss the Microsoft Office 365 option? Sign-up for a free IT Assessment and we will come to your workplace, at your convenience.
We’ve expanded our Island operations in an effort to continue to offer fintastic computer and networking support to our clients and prospective clients located in and North of Nanaimo.
In addition to our head office location in Victoria, Smart Dolphins is also working out of The Network Hub, a coworking space located in the heart of Nanaimo’s growing business community.
Paul Holmes is leading our Island expansion team. Paul has over 20 years of sales, marketing, and technology experience. If you missed our last lunch and learn on Malware in Nanaimo, join us at the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Summit this Wednesday and Thursday at Booth 32. Paul is also hosting a lunch and learn on November 12th on the power of Linkedin for business development. RSVP for this lunch and learn here.
THANK YOU to all of our clients and dolfans for your continued support.
We are hosting another Lunch and Learn on October 15, this time on the up-and-coming inbound marketing methodology (which, co-incidentally, we have also been using successfully for some time). Times are 11:45 to 1:15.
Versio2 Managing Partner, Stephan Burckhardt will show us why this new paradigm in marketing has come about and is rapidly gaining traction, what results it obtains, and how it works. Agency European and North American case studies and vertical market client experience will highlight what was done. Deep metrics demonstrate that marketing is no longer just an (annoying and easily cut) expense, but a business investment that can return a considerable and fully measurable ROI.
The interactive, workshop-like session will be business-focused and (by request) may include a quick peek into the enabling HubSpot software for the geek in us who loves to look under the hood at screens, graphs, and data. Versio2 has been an inbound marketing agency since January 2012 and is the only HubSpot Gold partner on the Canadian West Coast.
Having recently returned from Inbound 2015 in Boston with its amazing keynotes, 170 plus sessions, and 14’000 marketers from around the globe, Stephan has some cool insights into the frontier of inbound and where this whole train is headed. This includes new and powerful free marketing and sales tools ready to be implemented now by cost-conscious SMEs.
Stephan was CEO and owner of a $15 million agency serving financial, technology, and healthcare clients. He was a journalist and PR agency vice-president in Silicon Valley and completed executive education at Stanford and INSEAD. He now helps clients transition to online marketing methodologies to gain more market success.
Not sure what inbound marketing is all about? Tune in to this video to learn more.
RSVP online today!
On September 23rd, Luke Mills, Risk Advisor at Megson FitzPatrick Insurance Services (MFI) will be hosting a risk management lunch and learn at Smart Dolphins.
Bio: Luke is a partner at MFIs. He serves as a Risk Advisor and Insurance Broker for a number of Not-for-Profit (NFP) clients throughout British Columbia. Luke also sits on the Board and Risk Management Committee of Power to Be Adventure Therapy and Co-Chairs their Program Committee.
Some risks that NFPs face are common, such as fundraising, regulatory compliance, and volunteer management while other risks may be unique to a particular organization. Regardless of the specific risk your organization may face, a healthy risk management process is critical in helping identify and manage challenges that could derail your Mission.
Non-Profit boards and management have a responsibility to work together to establish and oversee risk management. Leadership buy in is critical. Luke will help define and demystify the risk management process and introduce effective risk management techniques employed by NFP organizations. The presentation will include illustrations of risk management done well, and not so well, and provide some practical tools to assist organizations on the road to a strong culture of risk awareness.
Luke’s lunch and learn is best suited for senior staff or directors of NFPs without a mature risk management process already in place.
Capacity is limited to 15, so RSVP today!
We’ve all come across email phishing viruses (see example below). It is very easy to include an attachment in an email with a virus, from which some type of malicious code is downloaded without the user knowing.
Help! I downloaded an email attachment from an unknown sender and I think I’ve been infected, what’s going to happen?
It only takes one click! The consequences largely depend on the type of malware and the device infected. If your corporate network has been compromised, you can expect some damages, both direct and indirect including:
- Lost productivity;
- Use of corporate network resources to send spam;
- Complete breakdown of the corporate network or the loss of business critical data;
- Data recovery.
Beware of Phishing and Spam – Do not open emails from unknown senders. Ensure you are using a quality, updated, antivirus capable of scanning email attachments. Remember, legitimate financial institutions will not ask you to give them sensitive account information via email.
Exercise caution with attachments and downloads – Do not open email attachments from unknown users, or from known users without reviewing the email preview content.
Common Sense – Be vigilant and cautious of websites, software and people. If you are uncertain about a file or link, ask a technical support specialist for assistance.
“Ty the Security Guy” hosts a monthly malware lunch and learn. RSVP to one of his seminars.
We all use email to conduct our everyday business, and end up with cluttered inboxes. What if we could help you unlock the hidden power in Outlook to increase your productivity and have your inbox work for you?
Join us on June 25 from 12-1:30 pm to learn how to manage a more efficient inbox and once again become masters of their own schedule. Key topics include:
- Effective rules for streamlining the busy inbox;
- Using color coding with categories to organize your inbox;
- Effectively searching using sorting and filtering and;
- Using quick steps to streamline workflow.
Lunch included. Please RSVP here.