Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – August 2017

This month…

…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)

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – October 2014

ACHIEVA on Bingham Street in PittsburghThis month, we are grateful to Steve and Nicole from ACHIEVA for hosting us in their comfortable board room!  We will be back at ACHIEVA next month, when Steve will be giving us a Google Apps demonstration.

(Oh, and I know you’re all tired of hearing me say this – but don’t forget to register for TechNow if you haven’t done so already!  🙂

Here are the notes from this month’s meeting.

iOS 8 Upgrade

  • iOS 8 on older devices
  • Battery issue
  • 5s already has issues with battery on some models
  • Takes ~ 5GB of memory
  • Keeping some app updates from installing (want iOS update 1st)
  • iCloud
  • Pay if more than 5 GB
  • Choose what to backup via iTunes

Cell Phone, Providers and BYOD

  • Most orgs that provide phones to staff standardize & give out one kind of phone
  • Some do BYOD & put on network
  • BYOD policies (could also put in regular acceptable use)
  • Lookout security app – backs up device & takes photo of person if tries to unlock more than 3 times (phone and iPad)
  • Need to put in policy if require that type of app for employees
  • Verizon – recently came down in pricing but have to ask

Windows 10

The Future of Technology

  • Talked about pace of change in tech, last 15 years
  • Minority Report movie has cool tech that we might see in real life someday (also check out the 2012 version of Total Recall)

Learning Management Systems

  • Websites & internet access generally required for learning (K-12 and higher ed)
  • Electronic textbooks as a standard would be great
  • Blackboard is still in use
  • Google has an app called Google Classroom
  • Moodle
  • Aquos Board (Sharp product – Wilson Group may have info at TechNow)
  • Possible SMARTboard uses
    • Notes
    • Annotations
    • Skyping (if camera)

Boardbookit

Place to Get Tech Deals

Bagels & Bytes on a Boat Meeting Notes – June 2014

Bagels & Bytes attendees waving from the deck of the Explorer.We had perfect weather for our summer outing, Bagels & Bytes on a Boat!  A big thank you to RiverQuest and to the riverboat staff who made this meeting possible!

As usual, the Bayer Center gave away prizes during the meeting, including a one-year individual NTEN membership, a NetSquared mug and a bunch of NetSquared stickers!  (Thanks, Eli!!)

Note that B&B-Allegheny goes on hiatus for July and will return the first Wednesday of August at the usual time.  We’ll be meeting at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.

Bagels & Bytes attendees waving from the deck of the Explorer (close-up photo).

Here are the notes from the meeting:

Generational Differences and Tech

  • The younger generation knows tech, the older generation knows business need.
  • Both generations can learn from each other.

QuickBooks Online

  • Doesn’t work well with Windows XP.
  • QuickBooks support, however, is really good.  They will help you with workarounds if needed.

Local Tech Vendors

Other Tech Vendors / Websites

The Cloud

  • If your org is mostly or wholly cloud-based, you need excellent Internet speed.
  • The cloud isn’t for everyone.  You have to be okay with being heavily reliant on your Internet connection and on the third party software or hardware providers.
  • Important to find reliable cloud-provider companies.

Funding the Cloud

  • Capital vs. operating expense
  • Tech-wise, nonprofits aren’t much difference from small businesses.  Where they differ the most is that businesses tend to be better about having a tech plan and about budgeting for tech.
  • More difficult to get grant funding for operating expenses like cloud hardware or software.  Foundations tend to look at those expenditures as the cost of doing business.

Other Topics and Ideas

  • BoardBookit – board collaboration and management software (cloud-based)
  • Tech Committees are a good practice for all orgs.  It’s important to put together a diverse group of people across organizational functions and with varied skill sets.
  • Office 365 – the migration is reported to be pretty smooth.  Cost is ~$4.50 per user per month and can be purchased at TechSoup.  Rollouts go best when staff is prepped in advance and provided with training post-migration.
  • Lantek – provides informational sessions on Office 365 periodically.
  • Re-Use Technology Collaborative
  • GTECH
  • Office 2013 – slight difference in menus (saving files, etc.)
  • There is an MS SharePoint group that meets monthly in the Microsoft building on the North Shore.

Bagels & Bytes Meetings Notes – February 2014

Bagels & Bytes attendees sitting around a conference table having a lively discussion about technology.We held B&B-Allegheny at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh this month. Thank you to George, Mercy and the CMP staff for hosting us!

We will return to the Children’s Museum for next month’s meeting on Wednesday, March 5 (8:30-10 am).

Windows XP Migration / Upgrading to Windows 8.1

  • Support to be ending for XP in April 2014
  • Some not wanting to go to Win8
    • Desktop vs. main screen
    • 8.1 upgrades sometimes fail
    • Still feel like Win 8 is buggy
    • Can revert – make 8 look like 7
  • TechSoup has Windows 7 upgrades available (32 and 64 bit)
    • TechSoup also has the Software Assurance program – a 2 year window where you can obtain licenses for updated versions of software you’ve purchased through TS
  • What about giving old Win XP PCs away to staff or otherwise?
    • Recommend sign off a hold harmless agreement
    • Make sure wipe hard drive properly
  • RAM mostly going to be issue – many times can upgrade
  • Win 7 wipes old operating systems, does a fresh install
  • Window Easy Transfer tool is helpful
  • Don’t see value for 8 if no touch screen
  • Can add a program called Classic Shell to revert Win 8 to older look and feel
  • general consensus that IT staff are still getting numerous help desk calls about Win 7 – there is concern that upgrading to Win 8 will only increase help desk calls
  • Win 8 seems more geared to personal users
    • Win 8 has a different method for connecting to a network – Map Drives no longer there
    • No more file paths, have to search
    • Geared more toward the non-techie, it seems

File Transfer & Cloud Storage

Donor Management Databases

Social Media

  • Should/does it fall under Marketing or Tech?
    • Content support – marketing function
    • IT – for integration w/ website etc.
    • If small shop, sometimes have to do both
    • Different skill set for each side, content and technical
    • Facebook and other Ads – should come from marketing’s budget
  • Social media policies are a good idea (sample policies available here)
  • Social media committee also useful way to manage it
  • Google places – have to get verified
    • Can “claim” address etc. & include logo & keywords

Office 365

  • Desktop component
  • Online component
  • Office 365 info sheet for nonprofits (thanks, Johna!)
  • 2013 “Cartoonish” looking
  • Exchange 2013 lacks public folders (mailboxes instead)
  • NPOs get discount ($4.50/user per monthly)
  • Can access apps offline
  • Get bigger exchange mailbox
  • Better collaboration included in 365, but easier for tech savvy folks
  • Capital vs. operating expenditures (Always a concern)

Backups

Document Management Systems / Board Portals

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – October 2013

We were at ACHIEVA on the South Side this month and will return on November 6 for our next meeting.  A big “thank you” to Steve McDonell and the ACHIEVA staff for hosting us!

Topics (and interspersed random notes) we covered in this month’s meeting included:

  • Technology in nonprofits – increasing effective usage
    • training
    • culture change
    • expectations for staff
    • management buy-in
  • It’s important to take a break once in a while and breathe.
  • Cloud-based apps:
  • IT workload
    • there’s been a shift to project management, process improvement (more soft skills needed).
  • Verizon hotspots
    • Shop/view here
    • up to 8 users ($39-59.99/month)
    • portable 4G wi-fi (better than aircard b/c only one person can use that and doesn’t always work properly)
    • Medicaid funded agencies get discount from Verizon
  • BYOD
    • Trend moving towards paying stipends for BYOD phones and devices instead of providing devices
    • For BYOD, critical part is the on-boarding and off-boarding processes.
    • Permissions being set properly are very important as well – people should only have as much access as they need to do their jobs.
    • IT isn’t always told someone has been hired (or fired) until after it’s already happened
    • Ultipro – is an ADP competitor (Ultimate Software) – started all cloud-based, where ADP moved to the cloud a few years back
    • Ultipro lets you manage hiring/separation functions online, ADP does too, but it’s a third-party provider (with multiple sign-ons)
    • Can build in automated alerts to be notified when someone hired or leaves
    • Iron Stratus (look this up)
  • Document management
    • CompuCom – local vendor for ApplicationXtender document management software
    • ComDoc
    • Unicentric case management – has a built in way to scan and upload things in one shot
    • If have no high speed scanner, try to get volunteers or interns to help with scanning
    • Indexing is the hard port (some agencies use barcodes and standardized hand-filled out fields)

Hope to see you in November!  And mark your calendar now for the B&B Holiday Party at Dave & Buster’s in the Waterfront from 1-4 pm on December 6!

Bagels & Bytes on a Boat – Meeting Notes – June 12, 2013

We had great weather for our annual Bagels & Bytes on a Boat meeting!  Our group is grateful to RiverQuest’s staff and crew for permitting us to hold our meeting on their lovely boat again!

Here are the notes from the meeting:

  • Acrobat Pro training XINew Horizons has some classes on this
  • Pushing updates to computers on a network
    • PDQ Deploy software
    • Java issues as of late
    • Group policy
    • Part of the reason the move to the cloud is a good thing
  • Sprint air cards
  • Support for personal devices / limited staff
    • Address with policy
    • BYOD rolling out more and more
    • How much support to provide?
  • Enkompas – Sharepoint implementers
  • BoardBookIt – beta coming soon
  • PerfectForms – cloud based workflow software
  • Change management
    • Clear communications
    • Buy-in from upper management
    • Transparency
    • Slow rollout
  • Password Keeper tool
  • Snipping Tool in Windows for sending error messages to IT department (tutorial here)

Just a reminder – we have no July meeting and will reconvene on Wednesday, August 7, at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.  Have a great summer and see you in August!