Outlook 2016 Quick Start Guide

New to Outlook 2016 or upgrading from a previous version? Use this guide to learn the basics. Helpful tips and tricks including:

outlook 2016 quick start guide screenshot

1. Organizing your mail
2. Switching between views
3. Setting your preferences
And more!
After becoming a pro, see what Managed Solution and other Microsoft products can do for your company.

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Microsoft's BizSpark helping start-ups, like Pose-a-Pet, reach their goals

pose-a-pet startup

Jennifer Whaley, founder and CEO of Pose A Pet™, stumbled onto her startup idea several years after she began volunteering to take pictures of homeless pets at animal rescue operations in an effort find them forever homes more quickly. Great pictures get animals adopted, she says. Even better? A PaaS like Microsoft Azure gives a startup the boost it needs to go worldwide.
Whaley’s idea to help homeless pets become more adoptable through charming, uniquely personable photos for rescue ads was helping to get more animals adopted more quickly, but the number of animals that she could help was limited by the number of hours in the day. She took pictures using a necklace of squeaky, distinctive sounds that captured a pet’s attention.
The noises captured the shots she wanted but, in her heart, she knew there had to be a faster and more efficient way to bring her photo-taking tools to the masses and distribute them out so that more animals would be adopted quickly. As she worked out the details of Pose A Pet™, she networked with other startups.
When another small pet business told her about the benefits of the Microsoft BizSpark program, Whaley was interested in learning more.
As she tells it, “It truly hit us that we were a real startup when we became a part of the BizSpark program. When we found out that everything we needed was available to us (Ed. Note: Visual Studio, Exchange, Azure, SQL, SharePoint, etc.) to develop the kind of apps we envisioned, we knew we had a chance.”
Jeff Everett, co-founder and CTO, manages the technology side of the business. Through BizSpark, Pose a Pet™ now uses Microsoft Azure to house all its images, create animal rescue flyers, add sponsors and helps create marketing campaigns for animal rescues worldwide, among other things.
Even more important, Microsoft Azure is available and scalable to Pose A Pet’s™ needs as it continues to expand worldwide. Azure’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) allow developers to focus on building differentiating scenarios and features rather than rebuilding infrastructure.
PaaS was perfect for Pose A Pet™, says Everett. The Microsoft Azure platform provides a cloud services operating system and a set of services to support easy development and operation of applications for the platform. One OSS platform the company is currently evaluating for use within Azure is Concrete 5. Everett says that will help wrangle in the many contacts the startup has for rescues, TV stations, radio stations, etc.
“We love the flexible nature it provides that our developers need and have been asking us for so they can use it for their contacts.”
Because Pose A Pet™ is dealing with multiple software versions as well as a collaborative workspace, the company uses Git Repository to make sure all the versions are properly cataloged through the Feature Based Workflow.
“That gives us frictionless context switching,” says Everett, “so we can go forward with a revision, commit a few times, head back to where we branched from and apply patching where necessary in order to make our final project stable while developing other ideas in parallel.”
“Azure’s Platform as a Service provides significant cost reduction in the development, deployment and hosting of business applications due to the fact that you pay only for what you use,” adds Everett. “The ever-increasing and limitless computing resources of PaaS also give us a major competitive edge over our competitors because if we need more resources or servers, we can have them up in minutes rather than the time required at traditional in-house data centers.”

pose-a-pet screenshot

Because of all the services Azure has to offer, Pose A Pet™ easily built a back-end engine to create shareable flyers in bulk for automated sends; each animal rescue flyer has a link to a business that sponsors an individual animal, which are then shared all over social media.
“We got excited about Microsoft Azure when we realized that the process was much more automated that we expected,” he says. “The most exciting thing for us is the ability to scale. We know we will be housing thousands of images and moving a large amount of data around in the future. Keeping all that in one place on a single platform like Azure makes things straightforward. And that leaves time for us to plan for growth through development.”
“With Azure, we just save so much time for ourselves and the work we enjoy doing,” he says. “And the ability to scale through cost is beautiful. It’s easy to get all kinds of apps to communicate with the server. For example, we use a lot of Java and will be employing more open source software packages like Ruby on Rails as we grow and customize. That’s a huge benefit of Azure – that we can deploy OSS on it.”
Pose A Pet™ has iPad and Android apps now (Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps coming soon) that use proven attention grabbing sounds from Whaley’s necklace as a picture is being taken. The sounds in the app help the pet focus directly on the camera, which improves each picture taken. For those involved in animal rescue you can create a virtual flyer that can be instantly shared on their social media networks. The app will be available through the Windows Store soon stay tuned.
For anyone considering adopting a pet, Whaley has some valuable advice.
“Be sure you have the space, time and energy for a pet. Then find a local breed rescue or animal shelter and take things from there. Many people don’t realize that you don’t even have to open your home or even your pocketbook to help animal rescue. Visit your local animal shelter’s site today to find out how you can help homeless animals in your community!”
Microsoft is helping these startups succeed through its BizSpark program.
About BizSpark: Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps startups succeed by giving free access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, software and support. BizSpark members receive up to $750 per month of free Microsoft Azure cloud services for 3 years: that’s $150 per month each for up to 5 developers. Azure works with Linux and open-source technologies such as Linux, Ruby, Python, Java and PHP. BizSpark is available to startups that are privately held, less than 5-years-old and earn less than $1M in annual revenue.



Technical Support Specialist

Managed Solution has an all-star team with a kick-butt company culture, and we’re excited about what’s ahead. For over a decade, we’ve worked with companies large and small, supporting any and all of their IT needs. We invest in our clients and our staff to bring out the best in both. We’ve been named to the Business Journal’s 100 fastest growing companies for the past five years and stand in the top 1% of Microsoft Cloud partners worldwide. Managed Solution values high standards, honesty and integrity, proactivity, adaptability, and passion. We're poised for unparalleled growth and expansion, and we're always looking for MVPs to join our team.
As a member of the Managed Operations Center, the Technical Support Specialist (Level 1) will provide entry-level technical support to managed services clients in a 24/7/365 environment, working from Managed Solution headquarters and at various client sites. He or she will be responsible for the following...
•Fielding client inquiries and providing basic application support, network administration, desktop troubleshooting.
•Adhering to client service level agreements and team performance goals as you prioritize, resolve and escalate issues in accordance with company policy.
•Communicating technical information clearly and effectively over the phone, in person, and in writing to English-speaking clients.
•Documenting client communication and resolution efforts via internal ticketing system.
•Maintaining a high degree of professionalism, confidentiality, and integrity while accessing client data/systems and supporting mission-critical environments.
•Other responsibilities as assigned.
Technical Competencies:
•An Associate or Bachelor degree in Computer Science or related field, or equivalent combination of education and/or experience.
•Microsoft or other technical certifications a plus!
•Basic troubleshooting skills in a Windows environment, including desktop and server OS
•Fundamental awareness of LAN/WAN administration and concepts
•Entry-level proficiency in Exchange and Active Directory
•Previous exposure to virtualization technologies and ticketing systems preferred.
Relational and Problem Solving Skills:
•An outgoing, enthusiastic personality with a can-do attitude and passion for solving problems.
•Outstanding customer service skills and a drive to deliver exceptional service to both internal and external team members.
•Strong organizational and problem solving skills. Experience prioritizing multiple responsibilities in a fast paced environment.
•Excellent oral and written English communication skills.
•Integrity and the ability to maintain confidentiality.
Perks & Benefits!
•Never stop learning… stay one step ahead of the game with a company on the bleeding edge of technology.
•Be inspired by your teammates: we’re a friendly bunch who are passionate about IT.
•Get Certified - Managed Solution prepays the cost of your exams!
•Earn $$$... Competitive salary with bonus potential
•Save for the future: 401(k) retirement plan (with employer match beginning at 6 months!)
•Find balance with plenty of PTO and 7 paid holidays
•Feel great with Medical, Vision and Dental Insurance - Managed Solution covers 65% of the cost!
See all of our available positions here

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State of BYOD and Mobile Security Report: Latest Insights, Trends and Stats

By Yishay Yovel as written on securityintelligence.com


The Information Security LinkedIn group released a new survey from its 200,000-member community on the state of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and mobile security initiatives in their enterprises. We provide our take on some of the findings from this comprehensive survey‘s 1,100 responses.
To BYOD or Not?
According to the survey, over 60 percent of enterprises allow or tolerate employee use of personal devices to access enterprise data. Only a small minority of enterprises, 11 percent, have no plans to allow such usage. Enterprises that allow BYOD expect the primary benefits to be improved employee productivity and satisfaction and better overall security, and 58 percent expect related budgets to increase or stay flat.
Our Take: Device ownership is destined to become a nonissue, and IT organizations must adopt new capabilities to secure enterprise applications and data on a shared personal or corporate data device. Enterprises are embracing BYOD programs as an opportunity to invest in the secure productivity of their employees as opposed to a “cost of doing business.” Securing corporate data without making assumptions on device security makes enterprises less complacent and more rigorous in assessing and addressing security risks.
Enable Flexible Data Access
According to the survey, email access allowance is still king at 86 percent of responses, followed by access to documents, custom mobile applications and cloud services. Overall, structured data in enterprise databases is still deemed most valuable, with unstructured data a close second.
Our Take: Our devices enable access to critical enterprise resources. Sensitive data and transactions are accessed, stored locally and exchanged not only with data center apps, but also third-party services. BYOD enables a “personal” device image, but enterprises must take steps to secure local app execution, encrypt enterprise data where applicable and detect access and transactional risk.
Data Loss Doesn’t Equal Device Loss
The biggest mobile security risk, according to the survey, is losing enterprise data. In essence, the risk categories can be divided into three main areas: data (stolen, lost, unauthorized access), threat (fake apps, malware, exploits) and management (endpoint security, regulatory compliance).
Our Take: Enterprises must address each of these three dimensions through a holistic framework. Many enterprises have made progress on addressing the “lost device” scenario and data-loss risk with enterprise mobility management suites that enable a remote wipe of enterprise data from mobile devices. However, securing devices against compromise has a long way to go; this is partly due to the restrictions enforced by mobile OS vendors on the security community, which limits the ability to secure mobile platforms.
Mobility Impact: Tools and Resources
Enterprises are investing in resources (mostly security personnel) and tools (mobile device management and endpoint security solutions) to address the emerging mobile threats.
Our Take: Enterprises are taking steps to reduce mobile-related security risks. To minimize the burden, such resource allocation should occur in the context of a comprehensive plan that addresses enterprise-specific risk factors. For example, banks that provide online banking services to customers must address transactional risk from both laptops and mobile devices that they have absolutely no control over. Malware and phishing risks that are common to that environment should be assessed when new capabilities are rolled out (e.g., remote deposit capture).
Reducing Attack Surface: Beyond the Basics
Simple steps are the easiest to implement. Most enterprises require password protection to devices accessing enterprise data; this will deter the occasional thief but is probably no match for a focused adversary. Encryption and remote wipe provide additional layers of security.
Our Take: While these measures are a good start, security should be embedded in the enterprise mobility initiatives. For example, secure development practices and mobile penetration testing will reduce vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malware, thus reducing the attack surface. While the malware threat has quickly grown, its capabilities have slowly evolved on mobile devices. Recent developments should drive security teams to reassess the threat and the possible impact of credential loss on their enterprise security.
The survey shows enterprises’ increasing readiness to embrace BYOD programs. Enterprises are making investments in people and tools to manage the key risks to enterprise resources (applications and data), driven by mixing corporate and personal data and the evolving threat landscape. The business rationale for these investments is boosting employee productivity while improving security as a broader set of risks is taken into consideration; this is a no-brainer since we expect BYOD to become table stakes for virtually all enterprises in the next few years. Given the utility and importance of mobile devices to employees’ personal and work lives, this looks like a sound investment.

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OneNote 2016 Quick Start Guide

New to OneNote 2016 or upgrading from a previous version? Use this guide to learn the basics. Become an expert in:

onenote 2016 quick start guide screenshot

1. Accessing your work across all devices
2. Organizing information tables
3. Creating wiki-style hyperlinks
4. Copying text from pictures
5. Sharing your notebooks with others>/h5>
And much more!
Love Office 365 and other Microsoft products? See what Managed Solution and Microsoft can do for your company!

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Plug in to success—7 steps for a strategic technology lifecycle


Take a minute to think about the applications you use, the programs you depend on and the technologies you’ve integrated into your business. Now ask yourself these questions: If a specific application supported my company in the past, how is it benefiting me now? Are our programs performing in line with our desired standard? What, if anything, am I doing to ensure my technology is not outdated? Is my vendor providing me with resources to manage my applications? Am I really getting the maximum business value from these solutions?

To answer these questions, many enterprise scale organizations use established processes to manage their technology. A technology lifecycle—or TLC—offers a systematic approach for assessing the state of your technologies. Thankfully, this indispensable method applies to both enterprise scale organizations and small and midsize businesses. So whether you’re an experienced IT professional or a technological tenderfoot, considering your TLC will yield promising, practical results.

TLC, defined.


Introduce yourself to the product’s benefits, programs, services and content. What’s new with the product? Who else is using it? How does it benefit them? From training resources to accessibility tools, analyzing your products’ perks in the early stages of implementation will drastically influence your business practices later on.


Select the best product for your business. Evaluate the product to confirm its alignment with your business’s goals. Think about both your current and future needs. Is the product secure and compliant? Will the product scale with future growth? Can you connect with current product users? Is there ongoing support and training for the product? What does the future product roadmap look like? If you choose a product that is cost-effective, yet lacks specific market advantages, you may find yourself trailing behind your competitors.


Connect with the product’s customer services, including any deployment assistance programs, step-by-step setup guidance or visual assets. These documents will serve as a roadmap for the successful implementation of your product. Consider your strategies for product-integration. How do you plan for successful deployment and adoption? Can you find demos and guidance? What are the considerations for the businesses most like yours in similar industries, at similar size and with similar business objectives?


Discover best practices for a successful product launch using an integrated admin console or alternative resources. How do you configure the product? How do you manage or administrate it? Are management and administration tools provided? How should you prepare for change and incidents? How can you assure your data is secure and company policies are being met? Researching practical ways for communicating the new product to employees will result in informed, confident and empowered users.


Configure and customize the product and integrate it within your company. Develop new and extend existing features and functionalities. Connect the product with line of business applications. Is development guidance provided? Are there opportunities to learn about best practices and see how the product is being modified to solve real business goals? Budget time for aligning your company’s goals and interests with the product, choosing internal applications that further the interest of your organization.


Retain critical support contacts and information to resolve issues with your deployment and management of the product. Consider live support options including in-person, phone or chat. These options should be balanced by online troubleshooting and guidance. Is there a broad set of support options to help me address a range of potential issues? Do you get appropriate and timely notifications? Can you plan for known issues and quickly get unanticipated issues addressed?


Secure the best possible experience with your new technology for you and your end users. Invest in a product with training and adoption options designed specifically to encourage you and your company to further your understanding as you advance with your new technology. Learning how to manage and sustain the product is important for anyone in an IT or administrator role. Similarly, learning is critical for ensuring your end users get the most from your technology investments. Effective product usage can positively impact your business.
Untangle your business, simplify your mind


When assessing technology’s impact, Microsoft has committed to the TLC. In fact, Microsoft’s whole Office Suite is TLC–compatible, offering services, check-ins and pertinent information that might otherwise be unavailable to businesses. Though a technology lifecycle may be just one of the many factors a business-owner or IT professional considers when implementing new technologies in the workplace, the importance of securing quality products with strong business and support services that match your business’s needs cannot be stressed enough.

Rest assured by investing in your business, and thrive on your future success.


Trust Us: Your Auto-Reply Message Can Get You Into Trouble


By Andy O'Donnell as written on netsecurity.about.com
So, you're headed off on a business trip. You've got your plane tickets, hotel reservations, and everything is good to go. Only one thing left to do, it's time to set your Outlook Out-of-Office Auto-Reply message so that clients or coworkers e-mailing you will know how to contact you while you're away, or will know who they can contact during your absence.
Seems like the responsible thing to do, right? Wrong! Out-of-Office Auto-replies can be a huge security risk.
Out-of-Office replies can potentially reveal a huge amount of sensitive data about you to anyone who happens to e-mail you while you're away.
Here's an Example of a Common Out-of-office Reply:
"I will be out of the office at the XYZ conference in Burlington Vermont during the week of June 1-7. If you need any help with invoice-related issues during this time, please contact my supervisor, Joe Somebody at 555-1212. If you need to reach me during my absence you can reach me on my cell at 555-1011.
While the message above is helpful, it may also be harmful because, in a couple of short sentences, the person in the e-mail above revealed some incredibly useful information about himself. This information could be used by criminals for social engineering attacks.
The example out-of-office reply above provides an attacker with:
Current Location Information
Revealing your location aids attackers in knowing where you are and where you aren't. If you say you're in Vermont, then they know that you aren't at your home in Virginia. This would be a great time to rob you. If you said you were at the XYZ conference (as Bill did), then they know where to look for you. They also know that you're not in your office and that they might be able to talk their way into your office saying something like:
"Bill told me to pick up the XYZ report. He said it was on his desk. Do you mind if I pop in his office and grab it." A busy secretary might just let a stranger into Bill's office if the story seems plausible.
Contact information
The contact information that Bill revealed in his out-of-office reply may help scammers piece together elements needed for identity theft. They now have his e-mail address, his work and cell numbers, and his supervisor's contact info as well.
When someone sends Bill a message while his auto-reply is turned on, his e-mail server will send the auto-reply back to them, which in-effect confirms Bill's e-mail address as a valid working address. E-mail Spammers love getting confirmation that their spam reached a real live target. Bill's address will likely now be added to other spam lists as a confirmed hit.
Place of employment, job title, line of work, and chain of command
Your signature block often provides your job title, the name of the company you work for (which also reveals what type of work you do), your e-mail, and your phone and fax numbers. If you added "while I'm out please contact my supervisor, Joe Somebody" then you just revealed your reporting structure and your chain of command as well.
Social engineers could use this information for impersonation attack scenarios. For instance, they could call your company's HR department pretending to be your boss and say "This is Joe Somebody. Bill Smith is off on a trip and I need his Employee ID and Social Security Number so I can correct his company tax forms."
Some Out-of-Office message setups allow you to restrict the reply so that it only goes to members of your host e-mail domain, but most people have clients and customers outside of the hosting domain so this feature won't help them.
How can you create a safer out-of-office auto-reply message?
1. Be intentionally vague
Instead of saying that you will be somewhere else, say that you will be "unavailable". Unavailable could mean you are still in town or in the office taking a training class. It helps keep the bad guys from knowing where you really are.
2. Don't provide contact info
Don't give out phone numbers or e-mails. Tell them that you will be monitoring your e-mail account should they need to contact you.
3. Leave out all personal information and remove your signature block
Remember that complete strangers and possibly scammers and spammers may see your auto-reply. If you wouldn't normally give this info to strangers, don't put it in your auto-reply.
Just a note to my readers, I will be in Disney World all next week, but you can reach me by carrier pigeon (just kidding about the Disney World part).



Excel 2016 Quick Start Guide

New to Excel 2016 or upgrading from a previous version? Use this guide to learn the basics! Helpful tips and tricks including:

excel 2016 quick start guide screenshot

1. Creating workbooks
2. Finding files
3. Discovering contextual tools
4. Inserting functions and building formulas
5. Sharing your workbooks
And more!
After becoming a pro, see what Managed Solution and other Microsoft products can do for your company.

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