Category: Documents & Data

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, working from home has become the new normal as many employers and employees have dealt with social distancing, lockdowns and the closure of corporate offices. Advances in technology and computer technology has made this transition relatively smooth, with people able to create a fully connected home office using a suite of hardware and software. In this article we will examine some of the amazing technologies that are in use today that have really come to the forefront since 2020. Read further to find out how you or your company can utilise video conferencing, Office 365, cloud backup solutions, VPNs, managed antivirus, remote IT support, and remote desktop access to work effectively from anywhere in the world.

Here is just one example of how technology has greatly benefited a company during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of our clients was still utilising on premises servers with separated data sets. They did use dropbox in a very basic sense, but the amount and complexity of the data meant that a better solution needed to be found. Luckily just prior to the pandemic OJ Networks recommended and was able to deploy a nationwide Office 365 and SharePoint solution for multiple offices around Australia. This allowed them to seamlessly shift to working from home when the lockdown orders were issued and staff were able to remote in via Office 365 to continue their work without disruption. Staff were able to login to their ‘server’ as if they were in the office and they could work from any location, allowing them to continue their business as usual. We often hear from this client as to how lucky they were to set this up prior to the pandemic as there was no downturn in productivity and they would not have been able to function as a business without it!

Now lets explore some of the options in detail, what benefit they provide and how they may assist your business in working remotely.

What technologies are available?

Video conferencing hardware: webcams, headsets, microphones, speakers – These allow you to call and have remote video meetings via Skype or Zoom. When working remotely it can be hard to maintain a connection with colleagues.  Video conference calls let you stay in touch with co-workers, teammates and managers and maintain the productivity of face to face meetings.

VPN (Virtual Private Network) – A VPN allows you to connect securely to another network over the internet. It creates a secure tunnel between the user computer and office computer or server. Using a VPN allows employees to safely access company data from any network, public or private. These are crucial for businesses to avoid man in the middle attacks. This is where data is unencrypted and can be snooped upon by malicious parties.

Office 365 – Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud based services including emails through Exchange Online, file management and storage through SharePoint and OneDrive, collaboration and chat through Teams along with cloud connected versions of popular applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote). All programs can be used online through a browser, and all files can be accessed from the cloud, wherever and whenever they are needed. With Office 365 employees are able to work together and collaborate together, with the ability to work on the same document even in separate locations.

Third Party Office 365 Backup – Having a third party Office 365 backup system in place allows you to keep important business documents and emails secure and safe. It ensures that you can restore any data quickly in the event of any accidental or malicious deletion, user error, ransomware or data corruption. If there are ever any issues with the Microsoft Servers you have your own completely separate version of all of your files and emails.

Managed Antivirus – Its important to have one of the highest rated Anti-Virus products on the market protecting your workstations, laptops and servers. A managed antivirus solution goes one step further in allowing IT admins to remotely monitor any virus outbreaks on your network and act quickly to respond to any issues.

Remote IT Support – IT Support companies can now effectively monitor and manage your computers and networks remotely. To do this they utilise remote management tools which give insights into any issues that your devices are experiencing. Along with management tools they usually install a remote access client to connect to your device quickly and securely. This saves you time, as there are no travel costs involved. With this scenario it doesn’t matter whether users are working from home or out of the office, the IT support personnel can log on to their computer and fix any issues.

If you are struggling with this shift to working from home, either as a business or an employee we can help you! From something simple such as supplying a webcam, to assisting you to set up remote access to your office through a VPN, setting up cloud emails and applications through Office 365 or anything in between get in touch with us today.

This is an interesting one. Word documents in Microsoft Word 2007 appear fine on the screen but when you go to print the document it comes out as garbled text where each character on a line is printed over the top of the first character. These overlapping characters make for a totally unreadable document and is very frustrating to the end user. Here is an example of how the text looks when it is printed.

Garbled Printout from Word

Not very user friendly is it? The text appears to be hieroglyphics. Sometimes the screen updates quickly to show the characters like this on the screen when it is printing.

Well the solution to this problem is simple if you know where to look.

1) Press the “Office” button in the top left.
2) Click “Word Options” at the bottom

Word Options

3) Click the “Advanced” button on the left

4) Scroll down to the “Print” section

5) Untick “Print in Background”

6) Click “OK”

Background Printing Solution

Now open your word document and you should be able to print without the garbled hieroglyphic text appearing and you can get on with your work day!

Dropbox in the app storeDropbox may be the answer

Clients are frequently asking us how they can access their important documents on their mobile devices. Case in point – a Building Inspector client of OJ Networks wanted to have the Australian Standards on his phone for reference whilst on-site performing inspections. Well with the application Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) you are provided with a folder on your computer where you can copy and paste files that you want to have access to from another location or device. The files automatically sync to the Dropbox server on the Internet and then with the FREE Dropbox App for iPhone or iPad you can access those files. Not only that but there is also a public folder where you can share with anyone those large files that are hard to email. With 2gb of FREE storage this is a great solution for small businesses.

 

Setting up a Dropbox account

Go to www.dropbox.com and download the client for your computer – it is available for mac and windows. When it runs you will see this screen. Click next and create and account with your details. If you download the iPhone app first then you will see the screen on the right.

Dropbox Setup Dropbox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose the FREE option which is 2gb. If you need more you can upgrade in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you are signed up you will see the little dropbox tray icon in the bottom right near the date/time. Click that to get all the Dropbox options including Open Dropbox folder. By default the Dropbox folder is create inside your Documents/My Documents folder. On the mobile app, simply click the Dropbox icon to launch the app. Any files you add from your desktop computer will automatically appear in mobile or tablet device when it syncs.

TrayiconiPhone Interface

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here you can see I have created a folder called “Important Docs”. You careate folders just like you would on the file system e.g. in your “documents” folder. There is a file in there that is not synced yet. It shows the blue syncing icon when it is still syncing with your dropbox and the green tick when it is synced with your dropbox.

Dropbox files

Sharing files with another Dropbox User

Now let’s share this folder with another Dropbox user. You can do this with any of your created Dropbox folders. See the next section if you want to share with people who do not have a Dropbox account.

Right-click and choose – Dropbox -> Share this folder.

Sharing Dropbox

This will then take you online to your dropbox account and you can share this file with the email address of the person you are sharing with.

Sharing Dropbox

If you are on the mobile version of the application then you click the link button at the bottom of the screen when viewing the document. Then you can email the link to someone.

Document Link Email Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing files with non-Dropbox Users

The great thing with Dropbox is that you can share your files with people who don’t have a Dropbox account too. Many of you may have used “yousendit” in the past to send files that were too large to email. Well now you can just put files in the special “public” folder and share them with a hyperlink in an email.

Dropbox files

Go into the public folder and paste in the files you want to share. Then right-click and choose “dropbox”  -> “Copy public link”.

Public Sharing

You then simply “paste” this link into an email and the person at the other end can download the file. Of course if there are several files, you don’t want to separate public links for them so I suggest creating a zip file with all the files bundled up – makes it faster for the person at the other end to download too.

This is a great service for small businesses on the move and on a tight budget. Try Dropbox today!