This 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)
- 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
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
- Aquos Board (Sharp product – Wilson Group may have info at TechNow)
- Possible SMARTboard uses
- Skyping (if camera)
Place to Get Tech Deals
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
- Apple, 5 GB of iCloud free
- Dropbox, 2 GB free (next 100 GB/$99 yearm, is encrypted but not HIPAA compliant)
- Google Drive, 30 GB (encrypted if get business version)
- Ignite by Citrix for file transfer and storage
Donor Management Databases
- 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
- 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)
Document Management Systems / Board Portals
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
- culture change
- expectations for staff
- management buy-in
- It’s important to take a break once in a while and breathe.
- Cloud-based apps:
- Unicentric (case management software)
- ADP (payroll)
- Sage (financial)
- Google Drive (for files)
- Gmail / Google Calendar
- Cloud-based software, updates automatically pushed out, mostly okay when happens, once in a while a glitchy update gets pushed out, but usually fixed pretty quickly
- Board management or portal tools – boards want space for documents, minutes, collaboration
- 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
- 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
- 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!
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 XI – New 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
- 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!