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
- Ccure – security company
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
- Free for NPOs
- Like Facebook for the workplace
- Protected files
- Video archiving
- Only email in same domain can be added to network
- Easier to use than Sharepoint
- 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)
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!!
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 – 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
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.
About the Meetup
This was our last visit to Jewish Residential Services for this year. (A big thank you to Paula and the JRS staff for hosting us!!) Next month, we will be back at ACHIEVA in the South Side on Oct. 4.
If you’ve not signed up for the 2017 TechNow conference yet, be sure to do it within the next 2 weeks, before the price goes up! www.technowconference.org
Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meeting:
Expense report software
- Concur – $1,000/month; need web connector
- Expensify – cannot bill against grants, but does have a QuickBooks connector available; $9/user/month
- Lots of people are still processing expense reports via spreadsheets
- Unit4 – variety of functions, payroll, expenses, etc.
- ADP – has an expense report module called RUN
- MITC tracks payroll and HR related items
Phone conferencing/bridge tools
- One attendee looking at Zoom; less expensive than GotoMeeting; saves meetings to the cloud; price based on # of participants
- Skype is another option, but sometimes board and staff struggle with using it
- WebEx – similar package; stores all meetings so anyone can login and view them
- Recommend regardless of software choice – set up some “practice” meetings prior to any important meetings (like staff or board meetings) to let people join the online meeting and work out tech bugs, get accustomed to the interface, etc.
- Another recommendation is to mute participants on really large meetings so less background noise.
Rolling Out a New Database
- Training is crucial
- Walkthough all aspects of the database
- In the first training session, go over the basics; then go deeper in subsequent sessions
- List of procedures is a good idea – someone said “list the chapters of the book you’re going to write” meaning at least establish the headings you will need for your training/documentation/manual
- Roll out training to power users first
- Consider who will be doing the training – not everyone is a trainer, even if they are savvy about the software
- Have trainees help write the user manual
- Build the training manual as if the person reading it know nothing about the software
- For Salesforce in particular, you can set up a practice sandbox that is a replica of the exact real database
Billing to Allegheny County
- An interest was expressed by multiple people for batch billing software that works with Allegheny County’s billing system
- None exists that anyone can think of
Google for Nonprofits
…we met at Jewish Residential Services in the Rodef Shalom Congregation building. A big “thank you” to Paula and the JRS team for hosting us!!
We will meet there once again on Wednesday, September 6 from 8:30 – 10 am. See the sidebar to the right for ways to register.
Here are the topics and resources discussed during this month’s meeting:
- CRM for Nonprofits (Constituent/Client/Customer Relationship Management)
- Sharing Documents with People External to Your Organization
- Salesforce Resources
- Migrating to Google Drive
- Outlook + Sharepoint Desktop Version vs. 365
- Permissions have been a persistent issue for some
- Training is a constant issue
- User acceptance can be slow
- 365 is more difficult to understand – the cloud and file sharing aspects of it
- Files get saved over if don’t change file names from version to version
- Can embed a Google Calendar inside of Sharepoint
- Are we pushing older workers out by all these upgrades in tech?
- What about outsourcing to the cloud completely?
- Internet bandwidth must be sufficient to do true virtualization
- Off-site hosting is more $ for service, less $ for backups, maintenance, licensing
- JENLOR is one local company that does virtualization
- Office 365 is on TechSoup
- LaserJet 401 Troubleshooting
- Old printer, but hates to get rid of it because has been a workhorse till now
- Won’t print graphics, only text
- Maybe is an issue with Windows security?
- Perhaps an issue with a recent Windows update?
- Where to e-cycle if decide to ditch it?
- Listserv Usage
- Reminds us of VCR tapes and DOS
- Mass email marketing tools if wanting to do one-to-many messaging (like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp)
- Group tools if want members to message each other and the group at large (Facebook, Google or Linked group)