StaffHub

Ease the burden of communication for your deskless workers and volunteers.  Whether they be full or part time, with odd hours or rotating shifts, this new cloud-based platform works across desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets to enable easier access for staff to interact with managers, calendars, and team communication.

StaffHub is useful for employees in retail stores, museums, theme parks, conventions, hotels, restaurants, manufacturing, and more. Any service-related employee who doesn’t have his or her own computer can benefit from the ease of communication created by StaffHub.

Using StaffHub, employees are able to request time off, communicate directly with coworkers,and swap shifts. For example, if someone needs to swap a shift, they will send a request out to a specific employee or group of employees. Then, when a shift swap is accepted by the employees, it goes to the manager for a final approval.

For managers, creating a schedule is as simple as possible. They can add colors and/or labels for different types of shifts (open, night, etc.). Additionally, managers can add notes for each shift, such as reminders of new work to be completed.

Microsoft also tries to cut the time it takes to create a schedule by allowing managers to copy previous versions. From here, the schedule can be updated as necessary, such as handling time off, vacation, sick leave, or shift swaps that are requested through the app.

StaffHub also allows different types of files to be uploaded. For example, employees can upload photos to ask the manager or other employees a specific question. Like everything else, this can be sent to individuals, group chats, or everyone.

Managers can take advantage of the ability to upload and share different files by including, for example, a PDF of an employee handbook, a welcome video, or a list of common rules. Microsoft explains that the videos will display inline when clicked, made specifically for convenient smartphone access.

StaffHub is a free add-on to Microsoft’s Office 365 suite, and is available to those who have the Office 365 K1, E1, E3, and E5 plans, including the education version of these plans. As for the staff workers, they don’t need to purchase an Office 365 plan. The StaffHub app for iOS and Android is free to download.

StaffHub is available  in Chinese (simplified and traditional), English, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, French, Brazilian-Portuguese, German, Korean, Italian, Dutch, Turkish, Swedish, and Danish. But again, the business must have an Office 365 subscription. For those businesses that would like to sign up for Office 365 to use StaffHub, let’s take a look at specific pricing plans.

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Office 365 plans

Office 365 Enterprise K1 is your cheapest option at only $4/month per user. Like the other plans, it requires an annual commitment, but if your main goal in buying an Office 365 plan is for StaffHub, this is your best bet.

It’s made specifically for all employees to benefit from increased productivity, including those without a desk or office. Designed to improve communication and collaboration for workers who use a shared PC or don’t have a work computer at all, it’s easily the plan you should choose for these types of employees.

The K1 includes a number of different features, all listed on Microsoft’s website, including:

  • Microsoft StaffHub (of course)
  • Business email, calendar, and contacts with a 2GB inbox per user
  • Anti-malware protection and anti-spam filtering Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) support for smartphones
  • POP support for email clients
  • Yammer, a corporate social network for increased collaboration
  • Access to SharePoint Online sites
  • Access to Office Online (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote)

As you can see, the 2GB inbox is very small for a business email, but it’s one of the reasons this option is so low cost. Keep in mind, front-line employees can use StaffHub for communication and scheduling. So, the small storage is acceptable for employees without a work computer.

Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, and E5 each requires an annual commitment and is $8/user/month, $20/user/month, and $35/user/month, respectively. All of these plans include services that are in the K1 plan, plus more. These plans are designed more for traditional office workers with computers.

A detailed comparison chart is listed on Microsoft’s website. Because of the numerous differences, I’ll tell you only about some important ones.

First, let’s talk about what they all guarantee:

  • IT-level web support and 24/7 phone support
  • At least a 50GB inbox per user
  • Active Directory integration to manage user credentials and permissions
  • What Microsoft refers to as “world-class” data security
  • Online versions of Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • 1 TB of file storage per user and file sharing
  • Unlimited online meetings, IM, and audio, HD video, and web conferencing
  • Professional digital storytelling tools for interactive reports and presentations
  • Online meeting broadcast for up to 10,000 people who can attend on most devices
  • Corporate social network

As you can see, there are quite a few differences between these plans and the K1 plan, mostly related to conferencing, file storage, and email storage.

The E1 plan gives its users only a 50GB inbox, while both the E3 and E5 plans have unlimited inboxes.

Another notable difference is that the E1 plan only comes with online versions of Microsoft Office programs, whereas both the E3 and E5 offer fully installed Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, Access, and Skype for business) on up to five PCs or Macs per users and up to five tablets and five phones per user.

Click here for more information on differences between the plans.

Yammer

Yammer is an enterprise social private network that brings together people, conversations, content, and business data in a single location. It is a smarter, faster and secure way to communicate with employees across your company.  Yammer brings together two most important aspects of a successful business, collaboration and communication. With Yammer

  • Users can easily stay connected to coworkers and information.
  • Collaborate with team members, and help make an impact at work.
  • Access Yammer through web a web browser or mobile device, users can connect and collaborate with coworkers anytime, anywhere.
  • External collaboration with partners, customers, and vendors is possible by creating external groups to get faster input/feedback on specific topics.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business brings together the familiar experience of Skype that people have come to know and love with the trusted platform of Lync that businesses around the world count on. Delivering technology that helps people connect—to discuss, share and collaborate—is core to Microsoft’s mission to reinvent productivity, and Skype for Business is central to those efforts.

Microsoft’s goal is simple: to create the most loved and trusted communications platform for doing things together.

  • Meetings and calls with anyone :Meet with up to 250 people—even if they’re not on Skype for Business. All they need is a phone or internet connection.
  • Powerful productivity with Office:See your contacts’ online statuses, schedule meetings in Outlook, and start conversations from apps like Word and PowerPoint.
  • Security and control:Conversations are protected by strong authentication and encryption, and you manage employee accounts and features.

Intune

Windows Intune simplifies how businesses manage and secure PCs using  Windows Intune cloud services and Windows 7—so your computers and users can operate at peak performance, from virtually anywhere. With the Windows Intune cloud service, IT can remotely perform security and  management tasks—like deploying Microsoft Office—through a single, Web-based console. This helps to ensure that users anywhere are working with a well-managed PC—all that’s required is an Internet connection. You can also give your users the best Windows experience with upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise and future versions of Windows.

Enterprise Mobility Suite

Take control of your organizations devices.  Our Enterprise Mobility solutions offer a comprehensive suite of options to address the consumerization of IT, BYOD and SaaS challenges. The suite delivers comprehensive management of users, devices, and applications found both on-premises and in the cloud. Microsoft can help you to manage the complexity of existing platforms and add new capabilities to deliver cloud-based services to organizationally managed devices and user-provided devices, regardless of where the services are delivered and consumed from. Enable users to work on the device of their choice and access resources they need, while centralizing organizational information to ensure compliance and data protection. Our Enterprise Mobility Suite offering will be  simple for you to set up, always up to date, and connects to on-premises datacenters.

Monthly or Annual subscriptions available.

Azure

Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services—analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web—for moving faster, achieving more, and saving money.

Green IT partners with Microsoft to deliver great cloud based experiences.

Office 365

The benefits of moving your business to Office 365 are undisputed. A cloud enabled company gains mobile access, boosts productivity, reduces hardware costs and has access to all the latest innovations in enterprise technology. To gain these benefits, planning is essential to balance the features in Office 365 and existing on-premises SharePoint.

“Office 365” refers to subscription plans that include access to Microsoft Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services). Office 365 includes plans for use at home and for business. Office 365 plans for business include services such as Skype for Business web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business, and additional online storage with OneDrive for Business.  Green IT sells, implements, upgrades, manages, and maintains Office 365 subscriptions on behalf of our customers.

Inside O365