Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – August 2014

Rodef Shalom, view from Fifth AvenueWe met this month at Jewish Residential Services lovely, sunlit meeting room in their office suite at the Rodef Shalom Congregation.  A big thank you to Paula and the JRS crew for hosting us!

Reminder: next month we will have an Office 365 demo, presented by local vendor Lantek. Mark your calendars for Sept. 3, from 8:30 – 10 a.m., once again at JRS @ Rodef Shalom!

Reminder: TechNow 2014 Conference registration is open! Early bird rate is $110 through Sept. 30.

Here are the meeting notes and resources:

Tech purchasing

  • NAEIR – discount shopping online that has a lot of technology-related items available

Cloud file storage

Privacy

  • Discussed the news story on the Russian gang 1.2 billion password hacking incident
  • Privacy feel largely non-existent these days, but nonprofits still need to worry about HIPAA and other compliances

Tech impact on society

Other resources

  • Tech Impact – based in Philly, used to be NPOWER PA
  • Windows 8 – Norm found an add-on that lets you get some of the Windows 7 features back, like a start menu

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!