A M Exclusive Blog

Practices in Microsoft Teams That Can Help Improve Communications

Our business suffered a significant decline due to COVID-19 since the majority of our revenues right now come from people printing and copying in the office. We were very fortunate that, between planned retirements and leveraging government programs and grants, we have been able to keep our entire team together. I came across this proverb about a year ago, and it has been our mantra throughout this trying time: when fishermen cannot go to sea, they mend nets. One of the “nets” we have been mending has been improving our internal company communications using Microsoft Teams. Before the pandemic, we rarely had meetings amongst each other and often worked on our own tiny “islands.” This shifted last summer when we created a Team for each of our main groups (Service, Administration, and Sales & Marketing). Below are a few of the practices we implemented:

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Learning to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

A few years back, I was at a business networking event, discussing what was going on in my business at the time, and I will never forget the words of advice given to me: “You need to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Part of my personality drives me towards trying to reach perfection. It was not until I accepted perfection as untenable that I stumbled upon greater understandings of how to maintain being at ease. I am thankful for hearing this advice years in advance of 2020. It gave me some time to practice before facing the challenges that the year brought (and continues to bring into 2021).

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Two Solutions to Get Executives Better Internet Access to Their Homes

Nothing is more frustrating when working from home than a bad internet connection.  And as an IT leader, nothing is more frustrating than colleagues blaming you for their bad internet! One of our trusted partners, VNET Solutions, has been helping their clients save the day with executives using the following solutions:

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Reaching The Balance of Working Remotely & In The Office

Long before the pandemic hit, the debate of the merits of working remotely versus being in the office was an ongoing saga in our company.  Me being from the millennial generation, and my business partner and father being of the boomer generation, we found it difficult to see eye to eye. In many ways, our experiences are so different from each other.  I grew up with the computer. As a preteen and teenager, a large portion of my interactions with my friends was online. Compared to those of the boomer generation,
who were adults when interacting on the computer with others became a regular occurrence.

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4 Tips To Follow When Finally Cleaning Your Network Closet

Do you cringe every time you walk into your network closet?  If so, you’re not alone. “Cable management porn” is a real thing (and don’t worry, a Google search won’t turn up anything your firewall should be blocking!). Our IT Engineers have been down the network closet organization road many times, so we have some tips if you finally want to tackle this project. With an unprecedented number of people working from home right now, you may never find a better time than now—other than if you move—to address this issue.

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Top Laser Printer Repair Companies in NYC to Contact Instead of the Manufacturer

When you have an issue with a laser printer in your office, it is not always easy to know whom to call, so many fall into the trap of contacting the manufacturer directly. Unfortunately, this can lead to spending hours in a bureaucratic maze.

If you have a business-class laser printer, you can avoid this time trap by directly contacting manufacturer authorized service partners. Such companies will send a service technician to your office to resolve your printer issue.

See below for top laser printer repair companies that provide service in NYC that you can contact, listed by the brand of equipment serviced:

HP LaserJet Printer Repair:
A M Exclusive Business Machines, Inc.
https://www.amexclusive.com/hp-printer-repair-nyc
Call 718-690-2044 Ext. 1 For Service

Brother Laser Printer & Fax Repair:
Ardito’s Business Machines
https://www.arditos.com/
Call 516-927-8393

Canon Laser Printer Repair:
All Nations Office Machines and Supplies, Inc.
http://www.allnations.net/
Call 718-268-9070

Epson Laser Printer Repair:
Ardito’s Business Machines
https://www.arditos.com/
Call 516-927-8393

Xerox Phaser Printer Repair:
A M Exclusive Business Machines, Inc.
https://www.amexclusive.com/xerox-printer-repair-nyc
Call 718-690-2044 Ext. 1 For Service

Dell Laser Printer Repair:
ABS Automation, Inc.
http://www.absfaxandcopier.com/
Call 347-638-2329

Konica Minolta Laser Printer Repair:
Executive Color Systems Inc.
https://www.executivecolor.com/
Call (212) 302-3555

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Using Microsoft 365 Tools to Create NY Forward Health Screening Process

There are so many tools in Microsoft 365 that you are likely not tapping into all of the resources available at your fingertips.

An exercise to develop a procedure to satisfy the New York Forward Health Screening requirement unveiled what is possible when combining Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Forms, and Flow.

See below for a step by step process for how we are performing our Employee & Visitor health assessments electronically using these tools. Even if you have something else set up already, this could spark an idea to make it more efficient/effective, or unveil methods that may open the door to improve other processes.

In order to use this process you must have a Microsoft 365 Business Account [ If you don’t have one and are interested in getting one for your small business, contact us!]

  1. Set up a Form using Microsoft Forms (forms.office.com) The New York Forward guidelines include the minimum questions you should be asking.   See below to access links to the templates we have put together for Employees and Visitors to save you time.
    CLICK HERE FOR ACCESS TO MICROSOFT FORMS TEMPLATES FOR EMPLOYEE & VISITOR  HEALTH SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRES
  2. Set up a shared mailbox in Microsoft Outlook for responses to the Health Screening forms to go.

  3. Set up a Microsoft Flow (flow.microsoft.com) so that depending upon the answers to the form you created, an e-mail will be sent to the shared mailbox saying “ACCESS GRANTED” or “ACCESS DENIED” with the person’s name and the time stamp. You will need to set up a separate flow for the Employee and the Visitor form:
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Temperature Screening Systems To Satisfy New York Health Screening Assessment Requirement

Health screening assessments are a requirement for businesses re-opening in Phase 1 of New York Forward. A suggested method to achieve the need is to perform a “temperature check” of people entering your workplace. 

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PPP Loan Forgiveness Worksheet for Small Businesses

Greetings, fellow business leader! If you're reading this, I know you, like myself, have spent much time over the last month or so trying to procure a PPP loan for your business. Congrats on getting one! Now that the SBA has released a Forgiveness Loan Application, we can finally start projecting our total forgiveness with some confidence. I highly encourage you to start sooner than later, as it will provide you with the insight to make better decisions regarding how you are spending your funds.

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Tuning To The Moment

If you lead a team, you already have experience navigating through uncertainty. But right now, there is so much more out of our control, leading to increased uncertainty. With increased uncertainty comes a greater potential for overwhelm. And when we are overwhelmed, we lose our ability to make sound decisions – which is key to keeping ourselves and our teams afloat.

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