"Out of the Blue" Newsletter
In This Issue
Welcome to the second edition of our revamped Out of the Blue Newsletter. In this edition, we prompt you to consider whether it's time to implement Vista and Office 2007 in your business. We're also happy (and relieved) to announce our newest staff member to join the team. Anya shares with us another green tip for the office, and Nick's Geek Gadget of the week is a very cool MP3 player.
This month we are also pleased to include a "guest" segment where we will occasionally invite one of our customers to submit an article. Harry James from CCS Communications has kindly provided us with an article about VOIP (Voice Over IP) and how this technology can be converged with your existing telephony infrastructure.
We hope you enjoy and find this month's newsletter useful and interesting.
Blueprint Technologies Australia
Voice Over IP
IP (Internet Protocol) network infrastructure, which already exists in the majority of companies,
can now carry voice along with data. Designed to support convergence through a
modular structure, the system allows a harmonious migration towards VoIP (Voice
allowing voice and data communication to work within the same network.
VoIP is the latest proven technology for voice communications where packets of digitally compressed voice are sent over IP data networks. These packets are converted back to voice once they reach the destination.
By utilising existing data networks, VoIP can bypass PSTN (Public Switch Telephone Networks) and therefore avoid all costs associated with PSTN calls no matter how far the distance and how long the conversation. In addition, VoIP also allows for more advanced telephony solutions and applications.
A "VoIP Gateway" functionality makes it possible for you to use VoIP technology with your present telephone handsets and utilise your company’s corporate data network without the need for separate, dedicated leased lines.
It is an ideal solution for site-to-site communications between multi-site offices and retail chains – as well as for networking branch offices allowing for a flexible working environment and lower costs.
*CCS Communications & Communication Networks Australia offer professional advice on telecommunications and structured data solutions. In addition to offering the superb Panasonic range of IP-PBX systems they can tailor your telecommunications from cabling and networking through to the latest generation of VOIP capable telephone systems. They specialise in professional, on-time telecommunications solutions, demanded in today's fast moving technological environment.
Contact Harry James: email@example.com
This new development is still in the research stages and yet to be commercialised, but “temporary documents” are well on their way as the business world focuses on sustainable innovations.
Read “Experimental Xerox Paper Erases Itself” at: http://www.fujixerox.com.au/about/media/articles/525
*Kingdom Consultants (Business Consultants/Facilities Management)
Freecall: 1800 11 77 33
Messenger Sharing Folders
Do you or your staff use Windows Live Messenger at work?
Live Messenger can be used to send and receive files, but this can cause problems. The latest version of Live Messenger has an option where a Sharing Folder can be set up with other contacts. Instead of sending and receiving a single file, users can fill the folder with all files they may want to share with the contact, and when both users are online the entire folder may be downloaded or synchronised. This can cause some pretty dramatic lag resulting in poor performance for legitimate business use of your Internet connection!
Not sure if you are sharing folders and slowing down the system?
p Select the Sharing Folders icon in the main Messenger Window, where you can view the Activity Log or pause sharing.
p Alternatively, in the Tools menu, select Options, Sharing Folders and click on any contacts you want to remove from sharing your folder.
If you are unsure as to whether your firewall is blocking Windows Live Messenger or the “Sharing Folders” facility, please give Blueprint a call for assistance. We would also be pleased to discuss with you how you can utilise similar technology in a controlled environment using Microsoft Live Communications Server and Office Communicator 2007.
If you’re tired of your old Walkman chewing up your favourite mix tapes, perhaps it’s time to upgrade? This little, gimmicky player has some nice features to please your retro needs. The Samsung YP-K5J (or just K5 for short) is a sleek and unique alternative to the iPods that all of your friends own. It offers basic features such as MP3/WMA support, FM Radio, an alarm function, and a slideshow to show off your photos, all through a funky, animated menu which is navigated using blue-lit touch-pad controls. The bass-boosting earphones do their job well enough, but the most exciting thing about the K5 is a 1.5W built-in stereo speaker that slides out from behind the interface and props the player up nicely to aim the music right at your face.
The sound is of a decent quality, with surprising volume and some basic equalizer settings – normal, vocal, bass boost, etc. Unfortunately, the 1.7” OLED screen is a little impractical for viewing photos, and while there is a hold button to ignore input, the sensitivity of the touch controls can be a little tricky. Nit-picking aside, the K5 does its job as a portable music player, whether you’re listening to tunes in the bath by yourself, or with friends!
Stock Take Sale
Last month while visiting our Brisbane office, I had an opportunity to tidy our stock cupboard. We found several things that we thought may be of interest to our customers. Attached is a list of what we have in stock. We’re offering these items at reduced prices (some of them below cost). If there is anything you are interested in either call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and if it’s still available we’ll have it shipped out to you the same day.
We Found Him!
Remember last month we were looking for “New Guy”…well we are pleased to announce that we have found just the guy we were looking for. We are very happy to introduce Michael Downing…
Hello everyone! My name is Michael and I’m the newest addition to the Blueprint team. I enjoy movies, hanging out and sport. I have been working in IT for many years now, have completed a diploma of Information Technology Network Engineering, and am an all around geek... The team at Blueprint have given me a chance to expand my knowledge even further.
I look forward to meeting you all and fixing all your problems!
Nearly a full year has passed since Windows Vista and Office 2007 were released in January 2007. By now, many of you will have experienced Windows Vista or Office 2007 first hand or seen them in use. Those who use either of these products will attest to the fact that they are reliable, visually impressive and offer some useful new features. And yet, businesses have been slow to take up the implementation of Vista or Office 2007 across the organisation as part of the standard environment.
There have been a number of valid reasons to hold off upgrading to Vista or Office 2007, including;
p maintaining standardisation with existing workstations
p the learning curve and lost productivity for staff in getting acquainted with the new interface
p the up-front cost of changing over to the new version
p compatibility with existing applications or hardware
On the other hand, are there any compelling reasons to upgrade? Windows XP and Office 2003 are already reliable and productive systems. Granted, there are some excellent new features in the latest versions from Microsoft, but if XP/2003 fully satisfies your requirements, why consider upgrading?
The answer to this is “external pressure”.
Two main factors over the next twelve months are likely to force you to consider implementing Windows Vista and/or Office 2007. These driving forces will be: 1) Microsoft and 2) Your customers or suppliers.
Microsoft will be terminating retail sales of Windows XP in June 2008. It is already increasingly difficult to acquire new computers with Windows XP installed. Microsoft have for now provided “downgrade rights” allowing you to purchase Vista with a new PC, but install Windows XP. However this is likely to be withdrawn over time as more pressure is brought to persuade customers to move to the Vista platform. Windows XP Service Pack 2 will commence a five-year “Extended Support” period in April 2009. Support for early versions of Windows XP (Pre-Service Pack 2) has already ended. Similarly, Office 2003 is no longer available for purchase and whilst you can purchase Office 2007 and downgrade to 2003, stricter conditions are imposed by Microsoft in allowing this.
Another external pressure will come in the form of compatibility with your external contacts, customers or suppliers. Office 2007 uses new file formats for Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc. Whilst it is backwardly compatible and can open earlier file versions from Office 2000/XP/2003, by default it will save new files in the Office 2007 format. How this will impact you is if you receive a file from an external contact using Office 2007, you will not be able to open it in Office 2003 or earlier. There are provisions in Office 2007 to force it to save the file in an earlier format, but you will have to rely on customers/suppliers remembering to save their documents in this way to give you access. If you exchange or access documents with external sources regularly, this will become a problem for you increasingly over the next twelve months and beyond.
If you accept that these external factors will have an impact, then the time is now to take a proactive stance in planning your upgrade to Vista and Office 2007. You will need to take into consideration how this upgrade will impact your business in terms of: upfront and ongoing licensing costs; training and compatibility.
Why not give us a call to discuss the implications for your business? We would be happy to arrange a demonstration of the products, and discuss and develop a plan with you for implementing Vista and/or Office 2007 into your information technology environment.
Check out these useful links:
Microsoft Windows Vista Product Info
Microsoft Office 2007 Product Info
Wikipedia links Vista & 2007
Microsoft Support Lifecycle (Windows XP)
How to Contact us
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