Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – September 2014

This month, we met for the final time this year at Jewish Residential Service at Rodef Shalom Congregation.  Thank you to Paula and all the JRS staff for hosting us!

We are also grateful to Julie and Tim from LANtek, who provided us with a demo of Office 365 during this month’s meeting.  The notes from the demo follow.

Office 365 Demo Notes

  • Office 365 is 1 of 3 current products in Microsoft’s cloud portfolio
    • Office 365 is the productivity suite, similar to regular MS Office
      • Scaleability
      • Social web analytics
      • Mobility
      • Live data feeds
      • Advanced analytics
    • Cloud OS – Windows Azure is the brand name of their cloud server service (Windows Server is still the name of thelocally-installed network operating system software)
      • run MS apps on cloud-based server
      • Other apps (QuickBooks, etc.) – must run on local server(though can get most of these in cloud-based forms these days)
  • Bandwidth is important  – 10 MB can typically support 10-50 users easily
  • Is HIPAA compliant, has all the certifications (SOX, SAE, etc.)
  • Email encryption possible + rights management (can control printing and reading)
  • Also can host MS products and all your other apps on a data center (LANtek has a local data center)
  • Email is usually the 1st thing that goes into cloud – easy to uncouple, gives IT admins most grief.
  • Typical challenges – midsize business
    • Anywhere access
    • Work together
    • Easy IT
    • Best Value
  • Included in Office 365
    • Word
    • Excel
    • PPT
    • Access
    • Publisher
    • Project and Visio extra
    • Business email – Outlook
  • Document sharing – via SharePoint
  • Web conferencing – voice and video from PC (need mics + cams of course)
  • There are levels of licensing
  • Can still set up shared resources (conf. rms, etc.)
  • Shared mailboxes (info@) are free
  • Staff profiles/org charts feature included
  • Real-time document collaboration
  • Can share w/Lync if need to give read-access to a lot of people
  • Online meetings – videos, presentation, chat features – also remote desktop control capabilities (via Lync session)
  • MS makes Office 365 for iPad now too (cross platform support)
  • OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) gives 20 GB cloud storage per user
  • Encrypted in flight and at rest (per HIPAA compliance requirements)
  • Can choose to enter credentials each time or to cache credentials
  • Use pass phrases, substituting numbers for letters
  • Don’t have to worry about backups anymore
  • Still have to add/delete/manage user accounts
  • Anti spam + AV built-in > AV vendor recently acquired by MS – up to 8 AV engines
  • 99.9% uptime and get credited for downtime if happens
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Online community
  • Various packages/levels of help desk support
  • Replicated across multiple data centers
  • Sometime redundant internet useful (if truly redundant, not different carriers on same poles – must go through separate paths)
  • Instead of big upfront cost, smaller predictable monthly cost
  • Licensing available on TechSoup
  • E3 – biggest pack corp. ($20/user/month)/called A4 for nonprofits ($6/user/month)
  • 1 user can login from anywhere – up to 5 devices can load office software
  • No longer have to purchase Office with devices (Laptops/Desktops)
  • Don’t have to worry about uninstalling home use licenses with 365 – simply uncheck a box in admin panel and user gets a notice that software license expired when tries to use software
  • Phone systems can be integrated with voicemail several ways (depends on system)
  • Migration
    • Federation and Dirsync for single sign on
    • No support for Exchange 2003/07 migration
    • There are third-party tools to assist with migration (Skykick, Quest)
    • Public folders – can of 50 GB on store in 365
    • Outlook – 2003 and earlier – not supported
    • Address auto-complete, signature block, etc. – not migrated by default
    • Can do staged migration or cutover
    • MX record can take up to 72 hours to propagate
    • SkyKick – email migration tool, cloud-based (Outlook assistant) – only available through MS partners
    • OneDrive build on SharePoint technology (was named SkyDrive originally)
    • Choose domain name wisely – very hard to change (tenant space name)
  • Still need AV on desktop PCs to monitor for viruses

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – September 2013

We were small but mighty again today.  🙂  Here were our topics of discussion.

TechNow

  • October 24, 2013
  • Breakouts and speakers have been posted to the website.

SMARTBoard

Deep Freeze software

  • For computer labs or visitor computers
  • Vendor is Faronics

Discounted Software

Speaking of TechSoup, B&B is now a NetSquared affiliate group!

Dependence on cloud technology

  • Pros and Cons, definitely
  • Great when working
  • Crippling when goes down (or lose network connectivity or electricity)

Discussion of social networking

  • Some people’s constant need to post updates and photos (self-validation? self-esteem?) – collectively, we don’t really “get” this.
  • Can a person truly multi-task? Or do we just think we can do it?

Allegheny B&B Meeting – October 2012

This month we met at ACHIEVA on the South Side.  A big thank-you to Steve McDonell and the folks at ACHIEVA for hosting!  We will return to that location for the month of November (Wed., 11/7).

Meeting Notes and Resources

  • We had a general rant regarding budget cuts by the state gov’t and the effects on organization tech budgeting and spending.
  • Mergers and technology (how to do successfully):
    • Communicate well.
    • Educate staff.
    • Change management is the biggest challenge.
  • Security camera installation/implementation.
    • Is it a tech function or facilities function?
    • Analog vs digital?
  • Mobile device use and issues
    • Privacy
    • Personal vs org owned
    • Human Resources vs IT department generated and issued
    • IT generally doesn’t provide support with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment. Staff should take personal devices to phone vendor. Tech dept may provide basic tutorials and acceptable use policies.
    • Google chat has option to send SMS via chat.
  • What affects decision to go to cloud?
    • Org makes choice.
    • Culture is conducive.
    • Perception of institutional control.

The 2012 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.

Allegheny B&B – April 2011 Meeting

This month we met at UCP/CLASS on Centre Avenue in Oakland.  Thank you to Michelle Hines and her crew for having us!

Here are notes and resources from the meeting:

Software for human resources-related tasks

We noted that there are many commercial packages out there, but many are not suitable for nonprofits.  Johna Lingelbach from the Allegheny Conference shared a report that she obtained from http://www.business-software.com/HRM.

Other Discussion Items & Resources

  • Application Xtender (for archiving):  http://www.emc.com/products/detail/software2/applicationxtender.htm
  • Cloud Computing:
    • Capital vs. operational budgeting/funding?
    • Cost factors – # of servers, bandwidth, space needed
  • End of life cycle for Access (has anyone heard?)
    • What would replace it?
      • SQL Management Studio Express (comes in SQL Server 2008)
        • Can take a class on SQL at CCAC for $100, in their Ed-to-go courses
        • SQL reporting
          • Use the built-in Microsoft report writer
          • Use Crystal Reports

We will meet next month at UCP/CLASS, 4638 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh,
on Wednesday, May 4, 2011.  Please join us!


Get 2011 B&B meeting info and location/directions here.