Uptake Digital https://www.uptakedigital.com.au Upgrade your managed IT Mon, 17 Dec 2018 22:01:47 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/cropped-facebook_profile-32x32.png Uptake Digital https://www.uptakedigital.com.au 32 32 122134113 Inside Office 365 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2018/inside-office-365/ Mon, 17 Dec 2018 22:01:47 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1742 No internet connection? No problem! #Office365 lets you access and edit documents from anywhere, anytime — online or offline.

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No internet connection? No problem! #Office365 lets you access and edit documents from anywhere, anytime — online or offline.

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Could Your Business Survive the Next Hurricane Harvey? https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2018/could-your-business-survive-the-next-hurricane-harvey/ Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:01:24 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1739 Would your business have survived Hurricane Harvey or Irma? Take the time to craft a disaster plan that protects your employees, your data and your company’s future. Read More…

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Would your business have survived Hurricane Harvey or Irma? Take the time to craft a disaster plan that protects your employees, your data and your company’s future.

Read More…

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Office 365 Helps One Man Scale His Brand https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2018/office-365-helps-one-man-scale-his-brand/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 22:00:59 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1736 Uptake Digital understands how important it is for small businesses to have productivity tools that let them do their best work. These tools need to always be up-to-date. They also need to have the information that matters most to you, available and accessible--anywhere, anytime.
We're excited to show you how #Office365 does this for Bryce McDonald, a solo entrepreneur who relies on an extensive network of vendors and partners to help him scale Day1 Wake, his wakesurf board-making business, out to the world. No matter your business or industry, we can help you work easily and flexibly, just like Bryce. Check it out!

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Uptake Digital takes a deeper look at how Microsoft Office 365 helps Bryce McDonald, a solo entrepreneur who runs Day1 Wake, a wakesurf board-making business, scale his home-based business out to the world. Office 365 helps Bryce get the job done because it is always-up-to-date, letting him work easily and flexibly, whether he is in the office or wakesurfing on the lake. Contact us today to find out how we can help you do the same.

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Office 365 Spreads One Man’s Love for the Lake to the World https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2018/office-365-spreads-one-mans-love-for-the-lake-to-the-world/ Wed, 05 Dec 2018 06:00:08 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1721 Check out this video from Microsoft. It highlights Bryce McDonald, a solo entrepreneur who runs a wakesurf board-making his business called Day1 Wake. As a one-man shop, Bryce relies heavily on #Office365 to effectively manage the vendor and customer relationships that help him scale his home-based business out to the world. Because Office 365 is with him wherever he goes, Bryce never misses a beat--without sacrificing the thing that matters to him most--his family.
Office 365 gives Bryce the power and flexibility he needs to scale his small business operation of one. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you do the same.

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In this video Uptake Digital takes a look at how Microsoft Office 365 helps solo entrepreneur Bryce McDonald tap into the power of the cloud to manage the vendor and customer relationships that help him scale his home-based wakesurf board-making his business, Day1 Wake, out to the world–without sacrificing the thing that matters to him most–his family. Contact us today to find out how we can help you do the same.

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Do you need to Backup Office 365? https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2017/need-backup-office-365/ Fri, 06 Oct 2017 05:25:28 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1622 One of the questions that is on the mind of businesses and their service providers today is whether or not you need to backup Office 365. The answer may not be a simple one. For some businesses, the data in Office 365 might not be important enough to require backing up. Alternatively, they may have […]

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One of the questions that is on the mind of businesses and their service providers today is whether or not you need to backup Office 365.

The answer may not be a simple one. For some businesses, the data in Office 365 might not be important enough to require backing up. Alternatively, they may have a mail continuity service or line of business application that manages email retention for them.

Assessing the Risk

The immediate risks of data loss in the cloud may not be immediately apparent. After all, Microsoft is a big company and they must be taking care of my data right?

Yes they are. Unfortunately its limited and its possible to permanently lose data in the Office 365 ecosystem.

The graph outlines common data loss sources from a SaaS (cloud) report by the Aberdeen Group.

What is the cost of data loss?

 In 2012, Seagate estimated that $40 million is lost annually on data loss events.  According to an Aberdeen research study, the average company loses $163,674 in unused labor and lost revenue for each hour of downtime due to data loss. – Shadow Protect Blog

What backup does Office 365 Currently have?

The short answer is none.

Office 365 exchange has 99.9% uptime guarantee (as we proudly boast on our website). This only means that your email will be almost always available, it doesn’t have anything to do with backup or retention.

How about Sharepoint and Onedrive for Business?

Sharepoint is a little bit better in the sense it has a recycle bin for accidental deletions. Its still possible for both users and admins to permanently delete data in sharepoint, which means the malicious insider could delete critical business documents forever.

How important is the Data?

Whenever you are deciding on a backup strategy, you have to make a business decision on how important the data is. For example, you may have a business case where if you lost any or all of the data, it would have little to no business impact. This is a common situation for pre-launch companies who don’t have any important customer or business information.

On the other hand, an established business that relies on email for communication internally and with customers may have critical data that needs to be protected. Depending on the size and industry of the business, there may be regulatory requirements that dictate retention of emails within the organisation.

Decision Time

If you are storing information in office 365 exclusively where there is no other copy anywhere else, then it’s very likely you need to assess whether Office 365 backup is right for you.

There are currently many vendors out there offering backup solutions, and the one that’s right for you will depend on a number of factors. For example, some software suites (like skykick) back up into your own Microsoft Azure storage in the cloud, while others backup into Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Please leave a comment below and let me know if this article was helpful or not.

Images and statistics in this article were provided by Skykick.

Customers can learn more in our knowledge base. https://uptakedigital.zendesk.com/hc/en-us

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Will ANZ’s Bold New Move Set it up to be the New Industry Leader? https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2017/will-anzs-bold-new-move-set-new-industry-leader/ Sat, 06 May 2017 05:27:25 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1626 Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/contactbrenton/videos/721785581335009/ ANZ Bank announced in the Financial Review this week that it’s throwing out the old corporate structure, and is instead structuring itself like a technology company like Google or Facebook. What is remarkable about this move is that there will be no pilot. The decision is made and from 2018, ANZ will go from seven […]

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Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/contactbrenton/videos/721785581335009/

ANZ Bank announced in the Financial Review this week that it’s throwing out the old corporate structure, and is instead structuring itself like a technology company like Google or Facebook.

What is remarkable about this move is that there will be no pilot. The decision is made and from 2018, ANZ will go from seven to eight layers of hierarchy to agile teams with two levels below the CEO.

Above I have used the powerful image of the Berlin wall to represent this. Although our big 4 banks are amongst the most profitable in the world, they largely exist in aseparate reality to the the day to day struggle of their customers.

What does this all mean?

By moving to Agile teams organised around solving customer problems, ANZ Bank will dramatically speed up its ability to change and adapt to changing customer expectations.

instead of having departments that are heavily specialised and functions and heads of those things, you organise yourself aroundcustomer outcomes. – ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott

Another major advantage Agile will bring to ANZ is this idea of delivering value to the customer early. The best way i have ever seen this explained is from a slide deck that spotify used to explain the concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Will it work?

I believe it will. ING made a similar move about 2 years ago and they have enjoyed a 30% increase in employee engagement and productivity. They modeled their bank on the structure of Spotify.

The reality is every organisation is going to have to make this shift away from its bureaucracy, to alternative operating models. The world is moving too fast, and the competition has never been fiercer for both talent and customers.

Almost two thirds of Australian employees consider themselves to be emotionally detached from their employer, and so they just do the bare minimum. – SMH

Over to you

What do you think? Will this bold new move pay off for ANZ? Leave your comments below and tell me what you think.

Source: http://www.afr.com/business/banking-and-finance/anz-blows-up-bureaucracy-as-shayne-elliott-takes-the-bank-agile-20170428-gvumc2

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Disruption Survival: Stop Selling “Technology” https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/disruption-survival-stop-selling-technology/ Mon, 19 Sep 2016 08:25:01 +0000 http://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1171 I was recently asked for comment from one of Australia’s top industry magazines, CRN, after attending CRN Pipeline Conference for ICT leaders. I heard from the top leaders at companies like Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Amazon and Telstra that were sharing the keys to success in the business of IT. Here is what I said; My takeaway […]

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I was recently asked for comment from one of Australia’s top industry magazines, CRN, after attending CRN Pipeline Conference for ICT leaders.

I heard from the top leaders at companies like Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Amazon and Telstra that were sharing the keys to success in the business of IT.

Here is what I said;

My takeaway was clear, we as an industry need to make sure we are talking about business solutions, not amazing product features. As Stephen Parker puts it

“Painting business pictures with an IT brush” @sjkparker

Differentiation: SMBs IT providers should almost never sell commodity products

If you are a small business, you cannot compete with commodity products.

Let’s dive into a fictional example;

You are a small business who sells iphone cables to your customers. It costs you $5 to sell a cable to a customer, but you can sell that cable for $25.

One day, people start buying their cables on eBay. They can buy 3 iPhone cables for $1, delivered to their door. For you to do the same, you would need to charge at least $50 to remain profitable.

Now, instead of competing with ebay on price, you decided to offer a power solution to your business customer. You sell a package where the customer gets a power bank, 3 cables, unlimited replacement cables, free power bank replacement and free monthly backup of your iphone for $29 a month.

It might work, it might not, but its got 100x better chance of working than selling something the same, just more inconvenient and expensive.

 

Are you trying to play with the giants

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants. – Isaac Newton

Too many providers are out there trying reinvent the wheel to improve margins. I have spoken to a number of small businesses that proudly say “we host our own exchange server in house, we make awesome margins on it”

Ok, firstly, you don’t. So much time went into building the solution up, maintaining it, backing it up, power, emotional energy etc and you have like 500 customers on it. Say you can get $20 a mailbox for the service, you are generating $10k a month revenue. This quickly disappears in the first major downtime event where murphys law reigns supreme.

Imagine, some gun IT consultant (let’s call him Brenton) comes along and asks what the hell are you doing? For $30 a month, I can get you E3 licences that do email, but also include message encryption, 100% known malware detection, desktop office, 24×7 support, 99.9% SLA and all the cloud apps of Office 365. Hell if you don’t want the extra security or apps, the licences are $5 a piece.

Now, if the consultant has communicated the value proposition well enough (maybe using the dog picture above), the customer is going to change pronto to the new solution. Worse of all, they are going to realise that you have them on an inferior solution and may even have grounds to sue (depending on the circumstances, I’m not a lawyer)

Changing Focus

What if you spent all that time, energy, money, effort in building your solution stack on-top of Office 365, instead of trying to replace it?

Keep your focus fixed on getting the best customer outcome and figure out the smartest way to get there.

My ambition is to build up a strong suite of training materials and become the thought leader in leveraging these tools. I want customers to have the same superpowers I do so I can watch them delight their customers in ways they never thought possible.

 

Conclusion

It’s time to be a business consultant again. Stop showing your amazing technical prowess and start talking about business problems and business solutions. The tech is your super power that gives you the 10x + advantage over all the other consultants without it.

“There are no technology problems, there are only business problems with technology solutions.”

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Innovation:The Risk of Inaction is Larger Than The Risk of Action https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/innovation-risk-of-inaction/ Fri, 19 Aug 2016 08:00:51 +0000 http://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1166 It has been said that the day before something is truly an innovation, it’s a crazy idea. if its not a crazy idea, its an incremental improvement, not a true innovation. Currently we have councils who are playing it safe and making small incremental improvements. The question that is not being asked today is; what […]

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It has been said that the day before something is truly an innovation, it’s a crazy idea. if its not a crazy idea, its an incremental improvement, not a true innovation.

Currently we have councils who are playing it safe and making small incremental improvements. The question that is not being asked today is; what is the risk of not innovating? what is the risk of not thinking differently?

 

Risk vs Reward

Put simply, decisions are made using this formula, risk vs reward. Reward being a positive outcome and risk being the potential negative outcomes.Traditionally speaking, in order to get a higher reward, you must take more risk. As people tend to be more critical of failure than praising of success, we as humans have successfully built up a culture where governments won’t take any risk, thus get almost no reward for their efforts.

 

Understanding Risk

The calculation of risk is far from something humans can be considered good at. For example, studies show that in the stock market, index funds (investing broadly across the economy) out-perform managed funds (where a person picks stocks for you) just about every time.No one knows what will happen in the future (not even me!), so we base all our decisions on data and experience of what happened in the past. The danger of this is that many of the problems of the past aren’t the problems of the future.

 

Experience is the enemy of Innovation

Let me clarify here, not all experience is the enemy of innovation, but rather using it as your sole basis for decision making it.

When people talk about experience, they are generally trying to tell people they can predict the future. For example, an experienced police officer with 20 years experience in violent crime, may be able to identify early when a violent incident is about to take place. This experience is extremely useful in dangerous situations, but maybe not as useful in helping you buy a house for example.To help take experience bias out of the equation, Eric Ries proposes a new form of accounting specifically tailored for testing new ideas. Its called innovation accounting and centres around getting data from the present, rather than getting it from the past.

 

Innovation Accounting

The basis of innovation accounting is that all the information you need about an idea, product or service exists outside the room you’re sitting in. Organisations who make decisions about the future without first testing those assumptions, are the ones who are making the biggest blunders in business today.

Working Example

We have recently had a roll out of Green Bins in Bendigo. There was a decision, then a trial and soon there will be 10’s of thousands of bins deployed in bendigo.Using the innovation accounting framework above, lets see how a startup would approach this problem. Lets start with a key assumption; people will use the green waste bins for their food scraps. To test this assumption, we might do the following;

  1. Build: Target a group of 50 random houses and deploy green bins with instructions
  2. Measure: Pick up the bins in 2 weeks and measure what percentage of the bins had food scraps in them.
  3. Learn: x% of bins did not contain food scraps. Lets contact those houses and find out why

This process is different to a trial because you are trying to test an assumption, not the validity of the program. The results of tests like these might have discovered that people don’t like having another bin in their house and refuse to use it for that reason.That information would help tremendously when making a decision. Note, this was about gathering data from a real world experiment, not leaning on past experience to inform decision making.

 

Conclusion

We need to start taking risks and innovating in the local government arena. This does not mean throwing money at things that look like they will be the future, it’s about really finding out how people behave and what they really want.Together, lets bring innovation into council and start getting massive rewards, not just small ones here and there.

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Disruption Survival! The Daily Habit That Will Make You Successful https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/disruption-survival-daily-habit-will-make-successful/ Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:55:10 +0000 http://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1131 When I talk to business owners and I’m trying determine whether they are going to make it through the disruption thats before them, I look for certain traits in their business. Is the business dedicated to the customer? Do they currently make most of their money with a product or service someone can do better […]

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When I talk to business owners and I’m trying determine whether they are going to make it through the disruption thats before them, I look for certain traits in their business.

  • Is the business dedicated to the customer?
  • Do they currently make most of their money with a product or service someone can do better and cheaper than they can?
  • Is the business agile, can it respond quickly to customer demand?
  • Is the business got the skills internally or is it full of soon to be redundant workers?

While I could dedicate this post to how i determine the viability of enterprises in a post-industrial economy, I thought I would instead talk about the traits of the leaders in these companies.

 

What about People?

As I look through my own client list and look at the real A players, there are a number of key things that shine through.

  • Understands playing it safe is riskier than moving to the edges.
  • They offer something unique to the marketplace
  • Is almost religiously customer centric, obsessed with the customer experience, not just customer service
  • They face challenges head on and embrace solutions.
  • They continually add value and innovate

But there is one trait that stands out above everything else I’ve said here.

Its the drive and lifelong decision to self educate.

Not convinced? Warren Buffett reportedly spends about 80% of his day reading, Bill Gates’s mother had to institute a rule: no books at the dinner table and Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read a book every two weeks.

Author and self-made millionaire Steve Siebold has interviewed more than 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people over the past three decades and has noted that  reading for self-education is a common thread among them.

Now don’t get this mixed up with intelligence or how ever you decide to define it. Self education is a conscious and concerted effort to be better today than you yesterday and the day before.

So the next time you are whinging to someone about how conditions are tough and how you can’t make any money in this economy, ask yourself when was the last time you read a book on the subject.

 

Examples of Reading Materials

Here are some common situations and some books you can read

  • Innovation is too expensive and doesn’t work in larger organisations – The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  • My product isn’t selling well but I spend a lot of money on advertising- Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  • My competitors are too strong and I’m too small- Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim
  • I find it difficult to build relationships – How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie
  • I don’t have time to read books – 80/20 rule? 7 Habits of highly effective people?

 

I do not subscribe to the theory that I can’t do X because I am X. You can’t do X because you have never made the effort to learn and practice X.

And just in case you’re wondering, the photo in the header is from reddit. It shows an artist’s first work 13 years ago and one they have recently completed.

Now go learn something!

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Cafe’s suck! Watch me Disrupt Them With My Vision For The B2B Coffee Innovation Centre! https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/cafes-suck-watch-disrupt-vision-b2b-coffee-innovation-centre/ Sun, 19 Jun 2016 11:28:18 +0000 http://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1155 I don’t know about you, but most cafes I’ve been to are rather average. They all sell good coffee, most sell good food and they all have the same business model. So rarely is there a compelling reason to walk to the other side of the CBD to visit a certain coffee place. Most business people meet at […]

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I don’t know about you, but most cafes I’ve been to are rather average. They all sell good coffee, most sell good food and they all have the same business model.

So rarely is there a compelling reason to walk to the other side of the CBD to visit a certain coffee place. Most business people meet at the place which closest to the client and meets their minimum standard of quality.

Now there are some exceptions here; one of my favourites is Get Naked Espresso Bar who only sell coffee. Its an idea that really appeals to people with the mindset of “I don’t want the 80% coffee, I want the best money can buy”

 

Get Naked Espresso Bar – Overview [Promotional Video] (2016) from Hebron Films on Vimeo.

 

Understanding The Customer

So much business is started and closed in cafes all around the country. At the moment, there is not one cafe in Bendigo who provides a solution tailored to these customers.

As one of these businesses, here are the main problems I would like to see addressed.

  • Feeling of importance: I would like to be able to book in a table for a meeting where I can pre record the client’s first name. When we arrive, I would like to see someone say “Hi Brenton and Peter, we have been expecting you. We have the best table reserved over here for you”. Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
  • Money changing hands: At the end of every meeting, there is always a decision about who will pay. Imagine at the end of your meeting, someone came over and said “Thats been taken care for you Brenton and Peter”. Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
  • Meet People: When was the last time you meet someone in a coffee shop? It probably doesn’t happen all that often. Imagine there was a designated business networking space where business and go and meet new businesses? Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
  • Theming/Community: Imagine everything was themed for business, a wall of business cards, regular business events, maybe even a coworking space on the top floor? Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?

Now feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below about problems you have with the current system.

Revenue Model

The revenue model I would be pushing would be a membership model

  • $xx per month includes X amount of coffees, access to members wall, access to monthly events, access to online forums, co-working hours etc etc.
  • Corporate sponsorship packages include x amount of staff, coffees, naming rights on a custom beverage etc etc.

If you can create a high enough value community, the amount you charge will have nothing to do with how many coffees you sell them. The value comes from the other businesses you have in the community and your ability to help them be more successful in business.

Other sources of revenue could come in government grants, Headline sponsorship, employment incentives etc. I could see something like this be fully funded before a single coffee is sold.

  In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible. – Seth Godin

Why most people won’t build my idea

This is an idea that lives on the edges. Most people are happy being average, playing it safe and doing what everyone else does. My challenge to you; If you want to be remarkable you need to embrace the concept of “edgecraft”.

Don’t be A place a most people find interesting, be THE place your specific customer considers essential.

 

Your Turn

Tell me what you think of this idea, is it something you think will work. Is it close enough to the edges to matter? Is it remarkable?

How would you do it differently?

 

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