Reporting technologies in aged care: stay compliant with an industry-specific Incident Management Power App

There’s no doubt that Aged Care facilities, home care providers and NFP organisations have been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. With ongoing stories of mismanagement and cases of criminal negligence, Australians have demanded tighter regulations and harsher penalties for those who don’t comply.

Following the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, a mandatory incident report process was introduced along with 148 other recommendations to action within the next 5 years.

While this increase in compliance, efficiency and service is a positive step for the industry, it also puts extra pressure on your organisation and already overstretched staff. Although some reporting technologies in aged care have helped ease the burden, there’s still room for improvement.

Now, thanks to Microsoft Power Platform, that improvement is more accessible than ever before and we tell you how.

The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS)

Launched in April 2021, the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) is an initiative that helps prevent and reduce incidents of abuse and neglect in residential aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government. In case you didn’t already know, from the 1st of December 2022, the scheme will be extended to include home aged care and flexible care delivered in a home or community setting.

The SIRS categorises 2 key components — incident management obligations and reportable incident obligations.

The official government website introduces 8 types of reportable incidents, involving aged care residents that must be reported to the Commission and the police if the incident is of criminal nature, listed as below:

  1. Unreasonable use of force

  2. Unlawful sexual contact or inappropriate sexual conduct

  3. Neglect of a consumer

  4. Psychological or emotional abuse

  5. Unexpected death

  6. Stealing or financial coercion by a staff member

  7. Inappropriate use of restrictive practices

  8. Unexplained absence from care

It is good to note that incidents that are not part of this list are not required to be reported to the Commission. However, depending on the circumstances, they may need to be reported to another government body.

Split into two categories, reportable incidents are listed as either Priority 1 or Priority 2, and require different reporting obligations.

  • Priority 1 incidents must be reported to the Aged Care Royal Commission or police within 24 hours of becoming aware of it occurring.

  • Priority 2 incidents do not meet Priority 1 criteria and must be reported to the Aged Care Royal Commission within 30 days of becoming aware of it occurring.

With timelines playing such a critical role in responding to serious incidents, finding a standardised method to lodge incidents from anywhere is now essential, and for many providers, these systems are not yet in place.

Without a viable, long term mobile reporting system, this could see travelling carers not only under more pressure to recall important information well after the fact, but also falling foul of updated regulations.

The risks of being non-compliant

For those who aren’t compliant, disciplinary action can include infringement notices, non-compliance notices on a public register, as well as broader civil penalties. Any combination of these can have negative effects on your reputation, finances and operations.

What does this mean for carers?

Although these reporting obligations are expanding from December 1st, those responsible for remaining compliant have not changed, with pressure still mounting on carers to ensure incidents are reported correctly, explains Bremmar’s Lead Aged Care & NFP consultant, Rushad Billimoria:

‘Although a team is dedicated to handle compliance requirements surrounding incident data, the responsibility of accurate incident reporting ultimately falls on the carers. Having the right reporting technologies in aged care can ease this added pressure, automatically complying with government regulations and making life a lot easier for all involved,’ notes Rushad.

Where does technology fit in with the Aged Care reportable incident process?

Ultimately, new technology creates efficiency in the incident reporting process. It’s there to make life easier for carers and other executive staff like yourself, giving you peace of mind that people can confidently focus on their primary job — to care and assist — accurately and efficiently. And without having to worry about extra admin, staff can enjoy a happier presence and more focused work experience, benefitting every part of the organisation.

Information has a habit of getting lost in translation,’ explains Rushad, ‘the more people that pass it down, the more likely it is that something will change. By having standardised processes for incident management and the right technology on hand, no information is missed. Users can access the right reporting form, input the relevant data, submit and respond accordingly.

With this streamlined compliance, increased accuracy and growth in efficiency, your organisation will be better equipped to facilitate the entire reporting process.

Custom built reporting technology solutions for Aged Care

With so many vendors and technological choices, which is the right one to help Aged Care providers remain compliant?

There are a few options out there, and as specialists in the Aged Care, NFP and Disability sectors, we’ve had years road-testing the best of the best technology for these industries. In our opinion, it’s hard to go by Microsoft Power Apps.

Here’s why.

Power Apps is a Microsoft solution that brings together a suite of apps, services, and connectors, that enable organisations to build custom apps to streamline, automate and simplify unique business processes, such as procurement requests, employee onboarding, and incident management & reporting.

Power Apps is part of the Microsoft ecosystem making it easy to access and connect information within the Microsoft 365 platform as well as with third-party applications.

Bremmar Incident Management App for Aged Care

Built in response to industry needs and using Power Apps, the Bremmar Incident Management app is an essential tool for any Aged Care provider, NFP or Disability organisation looking to standardise their incident reporting processes and automate complex workflows.

By consolidating your reporting process into one system, this powerful app enables organisations to connect incident data sources, create custom digital forms, and implement effective business process automation.


Streamline the reporting process

Reporting technologies in aged care have a notorious reputation for being complex and riddled with inaccuracy. The Incident Management app collects incident data — including images or other attachments– and stores it in an easy-to-use manageable register where it can be accessed, shared and analysed by anyone with the organisation that has the right permissions.

At each step of the incident reporting process, the app creates automated workflows to notify appropriate people based on the information that has been entered. Depending on the settings, the incident data can be shared via email, teams, or any other preferred method, ensuring that it is seen and actioned by the right people as soon as possible.

Efficient approval processes

By notifying the right people, the incident approval process is strengthened to guarantee compliance. As incident data flows down the chain, staff can review and approve, or ask for more information if required. This system of checks and balances means your organisation will get it right every time.

Dynamic dashboard through Power BI

Using Microsoft Power BI, our Incident Management app pulls relevant information from the incident data register and places it on a dynamic dashboard. With easily configurable, user-defined metrics, incident data is at the execs and management finger tips, offering a previously unseen level of insight into vital data points.

Reporting technologies in aged care have come a long way from where they used to be. With all of the extra insights, aged care organisations can analyse their data at a more granular level. This allows them to identify trends and use this information to make informed decisions moving forward’, highlights Rushad.


Bespoke incident reporting solution

Built upon a base-level package, the app is customisable to meet any organisation’s needs. Through detailed consultation with Bremmar’s Aged Care or NFP specialists, the Incident Management app can include any number of predefined menu options, including drop-down selections for staff and manager names, facility information, and incident type.

This guarantees all the right information is being sent to all the right people at the right time. From automated and built for purpose digital workflows to customised application branding, the Incident Management App integrates into your system.

By standardising the reporting process, Bremmar’s Incident Management app empowers your organisation to increase its data accuracy through streamlined business workflows, even as your business continues to grow, and regulations evolve.

Developing a custom Incident Management app with Bremmar

Although developing an improved digital workflow automation for incident reporting may seem complex and intimidating, Bremmar’s collaborative approach makes life easy for Aged Care, NFP & Disability organisations looking to make the switch.

The process takes 2–4 weeks and can follow 6 core steps:

  1. Initial consultation to understand the current process, and enhancements

  2. Develop a process flow diagram from incident lodgement to approval

  3. Build a base product and provide to Incident Reporting team staff for testing

  4. Take feedback onboard and make relevant changes

  5. User acceptance training highlights any extra issues

  6. Final changes implemented and ‘go live’

Rushad notes that while the whole process may seem challenging, collaboration with champion users is an essential part of the process:

By understanding our client’s goals and engaging a champion user, we can deploy an operational app within a matter of two weeks. Through this consistent back and forth, we can build the perfect incident response solution — one that our clients understand and are comfortable using.

Not just for Aged Care. Not-For-Profit & Disability organisations can also benefit.

While these expanded regulations apply solely to the Aged Care sector, other care-based NFPs and disability organisations can also make the most of the Incident Management app as well. But why should they prioritise this new technology if it isn’t mandatory? Rushad believes it all comes down to risk.

It’s all about understanding the risk of what would happen if an incident isn’t properly recorded. The risk to those directly involved, and the risk to the wider organisation. Even if you’re not under the microscope of government agencies such as those in Aged Care, other care organisations and NFPs should think about potential costs, liabilities and negative effects on staff welfare.’ says Rushad.

He also notes that while new tech can seem complex and scary, it’s better for workers in the long run.

Yes, these modern reporting technologies in Aged Care and NFPs can sound complex, but the truth is, they’re cost effective and never as daunting as they seem. One of our recent clients had an increase in the number of incidents lodged after we worked with them to standardise their reporting process using the Incident Management app,’ explains Rushad, ‘staff can now capture every bit of critical information thanks to the simplified reporting process. And it’s giving management and executives more clarity on incidents because the information is easier to collect.

While new reporting technology can redefine workflows, increase efficiency and productivity, and reduce the risk of non-compliance, it ultimately allows care organisations to provide better care — something that should never be undervalued.

Better incident reporting with Bremmar

Are unconnected data and manual processes hindering your ability to remain compliant and provide the best care possible?

Here at Bremmar, we’re experts in assisting Not-For-Profits, Disability and Aged Care providers with customised solutions using Microsoft Power Apps. So, if you’d like to standardise your reporting processes, automate manual workflows, and remove the stress of collecting inaccurate data, don’t miss the deadline of December 1st.

Our Offer

To assist with this transition by the deadline, Bremmar is offering a no cost Power Apps planning, scoping and consultation session as well as adding 3 hours of Power Apps support to our base package for organisations that engage our team before the end of 2022. The support hours can be used towards champion user training or any other Power Apps requirement.

Click here to learn more.

Are outdated manual processes holding your organisation back? Develop your own custom workflow solutions with Microsoft Power Apps.

NFPs, Aged Care and Disability providers are coming under extreme pressure to deliver more with less. This includes finding new ways to reduce costs, increase productivity and efficiency, and promote better staff wellbeing.

In our recent webinar, Say goodbye to ineffective manual processes with Microsoft Power Apps, we took a closer look at the Microsoft Power Platform, and how it’s helping Aged Care providers, NFP and Disability organisations digitise their business processes by rapidly turning their unique but manual processes into innovative apps.

Bremmar highlights the benefits of the Power Platform as it’s a user intuitive platform integrated with the Microsoft 365 environment and it is available at no extra cost with a M365 subscription you may already have!

Here are the key talking points from the discussion:

Key tools to Build and deploy your own custom apps with Microsoft Power Platform

Power apps

Power Apps gives Aged Care, NFP and Disability IT staff access to a low code environment to build custom mobile and web-based apps without traditional coding skills.

Using ready-made templates, it’s easier than ever for anyone who’s reasonably tech-savvy to connect data sources and build new apps from the ground up or customise existing systems to suit your organisation’s exact needs.

Power automate

A dynamic way of streamlining repetitive tasks and business processes, Microsoft Power Automate helps organisations say goodbye to time-consuming paper-based processes so they focus on their actual work. This powerful automation tool simplifies organisational processes that traditionally drag down productivity.

Along with focused data insights from Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate presents an exciting opportunity for organisations to use a single platform to streamline their systems and processes. With over 350 connections to other apps and a simple drag-and-drop interface, any organisation can digitise their business processes in no time – a surefire way to reduce costs and see a huge uptick in sustained productivity.

SharePoint

SharePoint acts as the database that enables process automation through workflows and as the central place to store the information that is inputted from Power Apps.

SharePoint is also part of Microsoft 365 subscriptions and organisations can leverage it through a developed Cloud Document Management System, an Intranet or simply as a repository of information for other Microsoft 365 applications.

Getting your staff efficiency back on track

Efficiency is critical to enhancing the customer experience. When asked about what business processes were a priority at their organisations, attendees answered:

You may be one of these organisations that are facing staffing challenges, have a need for better training, and are seeking out consistent services that comply with standards and legislation. To ensure these outcomes are achieved, minimising the amount of human involvement is key.

The customer is at the heart of everything

For care-based services, nothing is more important than the customer.

Achieving this level of care requires the use of multiple apps across a wide range of services. And as more services are delivered within the local community, developing functional apps that are accessible from anywhere is vital to minimising the time spent away from actual care.

Streamlining your IT systems

Organisations in the Aged Care, NFP and Disability sectors use a large number of specialised apps that require staff to remember different passwords, systems and processes. This inefficiency can creep all the way up to decisions at the highest levels, with time-sensitive reports and data analytics often taking days to collate and present.

This is not a productive way of delivering care to customers.

The need for newer, cloud-based apps that are mobile and integrate with your system has never been greater. With Microsoft Power Platform, care-based organisations can develop their own apps to meet their own specific needs.

Brenton Harris, Managing Director at Bremmar IT and webinar speaker explains how:

To make sure you aren’t being held back, it’s vital you choose your core applications wisely, and be confident that the apps you’ve chosen are the right ones for your organisation – they need to be accessible from anywhere and act as a single source of truth to meet the needs of your organisation.’ notes Brenton.

Seamless integration is key to driving business transformation

It’s not uncommon for line-of-business apps to be missing core functionality. And as standards change, you may require a custom tool set that your existing apps simply can’t provide.

Fully integrated with Microsoft 365, Teams and Power BI, Power Apps can read and write data from a variety of sources and apps, giving you a direct line to critical information and filling in the gaps where your line-of-business app lacks. These apps are incredibly simple and affordable to develop and enhance, allowing you to develop capabilities within your organisation as it grows.

Bremmar’s industry-tailored Power Apps

As a trusted and experienced IT partner of Aged Care providers, NFP and Disability organisations, Bremmar develops applications to remove gaps found in industry specific apps and helps organisations digitise key business processes and workflows.

By exploring commonality across a diverse collection of organisations, Bremmar has created a selection of Power Apps that solve shared problems across a broader client base, while always addressing the specific needs of each individual client.

Here are a few of those industry forced apps.

Incident reporting and management app

Designed to address compliance in the incident response process, the Incident Reporting and Management app provides an easy path to capture and instantly submit accurate incident information from a mobile device. By removing the need to remember details and lodge them later on, staff can focus on their job with the confidence and peace of mind that the right people will be notified through relevant automation and approval processes.

The app includes four key components:

  • Submission form
  • Review of unapproved incidents
  • Database of all submitted incidents
  • Detailed incident analytics

As with any Power App component, the submission form can be customised based on any organisation’s specific requirements. Photos can be included, as can diagrams for extra clarity on the incident being reported.

To automate time consuming workflows during the incident reporting process, input items can be designed to trigger particular notification responses that meet both organisational and government enforced regulations and policies, like the Aged Care Serious Incident Response Scheme SIRS initiative.

With customisable drop-down boxes that link to an active directory structure, you can mitigate the chance of inaccurate information and lower the risk of compromising data integrity, ensuring all staff are on the same page throughout the response process.

NFP & Aged Care Consultant for Bremmar and webinar speaker, Rushad Billimoria, notes how this granularity allows organisations to really drill into their data and achieve the best outcome for their customers.

The app makes it easier for staff to lodge incidents while maintaining focus on the job at hand. It provides peace of mind for management knowing that submissions will always follow the right process, always meet reporting obligations and timeframes without compromising on care.’ explains Rushad.

Other industry focused Power Apps

Alongside the flagship Incident Reporting and Management app, Bremmar has also developed a suite of care-focused apps that digitise business processes and minimise repetitive tasks for Aged Care, NFP and Disability organisations.

Digital Forms app

Microsoft’s Digital Forms app is an easy to use method of collecting data and creating a repository of key forms the organisation uses. Accessible on any web browser or mobile device, Aged Care, Disability and NFP staff can choose the form they want to use, input relevant data and action critical workflow processes to notify those assigned as approvers to specific forms.

The options here are endless. Bremmar has created a few examples of commonly used forms, including:

  • Safety audits
  • Risk assessments
  • New staff onboarding
  • Client onboarding
  • Inspection assessments
  • Cleaning reports
  • Visitor registration

For added depth and connection of data sources, the Digital Forms app collates all information into one central repository for easy access. And with additional workflows, automation, notifications, and approvals, digital forms remove the inefficiencies of paper-based processes and provide staff with a level of accuracy that was previously unheard of.

Maintenance Request app

This app helps to report and respond to maintenance issues that pose a risk to staff or customers. These types of requests are generally handled manually, making it difficult to track requests and jobs.

By digitising the maintenance response process, you can easily submit, update (including submission of images) and track requests, allowing you to control the visibility of jobs. By enabling Power BI for reporting capabilities, your organisation can discover trends and recurring issues, and uphold safer standards.

Procurement Request app

When staff members need to request approval for a new onboarding, purchase, investment or a whole host of other scenarios, the Procurement Request app is an invaluable tool for any organisation.

Lodged via PC or mobile, users can instantly supply relevant documents, include multiple items per request, and route each request directly to an appropriate manager for approval. With approval always coming from the correct cost centre and authority level, this digitised workflow is critical in tracking requests and ensuring a trail of comments can be tracked for future reference.

One great thing about all of the Power Apps is that approval requests can go straight into MS Teams within the activity button. So when approvals are requested, the approvers can simply approve them directly within Teams – an incredibly powerful and time-saving feature.’ explains Brenton.

Employee Information app

While some organisations have HR systems to record most of their employee information, many still don’t and find it difficult to have a central place to collect and store employee data.

The Employee Information app expands on the powerful database functionality of Microsoft 365 to bring all essential employee information together in one place.

This information includes:

  • Job title
  • Employee name
  • Date of Birth
  • Emergency contact
  • Car registration
  • Department
  • Email signature
  • Office location
  • Any other custom data field

By connecting information within the 365 directory with additional information, organisations can reduce overhead in managing employee information, maintain a central visible database and customise permissions to secure sensitive data.

Employee Onboarding app

Onboarding is a crucial step in setting up new employees for long term success. Bremmar’s Employee Onboarding app provides a standardised method of tracking tasks and training for all new staff.

With powerful functions that allow organisations to create a common process for all new starters, it’s easier than ever to assign due dates, create custom tasks based on department or job title, and attach any relevant documents linked to other HR areas. By maintaining a uniform, easily traceable experience, staff will receive the right training, meet the right people and get started on the right foot.

Bremmar, your Power Apps partner

Interested in learning more about how your organisation can leverage Power Apps to be able to connect different data sources, create customised digital forms, and implement effective process automation?

Here at Bremmar, we’re experts in developing custom apps and automated workflow solutions using the Microsoft Power Platform for the Aged Care, NFP and Disability sectors. Providing deep insights into your existing systems, we’ll deliver a clear roadmap towards better use of your current licensing so you can say goodbye to ineffective and unproductive manual processes.

Our offer!

We are offering a no-cost Power Apps planning, scoping and consultation session plus an added 3 hours of Power Apps support for organisations that engage our team before the end of 2022, which can be used towards champion user training or any other Power Apps requirement.

Click here to book a chat with one of our Microsoft Power Apps specialists today.

A Quiz Night by Bremmar Consulting: A Winner for the Kids of Cahoots

 

Perth, WA – Thursday night, 05/11, proved to be a winner all round for Perth based non-profit charity Cahoots, with their highly anticipated quiz night raising over $1k to support people living with disabilities and other exceptional challenges. The night was organised by Cahoots’ IT partner, Bremmar Consulting, and attracted 50 attendees to test their knowledge and wits in the leafy surrounds of the West Leederville sportsman’s club. 

An NDIS provider, Cahoots has run a variety of inclusive services, including camps, day trips, sporting events, shopping delivery and training over the last 30 years. Events such as the quiz night are one of the premier ways through which Cahoots are able to continue to operate so successfully. 

The initiative was part of another fundraising activity that Bremmar took part in – The Central Park Plunge. Paul and Brenton from Bremmar committed to raise a minimum of 2200 dollars for Cahoots by abseiling 50 floors, the equivalent of 220 meters, of the Central Park Building in St Georges Tce. All proceeds raised on the quiz night helped to reach the fundraising goal and, consequently, to sponsor 9 very deserving individuals to attend Cahoots camps and programs. 

Cahoots Office Manager & EA, Ash Ginich was the quizmaster and couldn’t be happier with the night, saying “We’re so happy with the way the entire event turned out. Firstly, we were able to raise funds for Cahoots, it’s so important that we can keep bringing hope, training and support to kids and young people around WA facing exceptional challenges. Secondly, and as an added bonus, I think we were able to raise some smiles from the big kids that attended. A big thank you to Bremmar IT for spearheading the initiative”. 

And the kids weren’t the only big winners, with the top teams and raffle draw winners taking home incredible prizes including google homes, movie passes, wine and wireless headphones donated to the cause by Perth SEO specialists Pathfinder Alliance and Bremmar IT

It wasn’t simply a quiz either. The night also included a huge BBQ spread and a variety of games and activities – from raffles to paper plane throwing competitions. “It was a really great night and we felt really lucky to be a part of it and to help raise funds for such a worthy cause,” said. Bremmar’s Managing Director, Brenton Harris.

The quiz night’s success has also opened the door to further family friendly Cahoot events. “Given the overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees and staff, as well as the incredible result, we’re sure that this will be the first of many events for us. We can’t wait!” stated Bremmar’s Marketing Manager, Gabriela Guerra.

About Cahoots

Cahoots (formerly Kids’ Camps) is a non-for-profit charity that offers services that are tailored to young people who would otherwise be constrained by regular services. Our aim is to add value to families with disabilities and create shared experiences and challenges for volunteers and young people alike.

We run a variety of programs and camps over weekends and school holidays throughout the year, catered to children and young people aged between 5 and 25. We run programs for children who are able to walk unassisted, as well as High Support Camps for those who need one-to-one support or use a wheelchair.

For more information on the charity work of Cahoots please visit: https://www.cahoots.org.au/

We are here to help NFPs!

Bremmar is a Microsoft Gold Cloud Productivity partner with 15 years’ experience in a range of Microsoft solutions. We help our NFP clients work smarter by making sure everyone is empowered with useful, intuitive technology solutions.

Whether it’s simply making it easier for team members to find files fast, or enabling collaboration across locations and multiple devices, we help organisations adopt the latest technologies to work smarter and enable a more connected and mobile workforce.

Or fill in the form and one of your consultants will get back to you! ???

Cyber Security in flexible workplaces – Webinar key takeaways

On Wednesday, 30/09, and Thursday, 01/10, we hosted two online Brekkie Power-hours covering the topic Cyber Security in flexible workplaces. Both sessions were a complete success with lots of positive feedback from participants. Zubair, our Security guru, was in charge of the presentation and responsible for translating a technical and complex topic into plain English with actionable steps. Not an easy task, but he did a great job, as usual, so we think it’s worth sharing his tips and recommendations.

Security has evolved

In the past, when we talked about security, we’d normally refer to the firewall or anti-virus and the measures you had in place for everything related to infrastructure. Nowadays, security has evolved and there are many other factors to consider with people working remotely, on their own devices and in multiple cloud services. With so many gateways for attackers to target your organisation, organisations struggle to keep on top of the new and creative ways attackers use to get through and compromise your business.

5 basic layers of protection

We have identified 5 basic layers of protection that almost every business can relate to. Focusing on these 5 layers and covering the essentials of these layers are a great start to differentiate your organisation from an easy target.

 

Zubair covered each individual layer and divided the security measures between “well-known”, such as anti-virus and anti-spam, and “not so well-known” such as enabling conditional access. He also made the analogy of security to the door that you use to protect your business. If you own a business and you get broken into, the first thing you’re probably going to look at is how they got in or what was taken, so you the first step would be changing the type of lock, put up a steel door or get a better alarm system.

The same goes for Cybersecurity – It all depends on what you’re trying to secure, how much it’s worth and how much you would like to spend keeping it safe. In each of these layers, some protection measures may be similar to that steel door that may not be required for you, however, some of the items may be that basic lock you put on the door which is the minimum security requirement.

Security essentials and advanced options

Email

Well-known

  1. Anti-Spam / Anti-Phishing – consider whaling, phishing, and spear-phishing attacks
  2. Malware Attachment Scanning
  3. Unsafe Link detection
  4. Email Domain Security (SPF/DKIM/DMARC)

Not so well-known

  1. Malicious Outlook Rule Detection
  2. Controlling security and policies for the devices that corporate emails connect to (especially for personal devices)

Web

Well-known

  1. Web Threat Protection
  2. Web Content Protection

Not so well-known

  1. Browser Management
  2.  Plug-In Management – Do you manage browsers and add-ons that are used in your organisation?

Infrastructure

Well-known

  1. Having a Corporate Application Layer Firewall.
  2. Securing your remote access into your network (Secure Gateway)
  3. System updates and vulnerability management
  4. Data Redundancy and Resiliency – are all your cloud applications backed up?
  5. Network Policy and Access Rights Management – do you keep track of third parties that have access to your data?

Not so well-known

  1. Monitoring and mitigating Software Supply-Chain Attacks
  2. Cloud Application Security

Device

Well-known

  1. Anti-Virus and Threat Protection
  2. Operating System Patch Management – Can your IT Dept report on which computers are missing patches?
  3. Vulnerability Detection and Remediation

Not so well-known

  1. Application / Software Control
  2. Peripheral Control
  3. Access Control
  4. Data Protection

User

Well-known

  1. Identity and Access Management (MFA) – This is the most effective way to improve your security.
  2. Conditional Access and Geo Blocking – Are there countries you will likely never login from?
  3. Password Management and Policy – Banning common passwords and implementing password complexity

Not so well-known

  1. Security Awareness Training – Do your users know how to spot a phishing email or how to avoid Business Email Compromise?
  2. User Risk and Sign-in Risk Management – Are your credentials on the dark web or part of a recent breach?

Download Zubair’s Security tips here!

Cyber Security with Microsoft 365

The Microsoft 365 suite offers powerful security for your environment as part of the flagship Microsoft 365 Business Premium Product, this includes conditional access, mobile device management and password protection. One of the key security components in the Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the Advanced Threat Protection for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams. This means that the software scans for malware in documents/files uploaded or shared in those apps. If you want additional security instead of paying for the expensive “all in one” license from Microsoft 365 E3 and E5, you can purchase only the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) E5 license. This is an add-on that will:

  • Upgrade your conditional access to also monitor your users for compromises on the dark web.
  • Give access to cloud app security, which allows you to map out your users’ cloud usage for services like Dropbox and Salesforce, and create policies to manage the usage of these.

When asking for a recommendation of which license your business should have, Zubair goes back to the steel door analogy. Most businesses get what they need from the Microsoft 365 Business Premium, however, if you want an extra and more advanced layer of protection, then you should consider the EMS E5 add-on. Important to remember that Not-For-Profit organisations get a large discount on Microsoft 365 licensing. If you’d like to know more about the options available, contact us and we can go through what licenses would work for you.

How Bremmar supplements Microsoft 365 security

We’d like to bring attention to the following:

 

Cyber security awareness training

  • Run a 3-month campaign to simulate phishing attacks
  • Get a report with a summary of who clicked and exposed the business to an attack
  • Receive simple training videos, emails, and infographics to educate your users

Microsoft 365 Security Assessment

  • Perform a complete Microsoft 365 security review – and beyond!
  • Get your Microsoft 365 secure score report
  • Know recommendations to improve your security and best practices

Microsoft 365 backup

  • Protect your business from data loss by human error (deletion of files)
  • Secure your business in case your data gets compromised by malware
  • Have peace of mind knowing that everything within Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive is backed-up. Same goes for G-suite.

How can we help you?

Bremmar are experts in remote working initiatives, security and digital collaboration processes. As accredited Microsoft Gold Productivity Partners, we can help you and your team leverage the power of the Microsoft 365 Stack to work smarter. We manage IT services for a number of NFP, Aged Care, Engineering, Mining and Construction organisations and understand the unique needs of these sectors. Why not set up an initial meeting to learn more? Call us on 1300 991 351 or email help@bremmar.com.au

Book a security consultation with Bremmar! ???

Book a security assessment

Office 365 became Microsoft 365 on April 21. New name, same great value, same price.

Bye-bye Office 365…

From April 21st, Office 365 becomes Microsoft 365. Everything will keep working as it did before but what appears on invoices and quotes will change.

If you’re already an Office 365 subscriber, you don’t need to do anything to start enjoying Microsoft 365. If you are considering getting Office 365, then you’ll only subscribe to its new name: Microsoft 365.

Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, explains the change:

“This is a natural evolution. Microsoft 365 began in 2017 as a licensing bundle for enterprise customers—a combination of Windows, Office, and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS). It has come a long way since then. Today, we call it “the world’s productivity cloud” and it represents our vision for the future of Microsoft productivity tools—an integrated set of apps and services that puts artificial intelligence (AI) and other cutting-edge innovations to work for you. And for small and medium-sized businesses, that includes new capabilities in Microsoft Teams to help you host rich meetings and events online; cloud file storage and sharing capabilities so you can collaborate from anywhere; and security and identity solutions to safeguard your business. At a moment when businesses are facing extraordinary health and economic challenges, we are pleased to bring our consumer and small and medium-sized business customers into this growing Microsoft 365 family.”

What’s changing?

So what’s happening to the names?

       

What options of Microsoft 365 subscription are available?

What’s included in Microsoft 365 plans:

  • Microsoft 365 Apps for business (formerly Office 365 Business) includes Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access*, Publisher*) and cloud file storage and sharing (OneDrive).
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic (formerly Office 365 Business Essentials) includes business-class email (Exchange Online, Outlook), cloud file storage and sharing (OneDrive), and a hub for teamwork with chat and online meetings (Microsoft Teams). Desktop versions of Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint not included.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard (formerly Office 365 Business Premium) includes Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access*, Publisher*), business-class email (Exchange Online, Outlook), cloud file storage and sharing (OneDrive), and a hub for teamwork with chat and online meetings (Microsoft Teams).

  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium (formerly Microsoft 365 Business) includes everything in Business Standard plus advanced security and device management capabilities for comprehensive security against cyberthreats. *Access and Publisher on Desktop only

Not on Office 365 or Microsoft 365 yet?

(Becomes Microsoft 365 Business Basic on April 21)

Check out Microsoft 365 remote productivity packages

Let’s embrace this new reality. Get your remote working journey started. ACCESS HERE our info sheet on the technology that will help you manage hassle-free remote working.

  • Teamwork hub in Microsoft 365: The collaboration essentials
  • Move your phone system to the cloud
  • Microsoft Teams training
  • Cloud Document Management in Microsoft 365 – SharePoint
  • Intranet & Team sites
  • Business Processes Automation
  • Security

We’re here to help!

We’re Microsoft Gold Productivity Partners, experts in remote working initiatives and digital collaboration processes. We can help you and your team enable critical applications in the cloud which is critical to get you ready for remote working.

We’re here to help your business thrive in 2020. If you need IT assistance, do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 991 351 or email help@bremmar.com.au

Get an initial consultation with Bremmar!

Key points out of Brekkie Power-Hour event: Exploring the communication methods within Office 365

On Thursday 06/06/19, we had our second Brekkie Power-Hour event, which are monthly events where a small group of people discuss different IT related topics (more info here). For the second session, the topic chosen was “Exploring the different communication methods within Office 365” which was one of the topics that our participants suggested during the 1st Brekkie Power-Hour.

The aim of the event was to cover the main communication apps available in Office 365, such as Yammer, Email, Intranet (SharePoint) and Teams / Skype for Business, and to present different situations and scenarios where a business would use one app over the other or a combination of them. The integration between apps and knowing when and how to properly use each app has been a constant challenge faced by our clients and, hopefully, the event and this article will help to answer some of your questions.

If you missed out, it’s OK! We’ll dig into the main points covered today.

Email 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d use emails and have a fair understanding of how this app works. It’s the most common form of communication within a corporate environment and is heavily used daily – maybe even too much!

  • Common pain points of email:

    • You receive too much clutter and some important emails might get lost
    • It’s easy to just miss emails and not read them (or leave them for later and then forget)
    • Lack of visibility of document history or projects, history trail.
    • Manually having to migrate files attached to emails to a central hub where everyone will have access
    • People trying to move away from email to messaging systems but everyone uses email, so the transition is not easy
    • If someone is sick and they have all the information related to a project or quote or event, what do you do? Everything stops until that person is back.
    • Not the most efficient way to do business – One of your participants had 400 emails in his inbox while participating at the event
    • Security issues with email being the most used method for tricking people into “accepting” viruses

There’re also the most basic and common issues such as constantly receiving spam, people replying to email just saying, “thank you” and cluttering your inbox even more and being CC’d in an email chain that you can remove yourself from.

A few discussed solutions to pain points 

Start to introduce other apps that offer some of the features you find in emails, such as messaging systems and team-based applications, i.e. MS Teams or Slack, and try to create a plan to rely less and less on emails moving forward.

You can also set up Office 365 groups related to a specific project and have all emails about that project sent there.  You don’t need to be CC’d in all communication if you don’t want to, however, everyone involved in the project can access that project mailbox whenever they need to find a document or conversation trail – no clutter!

Microsoft Yammer 

In rough terms, it’s like a corporate Facebook where you can do the same things as you can in your personal account – create groups, polls, quizzes, etc. Yammer was developed with larger businesses in mind that might have different office locations and remote workers. The aim of this app is to bring the organisation together, to introduce that feeling of being part of one entity no matter where you are or what you do.

Companies usually use to share what they are working on, such as photos, and to have discussions on less formal matters, such as the social events promoted by the company. It can also be used as a data storage tool, so if you have people taking photos and commenting on a specific project you can use that for documentation trails and audits.  

Your Yammer feed can also be embedded to your SharePoint intranet and there are ways to only show relevant company information, excluding posts about the Friday drinks if you would like.

  • Common pain points of Yammer:

    • If your business is too small there’s not much point of having Yammer for announcements or day to day posts. We would recommend a different communication method
    • It’s internal so if you need something that goes external it won’t be the right tool
    • It only works if there’s a lot of people posting interesting content. If there’s only one person posting it won’t create the right engagement

Even though we don’t use Yammer at Bremmar as we adopted other tools that suited our business better (Teams), we highly recommend it for businesses with more the 1 office location and for our construction and engineering clients which have employees working in different sites that need to report and document what they are working on.

Yammer is also an amazing tool to instil a culture of communication, collaboration and a bit of fun in your workplace!

SharePoint – Intranet

An intranet is a central hub site for employees to access and share company-wide relevant information. As we work with SharePoint for document management, we highly recommend the intranet functionality of the app too.

It was an interesting discussion we had about SharePoint and most people in the room use it for document management but haven’t yet explored the intranet side of things.

What to use it for?

  • Sharing relevant information company-wide such as mission, vision, dashboards, calendars
  • Storage documents and make them easily accessible, such as operations manuals and HR forms (leave/sick forms)
  • Have discussion boards in the homepage
  • Embed Yammer and provide one central hub for employees to keep updated on your business

There are many other uses which weren’t discussed during this event, but don’t worry. These will be discussed in future SharePoint Brekkie Power-Hour events!

  • Common pain points of SharePoint intranet:

    • Administrators usually struggle with what to put in there and what not
    • Making sure that everything that goes to SharePoint is the last and most updated version

SharePoint is getting very flashy with new templates and features. When comparing the tool to a few years ago, where it was clunky and had an unfriendly user interface, SharePoint is now looking very good, it’s modern and intuitive, plus it integrates with other Office 365 apps such as Power BI, Yammer, Teams, etc., turning this app into a very powerful one!

Microsoft Teams / Skype for Business

Not sure if you are aware, however, Skype for Business is being replaced by Teams so soon it won’t exist anymore. Why is that? Well, simple. Because Microsoft Teams was developed to be a business hub for communication, including files, calls, messenger, video conferencing and so on.

Teams is an amazing tool that you can track conversations and documents, can tag people, can link files from SharePoint, can organise meetings and do video conferences, can invite people outside your company to join a channel and collaborate, can link other apps so you access everything from one place…We can keep going and going.

  • Common pain points of Teams:

    • It’s a bit challenging to understand how far to go with Teams, when to use it, when to replace emails, etc.
    • Files uploaded to Teams will only be stored in Teams, so make sure to always link your documents from SharePoint otherwise you will have duplicates

At Bremmar, we’re big advocates for Teams. We use it heavily within our business and have benefited a lot from implementing this solution. Conversations are more efficient, fewer emails going around and just an easier and simple way to keep company discussions organised!

Our internal process

We would like to share with you how we have set up our communications apps. As mentioned earlier, there’s a few that we don’t use because we don’t see the need to, however, they might make sense for your company.

It’s recommended that you have something like the below for your business, where you clarify when and what to use depending on the situation. If you would like to develop those internal policies, please get in touch and one of our consultants can provide advice!

Platform

Communication Type and Details

Microsoft Teams

Team specific discussion/projects –Teams is the place to have any discussion that is directed to your particular team. The discussion is easily visible to the relevant team and helps to increase collaboration including sharing of ideas, feedback and keeps everyone on the same page. Use custom team tabs such as Notes or Planner to further improve collaboration within your team.

How to access:

How to keep up to date:

  • If you have the mobile or PC app open, you will be notified of new posts
  • ‘Follow’ the channel you are interested in 
  • Request the attention of particular people by typing ‘@’ then the name of the person.

Bremmar main Team Channels:

  • Admin
  • Sales and MKT
  • Service Delivery
  • Solutions
  • Special Resources

Teams IM

Individual messaging – This is a supplement to casual voice communications and used for quick questions or requesting very quick informal feedback. If the recipient is not available to answer immediately it’s OK – it’s not critical if communications are missed.

*NOT TO BE USED FOR ACCOUNTABLE COMMUNICATIONS OR NOT USE FOR STRUCTURED ITEMS THAT NEED AN ACCOUNTABLE ANSWER LIKE

  • ​Issue escalation
  • Ticket budget requests
  • Ticket direction

How to access:

How to keep up to date:

  • If you have the mobile or PC app open, you will be notified of new posts.
  • If you miss a message, you will be notified by email.

Email

Important and/or formal communications where accountability of response is required.

Suitable for general formal communications, particularly when important action/feedback is required from the recipient.

Wrapping up

There you go, the main takeaways from last week’s session. Of course that experience in person is different – we had many valuable discussion so we encourage you to come along to the next one!

We are considering changing the frequency to bi-monthly as the months are going by too quick, but we would love to hear from you – what would suit you and your business?

We would also love to hear about what topic you would like to learn about, so if you have any suggestions just send them through to marketing@bremmar.com.au

If you would an in-depth discussion about any of the apps above, or any other app that might benefit your business, please call us in for a chat on 1300 991 351 or fill in the form below and our consultants will get in touch with you!

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Book a consultation to discuss your Office 365 needs!

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Key points out of Brekkie Power-Hour event: Get value out of your Office 365 subscription

On Thursday, 02/05/19, we had our first Brekkie Power-Hour session, which are monthly 1-hour events where a small group of people discuss different IT related topics (more info here). For this first session, the topic was “The hidden gems of Office 365” and we covered some apps that most businesses already have as part of their Office 365 subscription, however, have been underutilised.

It was a great start! The event was “sold out” within a few days and we had a full house – only 10 people as we want to keep it small to maximise collaboration and learning experience. Everyone shared a bit of what they are doing in their business, the challenges they experience, and we discussed technologies they didn’t know was available to them.

If you missed out, it’s ok! We’ll dig in to the main points covered today.

Office 365

Most people have either migrated to Office 365 or are considering migrating in the near future. There are many subscription options to choose from, however, many businesses go for Office 365 Business Premium or E3. Business Premium gives you the entire Office 365 suite + Exchange + SharePoint + OneDrive + Teams and other apps. Check some Office 365 package options here.

There are many apps within Office 365 that users don’t know about and that could be leveraged to improve collaboration, productivity and efficiency within the business.

Microsoft Stream

From 10 people in the room, just 1 business used it and not many were aware of it. So, what is it?

In Nick Hughes’ words, Bremmar’s Client Manager and the presenter, it’s like a corporate YouTube account. It’s a way to record and store all sorts of videos for the organisation. You can also use it for streaming live presentations or meetings, however, at Bremmar we use Skype or Teams for that purpose. We do use Stream to record things like Lunch & Learns that need to be saved and shared with the entire company.

Example uses:

  • Onboarding / induction videos
  • Corporate events and team building videos
  • Training
  • OH&S instructions – sharing important tips with remote workers

Great features:
Stream gives you useful analytics, such as who has watched the videos. It also works in mobile devices and can be integrated with all other Office 365 apps – especially if you want to embed the latest videos or inductions on your SharePoint homepage!

Learn more about Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Planner

Similar to Trello, in a way, Planner helps you organise and plan your work across multiple teams and departments. At Bremmar, we use it for the Management Team to track quarterly KPI’s and objectives, however, it can be easily used by people who like to follow lists and tick off their daily to-do tasks.

Example uses:

  • General task planning and organisation tool
  • KPI’s and objectives across departments
  • Project management and planning with the need to assign people to different tasks

Great features:
You can integrate Planner with Microsoft Teams, which means that you can have tasks, conversations and files about a project or topic in one single location. Planner also lets you add links to SharePoint documents and OneNote Notebooks or pages, which is great if you are working on a specific task and need to find the resources related to it!

You probably have Planner with your Office 365 licence, which means that you can switch other project management / planning paid products, like Trello, to Planner and eliminate that extra monthly cost!

Learn more about Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Flow

Looking to be more efficient and be able to eliminate manual handling of data for some processes? This is for you. Automate business processes by building workflows based on triggers and actions across multiple applications.

Example uses:

  • Automate lengthy approval processes
  • Policies and procedures
  • Leave forms (or any sort of HR form)
  • Notifications and reminders
  • Compliance – reviewing documents for audits (reminders and approvals)

Great features:
The sky is the limit here. Microsoft has already developed many templates that you can just apply to your own business, however, Flow integrates with more than 200 apps making pretty much any sort of automation possible. These workflows can be created and owned only by the IT department and shared with the business or be open to every user to create their own. Information can be secured by permissions – for example, a user won’t be able to create a workflow with a document he/she doesn’t have access to.

Learn more about Microsoft Flow

PowerApps

The idea of PowerApps is to enable “non-developers” to build custom apps with minimal coding. Need something specific for your company that doesn’t yet exist? Want to create more efficient systems and processes? PowerApps can help. This is a powerful product that can help you achieve many businesses objectives, however, it’s important to keep in mind that is a slightly complex tool to get your head around and projects in this area can be sometimes costly.

Example uses:

  • Logistics
  • Incident reporting (or any sort of reporting)
  • Expense tracking (or any sort of tracking)
  • Compliance check
  • Job site inspection

Great features:
Same as Microsoft Flow, your creativity will determine your success! This powerful tool can create pretty much any sort of app, so depending on your needs you can go as simple or complex as you want. It integrates with most other Office 365 apps and it works perfectly on mobile – it even has its own mobile app.

Learn more about Microsoft PowerApps

MFA – Two factor authentication

Security should be at the core of every conversation. During the discussions, so many examples were given about security breaches and attacks that have heavily impacted some organisations. Luckily, Microsoft Office 365 has an option to add another level of security to their users. MFA stands for multifactor authentication, which means that when logging into Office 365 you also need to add a code that is sent to you by message, email or phone call.

Example uses:

  • Roll out to everyone that uses any type of mobile device (including laptops and iPads) for work purposes
  • Have a 2-step verification when signing in to your Office 365 account
  • Avoid relying solely on password protection

Great features:
What’s the point of having security solutions if people don’t use it? The great thing about MFA is that you can see who in your business has enabled it and go down to the granular level. This way, you know your business is protected. At Bremmar, it’s our policy to have MFA enabled for all employees and on all devices.

That’s it. A bit of a summary of the valuable discussions we had during the first session. This first session covered high-level points about Office 365, however, in future sessions we’ll aim to discuss specific products in more depth.

If you missed out on this one, stay tuned and be quick to book your space! Emails with the next event and invite will go out next week! For now, here’s an overview of Office 365 which adds to the points above:

O365  cta

Book a consultation to discuss your Office 365 needs!

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SharePoint: The Document Management Solution your business needs

Modern business runs on laptops, smartphones, USB drives and web hosting. There is an increasing need to manage information of all kinds and file formats, including text, images, audio and video, spread across multiple devices. If not done correctly, information can be lost, document versions confused and even leave you vulnerable to hacking.

What is a document management system?

Document Management is the use of technology to store, track and organise digital documents. It covers content creation, workflow management, file repositories, document version control, information retrieval, security and auditing.

Why does my business need a document management system?

Without a formal document management system (DMS), content is often stored in a chaotic and disorganised manner, with files scattered over multiple locations. This makes it difficult, or even impossible, for your team to share and collaborate effectively.

The growing prevalence of digital fraud, hacking and security breaches have also emphasised the need for effective data governance to safeguard the reputation of your business. But for many organisations, document management can seem like a complex and time-consuming task.

In reality, a DMS isn’t too difficult to set up when you engage an expert, and Microsoft produces a powerful application that helps make the transition easy.

Microsoft SharePoint – A complete document management solution

Microsoft’s SharePoint platform solves your organisation’s document management needs by delivering a comprehensive suite of content management features. SharePoint equips you to:

  • Store, organise and retrieve documents
  • Guarantee the consistency of your files
  • Automate workflows for document approvals
  • Secure sensitive information from unauthorised access
  • Manage and control docs and files for auditing purposes
  • Perform all of the above in or out of the office – complete mobility!

The new approach to storing, saving and sharing files

Traditionally, documents are stored in folders on employee’s hard drives or on shared servers, but this makes files difficult to locate, especially when saved using obscure file names and buried within chains of sub-folders.

With SharePoint, instead of saving into simple folders, documents are instead stored in a central repository and categorised based on selected classifications such as project, contract, client or file type. For example:

 

 

 

 

 

TThese tags are pre-defined and customisable, so users can simply select the appropriate category from a list. SharePoint’s Document Information Panel also lets users browse and edit document properties and metadata, making it quick and easy to find relevant content in the future.

SharePoint enables you to achieve consistency

There are two main SharePoint features that focus on guaranteeing document consistency: co-authoring and document version control. SharePoint co-authoring enables two or more team members to edit a document at the same time. Users can see each other’s work in real time, although any paragraph being edited is locked to the relevant user at the time. In addition, users can easily send document links so that colleagues can review or edit documents in their original storage location.

Document version control allows your team members to track changes to documents and have access to previous file revisions.

When combined, these two features enable your team members to work from the same file, in the same location and with the SharePoint document revision feature, all document versions are made available centrally.

SharePoint offers an easy way to track, automate and approve files

SharePoint introduces custom document workflows, allowing your business to establish a series of rules to automate actions. For example, when a project moves from tender to production, a workflow rule can automatically restructure the tender files for production and import relevant templates for the production stage. Another workflow rule could automatically create a task for the project manager to update the project plan.

If your business needs some simple and quick workflows, SharePoint also has some basic built-in workflows, such as document approvals or collection of signatures and feedback, for example:

Source: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Introduction-to-SharePoint-workflow-07982276-54e8-4e17-8699-5056eff4d9e3

Protect your files

SharePoint offers extensive archiving and retention capabilities, protecting your documents and ensuring files are accessible at a later date. This also supports future audit or discovery requirements and mitigates the risk of litigation.

Connect your business

Foster a culture of collaboration and creativity by promoting effective staff interaction via a central portal.

SharePoint is also a hub that makes a company’s goals and metrics visible to all employees, offering a common space to initiate discussions through forums and discussion boards.

Your document management system with you anywhere you go

Finally, SharePoint allows you to perform all of the above in or out of the office. SharePoint encourages full mobility, remote access and bring-your-own-device initiatives by providing your staff with instant access to critical business information, from any location, at any time. This means your users can open, review and edit documents at any time and on any device that is convenient for them.

Last words…

Microsoft SharePoint is designed to help you control your business’ content from document creation to archive. With SharePoint, you can seamlessly integrate enterprise content management into your business processes, eliminating ad hoc activities and protecting yourself from regulatory and compliance risks.

To learn more about how SharePoint can boost your organisation’s productivity, call Bremmar today on 1300-991-351 or email help@bremmar.com.au.

SharePoint Q&A call to action

Discover how SharePoint can help your business

Many businesses are missing out on the benefits of SharePoint simply because they don’t understand it as a solution, or think it’s just “too difficult”. We don’t blame you. Most of the information available about SharePoint is technical and complex, which makes everyone think twice before even considering SharePoint as a document management and intranet solution. At Bremmar, we are advocates of SharePoint and have been using it for years. We consider SharePoint a powerful tool and highly recommend it to our clients.

If your business has or is migrating to Office 365, you will probably have SharePoint included in your package. This simple guide includes the main features of the platform you can understand what SharePoint is and how the main features work, and, most importantly, see how it can help your business.

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is an intranet and document management solution. It has been designed to make it easy for your staff to store and access key information, such as company objectives, metrics and files. As a Microsoft product, SharePoint is an information hub which is fully compatible with a range of devices and can be delivered onsite or via cloud. It is a flexible solution for information and data management, and can be fully tailored to meet your business requirements.

Why use SharePoint?

SharePoint simplifies the day-to-day employee workflow, facilitates content distribution and contribution, and provides a 360° view of business critical information, anytime, anywhere and on any device. It gives the business and teams wide visibility to milestones, goals and achievements, resulting in quicker, smoother and more informed decision-making processes.

SharePoint is a powerful filing system that also includes project management capabilities, document control, workflows, approvals and sites (pages) created for specific teams, departments or projects.

Benefits of SharePoint

  • High chances of already having SharePoint through your Office 365 account
  • Enables and simplifies the move to a paperless environment
  • Enhances collaboration with a centralised content hub
  • Saves your business time with search fields and discussion boards
  • It is a cost-effective solution
  • Facilitate business workflows, with automation, rules and alerts
  • Access all documents and images seamlessly on any platform/ device
  • Extranet sites to share information with stakeholders
  • Protect information with document-level permissions.

Key SharePoint Features

Easily collaborate with colleagues and share work:

It is simple for teams to find and use key documents:

Track changes and access all document versions:

Seamlessly access company documents and images on any platform/ device:

Simple to administer and navigate:

Is SharePoint right for your business?

Are you ready to find some more information? Download our straightforward, plain-English SharePoint guide to dig deeper into the solution. With demo images and easy to understand descriptions, you will be able to evaluate if this solution is what your business is looking for!

Download the SharePoint guide to get:

  1. The eight main SharePoint features and how they can be applied to your business.
  2. Simple, straightforward, plain-English and jargon-free descriptions and info.
  3. See SharePoint in action with real images of the tool so you can understand key features and benefits.
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Why SharePoint with Bremmar?

We are a certified Microsoft partner with more than 10 years’ experience in a range of Microsoft solutions. Our Perth SharePoint consultants are highly experienced in helping businesses in Perth, and around Australia, with intranet and document management solutions. We can help you at any stage of your SharePoint project and can take care of the design, implementation, management and/ or support of your company portal.

Are you ready to find out more about SharePoint and how Bremmar can help your business? Get in touch with our consultants today on 1300 991 351 or email help@bremmar.com.au to arrange your personalised demonstration.

 

How Microsoft OneNote has helped me to be more efficient and organised at work.

I’ll start this article with an honest confession. Even though I’m part of the “IT world”, I’m not the most tech savvy person… I struggle with the jargon and technicalities, and definitely experience all the typical frustrations felt by those who are not “techy”. Thankfully, Bremmar has introduced me to a new approach to IT.

Since starting at Bremmar, I’ve experienced our consultant’s enormous levels of patience and ability to explain everything in plain English. This has made my IT journey far less stressful. I even find IT interesting, often discovering solutions and technologies to help me with my work and personal life!

The point to my story? To talk about OneNote. My colleagues have been advocates of this product for a long time, often talking about how it makes their work so much easier (our MD even wrote an article about it – read it here). I refused to try it though, as I thought it was just another techy thing that I would find complicated and end up wasting time trying to understand.

Guess what? I was wrong. I was convinced to give OneNote a chance and now it has become an essential tool to perform my work. I’ve even started using it in my personal life.

Let me share my experience with you…

OneNote is already installed in Windows PCs and it’s free!

You are probably reading this and not aware that you already have it installed. OneNote was included in Office 2010, so if you have a Windows PC is a high chance you already have it.

From registering to downloading the app on different devices, it’s pretty straight forward. Everyone uses apps on our phones and tablets, and OneNote is no different.

Simply go to your Apple or Google store, select the app, add your login and password and OneNote is ready to go on the devices you want.

Some more bonuses? It’s free and it automatically syncs in all devices whenever you make a change.

It’s easy to get your head around

You can have as many Notebooks as you want, and within each Notebook add as many tabs as you please. Within each tab, you can also have as many pages as you need. This is how it will look:

Image source: https://blogs.office.com/2013/11/12/top-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-onenote/

The structure makes it easy to organise your content. It helps to have all the bits and pieces of a project or research in one place and visually organised.

Take more than just notes

Stressing about capturing all the information at your next big meeting? You don’t have to worry with OneNote on your side. You can record audio or video inside the OneNote app without any third-party tool.

Image source: https://blogs.office.com/2013/11/12/top-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-onenote/

 

If something of high importance comes up while you are recording, you can highlight it by writing a small note and a play button will appear next to it. This means that once pressed, you can play the audio from the point in the meeting when you took the note.

Image source: https://blogs.office.com/2013/11/12/top-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-onenote/

Taking a quick note

You don’t even need have OneNote open all the time to use it. If you are in a rush and want to add something quick to your notes, just press Windows+N and a small window will appear for you to write your notes.

Add files to your notes

Personally, I love the easy file drag and drop feature. You can’t forget a file that relates to your note if it’s attached to it!

Image source: https://blogs.office.com/2014/07/29/onenote-for-mac-and-ios-get-dressed-for-business-and-school/

Add notes to your notes

There two great ways to add notes to your notes:

  1. Reading

OneNote can read your handwritten notes and automatically convert them to text (I know…amazing!).

Image source: https://blogs.office.com/2013/11/12/top-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-onenote/

2. Writing

By using the draw feature you can highlight, circle, comment… do whatever you want to yours, or someone else’s notes. If you are on a tablet, choose Draw with Touch to make it easier.

Image source: https://blogs.office.com/2013/11/12/top-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-onenote/

Extract notes from images

OneNote not only takes notes for you, but can also help to copy or extract notes from other sources. If you have images with notes and don’t want to waste time rewriting them, that’s easily fixed. Just press the Copy Text from Picture and voila!

Image source: http://www.ubergizmo.com/articles/onenote-tips-and-tricks/

Add screenshots to your notes

If you work with two screens this option is for you. Just click on the Insert tab, choose Screen Clipping and you can choose what you screen shot. It will automatically be added to your notes.

Send your notes

Have you finished attaching, copying, drawing and using all the functionality mentioned above? Well, it’s time to share it. Easy! You can share a single page or the entire notebook. Depending on your OneNote version, you can click the “+” button on the right hand side of the screen or click on File – Share, where you will see different sharing options.

Image source: https://blogs.office.com/2014/07/29/onenote-for-mac-and-ios-get-dressed-for-business-and-school/

Never miss a source

If you are like me and do a lot of research, you don’t want to have messy notes and end up forgetting where you found “such and such” information. OneNote helps by automatically adding sources when anything is copy and pasted from the web.

Image source: http://www.ubergizmo.com/articles/onenote-tips-and-tricks/ 

Get help with calculations

That’s right. If you are writing some notes on a project and need to do some calculations, you don’t need to open another app. Just add your equation, put the equal sign and press space.

 

Image source: https://blogs.office.com/2013/11/12/top-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-onenote/ 

If this option is too simple and your project involves more complex calculations, OneNote can still help. Insert or build your own calculation by selecting Insert – Equation, then clicking Insert New Equation.

Image source: https://blogs.office.com/2013/11/12/top-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-onenote/

Tag and organise your work

Have a big to-do list? Need to define priorities? Waiting on approvals? Breathe… and organise your work. OneNote has many different tags to differentiate your notes. For example, I love writing to-do lists and ticking them off.

If I have an idea, but am too time poor to execute it, I record it and add a tag to revisit it next quarter. Same as if I go on holidays, I categorise my notes so they are easy for me to understand and execute when I’m back. There are so many options!

Just right click on the content you want to tag and choose your option:

The must-have shortcut

Go to your one of your notes and add a [[ (open bracket), then a sentence, then ]] (close brackets). What happened? Yes, it created a link and a new page for your sentence. This is extremely useful when doing a research or working on a project that will require many different pages.

One Note just keeps on making work life quicker and easier…

Protect your notes

Security is crucial when it comes to business information. If you’re working on a project or research and some of the content is confidential, you can add passwords for protection. Simply right click on the page (tab) you would like to protect and choose “Password Protect This Section” in the context menu.

Sync your OneNote to Office 365

If your business has an Office 365 plan, or uses SharePoint or OneDrive, you can create, sync and share your notebooks between all the business accounts on any device, at any time!

Some final thoughts…

OneNote is a powerful tool that can help you organise your work and tasks.  I doubt you read this article and didn’t go “WOW” at least once.

OneNote is capable of even more, but this is just a summary of how I use it and what I consider the most useful features for a “beginner”.

So, there it is… A solution to help you organise your work without blowing your budget or having to be a tech master!

If you would like more tips and advice on how to make your business more productive and effective with solutions like OneNote and Office 365, our consultants can help. We can evaluate your systems and recommend solutions that will suit your current and future needs.

Just give us a call on 1300 991 351 or email help@bremmar.com.au and one of our team will discuss your requirements with you. In plain English, I promise.