Insights Newsletter – 12th September 2016

Insights Newsletter – 12th September 2016

In this edition:

Matt’s SoapboxApple iPhone 7

New iPhones! Apple has released new iPhones!!!

Of course, they’re amazing and excellent and clearly the best iPhones ever.

But what are you going to use them for?

No doubt, a modern smartphone is essential for conducting business on the go. There’s a base level of functionality that you can get pretty much out of the box. Any decent smartphone these days will let you sync your email, calendar and contacts (providing you have a proper business-grade email system), access your Facebook and other online networks, and, almost as an after-thought, let you call your customers.

But these little mobile powerhouses are capable of so much more. Especially as larger-format models like the iPhone Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note (just maybe hold off a bit on that Galaxy Note purchase, though…) are available, with their significantly bigger screens. Did you know that you can:

  • Keep track of your accounting system via your phone. See what bills are coming up that you need to pay, and see which of your invoices are outstanding. Keep tabs on the financial health of your business.
  • Keep track of all your customers, prospects and leads while out and about through your CRM system. See a full conversation history for all your clients in one spot. About to meet with Mel from Company X? Pull up her details, and see exactly where your team are with the latest proposal for her, and who spoke to her last.
  • Take mobile credit card payments right on the spot – perfect for tradies, or people selling at market stalls. No more handling cash and change, and a higher customer buy rate since it’s so easy to pay by card.
  • Record your time spent on a job for a client – perfect for contractors or consultants who bill by the hour. No more needing to sit down at the end of the day and try to remember how much time you spent on which project – record it as you go along.
  • Access your confidential company documents on the go. In a meeting with a client, and need to pull up the latest proposal document?
  • Join a video conference from anywhere in the world. No need to postpone your weekly team meeting because you’re travelling to see a client – you can join the meeting online from anywhere and keep the team up to date.

Of course, all the above is very dependent on which systems you select for your business. That’s just one of the reasons why it’s so important to make sure that any system or app you’re looking at provides the right access for you and your team.

If this all sounds too confusing, this is where I can help. With a deep background in evaluating, deploying and integrating a variety of cloud systems, I can help to guide your decisions.

The first step is to sit down and talk about your business – what you do, how you do it, why you’re different, and what you offer your customers. Ideally, how would you like your business to operate in 5 years time? From there, we can look at what systems and platforms are currently in use, and whether they’re truly supporting your business and enabling your staff, of if there’s a gap between what you currently have and where you’d like to be. Once we know the functional gaps, we can start to plan and identify how we can fix those gaps. We might not do everything at once, but knowing the complete picture is important to ensure we don’t box ourselves into a corner.

“Begin with the End in Mind”, as Stephen Covey would say. Always sound advice.

Till next week,


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Interesting Links

South-East QLD Trip in Late September

Queensland, AustraliaNot a link as such, more of an advanced warning. Repeated from last week, since the date is closing in :).

In the last week of September (the week of the 26th), I’ll be travelling to South East Queensland to meet up with clients both existing and new.

I’ve still got some spots available, so please get in touch if you’d like to arrange a time to get together and discuss your business and where I can help. If you’re curious as to how The Cloud can impact your business, how it can enable your employees to better serve your clients, or how it can help streamline your finances and remove the peaks and troughs of IT investment, let’s meet up. I’d love to hear how your business works, what unique advantages you bring to your clients, and how you see technology being able to empower and support your team.

At this stage, I will be in:

  • Toowoomba on Monday the 26th and Tuesday the 27th, and
  • Brisbane on Wednesday the 28th and Thursday the 29th.

If you’re in SEQ and would like to book in some time, please get in touch ASAP to reserve your spot. Please forward this newsletter onto any of your colleagues who you feel might be interested in taking advantage of this offer.

Any initial discussions, chat, etc is, of course, completely free to you.

As I do most of my communication via Skype for Business video, I really enjoy the opportunity when it presents itself to sit down with people face-to-face to connect and discuss their challenges and where I can help.

Please get in touch either via email ( or phone (0418 792 319) to arrange a time. I look forward to catching up with you!

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Case Study – Office 365 at Carhartt

There’s a lot of good lessons to be taken from this case study by the Office Blog about American workwear manufacturer, Carhartt.

Office365 has helped Carhartt retain their core values of authentic customer engagement and open, honest communication, whilst also breaking down geographic barriers and enabling them to engage directly with their customers on a massive scale.

What I’d like to highlight here is how moving to a cloud-first footing has helped Carhartt better leverage their internal IT team to really provide solutions to the business, rather than focussing on just “keeping the lights on”. When I speak to people about cloud systems, sometime they say “oh, that’s not for me, I have my own IT team in-house”. It’s not an either-or proposition though.

By freeing up their time, the business can engage with their internal IT resources to add value to their customers, rather than being simply a cost centre and money sink. No one likes spending their days swapping out replacement disks in a SAN, or staying up all night to patch a server. Moving to cloud systems is a huge benefit to companies who have their own in-house IT team – it’s not about getting rid of the internal IT, it’s about tapping the potential for the IT team to work alongside the business to deliver real value to your clients.

It’s about solving a better class of problem.

With Microsoft cloud computing, it is no longer necessary for the internal IT team to build our own infrastructure to handle peak demands in computing.

To pick on a concrete example, this quote above is taken from the case study. From an IT side, the scale and elasticity that cloud solutions bring to the average business are orders of magnitude larger than what most firms have access to. In this case study, you’ll read that they’re using PowerBI very heavily to crunch the raw data they receive and turn it into useful information.

Reporting workloads are notoriously peaky, and a company will often have to choose between over-provisioning a system for 90% of the time so as to be able to deal with peak-load conditions, or saving money for the majority of the time but forcing staff to accept degraded performance at popular times (resulting in lost productivity for staff, increased support calls for IT, and a bunch of sad faces all around). By moving that workload into the cloud, the PowerBI engine runs at top performance all the time, and the company doesn’t need to worry about what’s required for that to happen – that’s Microsoft’s job. The internal IT team don’t need to manage that.

If you’re a business medium to a large-scale enterprise, please don’t think that leveraging cloud systems isn’t for you. And please don’t think that you’ll lose your valuable in-house IT skills because of it. By removing the mundane administrative tasks from your IT team, you have a chance to align them with the deliverables of the business, so that everyone is working together to solve problems for your clients.

And that’s something that everyone can get behind.

To read the whole case study, click here:

Carhartt—building a durable, agile workplace withOffice 365

As always, if you’d like to talk about how your business and internal IT Team can take advantage of various cloud services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. More than happy to help.

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That’s it for this week folks – till next time!


Matt Russell

I started as a way to help business owners cut through the confusion and get real value from their IT systems. If you're a business owner who wants to improve your tools, or if you're an IT consultant helping business owners unlock their potential, you'll find something interesting here.

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