Three burning questions for IT support

 In Support

Proactive IT Solutions deals with more than a hundred requests and inquiries every week. Naturally, we find we’re hearing the same questions quite often.

Because we’re focusing on IT Support in our Insights this month, I’ve done a quick whip around of the technicians to find out what they’re getting asked about a lot and put together a little FAQ for the top three ‘burning questions’.

1. Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

Yes. I love Windows 10, it’s a great improvement on Windows 7 and 8 in terms of speed and usability. It’s also got cutting edge security features.

It is important to note, however, that an upgrade will a full system backup and a clean install. You also need to ensure that any specialised software you may be using is compatible with Windows 10 before taking the plunge.

2. The prices are so low; why shouldn’t I buy a laptop or computer from a large retailer?

I get asked this question so often; by everyone from clients to friends and relatives. The short answer is: You get what you pay for.

You may not be aware that there are significant differences in quality and performance between consumer- and enterprise-grade hardware. It’s these differences you’ll find reflected in the price tag.

Retail ‘super stores’ and department stores don’t sell enterprise-grade hardware. This means that any system you purchase from them is designed for home use, not business use. They have a poorer build quality, and often come with slower hard drives and less storage space.

The warranties and repairs will be handled differently, as well. If you have enterprise-grade hardware and opt for pro support, you can have a technician at your home or office within four hours. For consumer-grade products, you’ll be expected to ship the item back to the manufacturer at your own expense.

And while your consumer laptop may have a long three year warranty, once a certain amount of time has passed, many manufacturers will stop carrying parts for it. Because businesses tend to keep their hardware a lot longer – sometimes longer than they should – manufacturers tend to keep parts for longer and continue to provide support.

3. What is the difference between Office 365 Home and Professional products?

When you’re a small business owner, it’s tempting to look at the $8 (approx.) monthly fee on a 12 month 5 device license for Office 365 Home in your local Officeworks Superstore and wonder why you should have to pay $17.50 per user per month for Office 365 Business Premium.

The answer is not as simple as I’d like, but let me try to map it out for you.

  • Office 365 Home allows for the installation of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook on five devices for up to five different users. It is licensed for home use only and – according to the license agreement – it ‘may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities’.
  • Office 365 Business Premium allows for the installation of all the same Microsoft Office applications as the Home product, plus Publisher. It can be installed on up to five devices, but only for one user per license. It is licensed for commercial use.
  • There are some functional differences between the Office products themselves with the Business and Home versions. For example, the Home version of Excel does not allow for the use of Power Pivot.
  • Office 365 Business Premium also comes with additional collaboration and communication tools. With SharePoint Online, you can manage documents, enable workflows, and participate in social platforms with your organisation. You can meet online with HD video conferencing, screen sharing and real-time notes and use a site mailbox to collaborate with your team.
  • With Office 365 Home, and other consumer versions, you must use a Microsoft account (hotmail.com, outlook.com, etc.) to set it up. This means that you can’t use your business email address.
  • Office 365 Business Premium lets you use your own domain name (e.g. proactiveits.com.au) with your account, which is important for small businesses. You’ll get business class email, calendar, and contacts with a 50Gb inbox per user.

Essentially, the Business Premium product offers more functionality and the added bonus that it is actually licensed for business use.

Advice you can trust

ProITS values client experience. That’s why we strive always to provide you with the best advice and service. We’re not focused on revenue raising; we’re focused on getting the job done right.

We also want to empower and educate you with helpful information on making the most out of your IT – in language you can understand.

You can always give as a call or send us a message for your particular IT-related questions; or check out all our other Insight articles.

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