Getting Started With Microsoft

Published:
Est. reading time: 5 minutes
Author: Steph Locke

TL;DR;

We use Microsoft tech to make AI a breeze. Learn how to get started here.
Get started with the Microsoft cloud technologies, we use as part of our GoSmarter toolbox. these products all offer substantial benefits in themselves so one of the benfits of GoSmarter is helping you use the cloud more effectively.

The GoSmarter tools work inside Microsoft cloud technologies to help you use AI to improve or automate business processes. Below are guides on how to get started with some of the key technologies and recommended further learning.

Read on to understand what technologies we use and how you can get started with these technologies.

Moving to the cloud

Many of the tools in the GoSmarter toolbox are based on Microsoft technologies. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to stop using whatever you’re currently using, but it does potentially mean some extra setup.

You may not have all of the latest Microsoft cloud capabilities setup for your business. Nightingale HQ are a Microsoft partner who can help you get your cloud environment set up. We can even manage things for you! This can be done as part of your digital strategy or we can get something set up as a proof of concept during one of our In A Day workshops where we help you get an automated, AI-supported business process in just a day. Either way, get in touch to get the support you need today.

Trying to sort all this yourself might be a bit more than you’re feeling up to. Nightingale HQ can act as a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) for you where you work with us to set up and manage things for you. If this of interest, contact us.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform that hosts technology and software for your business. Many things you may already use in the cloud like Microsoft Teams actually run on Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure is a highly secure, government trusted platform and has no-code software like Microsoft Logic Apps and plug-and-play AI like Microsoft Cognitive Services. These aspects plus the super low price tag mean we can set up customisable tools for you in a platform that is all yours. You can read more about Azure in our Azure knowledgebase article.

Getting started

You can get started today by signing up for a subscription using Microsoft’s online checkout process. You can start with a Microsoft Azure Free Trial.

Making a “work or school account”

If you don’t already use a work or school account i.e. one that isn’t already associated with a Microsoft service like Microsoft 365, you will need to make yourself an administrator account that you can use.

  1. Create a new user (instructions)
  2. Give the user the Global Administrator role in Azure Active Directory (instructions)
  3. Give the user the Contributor role for the subscription (instructions)
Why is this needed?

You need to use a work or school account to properly agree to the permissions needed. You need the Global Administrator permission to grant our app the relevant access on behalf of the entire organisation so that anyone else who logs in from your organisation will not need to do any further work. Finally, we set things up in Azure on behalf of the logged in user so the user needs the permissions to be able to set things up in Azure.

Self-paced learning

See more Microsoft Azure posts

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is the name for Microsoft’s bundle of online and desktop/device solutions that support business productivity and management. Microsoft 365 is available directly from Microsoft via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model where you pay monthly or annually for a number of users to access different tiers of features bundled into subscriptions.

The most common subscriptions bundle tools like Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Higher tier subscriptions can also include Windows and device security technologies to cover your workforce and simplify licensing.

Getting started

As Microsoft 365 is available as SaaS, you can get started today by signing up for a subscription using Microsoft’s online checkout process. Check out the Microsoft 365 plans to get started.

Making a “work or school account”

You probably set things up with an account that isn’t already a work or school account i.e. one that isn’t already associated with Microsoft 365, and if that’s the case you will need to make yourself an administrator account that you can use.

  1. Create a new user (instructions)
  2. Give the user the Global Admin role in Microsoft 365 (instructions)
Why is this needed?

You need to use a work or school account to properly agree to the permissions needed. You need the Global Admin permission to grant our app the relevant access on behalf of the entire organisation so that anyone else who logs in from your organisation will not need to do any further work.

Self-paced learning

See more Microsoft 365 posts

Power Platform

Power Platform is a suite of tools from Microsoft to help you build no-code / low-code solutions to automate processes, help people do their jobs, and gain insight quickly. The different tools all integrate really well so you can easily start scaling your business processes.

  • Power Apps enables you to make apps for your business
  • Power Automate enables you to perform actions or integrate different software systems automatically
  • Power BI enables you to bring data from different sources into interactive reports
  • Power Virtual Agents enables you to build your chatbots (note: at this time time, pricing is not small business friendly

Getting started

You can get started today by signing up for subscriptions using Microsoft’s online checkout process. You can get started for free on all of these before you commit to using them going forward.

Self-paced learning

See more Power Platform posts

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of online software designed to help you operate your business. With areas of focus like sales, marketing, field engineers, finance, and more Dynamics 365 can be the single place for your businesses operations.

Self-paced learning

See more Microsoft Dynamics posts

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