Test Your Knowledge: Free International Calls If Link Skype with Office 365

True or False?

 Connect your Skype account to your Office 365 account – and receive 60 free Skype world minutes every month to make international calls to mobile and landlines.


Answer: TRUE and FALSE

Since the wording of this month’s Test Your Knowledge statement is actually quite misleading on a number of counts, this month’s answer is both true and false. Let me explain:

Yes, you will receive 60 free Skype world minutes every month for connecting your Skype and Office 365 accounts, but this promo is only available with Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium or Office 365 University accounts. Microsoft Office 365 business or Preview accounts are not eligible.

The term “international” is also misleading as Skype world minutes only support calls to 60 countries, which is rather limited when you consider there are roughly 196 countries in the world.

Tangent: It’s rather amazing how many different answers you find when you index the internet to find out how many countries there are in the world. Matt Rosenberg posted an excellent article, The Number of Countries in the World on About.com that outlines the various factors that confuse the issue – including lesser known facts such as:

Did You Know? Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and Greenland are not countries.

To get back on point, Skype’s Support FAQ page explains that with the Skype world minutes subscription there are 24 countries where you cannot use Skype at all to make calls (see below) and out of the 60 countries where you can use Skype to call landlines, there are only eight countries where you can call mobile phones (also see below).

To clarify, you can still use Skype to call countries not included in the Skype world minutes subscription list. You just have to pay for a subscription or purchase a Premium account – details here.

Did You Know?  Emergency calls cannot be made with Skype.

You can use Skype World minutes from any device where you have Skype installed – mobile phones included! And a final note, any unused Skype world minutes expire at the end of each month.

How Do I Connect my Skype Account to my Office 365 Account?
If you have a Home Premium or University account, here’s a summary of how to activate the Skype world minutes subscription:

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your Microsoft account.
  2. In the Services and Products section, under Skype, click Activate your Skype world minutes. The activation page is displayed.
    • Have account? Activate.
    • Don’t have account? Create Skype account.
  3. Sign in to Skype –  you’ll see a message saying “Your Skype world minutes are ready” at the top of the My Account screen.

Where Can I Call?

You can call landlines and mobiles phones using Skype in the following countries: Canada, China, Guam, Hong Kong SAR, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand, and United States.

You can call landlines using Skype in the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia (excluding rural areas – LEX), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia (Jakarta only), Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.

You cannot make Skype calls from any of the following countries:
Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Tunisia, UAE, Taiwan and Korea.

-Kelly Marshall,
Director of Communications,
Sector Learning Solutions


May 2013 vSharePoint Meetup Summary


Victoria SharePoint User Group –
summary of May 9, 2013 meetuP

Eighteen members attended this meetup and including Sector Learning Solutions’ new Collaboration Systems Business Analyst, Rebeca Saenz. Thank you to Rebeca for taking notes on the presentations to create this summary!

Rob Morrison’s BC Ferries SharePoint Implementation presentation offered insight into “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of their SharePoint implementation – placing emphasis on what worked for them and what they would do differently in the future.

After illustrating the key pain points that BC Ferries faced – including a lengthy and complicated document change request approval process in conjunction with 12,000 paper documents stored in a 26 foot wall of cumbersome binders that resulted in bottlenecks and difficulty finding information – he highlighted the ways that SharePoint optimized processes, created a culture of communication, and reduced use of paper.


Rob shared a brilliant tip for others seeking a smooth transition – the creation of a “Ten Commandments” document – containing a list of rules for staff to follow  – including best practices such as using standard SharePoint templates for root pages and assigning a “leader” to maintain each SharePoint site.


Sean Wallbridge’s The Book of 5’s presentation took a fun, interactive, approach – and solidified his preferred title of “SharePoint Jedi” by emphasizing the fact that although there are SharePoint MVPs (of which he is one), there are no experts, just those who continue to explore the ever evolving ways of the SharePoint force.


Sean shared a series of top five lists he has compiled on all things SharePoint then asked the audience to share their recommendations of what they would include on said lists.


The list of  Top Five Websites to Follow for SharePoint-related Content included SharePointReviews.com, Slideshare.net, and Twitter (#SharePoint) – and was bolstered by the following audience contributions – reddit.com/sharepoint, sharepoint-videos.com and xkcd.com (because who doesn’t love witty comics!).

To access the PowerPoint slides from this and past vSharePoint meetup presentations delivered by Sean and other itgroove staff – check out their SlideShare account – http://www.slideshare.net/itgrooveservices.

Some feedback on the event from attendees:

“This was a great meetup.  Very informative presentations, and looking forward to continuing Sean’s Top 5!” – Tammy Ruffolo

“A good combination, each presentation so different
and therefore stimulating in different ways…” – Tom Benjamin

When’s the Next Meetup?

The June vSharePoint meetup is scheduled for: Thursday, June 13, 2013.

I have some insider information – vSharePoint organizer and event host, Sean Wallbridge, is planning on mixing things up – with a NEW location and NEW meetup time.

Want to be ‘in the know’? Make sure you’re a member of the vSharePoint Meetup group to receive email announcements of any changes – as well as the speakers and topics for June.

-Kelly Marshall,
Director of Communications,
Sector Learning Solutions

Welcome Rebeca Saenz!

Rebeca Saenz joined the Sector Learning Solutions team on May 6, 2013 as our new Collaboration Systems Business Analyst for her UVic Co-op practices.

“I am really excited with what Rebeca brings to our organization with her business and web background – as well as her great ability with people. She will be a positive addition to the Sector family for a long time to come.”
– Gerry Brimacombe

rebeca-saenz-rounded-edgesWho is Rebeca Saenz?

Rebeca has a B.S in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Systems Engineering. She is currently enrolled in UVic’s MBA program and will graduate on December 2013.

She is originally from Monterrey, Mexico and has lived in Canada for a year and a half.

In her spare time, Rebeca loves playing board games, reading, hiking, biking, and snowboarding. She is a family-oriented person and is always looking to spend time with them and her friends.

During her eight-month Co-op term, her main responsibilities will include:

  • delivering SharePoint consulting to clients,
  • designing and building SharePoint solutions,
  • assisting with deployment of IT solutions.

You can reach Rebeca at:
Rebeca Saenz (sounds like Science)
Collaboration Systems Business Analyst
Office – 250-727-2266

-Kelly Marshall,
Director of Communications,
Sector Learning Solutions

Office Closed May 20 for Victoria Day 2013


The office and training centre will be closed all day on Monday, May 20th, 2013 for the Victoria Day 2013  Statutory Holiday.

Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday.

-Kelly Marshall,
Director of Communications,
Sector Learning Solutions

Speakers for vSharePoint Users Group on May 9, 2013


The May 2013 vSharePoint Users Group Meetup on:
Thursday, May 9, 2013 at regular start time of: 6:30 pm – 8:00pm

14 spots already taken – reserve your spot today! (free event, free pizza)

Keith Tuomi of itgroove will be hosting the May meetup.

Who Will Presenting at the MAY meetup?

Speaker #1:

Rob Morrison (IT Manager – Maintenance, BI, SharePoint, BC Ferries)
Presentation Title: BC Ferries SharePoint Implementation – Il buono, il
brutto, il cattivo

Overview: BC Ferries went live with SharePoint 2010 in January
2011. Rob will share his experiences and challenges with not only getting a
government organization using current technology, but also moving from a “need to know” to a collaborative culture. Some of the challenges should be fairly
common so it would be good to hear from you on how you overcame them at your company as well.

About Rob: Rob recently moved to Victoria and joined BC Ferries in
April 2010 after spending 10 years with Teekay Shipping. While with Teekay (one of the largest crude oil, LNG, “super tanker” companies), Rob was fortunate to work out of Glasgow, Scotland for the last 5 years looking after IT Operations
for the region. Rob has had brief stints with; Electronic Arts looking after IT
studio support and playing video games, IBM rolling out a GSM network in Saudi Arabia while getting a suntan, and 360networks where he still has the “R” from the company sign after they went bankrupt.

Speaker #2:

Sean Wallbridge (SharePoint MVP, itgroove)
Presentation Title: The book of 5’s

Overview: I’ve been compiling various “Top 5 lists” as I get asked often what I use most, what I think about most, etc. when approaching various SharePoint customers. So I thought I’d share some of these and solicit feedback as we go as I’m sure others will have their own to share. Some examples include: 5 reasons to upgrade to SharePoint 2013, 5 reasons to go to the cloud, 5 reasons to avoid the cloud, my 5 Favourite 3rd party components, 5 tips to get SharePoint user      buy in, 5 roles to hire for to build a solid SharePoint corporate support team, my 5 Favourite muppets – the list goes on 😉

About Sean: Sean is the President and Principal Consultant of itgroove and is a 5 Time SharePoint MVP and Evangelist. Sean likes to characterize himself as a “SharePoint Jedi” (there are no experts, just those who continue to explore the enormous ways of the SharePoint force) and there is no better way to describe Sean’s enthusiasm for SharePoint!

Sean and itgroove (www.itgroove.net) specialize in bringing an informed, professional SharePoint experience to the small and mid-size companies that form the backbone of business in British Columbia and Canada. In addition to being a SharePoint MVP, Sean has a rich background in the Windows world and carries many certifications including CISSP, MCSE, MCT and MCSA. Sean has lived and worked internationally (Bermuda) and still carries on an international consulting practice from his base at itgroove in Victoria.

-Kelly Marshall,
Director of Communications,
Sector Learning Solutions

Practice Exam Question: Word 2010 – How to Create New Document Using Existing Template?


In Microsoft Word 2010,
how do you create a new document based on an existing template?



1. With Word already started, go into the Backstage view (File). Select the New command.

2. Choose any template you wish to work from (from any of the options available) and click the Create button (or double click). Voila!


-Katie Caplan,
Client Service Coordinator and Instructor,
Sector Learning Solutions

Practice Exam Question: Excel 2010 – Convert Existing Data into Table and Apply Table Style

In Microsoft Excel 2010,
how do you convert your existing data into a table and apply a table style to it?

Hint: As with so many functions in Microsoft Office programs across the board, there is more than one way to do this. The steps I take to achieve this particular goal may differ from what you would do, but if the end result is essentially the same then you’ve done it correctly!


Answer :

1. With your worksheet already open and on the screen, select the data from which you wish to create your table.

2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, select the drop down arrow associated with the Format as Table button. Select the table style of your choice.



That’s all there is to it!

-Katie Caplan,
Client Service Coordinator and Instructor,
Sector Learning Solutions