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Authors Posts by Lesly Kenney

Lesly Kenney

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Lesly Kenney holds an MBA from the University of Redlands. She is a Qualified Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) Facilitator as well as a Certified Online Instructor in the Colorado Community College system. Lesly is an Enterprise Social evangelist and she thrives on finding the creative hook that fosters a culture of innovation, productivity, and collaboration through the use of technology.

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Productivity Hacks for Keeping up with Millennials

Business communication is evolving.  As a generation of polychronic Digital Natives enters the workforce, we’re coming face-to-face with a wave of change that can’t be ignored. Below are three Productivity Hacks within Microsoft Office 365 that can help you keep up.

1. Stop Using Email for Everything!

The problem

If you’ve ever responded “Thanks” or “Great Job” to an internal email distribution list, I’m talking to you. Your team spirit is great and we love it! But email is not the best place for this. And the drain on productivity reaches far beyond the 25 people who now have a two-word email they need to delete, archive, or file.

If you didn’t yet have an email address in college, you’re likely a Digital Immigrant, and you’re probably great at managing the hundreds of email messages that bombard you at work every day. This phenomenon has turned a generation of educated professionals into administrative workers who spend valuable time organizing personal digital file cabinets.

Why is this unproductive? Here’s an example:  If you’re trying to make a decision by email and you have 10 people on an email thread, each person needs to make a decision around what to do with each email. This is incredibly unproductive. And if you’re thinking, “but it only takes a few minutes…” consider the amount of time multiplied by the number of people involved, and it quickly becomes hours of time, often at expensive executive levels. Furthermore, when employees leave a company, those emails are usually lost to archiving and deletion.

The Solution

It’s really very simple: Stop sending internal email. Most millennials eschew email, regarding it as a necessary evil at work. Join me to experience a virtual environment in an office setting where having no internal email is entirely possible.

2. Use Your Face 

The Problem

Millennials often have entire conversations around ONLY nonverbal communication — a series of photos or emojis conveying facial expressions. We have technologies that allow us to work across time zones and geographical borders, but many web-based internal meetings involve voice only and maybe a PowerPoint presentation. These meetings almost entirely disregard nonverbal communication. If you are a remote worker and you’re not using facial expression and body language in your daily business communication, you’re behind the times.

The Solution

For remote employees and meetings involving multiple locations, TURN ON YOUR WEBCAM. Microsoft Teams creates an environment of face-to-face communication that makes geography irrelevant. Nonverbal communication in social interaction helps improve understanding. And this deep level of connection simply can’t be communicated through voice alone.

3. Death by PowerPoint

The Problem

PowerPoint presentations are widely used in business for everything from complex financial plans to training documentation. It’s a fantastic tool that most people know how to use, but many times it’s not the best tool for the job. A Powerpoint presentation is a static piece of content. Once a user attaches a PowerPoint to an email and sends it off, it’s gone. There’s no way to update or share it again without sending yet another email (see #1 above). Most millennials are expert at linking content that can be adapted or changed as the need dictates, and Office 365 has a multitude of ways to communicate content without using PowerPoint presentations.

The Solution

Create your presentation or documentation where viewers can find it through search or access it via link. This ensures the material can be presented, edited, linked, and searched by all internal employees. And the content won’t die with an employee’s inbox when she leaves the company. #NOLINKNOLOVE

In Closing

If you’re reading this, you probably already have Office 365, and you’re probably using Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft 365 wraps these legacy applications with some fantastic tools to help you and your business or enterprise compete in the #modernworkplace and do more with less.

Head on over to www.crayon.com/productivityhacks to reserve your space in an interactive session where you can challenge yourself to keep up with Millennial mentality and be more productive in your everyday workspace. This is a special event limited to only 12 participants, so book your seat early. 

Today at the Microsoft Government Cloud Forum in Washington D.C., Crayon is announcing a partnership that brings industry-leading cybersecurity, cyberliability insurance and customer fulfillment together as one solution ensuring seamless customer integrations into Microsoft Azure.

Today’s announcement is a giant leap forward in the cybersecurity industry. –Daren Klum, CEO Secured2

This exciting new product is expected to be available the 4th quarter of 2017 with the ability to scale on the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud via the Crayon Cloud acceleration platform Cloud-iQ.

Read the full press release here: Crayon Secured2 Gov Cloud Forum Press Release

See the Live announcement here.

zero server architecture

As far back as 2012 it was predicted that there would be big implications for the creation and distribution of software and applications in a serverless world. But transition over the following few years has been slow. In the previous few years, the world still seemed to revolve around around servers. And although colocation facilities have been handling many parts of the server environment, dealing with the security, power, internet, cooling, and capital expense has still required a great deal of time and detailed planning.

In just the past year, there has been a massive shift as developers have begun to leverage a limitless supply of virtual machines to fire up servers and load applications in just minutes. Gone are the days of deploying more server, network, and storage infrastructure than you actually need in case you need to scale up.

So why the sudden surge?

Microsoft has begun to report staggering numbers around Azure adoption spanning the spectrum from startups, to enterprises, to the public sector.

Although Microsoft has been late to the cloud battle against Amazon Web Services (AWS), with recent developments around Elon Musk expressing appreciation to Microsoft for use of Azure cloud, and Wal-Mart asking vendors to get off Amazon’s Cloud it seems that Microsoft is firmly within, and gaining speed in the zero server architecture game.

Sure, some might suggest that the wave of cloud transformation is happening regardless of Microsoft’s influence and force, but when you add up the numbers the high-powered users, and throw in a Xbox and HoloLens leading the way for digital natives, there’s one thing for sure – Microsoft is definitely cool again.

Crayon Wins Microsoft Operations Excellence Gold Award

Azure Government

Crayon is excited to announce that we have been authorized to sell through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program for Azure Government, giving U.S. government partners the right foundation for meeting regulatory requirements while delivering innovation to the U.S. public sector.

The CSP Azure Government program includes a rapidly-increasing array of services — from infrastructure services like virtual machines, storage, and networking to platform services like data, analytics, mobile services, and web.

As an indirect provider Crayon partners serving the government space are provided all the benefits of Crayon’s innovative IP, which will allow both partners and their customers embrace Microsoft Cloud Solutions faster and better by releasing them from managing software licensing reporting, as well as enabling them to move and manage any available Microsoft workloads in real time through Crayon self-service tools.

Read the Press Release here, learn more about our expertise in Government and Public Sector licensing, or contact us directly to find out more about Crayon’s CSP for Azure Government program.

Crayon, the global leader in software asset management for businesses, has been granted by Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Tier 2 status in the United States. This expands Crayon’s SPLA offering to cloud for all channel partners including independent software vendors (ISVs), service providers, systems integrators, value added resellers, and all Microsoft solutions hosters in general.

Crayon’s Cloud-iQ is a one-stop cloud solution – a comprehensive self-service portal where partners can create and provision in real time, all of Microsoft’s Cloud Suite Technology Products. At the heart of Crayon’s channel partner organization, Cloud-iQ addresses procurement, provisioning, management and governance of the processes.

In addition, the Crayon US Partner (CUSP) program is heavily invested in the success of Crayon partners and their journey to cloud profitability, supporting partners to scale and grow while driving cloud consumption with their own end customers. CUSP helps to strengthen the partner’s core business to help sell and optimize the deployment of cloud services through CSP indirect with Crayon.

With sales, marketing, and technical enablement along with a partner rewards program, partners go to market together with Crayon and gain the benefits of Crayon’s vast resources. Onboarding and operations setup, sales, marketing, and technical enablement, at-the-ready offers, incentives, and rewards are all part of the worldwide Crayon cadre now available to Crayon US Partners.

Read the press release here, or contact us directly to learn more about how you can increase your Cloud-iQ with the Crayon US Partner Program.

 

 

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At Crayon, we believe in supporting the wider community through thoughtful and purposeful contribution to organizations that are close to the hearts of our employees.  Frank Bitoun, Senior Vice President of Crayon Americas, has recently pledged to serve as a mentor and volunteer to donate time and knowledge to assist StandUp for Kids in the Youth Entrepreneur Academy, which allows youth participants to own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses through a 30-week class.

The Youth Entrepreneur Academy is a life-changing program that positively impacts the entire community by helping members transform their ideas into tangible enterprises that create economic and social value for a better world. Crayon US is proud to assist in fostering the entrepreneurial mindset in young people and to help develop the character of tomorrow’s leaders and helping them transition successfully into adulthood.

StandUp for Kids organization serves unaccompanied homeless youth through their 25th birthday in an effort to help end the cycle of youth homelessness. Volunteer teams build trust and become a consistent resource to stabilize and otherwise help those youth who are often ignored by the rest of society.

Read the full press release here.

Managing the Remote Workforce with Office 365

Download the “5 Tips for Managing Remote Workers with Office 365” eBook from Crayon

Managing a remote and distributed workforce is becoming the norm — especially with tech startups who are realizing that remote work isn’t only convenient and less expensive, but often more effective. And hiring managers are tapping into exponentially larger hiring pools by finding talent across time zones and even national borders. This gives unprecedented access to talent in almost any geography.

“One day offices will be a thing of the past” -Sir Richard Branson

With nearly 100 million users on Office 365, many managers have the tools they need to effectively manage remote teams. Most digital natives (some now moving into their thirties) think nothing of collaborating in a shared digital space. But many larger and more seasoned organizations are stuck in the mindset of managing chairs in an office.

If you have remote employees, consider using more of the Office 365 tools you may already have. These can help manage work distribution, facilitate collaboration, and assess productivity. Get started here:

Cut the email overload and use the enterprise social tool Yammer. This will help to create a knowledge base and keep email out of your inbox.  Users ask questions in a collaborative space, allowing future employees access to the information. This keeps information from being siloed in individual email accounts. Yammer also helps current employees find content and training that they might otherwise not have been exposed to. And be sure to let employees know that Yammer is not content that must all be consumed. It’s like a flowing stream of information where one can bring a bucket to fill up with information when necessary.

Skype for Business is like having a switchboard on your desktop. You can see which employees are in meetings, out of the office, on do-not-disturb, and even who has just stepped away from their desk for a moment and how long they’ve been gone.  If instant messages are not immediately received, they will be forwarded directly to the intended recipient by email. Outside telephone numbers can also be dialed to pull people into group conversations.

Planner can help with managing projects by creating tasks, putting them into buckets, and assigning them to people. You can also set and update task progress and add comments to tasks to facilitate collaboration with your team.

For some specific Tips on managing remote workers in Office 365, download our free eBook.

5 Tips for Managing Remote Workers with Office 365

Crayon US is proud to announce that it has recently formed a partnership with Lighthouse Computer Services, an IT provider focusing in the Northeast U.S. geographies and specializing in Analytics, DevOps, IT infrastructure, Middleware, Security, and Microsoft solutions.

Greg Berard, GM of Sales and Services said: “With the partnership in place, Lighthouse is able to offer Microsoft licensing expertise that hasn’t been available previously to Lighthouse customers, enabling them to match their technology roadmap to the best licensing investment strategy. We are now able to extend Crayon’s Software Asset Management and licensing optimization expertise, not only from a Microsoft perspective, but around other leading vendors such as IBM, SAP, Oracle, VMware, Citrix, and more to provide more value for our clients.”

This partnership additionally allows Crayon to leverage the Lighthouse core competencies in both traditional and nontraditional IT services with strong combined and differentiated offerings.

“At Crayon, we are excited about bringing our ability to help end customers maximize the ROI of complex technology together with the rich 20-year history of Lighthouse in the Northeast. We’re pleased to add Lighthouse to our list of trusted partners and we look forward to joint success in the combined strength and value of our offerings,” said Jim Eustace, East Region Sales Director, Crayon US.

Please visit Crayon and Lighthouse in Boston around the SAMS conference at the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor on June 26th and 27th, or contact gberard@lighthousecs.com or 401.529.7870 to schedule a meeting.

SPLA Authorized Crayon United States

Today Crayon announced it has recently been awarded Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) reseller authorization in the United States. SPLA is an agreement for the rental of Microsoft software licenses specifically designed for service providers and independent software vendors (ISVs).

Frank Bitoun, Senior Vice President Crayon Americas said: “We are very proud of this achievement and believe this recent Microsoft SPLA reseller authorization in the US, when combined with our unique consulting experience, will allow our channel partners to accelerate their business in a win-win approach. By managing and optimizing their Microsoft SPLA licensing usage, we support our channel partners by allowing them to concentrate their efforts on going to market and focusing on their end customers. We also support them by mitigating risks in compliance, and by simplifying the onboarding, deployment, and management of their Microsoft software consumption.”

This achievement allows Crayon to assist in empowering hosters, service providers, and ISVs in differentiating their software services and hosted applications to end customers, while also simplifying their management and reporting of consumption through the use of Crayon’s unique platforms.

“At Microsoft, we are supportive to work with Crayon in their quest to consistently empower service providers and ISVs to comprehensively manage the latest eligible Microsoft software products and subscriptions. We’re pleased to add Crayon to our list of SPLA resellers in the United States, and we look forward to their continued success in simplifying processes and management for SPLA licensing customers,” said Carlos de Torres, General Manager of US Hosting and Managed Service Providers at Microsoft US.

About Crayon

As the global leader in software asset management (SAM), cloud and volume licensing, and associated consulting services, Crayon is a trusted advisor to many of the globe’s leading organizations. Through its unique people, tools and systems Crayon helps to optimize its clients’ technology estates within the new mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Experts when it comes to optimizing client ROI from complex technologies, Crayon believes passionately that organizations should only pay for the IT resources they actually need and use, but understands that in today’s complex technology landscape that can be difficult to achieve. This is why Crayon has developed a unique methodology to deliver on its belief for its customers.

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the company has over 1000 teammates in offices worldwide.

Crayon SPLA:  www.crayon.com/SPLA

Download the full SPLA Press Release

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Are You Prepared for a Software Audit?

You’ve received the dreaded software audit letter. The process is daunting, and you’ll be glad when it’s all over and thinking about it is like the memory of a bad dream.

Unfortunately, your reprieve is only temporary.

Our research indicates that all major software vendors are attempting to “touch” all of their customers every three years. So rather than hold your breath until the next audit, learn how to stay ahead of the game. When (there’s no “if” anymore) the next audit hits you’ll be empowered by knowing that you’re prepared in advance, and that you know your rights and obligations. We’ll even give you some great tips for communicating with software vendors during the audit.

Send your questions now to geir.gulliksen@crayon.com, register for the event, and then join our free webcast on Tuesday, November 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern time (Noon CST / 11 a.m. MST / 10 a.m. PST).

Register Here.