Wheelhouse IT Ranks on the MSP 501 list for the 5th Year in a Row

a man wearing headphones giving a thumbs up

WheelHouse IT MSP 501 Winner

WheelHouse IT continues to stand out in the global technology industry, once again earning a spot on the prestigious Channel Futures MSP 501 rankings. This year marks the fifth consecutive year that WheelHouse IT has been recognized on this global list of premier managed service providers. 

Being consistently recognized on this definitive list, which examines the performance of businesses worldwide based on criteria such as annual sales, recurring revenue, profit margins, and innovation, is a testament to WheelHouse IT’s unwavering commitment to excellence in the IT service sector. 

“It’s an honor to be recognized once again on the Channel Futures MSP 501,” said Gani Zebersky, CEO & Managing Partner. “This ranking affirms our dedication to continuous innovation and commitment to our clients. Furthermore, we strive to deliver top-tier IT solutions that help businesses succeed, and we’re grateful to our dedicated team and loyal clients for making this achievement possible.” 

While the MSP 501 list has become more competitive, WheelHouse IT continues to push the boundaries of IT service offerings, focusing on meeting customer needs in the areas of cloud, security, collaboration, and hybrid workforces. 

The WheelHouse IT team will be recognized on the Channel Futures website and honored during a special ceremony at the Channel Futures Leadership Summit, Oct. 30-Nov. 2, in Miami, Florida. 

 About WheelHouse IT

WheelHouse IT is a leading South Florida-based managed service provider that offers cost-effective infrastructure support and cyber-security solutions to meet the needs of businesses and nonprofit organizations. The award-winning company partners with industry leaders including Microsoft, Amazon, Dell and Cisco, among many others, to proactively secure workstations and networks against ever-changing online threats. Furthermore, It has been recognized as a 2017 Microsoft Southeast Partner of the Year, was named to the 2017 Inc. 500 as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies and is consistently ranked among the top tech companies in its industry by The Channel Company. With additional offices located in New York City, Long Island, Los Angeles, Iowa and Arkansas, WheelHouse IT is rapidly distinguishing itself as an innovator in the technology field. For more information, please visit us online at wheelhouseit.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/wheelhouseit and on Twitter @WheelHouseIT.


Closed Captions in PowerPoint Live for Microsoft Teams Meetings

a group of people that are looking at the camera

Microsoft is excited to introduce a new feature in Microsoft Teams meetings called Closed Captions in PowerPoint Live. This feature aims to enhance accessibility for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing, have difficulty processing auditory information, have a language barrier, or are simply joining the meeting from a loud environment. Closed Captions will help these individuals better understand the auditory content shared in Teams meetings.

closed captions in PowerPoint Live

With Closed Captions, meeting attendees now have the option to turn on closed captions for any video that includes a closed captions file. PowerPoint users looking to create accessible presentations can easily add closed captions to any embedded PowerPoint video directly from within PowerPoint for Windows and macOS.

Here’s how to add closed captions:

  1. Select the video and select Insert Captions from the Playback Ribbon
  2. In the Insert Captions dialog box, select the WebVTT file or files that should be included
  3. Select Insert

insert closed captions in powerpoint

When the PowerPoint presentation is shared using PowerPoint Live in a Microsoft Teams meeting, the closed captions option will be available for viewers to turn on. To turn on closed captions, attendees can click the closed captions button on the video player in PowerPoint Live. Then, select their preferred language from the dropdown menu. Once turned on, the video closed captions will appear at the bottom of the slide for only the individual attendee. Thus, empowering each attendee to choose the closed captions setting that’s best for them. Additionally, without distracting other attendees, who may prefer to have closed captions turned off.

enable closed captions

Closed captions make PowerPoint Live presentations more accessible and benefit everyone who watches videos. Especially those in their non-native language, people learning to read, and individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. We encourage everyone to learn how to make PowerPoint presentations more accessible with closed captions!

closed captions unavailable

It’s important to note that when no closed captions are available for a video, the closed captions button will be unavailable for participants to select. Microsoft is committed to making its products accessible to everyone. They will also continue introducing new features that promote inclusivity and accessibility in their products.

Introduction to the New Microsoft 365 App 

a magnifying glass looking at the microsoft logo

Previously known as Microsoft Office, the all-new Microsoft 365 allows you to find, create, and collaborate all in one place. Microsoft 365 is a cloud-powered productivity platform with popular applications such as Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, and more.  

microsoft 365 apps

What’s new? 

New kinds of content creation and templates 

Create is the starting point to quickly access projects across Microsoft 365 applications using blank or recommended templates. The Create module is available now to all web, Windows, and mobile users. More templates are coming soon. 


create like a pro

New Apps module 

Explore, start, and pin the most commonly used tools. This will be available to all web and Windows users next month. In the coming months, it will also be available for mobile users. 



Welcome Badging 

It contains users’ Microsoft 365 subscription status and keeps track of storage space in one location. This will be available to all web and Windows users next month. 

My Content 

Allows access to all the user’s content, including those files created or shared with you, in one location. This popular feature among business owners will be available to all web and Windows users next month. 


apps in one place A simple-to-navigate interface containing relevant content from other users you work with or users who create similar projects allows for a more streamlined workflow. This is available now for commercial users of the web, Windows, and mobile.  


a new feature that allows custom tags to organize various content into groups. This is available now for commercial users of the web and Windows.  

What is changing, and when will these changes occur? 

Microsoft 365 has evolved into Microsoft’s forerunner productivity suite. In the next few months, Office.com, the Office mobile app, and the Office app for Windows will become the new Microsoft 365 app. With it comes a new look, icon, and features. Beginning in November 2022, changes will begin for Office.com. Beginning January 2023, changes will start for the Office app on Windows and the Office mobile app. 

make work easier

Who will these changes apply to and how will these changes affect me? 

These changes will apply to all Office app users for work, school, or personal use. These changes will not affect users’ existing accounts, profiles, subscriptions, or files. The application will automatically update, and the new look will include a new name and icon.  

work across all devices

Is Office going away completely? 

No. With Microsoft 365, users will continue accessing Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook applications. Microsoft will continue to offer one-time purchases for those applications to consumers and businesses. There are no changes to Office 365 subscription plans. 

Where do I get the new app? 

You can get started with the free web and mobile apps or upgrade to a premium plan for access to additional applications, storage, and features.  

Once the new Microsoft 365 app is released, it will be available on the web at Microsoft365.com and Windows via the Microsoft Store, Google Play, and the Apple App Store. To upgrade to the premium plan, you can now buy a Microsoft 365 subscription. The app will automatically update with the new look, name, and icon beginning in November 2022 for web users. 

For more information on the new Microsoft 365 app or any questions regarding IT needs, contact us at WheelHouse IT at 954.474.2204

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NEW: Microsoft Teams Essentials is Made for Small Businesses

a group of people that are on a computer screen

Ever since the pandemic hit, business owners have consistently faced challenges. Even the big organizations have struggled with running operations during this period, but the most extensive damage was done to small businesses. Small business owners had to improvise and adapt to operate & work with customers amidst the pandemic. One significant challenge here is that the majority of the small businesses do not have access to critical tools & technologies like the big organizations.

However, Covid-19 has changed everything drastically, and things will not be the same. The old way of conducting business has become obsolete; These days, small business owners need to have the solutions built to help them in the new normal.

The following blog is dedicated to one such tool, i.e., Microsoft Teams Essentials. It is a software solution from Microsoft that is specifically designed to cater to the needs of small businesses.

The software is a complete package offering unlimited group video calls for up to 30 hours, file sharing, calendar scheduling, file sharing, and group chats. Now, this might sound like the software would cost hundreds of dollars, but the price starts at $4 only; Such aggressive pricing makes it the most affordable solution for small businesses.

Teams Essentials is built for small businesses

Microsoft Team Essentials is an all-in-one software targeted to small businesses to meet, collaborate, communicate, and engage with their customers. A lot of small business owners adopt the software.

One successful case study here is of King Kong Media Productions, a Singapore-based media production & entertainment company that has integrated the Teams to make their business operations go smoothly!

As per Tang Wing Fai, The executive director of King Kong media:

Our team uses Microsoft Teams to conduct and manage virtual meetings with their clients; it saves their team without impacting the quality of their meetings. “Employees were more productive during remote work,” said Tang. Microsoft Teams ensures that all team members can interact with team members and collaborate on projects,

Also, their requirement for affordable communications tools is not limited to profit-making businesses; Today, many non-profit organizations such as community groups, religious groups, and schools have struggled for interactions during this whole phase.

The need for affordable communications tools isn’t limited to traditional for-profit small businesses. Non-profits, religious organizations, schools, and community groups also struggle to connect and collaborate effectively. All such organizations needed communications solutions & Microsoft Teams provided an effective solution. Microsoft Teams essentials allow all these small businesses to participate effectively.

Still the accessible version of the Microsoft Team. But Microsoft Team Essentials extends the limits of the free performance, where you get additional storage and longer meetings.


Meeting up to 300 participants on a group call
Photo credit: Microsoft
Shared default Google calendar integration.
Photo credit: Microsoft

To make this simple let’s look at some of the features that come with the Microsoft Team Essentials.

  • Extended Meeting times: With Microsoft Teams essentials, you can schedule meetings that can last up to 30 hours.
  • Large Meeting capacity: With Microsoft Teams essentials, you can host meetings with up to 300 people at a time. The limit is sufficient for small businesses to bring everyone together in a single virtual room.
  • Integrate Calendars: Microsoft Teams Essentials allows you to integrate Outlook calendar and Google Calendar. These two are major calendar apps used worldwide! Therefore, you can use your existing calendar software to manage your schedule and meetings.
  • Easy invites: Inviting people to meetings was never this easy! All you have to do is send the Teams meeting invitation via their email address. Then, they will receive a meeting invitation link to join. Also, if the recipient does not have a Teams account, then the meeting opens on their browsers. There is no installation or signup required!
  • Interactive Meetings: Microsoft Teams Essentials allows you to create a meeting lobby, virtual backgrounds, together mode, live reactions to keep all participants engaged in the meetings.
Easily share files on any Teams chat
Photo credit: Microsoft
Photo credit: Microsoft

Team essentials allow participants to engage and store content in one place, making it easier to stay organized. The software features allow participants to save time and keep meetings/conversations context. There are tools such as office web apps, groups, task managers & much more. Here’s a quick overview of what Teams offer:

  • Extra storage: Microsoft team essentials come with extra cloud storage; so that you do not have to worry about running out of storage to share files & documents. Participants can co-author, view, edit, and store Office 365 files. The Teams Essentials provides 10 Gb of storage, and it is twice the limit of the accessible version of Teams.
  • Ongoing Chat: All conversations keep on running until the meeting ends. It helps to keep the conversation going and the context relevant.
  • Small business group chats template: You can start a group project and host meetings with anyone. You can assign tasks to your subordinates and collect live feedback that helps to boost productivity and track progress.
  • Chat, meet and collaborate with anyone: You can collaborate with anyone, even if someone is outside of your organization; you can do it; Use the Teams app to dial in and keep all your chats in one place. You do not need to switch to any other app to handle your clients or chat with anyone outside your organization.
  • Mobile chats: You can click on the dashboard to view all your one-to-one or group chats; Share, manage and organize content in different categories such as events, tasks, photos, files, etc.

Providing the best value to small businesses

Cost is something that matters to every small business. Teams Essentials provides the best value for its price. It has a simple interface that is easy to learn and straightforward.

Along with the best communication features, Microsoft Teams maintain the lowest cost in the market, which is $4/user per month. It delivers outstanding value to all small business owners.

Microsoft Teams essentials come with extended support from Microsoft running in the Azure cloud. It ensures the security, reliability, performance, and support for all problems that a small business owner might encounter! It has all the technology you need within the budget!

How to buy Teams Essentials

Converting your business’s communications to Microsoft Teams is a process that is easy enough for tech-savvy people to figure out. Nevertheless, to optimize your experience and get the most out of the platform, it is better to bring in award-winning professionals intimately familiar with all of Microsoft’s offerings, apps, and cloud services.

Talk to specialists at WheelHouse IT, a Microsoft Gold-Certified partner, to learn how they can seamlessly upgrade your systems and put you on the path to more effective collaboration.

Microsoft Teams Update: Chat with users outside your organization

a cell phone with the microsoft logo on it

You can now work and collaborate with people outside your organization/partners within the Microsoft Teams workspace.

Business runs on communications; To be more precise it runs on active communication between colleagues, vendors, follows ups, and customer outreach.

At Ignite fall 2021, Microsoft announced that you can now invite any external Teams user to your chat by their email id/contact number. While giving IT admins and Microsoft personal team account users a wide range of controls/tools to enhance security.

This not only applies to colleagues, but Microsoft Teams also now allows you to chat with Teams users outside your organization. It even allows you to chat with people who have personal Teams accounts. This makes collaboration with external users/clients and SMEs easier.

Although Microsoft has different controls for organizations to monitor outside communication. To make this easier, we have created this article dedicated to this latest Teams update by Microsoft.

How to chat with Teams users outside your organization

There are two ways through with you can chat with someone outside your organization:

  • Send invites to External Teams personal account users.
  • External Teams personal account users invite you to the chat.

Here’s how it works:

Business account users can invite external Teams users to chat by entering their email address/contact number. On the other side, the Team personal account users can enter the exact organization email to start chatting.

If the other person does not have a Teams account, then you can invite them to the Teams application via email/text message. Once the user successfully registers with Teams, then he/she can chat with you.

When the users accept your invitation, then you can start a new one-to-one/group/individual chat with them. Everything would be available on your Team’s business account without switching tenants.

Once you are ready to chat, then you will have access to rich messages, GIFs, and stickers. Also, when you are done with the chat or the communication is done, then you can block yourself/leave the group.

Please note: All Teams member accounts, whether an organization or personal accounts can decline any external invitation. There’s a limit, where one Team user can message an external user up to ten times before they accept the request.

However, if they do not accept, then all messages sent will not be delivered.

Teams Moderation: IT admins manage all external access

Organization IT admins have complete access to Team’s accounts. IT admins have complete access to both inside and outside communication. Here’s a brief bifurcation of the controls:

Outgoing chats: Allow/Disallow all users to start a chat with external Teams accounts.

Incoming chats: Allow/disallow any external users to interact with any Teams account associated with the organization.

Admins can control all internal/external communication using a simple toggle/checkbox to allow/disallow users within the organization to interact with others.

Also, admins can use PowerShell commands to stop individual users from receiving external communication requests.  Click here to learn more.

Please note: To block all external access to your organization, then you must do it manually. By default, external access is on.

Protect users throughout the Organization

Microsoft emphasizes a lot of user security, privacy, and governance. The external chat communication model is developed on the MS 365 hyper-scale [backed by Scale-out technology].

The platform provides advanced security/compliance capabilities to all users. Although the Teams application is open and accessible to all, it still offers a wide range of controls/tools for security needs. The tool alerts the users when they chat with people outside their organization.

The platform allows users to chat with users from other organizations, IT admins can disallow conversation with all Team accounts currently not managed by the organization via the admin console.

This is how Teams allows users to interact with users outside the application. But, still, the admins can disable the chat with team accounts not managed by the organization. Even when external communication is enabled, the team users are still protected.

The Opt-in Pop-up

All users do not receive any message until they approve to preview. Also, Teams reminds the users of the risk associated with external user chat and gives them the option to block/accept the message.

Outside users get the “External” badge

MS Teams shows an external badge to all outside messages in the chats (left most list) and header.

 Complete Spam check:

Before you get the prompt to accept a message, Teams performs a runtime spam check. If there is spam detected, then the message will not be delivered.

 The Message limit:

There is a limit of 10 external messages, and anything additional will not be delivered to the user.

 Admin controls:

Admins have robust control over tenants and every user-level external access.

 User privacy:

To keep user information private, we only display the name/email address. But there are no personal identifiers such as profile picture, status, etc.

All Teams personal account users have the option to manage their discoverability via the settings menu and opt-out from being discoverable to other Teams users.

All end-users will not be able to view any external messages unless they accept. Also, they would be reminded of all the potential risks associated with an external chat.

Looking for an effective Business collaboration Software? – Chat with Teams Users outside your Organization

Chat applications are the best way to collaborate and engage with colleagues, partners, SMEs, and whatnot.

Teams is one such application that gets the job done perfectly. The application bridges the communication gap while keeping the user’s privacy intact.

Why wait, enroll with MS Teams today!

For all updates on Microsoft, cybersecurity, and other business technology, be sure to check out our weekly blogs!