Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – August 2018

Bagels & Bytes meeting in JRS's meeting room

Editor’s Note: This is last year’s meeting in JRS’s space. I forgot to take a photo from our recent meetup! – CL

We are back from our summer hiatus!  We met on Wednesday, August 1 at Jewish Residential Services, which is located inside of the Rodef Shalom building on Fifth Ave.  Thank you to Paula and the JRS staff for permitting us the use of their lovely meeting room space!

A quick reminder: TechNow 2018 conference registration is open and we have tiered pricing this year, so nonprofit attendees are charged between $25 and $100 to attend, based on annual budget size.  Learn more and register at: www.technowconference.org.  (TechNow is October 3, 2018.)

Here are the notes and resources from the meeting:

  • Bitcoin
  • Where to find someone to do an IT audit
    • Depends on what you need to have done
      • Bayer Center does strategic and comprehensive tech assessments
      • Hardware/network vendor will focus on the network and items attached to it, plus security
      • Financial auditor will have a completely different set of checkpoints and controls
  • Veterans Leadership Program has several job openings
  • Guidestar
    • To look up nonprofit information including 990 tax filings
  • Video streaming issues
    • Having trouble streaming over cloud-based network
    • Otherwise a good experience being in the cloud
    • JENLOR is a good vendor for cloud networks
  • Board portals
    • WordPress isn’t the best idea for this – search engines can still index media library even if you ask them not to in robots.txt file; have to do it through plugins
    • Boardbookit
    • Google Drive
    • Basecamp
  • Google for Nonprofits Group
  • Paper paychecks vs. direct deposit
    • 90 cents more per check for paper
    • Can do ACH through your bank for free
    • ADP
    • Paychex
  • Chromebooks
    • Kind of like thin client machines – limited functionality if they are offline
    • Best for accessing Internet based apps and websites
    • Can do much less with them if not connected to the Internet
  • TechSoup
    • You have to become a member, but it’s free to join
    • Pay nominal admin fee for software
    • Can add external IT representative to account so can purchase for the org
    • Be careful to read all of the eligibility and purchasing rules and requirements for each software vendor – all have different policies
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Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – May 2018

Bagels & Bytes attendees at the Frick

About the meetup

We had lovely weather for our meetup at the Frick Pittsburgh on May 2! The grounds at the Frick are so gorgeous at this time of year. We thank Lynn, Linda and the Frick staff for hosting us!

Our meetup group will take a break for June and July, and resume meeting on August 1 at Jewish Residential Services in Rodef Shalom Congregation in Shadyside. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!

winners of this month's swag

Joe and Rosemary won this month’s giveaways – an NTEN t-shirt and NTEN shoestrings!

Here are the notes and resources from the meetup:

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – April 2018

About the Meetup

We had our first of two meetups at the Frick Pittsburgh on April 4. We will be back at the Frick one more time on May 2. Thank you to Lynn, Linda and the Frick team for hosting us!

Following are the notes and resources discussed during the meetup.

Security Surveillance Cameras (vendors don’t say “security” but surveillance these days)

  • NEST – backs up to cloud, can see who’s at door instead of just having a buzzer
    • Also has smoke detectors and the like
  • Lorex – phone app so you can see all cameras
  • Axis Companion – integraIVMStes with phone system
  • Vector – company that does comprehensive security
  • SmartCam
  • Ccure – security company

Updating technology

  • What to do with technology is the last thing to receive attention (sometimes caused by older board members who don’t get it)
  • Sometimes scaring board and leadership by pointing out risk can work
  • Need to get people on the board who are technology advocates
  • Donated software and hardware isn’t usually “free”
  • NTEN technology staffing and investments survey – to see how much your org should be spending
  • Plan more than you think you need to
  • TechSoup – low cost software and hardware; have to watch for license expirations
  • Other free software for NPOs
  • Ask merchant account providers about nonprofit rates
  • Northland Public Library lends out Internet hotspots

Social Media Policy Template

  • Look online for templates
  • Hard to enforce – need to make sure legal looks at it before deploying
  • Policy for staff is good, but also want to consider other stakeholders, like volunteers, board members, etc.
  • Social media task force can possibly help

Social Tools/Channels Most Used by Younger Generations

Website Security

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – March 2018

About the Meetup

We had a great March meetup at Grow Pittsburgh, with so many topics covered. Thank you to Rebekah and the Grow Pittsburgh staff for hosting us!

Following are the notes and resources mentioned during the meetup.

Windows 10

  • About 50% using Windows 10
  • Is 2013/2016 Office working fine on 10?
  • Office 365 runs on it too
  • Can make it look like Windows 7 if desired

Assorted Communications and Collaboration tools

  • Zoom
    • For vitual meetings and webinars
    • Doesn’t act up as much as tools like Skype, particularly when you get more than 10 people in the virtual meeting room
  • Workspace
    • Free for NPOs
    • Like Facebook for the workplace
    • Features:
      • Protected files
      • Video archiving
      • Chat
      • Only email in same domain can be added to network
      • Easier to use than Sharepoint
  • Slack
    • Similar to Workspace (above)
    • Widely used in corporate America

Moving to the Cloud

  • Want to move servers, print drivers, active directory
  • How will access VPN?
  • Krissy DeShetler wrote a post for the NTEN blog on moving to the cloud
  • Can move server to cloud & desktops if desired
  • Heavily reliant on Internet – need good connection
  • Can have multiple servers
  • Streaming video is challenging
  • VPN – looks the same when work at home, office, wherever
  • Can configure to mirror your current environment
  • Costs vary
  • JENLOR is one of a number of companies that provide this service, also NET Xperts
  • Less costly than on-premise most of the time
  • One location goes down, every other location stays up
  • Monthly fees vary, depending on space, # of users, support hours
  • Can still get TechSoup discounted licenses & have installed on VPN

Free Video and Photo Editing software

Resources to learn about the field (or for inexpensive hardware/software)

HRIS Systems

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – December 2017

We held our annual Holiday Meetup at Dave & Buster’s on Friday, December 15.  There are no notes from the meeting – we simply chatted and networked freeform this month.  Below are some pics from our annual ski-ball contest for your enjoyment!

There is no meetup in January. Our next meetup will be Wednesday, Feb. 7 at Grow Pittsburgh from 8:30 – 10 am. Join our group on Meetup.com to easily RSVP and receive meeting reminders.

Happy holidays to all! See you in 2018!!

Bagels & Bytes attendees having fun playing ski-ball

Bagels & Bytes attendees having fun playing ski-ball

 

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – November 2017

Prize winners at Bagels & Bytes

The winners of this month’s prize giveaways!

We met at ACHIEVA for the last time this year. Thank you again to Nicole and the ACHIEVA staff for hosting us!

Our meeting in December will be the annual holiday party at Dave & Buster’s at the Waterfront on Friday, December 8 from 1-4 pm. We will have our regular meeting over lunch (everyone orders off the menu and pays individually this time), then do a “techie white elephant” gift exchange (bring a geeky wrapped gift under $10, feel free to look for odd stuff in your tech closet to wrap) and then we’ll play a few games including our annual skee-ball tourney (Cindy will bring a few prizes for the winners).

The reminder email will go out next week, so keep an eye out and RSVP for the meeting on the Bayer Center’s website or on Meetup.com when you see it.

Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meeting:

On-Premise vs. Cloud Server

Data Analysis Software

Coax to Fiber

  • Coax (for example, like Comcast) – speeds are never consistent, disconnects frequently in high usage
  • Coax providers tell you the minimum speed they provide, fiber providers tell you the maximum speed they provide
  • Coax is generally faster, but there are many things that can affect speed
  • Verizon and DQE also have fiber
  • DQE owns the fiber lines
  • Check packet shaping on routers/prioritize traffic to keep more important going
  • Check into Level 3 Communications (owns the Pittsburgh backbone)

Click Dimensions

  • Click Dimensions – mass email marketing tool that connects to MS Dynamics 365 CRM
  • Ask about 30 day trial
  • Want to be able to connect to database
  • Email templates

NTEN Tech Accelerate

Remote IT Management

Lynda.com

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – October 2017

Bagels & Bytes attendees holding a meeting

Meetup Info

We had a great meetup at ACHIEVA earlier this month! Thank you to Nicole and the staff there for hosting us!

Our next meeting is in the same location on Wednesday, November 1, 8:30 – 10 am. Be sure to also mark your calendar for the December B&B Holiday Party Meetup at Dave & Busters on Friday, December 8 from 1 – 4 pm. Lunch meeting, followed by a Techie White Elephant gift exchange, then some gaming, including our annual skee-ball contest!

Here are the notes and resources from this month:

When IT is kept out of the loop

  • Sometimes tech staff are deliberately or inadvertently kept out of the loop on IT-related decisions (example: when HR staff choose a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and don’t involve tech staff)
  • One theory is that IT represents a large expense in an organization and not involving tech staff keeps costs down.
  • Another theory is it simply boils down to organizational politics.

Why should passwords be changed frequently?

  • Is every 90 days too often?
  • The network admins in our group don’t think so.
  • Financial auditors will actually recommend changing passwords more frequently, such as every 60 days.

Can you over-customize a database?

  • Ask yourself, is the database overly complex because it needs to be or is it because business processes are overly complicated and affecting workflows in the database accordingly.
  • An interesting exercise – think about what CRM you would go with if yours blew up tomorrow and was permanently un-usable.
  • Fractured systems are the worst thing of all to deal with.

Software resources mentioned

  • Paycom – newer company doing HRIS/payroll software.
  • Mass email tools:
    • Vertical Response – good nonprofit rates (first 10K emails per month are free) but gets blacklisted a lot.
    • Constant Contact – costs more per month, but does have nonprofit pricing. Get a discount for paying for the whole year in advance. Doesn’t get blacklisted as often. Integrates with Salesforce, including the new Lightning interface.
    • MailChimp – good and not too expensive. Doesn’t get blacklisted as often. Does not integrate well with Salesforce Lightning interface.
    • Emma – possibly most costly of all, but also has the most features for marketing and fundraising included.
    • Google Groups – not necessarily a mass email tool, but can do group messaging with it.
    • Click Dimensions – works with MS Dynamics CRM in particular.