All posts by Tony Pounder

10 ways to make your business secure online in 2022 featured image

10 ways to make your business secure online in 2022

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Is keeping your business secure online one of your resolutions for the New Year?

1 week into 2022, and we’re all looking for things to get us through the colder months.

It’s a time of resolutions, new challenges, and new goals. However, it’s just as important to reflect on what you should continue to work on from 2021.

Did you know that the first half of 2021 saw 94% of malware distributed in phishing emails? With high numbers of people working remotely and online this year, cybersecurity needs to be a central focus for the new year.

To show our ongoing commitment to information security, id have once again, been recertified with the ISO 27001 accreditation, proving that cyber security is a key focus for us at id. To qualify, id proved that they could not just prevent but defend against potential data system vulnerabilities. The principles of ISO 27001 are:

ISO 27001 registration badge
  • Defining and maintaining a security policy
  • Defining the scope of the Information Security Management System
  • Conducting a risk assessment
  • Managing identified risks
  • Selecting control objectives and controls to implement
  • Preparing a statement of applicability

The certification involves 114 specific security measures, which you can read more about on the QMS website here.

To celebrate are reaccreditation, we’re helping you to keep your business secure online in 2022 with these top 10 tips.

Top 10 tips for keeping your business secure online

Use passphrases rather than passwords

Predictable passwords are the easiest way for hackers to gain access to important files and information. Even worse, reusing passwords can give hackers extensive access to your details in a matter of minutes. Instead of a password, implement the use multiple words to form a pass phrase. Pass phrases are a much more secure mechanism than passwords. If remembering passwords, let alone pass phrases passphrases is a struggle for you, our next tip will help.

Utilise a Secure passphrase/ password sharing software

Keeping track of passphrases / passwords is a nightmare. Numerous accounts as well as both personal and work logins can involve many notes, spreadsheets, and email password reminders. Tools like LastPass allow you to securely store all of your passphrases / passwords in one place. Even better, you can share login details to give access to accounts without exchanging the password itself. It’s also extremely useful for remembering login details and auto-fills out your email and passphrases / password for you – secure and useful!

Install Anti-Virus and Firewall Software

Whilst standard devices come automatically installed with Anti-Virus software, this is rarely enough to keep your business secure online. Firewalls are a more robust method of protection as they act as a gatekeeper between your computer and the internet. Firewalls form a first line of defence, and we recommend outsourcing your cyber security through an IT provider to ensure the highest levels of protection.

As part of our ISO 27001 certification, id ensures we meet the highest level of cyber security internally and for our clients. Our Mercury Intranet solution boasts the highest levels of online security as part of its collaborative platform. If a secure digital transformation is part of your 2022 plan, book a free demo and speak to one of our SharePoint Experts here.

Update physical servers regularly

Cyber Security updates are a key focus for serving companies. Hackers target sites that don’t have the latest software Security updates are a key focus for securing companies hardware. Sites without the latest software aren’t protected against the latest vulnerabilities. These sites are most likely to be targeted by Hackers. You should download the latest version of your server’s security software as soon as possible and protect yourself and your business from a security attack.

Store sensitive data in a private managed cloud account

Making use of a managed private cloud account allows you to store sensitive data in a digital account as a backup. Meanwhile, employees are granted access to this information and data when needed. Passwords are required for access, and data is encrypted, providing multiple layers of security for your business.

Limit access to files for former employees and partners

It is essential that you keep in top of who has access to information within your business. Utilising a cloud system makes it easy to disconnect former employees. If you share information over email or other methods, it is important that you invalidate computer access of people no longer working in your business to prevent misuse of information. A simple system for this is requiring passwords for access, which you can then change as your team and any partners or vendors move on.

Ensure financial transactions are encrypted

This is only relevant to organisations that carry out transactions online. It is a requirement of Credit Card companies that suppliers protect customer data. Keeping your business secure online also includes keeping people who interact with your business online secure. You, or an outsourced IT company, can install encryption software, or you can make use of established payment processing companies, such as PayPal.

Make use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

All wireless networks are vulnerable to attacks, and with the increase in remote working, it is now more of a risk than ever as employees are spread across the world and utilising numerous networks. VPNs encrypt your data, and effectively hide your online footprint. This means you can safely exchange information on whichever Wi-Fi network you or your employees are using.

Backup your important data

No matter what size your business is, it is essential that all your important data is backed up so that your business can continue to run following the impact of a flood, fire, physical damage or theft. Moreover, it allows you to respond and recover quickly should you be subject to a cybersecurity attack.

Your website data, CRM/ email list and other essential data and documents can easily be downloaded as a CSV from the platform, or as files on a hard drive, and that should only be available to authorised personnel. You can also make the use of cloud storage, meaning your data is kept physical separate from your computer.

Use two factor authentication where possible

The final, and arguably the easiest tip to increase your business security, is to utilise two factor authentication. Your website, email and document access can easily be setup to require two factor authentication, making it increasingly difficult for hackers to access your data and business information.

Cyber Security should be at the forefront of any businesses plans for 2022, and if keeping your business secure online isn’t something you feel confident in achieving this year, then you can speak to one of our SharePoint experts for free about how you can enhance security in your business.

If you would like to check the validity of our ISO 27001 certification[TP1]  (Certificate Number 288302018) or find out more about the ISO 27001 principles, we follow then please get in touch today as we would be delighted to speak with you.


 [TP1]We need to check this url as it sometimes doesn’t work – we can do this when when we get confirmed

Microsoft Office 365 Updates October 2021

The latest Microsoft Office 365 Updates, October 2021

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  • What are the latest Microsoft Office 365 updates?
  • What’s new in Microsoft in October 2021?
  • How do I install the latest Microsoft updates?

With monthly Patch Tuesday updates and an extensive Roadmap, it can be difficult to keep track of what Microsoft Office 365 updates are on the way, work out how they will affect you, and what you need to do to make the most of your Microsoft investment.

We’ve pulled together the most important updates from the last few months to ensure you make the most of Microsoft’s ongoing developments.

Remember to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be kept right up to date on all the updates and how we can help you make Microsoft work for your business.

Current Microsoft Office 365 updates:


Update: Teams templates to include Power Automate Templates

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? When you create a team, recommended flow templates will automatically appear for you to choose from. With Power Automate templates available, you’ll be able to speed up the process of setting up a team by automatically including relevant workflows.

Installation requirements: A selection of curated Power Automate flow templates will be available to you when you go to select Microsoft provided templates. Automation really is the future for Microsoft!


Update: Pilot and deploy Teams for frontline workers with the onboarding wizard

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? The FLW (Frontline worker) onboarding wizard speeds up the process of onboarding frontline workers by allowing admins to create teams and assign roles to up to 100 users at a time. Each role then receive a policy package which generates a tailored teams experience.

Installation requirements: Go to the left navigation of the MS 365 admin center, select Setup, Apps and email, and then click View under ‘Get your frontline workers up and running’, then click Get started when you’re ready to go. All it takes is assigning a team name, team owners and adding users to your team.

A sound onboarding process is key for a successful remote working environment. Book a FREE demo of our Mercury Digital Workplace product here.


Update: Present from PowerPoint to Teams and improve presentation capabilities

October 2021 Microsoft Office 365 Updates - Present PowerPoints directly in Teams image

Current Status: Available

Installation requirements: Look for the ‘Present in Teams’ button in PowerPoint when in a Teams call.

What does this mean for you? This stops you from needing to upload PowerPoints in Teams ahead of time or spend unnecessary time screen sharing and alternating between Tabs. It makes the process of preparing and delivering presentations in Teams simpler, faster, and hassle free. Read more about integration and the power of an intranet here.


Update: Left navigation updates in Teams Admin Center

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? The Left navigation bar now allows you to access more of the key settings and sections of Teams, making it easier for admins to manage, edit and maintain their Teams channels.

Installation requirements: As with many Microsoft Office 365 updates, this is applied automatically to the latest versions of the Teams app


Update: Share Feedback in mobile app

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? This updates means feedback for Microsoft 365 can be sent directly without the need for extra emails (great news seeing as the average employee receives over 120 emails a day!).

Installation requirements: Go to Settings, and select Help & Feedback.


Update: Teams meetings through Apple CarPlay

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? With Hybrid working a sign of the times, Microsoft are making it even easier for employees to work on the go by enabling you to join Teams Calls whilst commuting, on the school run, or running errands in the car. In doing so, they make it easier for work and home life to seamlessly merge, but perhaps run the risk of making 24/7 availability an expectation of remote working employees. The feature is available in audio format only and also allows you to use Voice Command to message other Teams contacts.

Installation requirements: Find the Teams icon on your Apple CarPlay Screen


Update: Press “Ctrl Spacebar” to Speak

Microsoft Office 365 updates 2021 Play Teams meetings on Car Play

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? It is now easier than ever to begin speaking in a meeting, without the need to use your mouse and unmute your Mic. This comes as Microsoft aim to improve collaboration across their platforms with Hybrid working very much a sign of the future to come.

Installation requirements: Simply press Ctrl + Spacebar and you’re ready to go (best to try it in an internal meeting though. We don’t want anymore embarrassing ‘your mic isn’t on’ mistakes at this stage in the remote working game!)


Update: Time Sensitive Emails in Play My Emails (PME)

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? Outlook Mobile will now prioritise emails it believes to be time sensitive by reading these to you first in Play My Emails (PME). This will ensure you don’t miss important opportunities, deadlines, changes etc. and that you’re always on top of the most important elements of your workload. What’s more, you can spend less time scrolling through your inbox and more time getting those important tasks ticked off.

Installation requirements: Ensure you have PME set up by going to Outlook Mobile Settings, Siri Shortcuts, Play my Emails, and then tap the red button to record your siri shortcut. For information on how PME works on Android devices, see here: Microsoft Outlook now supports Play My Emails on Android (androidpolice.com) (integrated link)


Update: Simplified Breakout Room assignment 

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? Breakout Rooms provided a great opportunity for including small group collaboration within large group calls when they were introduced in 2020. However, with presenters needing to individually assign participants to rooms, it resulted in a clunky experience on both ends. Now, with the ability to select multiple participants to add or remove from rooms, the process is much quicker and will allow more time to be spent on collaboration.

Installation requirements: Look out for the separate pop up in Teams after selecting ‘Assign Participants’


Update: Pin messages and participants

Microsoft updates pin messages and people in teams

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? Whilst the ability to pin specific chat conversations is not new for Teams, all participants can now pin and unpin specific messages to be highlighted at the top of the chat. This supports GIFs and images, but is recommended to be used for text based messages.

Installation requirements: Use the center of the room console to pin up to 9 participants at a time in a Teams meeting, and simple click the three dots next to the message you’d like to pin to see the options.


Update: Improved delivery for Live Events

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? Virtual events started with pub quizzes and friendly cocktail nights, but with the worldwide reach and reduced costs, they are a certain reality for the future. Microsoft Office 365 updates their systems in accordance with demand and they have responded to this new demand by allowing you to scale Teams Live Events to 100,000 attendees. You can work with eCDN support, Peer5, to optimise your live events AND you can restart events if you end them earlier than intended – no more panicking as you lose the audience you’ve spent weeks building up. This final feature is only available to the Producer of the Event. It’s safe to say, Microsoft see Virtual live events as a lasting result of the Pandemic that they can make the most of.

Installation requirements: To allow for the increase in attendees, you must engage the Microsoft LEAP team, and to benefit from Microsoft’s Peer5 acquisition you should get in contact with them or Microsoft directly. For Producers restarting a Live Event, simply click and select ‘Restart Event’.


What’s Coming next?

That’s the roundup of the recent Microsoft updates for October 2021, but with constant development and investment, a constant stream of updates will be coming your way throughout Autumn. Keeping up to date is the single best way to make the most of your Microsoft investment and ensure that your business processes are optimised. If you need support figuring out how to make Microsoft work for you, get in contact for a free Ask the Expert Session with one of our Office 365 experts.

Keep an eye on our social media accounts for information regarding the latest Microsoft Office 365 updates, but if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to be ahead of the game, so here’s a sneak preview of what to expect in the next few weeks:

Microsoft Office 365 updates coming soon:

OneDrive and SharePoint: Improved Move or Copy user experience

We’re refreshing the Move/Copy user experience in OneDrive and SharePoint to make it easier for you to choose where to move or copy your files and folders.

October 2021

Microsoft Search: Work Search Shortcut in Edge

To help users stay focused and find work results faster when searching from the Microsoft Edge address bar, Microsoft Search is adding the capability to create customized address bar shortcuts for your organization. With this feature, Edge users can type a shortcut keyword in address bar, then press the Tab key followed by their work query, they will see internal work results on Microsoft Search.

October

Microsoft Viva: Quiet time settings in Teams and Outlook

To help create better boundaries and protect your personal time, later this year Viva Insights will offer the ability to configure quiet time to silence mobile notifications from Outlook and Teams outside your working hours as well as provide personalized insights on how well you are disconnecting. You will also be able to set quiet time directly from Teams and Outlook mobile.


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id become cyber essentials certified for another year

Intelligent Decisioning achieve ISO 9001, ISO 27001 & Cyber Essentials certifications

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ID are constantly developing, and quality management and cyber security certifications are something worth shouting about!

ID ISO 9001 cyber security certification
ID ISO 27001 cyber security certification

What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is the international Standard for quality management. Businesses that are certified commit to consistent quality and customer satisfaction. The certification can also help a company to expand their client base and open up more opportunities. 

What is required to become ISO 9001 certified?

“Intelligent Decisioning Ltd. already had a lot of requirements needed for ISO 9001 in place as they had already achieved certification in ISO 27001, the Standard for information security management. Meeting the requirements for ISO 9001 was therefore a breeze for them. 

Internal Information security and quality awareness are gained through training, company culture, values and strong internal processes and policies, all of which support the organisation for further success and improvement. Intelligent Decisioning Ltd. implemented all of these processes and are now set to continue to strive to satisfy their customers.”

Karen Knaggs, QMS UK

As well as gaining first time accreditation for ISO 9001, we were recently reaccredited for ISO 27001 (Information Security).

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is recognised worldwide as the standard for information security management.  

How did we achieve ISO 27001?

ID  demonstrated that we meet the high standards set by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) through our achievement of the ISO 27001 cyber security certification.  

To qualify, we proved that we could not only prevent but defend against potential data system vulnerabilities. This was achieved through a comprehensive suite of information security controls.  

An annual audit, carried out by an external third party, ensures these systems continue to meet the stringent requirements set out in the ISO 27001 standard.  

We also recertified as a Cyber Essentials organisation to further strengthen our position as an organisation who prioritise the security of information. 

A word from our Managing Director

 “We are planning to use our accreditations to provide our customers with increased reliability and security of our systems and information, improve customer and business partner confidence, increase our business resilience and align more closely with customer requirements.”  

“Intelligent Decisioning Ltd are committed to quality management and keeping customer data safe. Achieving ISO 9001 and 27001 has allowed Intelligent Decisioning Ltd to successfully tender for a number of opportunities that would otherwise have been out of scope”   

Managing Director, Andy Smith

Get in touch to  find out more about the ISO 9001 / 27001 principles that we follow, we would be delighted to speak with you.  

If you would like to check our certificates then visit http://www.qmsuk.com/verification  and use Certificate Numbers 377602021 and 288302018.  

Email: info@id-live.com 

Telephone: 0845 643 9726 

Meet Ellen, our new Marketing Coordinator!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself! 

I’m Ellen, I’m 21 years old and have just graduated from the University of Nottingham studying English. I’m from Essex and my biggest goal is to be able to travel and meet as many people from around the world as possible. 

Give us some fun facts about you! 

I have a twin sister and three other siblings, so I have always been used to a busy and hectic lifestyle! Over the years I’ve tried numerous hobbies– netball, piano, clarinet, football (for a very brief and unsuccessful period of time), cricket, ballet, and musical theatre. My friends would describe me as crazily busy as I’m always piling projects onto my plate and am constantly in search of the next challenge or adventure! 

Give us three emojis to describe your first impressions of the team! 

The computer emoji because they’re all tech wizzes with a lot of knowledge about things I didn’t even know existed! The handshake emoji because even remotely everyone was very welcoming, and I can already tell they care about working together as a successful team. The T-shirt because I was very happy to hear that they take a relaxed and casual approach to workwear (particularly since on my first day it was 28 degrees!)

What will be your biggest challenge in your first few weeks?  

My biggest challenge will be settling into a full time remote working week as I’m so used to being out and about and seeing lots of people.  

Where did you hear about us and why did you choose us? 

This role was advertised on a recruitment agencies page at my university. I thought it would be so exciting to branch out and start working for a company working in a completely new field to me. I think working with ID will be great for me as I’ll be able to work alongside their current marketing strategist and eventually learn how to develop and implement successful marketing strategies of my own. 

Armed Forces Covenant

Armed Forces Covenant

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At Intelligent Decisioning we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

We do this with first hand knowledge from our current and ex employees who served in the UK forces.

To show our commitment we have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

Home – Armed Forces Covenant (armedforcescovenant.gov.uk)

shaping the it industry for women

Gosia Borzęcka: Shaping the IT industry for women

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We love to celebrate achievements here at Intelligent Decisioning, so when we have an opportunity to share accomplishments, we like to shout about it.

Congratulations to our Office 365 developer Gosia for gaining the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award for the second time!

Not only is Gosia a technology expert who passionately shares her knowledge with the IT community, but she is also part of something very special – shaping the IT industry for women.

We are proud to have you on our team Gosia – keep up the amazing work!

Connect with Gosia on LinkedIn

Supporting women in tech

If you’re looking for more advice or resources regarding the IT industry then visit the women in tech website.

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Intelligent Decisioning becomes Cyber Essentials certified for another year

id become cyver essentials certified for another year
id become cyber essentials certified for another year

Intelligent Decisioning become Cyber Essentials certified for another year

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If there is one thing that we strive for here at Intelligent Decisioning its success. So when we achieve something great, we like to shout about it!

The Cyber Essentials certification not only demonstrates our knowledge and understanding around the most common cyber threats that face our society, but it means we demonstrate our commitment to cyber security.

So when we gained our Cyber Essentials certification for another year, we thought you would like to know!

But for those of you who are still not sure what Cyber Essentials is, we talk about it in more detail below.

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a government backed scheme that will help protect your organisation against common cyber attacks.

Cyber attacks come in all shapes and sizes, but the majority are very basic and are carried out by relatively unskilled individuals.

If you would like to learn more about Cyber Essentials click here.

Protecting our clients against cyber attacks

We take pride in the ability to protect our clients against cyber attacks and provide them with in-depth knowledge around cyber security. That’s why its important to us that we gain industry leading certifications so we can provide our clients with a bespoke service.

If you have any more questions regarding our Cyber Essentials certification feel free to email info@id-live.com.

free intranet software: introducing modern intranet

Free intranet software: introducing Modern intranet

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Free intranet software

If you’re a small business looking for free intranet software then we have the perfect product just for you. 

Introducing Modern Intranet by Intelligent Decisioning. The easy to use SharePoint intranet designed for collaboration and communication.

For a limited time, we are offering our new Modern Intranet at no cost to help keep businesses connected during these uncertain times. Our Promotion includes:

● Utilises your existing Office 365 licence

● 1/2 day deployment

● 1/2 day online training

free intranet software: introducing Modern intranet

Modern Intranet Features

Modern Intranet is an easy to use, mobile friendly intranet that can be easily integrated into your existing Office 365 and includes all of the essential features that small businesses need to stay connected and to collaborate. These include:

● News articles

● Events

● Documents

● Personalisation

● Video Calling via Microsoft Teams

● Office 365 bookings

● Business automation via the Power Platform

What are the benefits of our free intranet software?

The workplace has evolved dramatically over the years, with more and more businesses shifting to a work from home type culture.

In a world where employees now work remotely, it’s important to have a tool to keep your company connected.

Read our blog post on five reasons why implementing an intranet would be beneficial to your business.

Ready to install your new intranet?

We feel that it’s important that businesses of all sizes have the correct tools in place to enhance communication and collaboration in the workplace. That’s why we have developed Modern intranet so we can support small businesses during these uncertain times.

If Modern Intranet is something that you feel could benefit your business fill out our contact form below. 

Remember, it’s free! For information regarding our other intranet products, visit the Mercury website or give us a call on +44 845 643 9726.

Read our case studies!

Find out more about how we have helped businesses grow, adapt and evolve with our specialist knowledge of SharePoint, Office 365 and the Microsoft Cloud.

top 5 benefits of document management systems

Top 5 benefits of document management systems

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With many modern workplaces operating in a digital landscape, information has exponentially increased in size. 

Knowing how to manage and monitor all of that extra information can often be a challenge. 

That’s why it’s important to have a well designed document management system in place to help your organisation efficiently store, monitor and track important company files and information effectively.

In this blog post, we have put together the top 5 benefits of implementing a document management system in the workplace. 

The top 5 benefits of document management are; 

1) Reduced physical storage

2) Highly secure

3) Improved compliance

4) Easily find information

5) Enhanced collaboration

Top 5 benefits of document management systems

1) Reduced physical storage

With many businesses now opting from a work from home type culture, it’s important that employees can easily access information. 

Implementing a document management system means that your employees can effortlessly find and access important company files without having to take a trip to the office. 

The office space currently allocated to physical storage can be re-purposed, providing more space for employees, breakout areas etc.

Document management systems offer organisations the ability to work flexibly meaning employees can access information from anywhere in the world. 

2) Highly secure

In an age where everything is digital, it is important to have a system in place to securely store information.

Not having a secure system in place could place your company at risk of hacking and having personal and confidential information stolen. 

A document management system provides a secure file solution for storing, signing and sharing documents, keeping your important information safe from harm.

3) Improves compliance

Compliance is becoming an extremely important component of an organisation’s digital footprint, so it’s important to do all you can to ensure you’re meeting regulatory compliance in your company.

Implementing a digital workplace solution like docCentrum can help your organisation simplify the management of important organisational documents. 

Read our blog post on how docCentrum can help your company with regulatory compliance issues.  

4) Easily find information

In a world where people expect to receive everything on demand, being able to find information easily is an organisational necessity. Ignoring this need is a quick way to fall behind. 

According to PWC, 20% of business time is wasted due to employees being unable to quickly access the information they need because of poorly organised company data.  

A document management system can reduce the time spent looking for company files and data by allowing employees to instantly access important information at any time and any place! 

5) Enhanced employee collaboration

If you’re looking for a way to improve employee collaboration then look no further!

With document management systems, information sharing and collaboration can be improved by providing employees a better space to work and communicate. 

This is because document management systems provide a better workflow for users to quickly and easily share, access and work together on company information across departments and locations without compromising data security.

Ready to improve your organisation’s document management process?

A document management system can bring many benefits to your organisation and can be a valuable asset to your business.

Luckily for you, we have a fantastic product called docCentrum that has been developed to help your business simplify the management of important documents. 

For more information about how we can help your business, give us a call +44 845 643 ​9726 or fill out the contact form below to speak to one of our document management experts.  

Document management contact form

Fill out the form below to contact us about our document management solution docCentrum.

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office 365 document management: introducing docCentrum