How recent travel regulations in USA is affecting our tech business?

As a software development company in Canada, our staff includes Canadian immigrants who are also citizens of the countries which are recently banned or have difficulties in travelling to States. In this blog, we discuss how these regulations are affecting us.

Difficulties in meeting our American clients

We are proud to improve American businesses by automating their business tasks. Currently, we are doing some projects for our American clients. Therefore, our staff might have to take frequent trips to States. With the new limitations of travelling to States for citizens of some countries, our staff  with dual citizenship might not be able to make a safe trip for business meetings. This will lower our efficiency.

Uncertainty about the future

US travel regulations were being changed for last few weeks; therefore, we are uncertain about the future that what other travel limitations to States can threaten our business and our American clients’ business. With this uncertainty, we face difficulties in business planning which is a crucial item for a successful business. Planning with uncertainty and high degree of error, we cannot come up with more accurate and detailed road plan.
Removing our staff

We will regret if our only choice to be removing our Canadian staff who are also citizens of countries having difficulty in traveling to States. This will be against our Canadian values to remove our staff because of their nationality. We would like to make our business more successful and make more jobs instead of removing our existing jobs.

In conclusion, recent travel limitations in States are not only creating challenges for us in meeting and doing business with our American clients but also make our future with some degree of uncertainty. At worst case, removing our Canadian staff might be the only solution but this is against our Canadian values. We value doing business with our American clients and our hope is that these limitations to be temporary and we could continue our relationship with American companies.

Yammer vs Microsoft Teams

Based on our experience, we compared Yammer and Microsoft Teams as follow,

Files

Microsoft Teams: When a file is uploaded to Microsoft Teams, you can view/edit files on your File Explorer using One Drive for Business, similar to the way that you view/edit files on OneDrive. However to view files on on File Explorer, a business OneDrive (Office Business Essential Package, $5/month) is required. Otherwise you can edit/view files on both Microsoft Teams (Files tab) and SharePoint.

Yammer: Any file uploaded to Yammer is only accessible thru Yammer. However, Microsoft announced they are updating Yammer. Maybe in the next updates, files on yammer can be viewed/edited similar to Microsoft Teams.

Cost Per User

Teams: Each user’s cost is $5 (Business Essential Package, $5/month)​​​. However, Microsoft announced they will allow external users which would be free.

Yammer: No licence is required for users.

Planner (Task Management)

Teams: includes Planner which is like Trello, used for task management. You can create multiple columns such as “To Do” and “Done” columns. To create a task, you can add a card to a column and assign it to someone and set a deadline. Once the task is done, it can be moved to another column like “Done” column.

Yammer: doesn’t have task management.

Rich Text Formatting

Teams: You can use rich text formatting like using bold, italic and colorful texts.

Yammer: You can’t use rich text format like bold and italic.

Tags

Teams: You can’t use tags like a blog or hashtags. But you can use Teams/Channel name as tags. To use a channel/team name in a conversation, type “@” and a few letters, then some suggestions pops up.

 

Yammer: You can tag the post like a blog. In Yammer, tags are called topics. You can also view the list of all the posts under each tag/topic.

Chatting

Teams: is made for chatting like WhatsApp or text messaging. You can chat directly with another person. Or you could create teams and share the communication among the members of the team.

 Yammer: is more like Facebook in which you add a post and other users can comment.

Sharing and Linking

Teams: You can’t share the link of conversations because they don’t have a link or address. Sharing links are useful for example to direct your team member to one of your previous conversations.

Yammer: You can share the links of posts similar to the way that Facebook posts  are shared.

Editing Posts

Teams: You can edit conversations after you submit them. After a few hours, editing option is disabled.

Yammer: No editing option. You need to delete the post and re-post it.

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Mail Services

Mail services are one of the most important tools for users in order to deal with their business and that is why IT departments utilizing their resources to offer exceptional email services for their users. Email migration is the process of moving mailboxes, contacts and calendar from one account to another account to offer users better email service experience. I will discuss why IT team of an organization invest their time and money in order to perform email migration.

Offering handy calendars and contacts, accessing to higher quota and providing user friendly webmail which is accessible through cellophane and tablet are the motivation for IT department of organizations to set a budget for the email migration project. Email migration usually involves switching to new email hosting provider which offers facilities that increase the productivity of users leading to higher profitability of an organization.  Obviously, no organization wants to fail its business because of an email service provider who does not keep up with up to date technology.

Besides webmail, email clients such as Microsoft office outlook and Apple mail can boost productivity of users. Email clients let users manage multiple accounts in one email client. Moreover, it offers multifunctional calendars that are sharable to other users with different permission levels or roles. In addition, mail clients allow users creating multiple folders in mailboxes and contacts and etc. These appealing features of email clients motivate email migration team to install email client locally on users’ computers, cell phones and other devices.

Within an organization users may have access to both personal and generic account. Personal accounts can be very big for some users. Nowadays POP protocol is outdated and IMAP become more popular. Since IMAP protocol require mail servers to have bigger space in order to keep the copy of each email with its content, bigger quota would be more essential. Moreover, generic account takes up more spaces in mail servers in general since it is a shared mailbox accessible to multiple users. That is why the higher quota results in better user experience with mail services.

In order to increase feature of mail services, nowadays connectors such as Zimbra connectors adds up to feature of webmail and client email. They add more features to calendars for example you can view busy free time of other users within an organization  through calendars,  also users would have access to all staffs’ contact information through Global Address List.

Email archiving is also one of the services that are provided by email hosting companies. Email archiving is the process of preserving emails. In case if you delete emails through webmail or client mails, you can retrieve it from email Archive. Also email archive can be used in case users are out of quota and since archive has much bigger spaces, it can be used as an alternative.

All in all, having the ability to share calendars, different permission level on shared calendars and mailboxes, creating different folders and managing them, ability to filter emails, ability to send out of office emails, managing signatures and etc. can be resulted from email migration.

 
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