Confused About The Cloud ?

We are here to help you get clarity, make practical decisions and take action to put the systems your business needs in place to achieve more. We are committed to being objective (vendor agnostic) when it comes to technology because we know the focus needs to be on people, the work they do and the tools, support, collaboration and communication that helps them do it better.

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Sheepdog Blog

How the Cloud saves you money Feb 11 2014

When you move your business on to the cloud, there are many benefits, but one of the most biggest impacts is the one it has on your bottom line. Moving your business to the cloud saves you money in several different ways:

Lower licensing fees

The opportunity for cost saving comes first with the licensing fees. Typically, it is a lot cheaper to secure licensing for productivity suites that are hosted online, so you’ll see immediate savings right  there.

Less hardware for your software

Using a cloud or web version of your productivity suite, such as Microsoft Office with Office 365, or Google Apps, you’re not using any in-house infrastructure. This means you no longer need to power a server room or mini-data centre etc, bringing electricity costs down because you no longer need to supply power to it, or air-condition the room that it sits in. You also tend to see less bandwidth use once you get on the cloud. Plus, you obviously don’t need to buy more hardware for data storage going forward.

Increased Productivity

Whatever cloud system you go with, you’ll find that they all offer ways to work more efficiently. Take, for example, the search feature in Google Apps. When you’re looking for something in the new environment, it is fast and much easier than it would be using a system such as Microsoft Exchange. Somebody who is managing data tends to spend between 30% – 40% of their time looking for data, which is obviously a significant amount of time, so any way you can make that easier will help them do their job more effectively. Increased productivity is a big part of your ROI when you move to the cloud.


Dave Tzagarakis is Director of Sales at Sheepdog, and specializes in helping our clients understand how technology can help meet their business objectives.

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Recent Posts

How To Better Organize Google Drive With Activity Lists

Apr 30 2014

Just in case you missed it, last week Google increased the maximum file size you can now upload to Google Drive from 10 GB to 1 TB. To make use of this, users will have to add the additional Google Drive storage allocated to their account to make use of the new limit. The combined storage for a normal user remains at 30 GB for Google Mail and Drive.

How To leverage Activity Lists Better:  

When you are in “My Drive”, you will note that at the top right side of your browser there is an “i” button available that looks like this –>  Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 2.43.05 PM which when clicked, will make a new list appear. Any time that you move, rename, edit, comment, upload, share or unshare a file or folder, this activity will be tracked with the most recent activity at the top of the list. Very similar to the All Items option.

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 2.46.01 PM

You also have the option of determining what order your files and folders are displayed with by clicking on the dropdown menu next to “Owner” or “Last Modified” links. When viewing the Activity list, the document you are looking at can be clicked and  by right clicking on it, you get the following options:

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 2.47.27 PM

 Notice that one of options is “Hide details and activity”.  In actually this is very similar to Archiving an Email in Gmail. So you can customize your Activity List to display only those documents that you wish to have readily available. If you need to view a document that you have designated not to be displayed in your Activity List you can always view it via your “All Items” option.

The main benefit here is that you can use the Activity List to monitor documents that your have worked on plus documents that you want to track that others may be modifying in a more automated way.

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Step by Step tutorial on how to create a Mail Merge with Google Docs / Google Drive

Apr 22 2014

With the recent addition of Add-Ons in Google Drive the process to create a Mail Merge has changed. Here is a short tutorial on how to get the job done right!

1. First create a spreadsheet in Google Drive and give it a name such specific to your project like:  Project X YZ – Mail Merge”

2. Next, give the required columns a heading, in this example we are using: Name, Age , Email Address, & Location

3. Now, in the “Add-Ons” area, type in Scripts in search window and install Yet Another Mail Merge:

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 10.59.10 AM

4. It will ask you to accept the following:

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 11.00.07 AM

5. The “Yet Another Mail Merge” script will then be available to you via Add-ons on your spreadsheet:

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 12.27.18 PM

6. Before we run the script you need to go back into your Email and create a draft email.

7. You can Leave the “To” field blank as the script will fill that in for you.

8. Here’s an example of how to embed a variable in the Subject filed:

Hello $%Name% We wanted to say…

9. In the Body of the email you can enter the text you want to send combined with the variables you have set in the associated spreadsheet like this:

Happy Birthday! you are $%Age% years old and live in $%Location%
(This will pull the information from the spreadsheet Age and Location columns and fill it in in the body of the email. As you can see, whatever column names and information you place in the spreadsheet can be used within the body of the email via the $%xxxxx% format.)

10. Now, make sure you save the email as a Draft, basically save the email. You can ignore the you must indicate at least one recipient message.

11. Finally, you can go back to Add-Ons on your spreadsheet and Click on Start Mail Merge. It will display the following window like this:

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 12.22.33 PM

Before you send it out to the distribution list we would strongly recommend that you send yourself the message first so you can debug any odd behaviour or formatting. To send it out, you can fill in the Sender Name and then click on Send Emails and you are done!

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