What’s the Main Difference Between Office 365 and the Traditional Office Suite?

Even if you already have Microsoft Office, did you know that there are multiple ways to use Office which could potentially save you money? It’s the difference between using the traditional Office apps, versus the subscription-based model provided by Office 365.

Users and business professionals need to know that Office 365 is a subscription-based model, while the traditional Office 2016 suite is a one-time purchase. Yet, there are a few other notable differences between the two. Here are three reasons why it’s beneficial to choose Office 365 over the more traditional Office suite.

Office 365 is Cost-Effective
Small monthly payments fit into budgets much better than big up-front costs. This is a staple of software as a service, and it applies to Office 365. When purchased through Microsoft, Office 365 can provide users with a discount when paying for 12 months ahead of time, allowing for even more cost savings.

Office 365 Stays Up-to-Date
The traditional Office suite gives you the most recent version at the time of your download. For example, if you downloaded today, you would get Microsoft Office 2016. The problem here is that several years might pass and you’ll eventually have to upgrade to a more recent version of the software, like Office 2018--which can be another major expense in itself. It’s one big investment after another, which makes the subscription-based model more economically reliable, efficient, and easy to budget around. With Office 365, you’ll always have the latest version of Microsoft Office, without the hassle of purchasing new software.

Office 365 is More Flexible
Office 2016 is a one-time download, unlike its subscription-based counterpart. Office 365 allows organizations to achieve varied levels of service as per their user requirements or device thresholds. This helps your business get exactly the kind of functionality you need out of Office 365, as it helps to better accommodate growth.

Have we convinced you to give Office 365 a shot? If so, reach out to us at 614-923-6700. We’d be happy to help your business get started with your new Office 365 solution.

4 Instances You’ll Be Glad You Had Disaster Recovery

Disasters are commonplace in the business environment, especially when you work in a technology-heavy office. It’s not a question of if you’ll ever experience a hardware failure; it’s a question of when you will. Regardless of how your business functions or what sector you fall into, there will always be disasters that you should be prepared for.

In order to best protect your business from crippling downtime and data loss, we’ll go over four situations where you’ll wish you had disaster recovery for your data.

Natural Disasters
Your local weather channel might give you an idea of what the weather will be like throughout the day, but that can change in the blink of an eye. If your location is prone to floods and violent rainstorms, you could lose data due to water damage. Earthquakes can strike when you least expect it, destroying offices and homes and ending lives. Even something as simple as a power outage could bring about the destruction of your data. The point we’re trying to get across is that natural disasters can strike anywhere at any time, and your IT infrastructure needs to be ready to handle them.

Hardware Failures
Another recurring issue for organizations that rely heavily on technology is hardware failure. If you’re not monitoring and maintaining your hardware, it can be easy to let resource-intensive equipment get overworked, which inevitably leads to malfunction. Technology can’t last forever, so an untimely hardware failure could cripple your infrastructure.

User Error
In the same way as hardware failure, user error could cause your organization to lose data or bring down systems. The reason: people aren’t perfect, and you can’t expect them to be. People could accidentally lose track of files or hand over credentials for accounts which hold sensitive data, giving a hacker a clear path toward stealing your information. User error is a primary cause for data destruction, so it’s important that you implement data backup to account for this risk.

Hacking Attacks
Even if you don’t suspect that you’ll become a victim of a hacking attack, you’re a target. Any organization that collects sensitive data--be it financial information or personally identifiable information--needs to consider itself a target for hackers. All it takes is an installation of malware (like ransomware) to put your data at risk. Hackers usually either want to delete data or steal it for themselves, so it’s up to you to keep your systems backed up in the event that something happens.

Basically, the one thing that you have to remember is this: you need a way to recover your data, or you’ll suffer in the event of a disaster. We recommend that SMBs reach out to us at 614-923-6700 and ask about our dynamic backup and disaster recovery solution (BDR). You’ll have all of your bases covered… just in case.

How Virtual Reality Could Help Paraplegics Walk Again

Virtual reality is a major contender for the next big technology to hit the business industry, and it’s been able to accomplish what modern neuroscience could not. In the medical sector, virtual reality has been tested on paraplegic patients in attempts to help them walk again using brain-controlled robotic limbs. However, these innovations have yielded unexpected, astounding results.

The project, called the Walk Again Project, was first introduced in 2013. Scientists from all over the world have gathered to help paraplegics walk again through the power of technology. The study examined eight patients who had been diagnosed as being entirely paraplegic; as in, they can’t move or feel their legs at all. The project involved several simulations that featured the use of a haptic feedback device, which issued sensory feedback to the patient when their thoughts translated to movement.

The first experiment they performed consisted of using a brain-machine interface therapy combined with virtual reality. The patient wore a device that sent brain signals directly to an Oculus Rift (a commercial VR headset). On the device, the patient would see themselves walking. The other type of therapy used involved a robotic walker to assist with walking therapy. The patient was suspended over a treadmill while their legs were controlled by the robot. This activity was sent to a computer where the data could be analyzed.

The most interesting method of therapy involved the use of robotic legs to send brain signals directly back to the patient. The legs utilized electronic sensors that were placed at key locations along the leg. These sensors sent signals to the patient and offered stimulation to the user whenever their legs were supposed to be moving.

Thanks to the ongoing brain machine interface therapy, the patients found that they could sometimes feel--or even move--their paralyzed limbs. In particular, the treatment improved bladder and bowel function, which is a significant first step toward providing some semblance of autonomy back to those who suffer from paraplegia. The treatments were so successful that in many cases the doctors changed their diagnoses to only partial paralysis.

Though scientists still aren’t sure what has caused this development, it’s thought that it could be the first step toward discovering a way to completely restore mobility to those who suffer from paraplegia. Technology has given these victims a second chance, and it’s one that can (hopefully) improve their lives.

What do you think about this development? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog.

Latest Windows 10 Update Has Kindle Users Feeling Blue… Screen of Death

Have you have recently plugged in your Kindle and received a blue screen of death? Many Kindle users have found that Windows 10’s anniversary update is creating an issue in the way that Kindle transfers books and charges via a USB connection. Some users are reporting that connecting a Kindle to a Windows 10 device will cause the device to lock up and display Windows’ infamous blue error screen before rebooting.

Users who have experienced this issue have taken to the Microsoft support forums hoping to find a way to resolve this issue. Unfortunately, what happens seems to vary by the user--some claim that the problem is rooted in the anniversary update, while others seem to think that it’s due to the pre-release software testing service Microsoft Insider.

The fallout of the issue also seems to vary. Some reports claim that the device can be restored to normal functionality after the reboot, but the problem comes up again with the next reboot. Some users have found that leaving their devices asleep as they plug in their Kindle can prevent the error from happening. Yet, even this doesn’t prevent the crashing, as many users report that the issue happens regardless of what they do.

All of these issues are in response to what users did to troubleshoot their own individual problems, yet nothing that they did could resolve them, despite elements like the USB cable being used as variables.

Worse yet, this isn’t the first problem that Microsoft has had to deal with since they released Windows 10’s anniversary update. While the update brought an enhanced usability and interesting new features, it also brought a bug that has led to some Windows 10 users being unable to use their webcams.

So far, neither of these issues have been resolved, though Microsoft claims that the webcam fixes will be available in September. In regards to the Kindle issue, there have been no hints as to how long these issues will persist. Kindle users may have to avoid causing the blue screen error in the first place, and tolerate the problems until the official fix is issued.

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