TechKnow Advisor Newsletter – January 2015

January 2015

In this issue…

Welcome to 2015!
New Outlook Clutter Feature
Microsoft’s Lync Becomes Skype for Business
Adding Security to the Internet of Everything
Are You Ready for the New Year? Here’s a 2015 Checklist
Migrating from Windows Server 2003 is Not Optional – It’s a Necessity
Firm News
Welcome to 2015!

Now is the time for resolutions and predictions. We will leave the resolutions up to each of you, but will provide our technology predictions for the new year. LaSalle Consulting Partners is a business partner with a number of world class technology vendors such as Microsoft and Dell Computers. Our relationships with these vendors give us a sneak preview into planned products and technologies before they hit the market. While confidentiality agreements with these vendors prevents us from discussing product details, we use these insights to help our clients plan for the future. Below are five predictions from our crystal ball.

Continued cybercrimes and a greater need for security. 2014 brought an increase in security awareness following the sharp increase in cybercrimes. We do not foresee a slowdown in cybercrimes in 2015. Therefore, a greater percentage of your 2015 technology budget should be allocated to security defenses than in prior years. We will continue to stress security with our clients and provide advice when needed.

Rapid release of new products. New product features will be coming out faster than ever in 2015. Products such as Microsoft Office, which used to be released on a three year cycle, will now see an incremental addition of features throughout the year. This is already evident with Microsoft’s recent release of Clutter, a new Office 2013 feature for use in Outlook (mentioned in article below).

Software that learns. In 2015, software will learn from your work habits and work better for you based on them. The software will learn based on conversations you have, documents you create, locations you visit, and the work products you utilize.

Enhanced computing capabilities. Computing will continue to expand into all aspects of our lives. There will be apps for everything. You can already see that with our phones, smart watches, and health monitoring bands that you wear on your wrist.

2015 will be a year of innovation. While innovation is largely positive, we expect that this innovation will also cause a certain amount of disruption. Please continue to call on us in this new year to help maximize the use of innovations and minimize potential disruptions.

Outlook Logo

New Outlook Clutter Feature
On November 11 Microsoft introduced Clutter, a new tool to assist with de-cluttering your Outlook inbox. Clutter is designed for Office 365 business users, and ensures that high priority emails receive attention rather than being buried by “clutter.” The tool does not delete low priority mail, but moves it to a Clutter folder which users can then access when convenient.When Clutter sees an item you’re likely to ignore, it will move the item into the Clutter folder. Just keep using email as usual and Clutter will learn which messages aren’t important to you. From time to time, Clutter might get it wrong. If you’re using Outlook Web App (OWA), you can right-click and choose the “Mark as not clutter” option. For all other email programs, you can move the incorrect messages from Clutter back to your inbox. A number of us at LCP have been using the feature. It works as intended and does indeed save you time if you are a high volume email user.

If you find yourself losing track of important e-mails due to a high volume of messages, Clutter may be an effective solution. The feature can be easily enabled/disabled through the OWA options menu. The Clutter folder can be accessed from a variety of email programs and devices. You can read more about the Clutter feature here. Please contact LaSalle Consulting Partners if we can be of assistance.

Lync turns to Skype

Microsoft’s Lync Becomes Skype for Business
Alex Zurek
In the first half of 2015, the next version of Microsoft’s Lync will become Skype for Business. All of Lync’s current features will be retained, but they will be accompanied by new ones.Skype’s call monitor will be added, which displays active calls in a small window when users are working with other applications. Skype for Business will also incorporate aesthetic changes resembling the current Skype interface. And though Lync already allows messaging and audio calls with Skype users, Skype for Business will offer video calling from a variety of devices.

Contact a LaSalle Consulting Partners representative for further information about Skype for Business. Also, be sure to follow Microsoft Lync’s social channels for updates (Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn).

Adding Security to the Internet of Everything
Used with the permission of
The Internet of Everything heralds a new kind of world for everyone. But it also requires a new way of thinking about IT security.Don’t panic just yet: but in a few years, your fridge could become a target for cybercriminals. As the number of devices in the Internet of Everything grows, so does the likelihood that connecting these devices and networking them together could increase the number and type of attack vectors we will see in the future. And that means we need to think differently about IT security and the levels of protection needed for this new, connected world. Protecting all of IoE interactions is crucial in enabling people and organizations to benefit from these advances.
Read More

Are You Ready for the New Year? Here’s a 2015 Checklist
As we near the end of 2014, it’s time to start thinking, planning, and budgeting for the New Year. We have a short checklist of four key areas we think you should consider when making your plan. If you have any questions about these key areas for your business, please reach out to LaSalle Consulting Partners, Inc!
Read More

Migrating from Windows Server 2003 is Not Optional – It’s a Necessity
Change is inevitable. And with IT operations, that phrase couldn’t be truer. In April 2014, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP. And now MIcrosoft has announced it will no longer support Windows Server 2003 after July 14, 2015. The risk of running outdated, unsecure, and non-compliant infrastructure and software is too great to ignore. Migrating from Server 2003 to Server 2012 isn’t necessarily difficult, but moving your data and applications can be a logistically complex, worrisome task. Start thinking about it now, put it in your budget, and get ready to make the move. But remember you don’t have to do this alone—LaSalle Consulting Partners, Inc. is here to help!
Read More


Firm News
IBEW Local Union 176 Selects LaSalle Consulting Partners
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (“IBEW”) Local Union 176 has retained LCP to provide network support and strategic technology planning services. Local 176 is located in Joliet, IL. The Local provides union membership benefits to over 1,500 members in a ten county area. Part of the initial strategic technology initiative will be to migrate their email system to Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud-hosted solution.IBEW Local 176 JATC Retains LaSalle Consulting Partners
The governing committee of the IBEW Local 176 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (“JATC”) has selected LCP to provide network support and strategic technology planning services. The JATC training facility is located in Joliet, IL. They provide both classroom and on the job training to electrical worker apprentices.

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“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”Hal Borland

LaSalle Consulting Partners, Inc. 

200 W Madison St | Suite 940 | Chicago, IL 60606

LaSalle Consulting Partners, Inc. provides the information in this newsletter purely as a public resource of information which is intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete, or up-to-date. This newsletter is not intended to be a source of solicitation of legal advice nor should it be the sole basis for technology decisions. The reader should therefore not consider this information to be an invitation for a consultant-client relationship, should not solely rely on information provided herein, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel especially related to HIPAA compliance matters before making decisions or taking any actions


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