Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your Microsoft Products?

Increase in Subscription Rates Across the Board

Microsoft rolled out a significant price increase on March 1st. This increase impacted some of the most common Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 subscriptions. However, Microsoft has added additional value through numerous applications and features such as Microsoft Teams, Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, Stream, Planner, Visio, OneDrive, Yammer, and Whiteboard. 

The price increases can be significant to a small or midsize enterprise’s bottom line; thus, reviewing your subscription options is critical. Microsoft offers a la carte options, small bundles or suites, and larger bundles composed of smaller ones. Finding the right fit for your business is more important than ever.

Current Price Changes with More to Come

Below are the price changes effective March 1st: 

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic (from $5 to $6 per user)  
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium (from $20 to $22) 
  • Office 365 E1 (from $8 to $10) 
  • Office 365 E3 (from $20 to $23)  
  • Office 365 E5 (from $35 to $38)  
  • Microsoft 365 E3 (from $32 to $36) 

These increases were applied globally with local market adjustments for specific regions. Microsoft also announced some changes for month-to-month subscriptions coming in October (more details to follow), so it will be important to use this opportunity to optimize your licensing. 

How to Get the Most Value Out of Your Microsoft License

At Dewpoint, we ensure you get the most out of all these great applications and features. As your Microsoft Silver Partner, we are as committed as ever to helping our clients and the broader business community make the best technology decisions for their organization. That includes ensuring you get maximum value from your Microsoft subscription investment through our support. Below are specific areas where we can help:

  • Advanced Email Protection – comprehensive, multi-layered protection against malware
  • Backup for Microsoft Office 365 – protect your users against data loss through regular backups across the entire 365 tenant
  • Email Archiving – tamper-proof archiving with unlimited storage
  • Email Encryption – protect sensitive email communications automatically
  • Microsoft Teams – review and provide training to your staff on Teams to make sure you are using all of its capabilities
  • Power BI – transforming your data into easily readable reports and dashboards for quick analysis

One Size Does Not Fit All

We can help you identify the best license for you based on specific employee requirements. Typically, employees fall into one of four categories:

  • Frontline employees: Workers who are not usually assigned a traditional desktop computer
  • Basic corporate employees: Workers who are tied mainly to one location and have essential productivity and collaboration needs
  • Advanced corporate employees: Those working in multiple locations or who need access to more-advanced Office suite functions, collaboration services, email archiving, or legal hold
  • Specialized corporate employees: Similar to advanced corporate employees, but need more-specialized services such as business intelligence, archiving, or e-discovery

Contact us if you need help determining whether lower-level suites or a la carte options could reduce your costs and fulfill your requirements more effectively without compromising productivity.

Looking for a Solution to Quickly Analyze Your Data?

Where’s my Data?

If you are like most organizations, the amount of data to sift through from spreadsheets, databases, the web, and SharePoint files is overwhelming. Power BI turns chaotic data into an easy-to-read, immersive, interactive experience that leads to insights, making it an ideal business intelligence solution.

What is Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI is a collection of SaaS products, applications, and connectors that work together. When implemented, Power BI collects data from various sources, whether you use cloud sources, different file types, or on-premise data warehouses to store your data. Power BI is broadly applicable for many kinds of analyses through a user-friendly interface.

Power BI consists of several elements that all work together, starting with these three basics:

  • A free Windows desktop application – Power BI Desktop
  • An online SaaS – Power BI service
  • Power BI mobile apps for Windows, iOS, and Android devices

Why do I need Power BI?

Your organization runs on data. It’s easy to collect, but the problem is analyzing quickly and efficiently. That’s where Power BI comes in. The platform has over 160 built-in connectors (see figure below) available to help you securely compile data from various sources into reports and dashboards. Power BI is extensible, enabling the creation of custom connectors. Use it to transform your data and help your organization:

  • Improve the decision-making process by accessing data in real-time
  • Boost productivity by giving your employees a centralized location to view data
  • Enhance your customer’s experience by understanding their changing needs and predicting the best way to meet those needs

What are the steps to Develop a Power BI Dashboard?

The development process is relatively simple:

  • Install Power BI desktop
  • Get data sources (identify and access all of the data sources required to create your final report or dashboard)
  • Model and transform data using the Power Query transformation tools and the DAX language to add calculations and value to that model
  • Creatively and effectively tell a data story with the many built-in visualizations (hundreds of customized visualizations are available, and most are free)
  • Publish your report to the Power BI service (or you can save your report to an internal Power BI report server)
  • Create a dashboard by collecting visual tiles from one or more reports
  • Share reports and dashboards internally or externally

How Can I Use Power BI?

Below are some real-world examples and case studies.

COVID 19 Summary

To track and report COVID cases, our client needed a dashboard that could be “sliced and diced” by individual regions, the state, and nationally. The project involved pulling data from various public sources, including COVID case data, populations, maps (by areas within the state and nationally), charts and tables. We developed a dashboard that provided a quick snapshot of “hot regions” and trends using Power BI. In addition, we set up a data gateway with scheduled, regular refreshes from external sites. 

Interactive Dashboard

The client previously had a SharePoint site with various folders containing reports for several divisions from different data sources (billing, project tracking, hour tracking) regarding projects and their hours worked in multiple phases, categories and types. The Dewpoint Team pulled all the data sources into Power BI, creating an interactive dashboard that went beyond the prior simple static PDF reports. Now the client can view Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the percentage of green projects, trends by month, the percentage in different category types, and a split between division direct or enterprise work. In addition, we developed detailed tables to show all the individual line details with the ability for each person to filter their details. Finally, we implemented row-level security, so that client leadership can see all divisions in one report (or filter as desired); however, each division can only view their data.

Need Help?

Power BI offers solutions fit for any industry. All businesses collect data, and Power BI helps you utilize your data for decision-making. With over 25 years of providing technology solutions to solve business problems, Dewpoint can help you get the most out of Power BI. We understand different businesses will need different levels of the tool; thus, we always start with taking a quick evaluation of your business to provide a solution that fits you. Contact us today to help produce insights that drive business decisions.