About Bagels & Bytes & Critters
We held our second annual summer meetup, “Bagels & Bytes & Critters,” on June 1 at the Animal Rescue League. During our meeting, we had a visitor (see pics below) named Elvis, who is frisky, fun, 6 years old and available for adoption!
We are so grateful to Dan Rossi, ARL’s executive director, and to all of their staff for hosting us again this year!
Enjoy these photos, which are followed by the notes and resources from the meeting. (And get in touch with ARL if you’d like to adopt Elvis!)
Meeting Photos (click any photo to open gallery mode)
Photo Credit: Nicole DeVault
Photo Credit: Heather Vallone
Photo credit: Nicole DeVault
Photo Credit: Cindy Leonard
Photo Credit: Heather Vallone
Photo Credit: Nicole DeVault
Photo Credit: Heather Vallone
Photo Credit: Heather Vallone
Photo credit: Nicole DeVault
Meeting Notes and Resources
- Johna brought us a copy of a new report by Allegheny Conference on Community Development entitled: “Inflection Point: Supply, Demand and the Future of Work in the Pittsburgh Region” – among other findings, it reports that our local workplace shortage could hit 80,000 by 2025.
- We then had an informal discussion about network architecture and options – someone in the group is upgrading soon and asked for ideas and equipment options.
Generational Gap in Technology Usage
- A member observed that the generation graduating from high school right now mostly knows the tech they have learned in school to do necessary tasks (write papers, etc.) and communication tools related to their smart phones. We shouldn’t necessarily assume they know how to use other kinds of tech. Even if they pick it up fast, training will still be necessary in the workplace.
- Another attitude difference – older techies seem to have more curiosity about how things work – the inner workings of tech – while the younger ones don’t seem to understand and also don’t care. They want tech to work well, be flexible and powerful, but not have to deal with the guts of things.
- Random item of interest – someone mentioned an NPR story about how someone recently translated the entire Christian Bible into emojis.
Collaboration / Productivity Software
- Real-time collaboration is now possible in Office 2013/2016 (Word/Excel, etc.) desktop versions. You need SharePoint if you want more than a few people working on a doc or spreadsheet at one time. There’s now a chat feature built in too.
- Google Drive has had real-time collaboration capabilities for years. Someone asked about HIPAA compliance with Google Drive/Apps. Yes – there is a version that is fully HIPAA-compliant. It is encrypted and exempts your organization from automatic participation in Google’s data mining. (Yes, Google mines everyone’s data.)
- Someone asked: how is Windows 10 being received?
- Seems to be fairly okay – some agencies have upgraded, some are still trying to prevent the auto-upgrade from turning on in the notification tray. There is concern that some programs and devices may not work upon upgrading to Win 10.
- Orgs need to be careful with some hardware manufacturers – some have fine print on their equipment that they won’t support it if you upgrade to Windows 10.
- If you want to stop the prompts to upgrade, you have a few options. You could remove Windows Update #30355803. You could also try a free program like GWX Control Panel, which is a more permanent blocking solution for that update.
- It was noted that you need more memory to run Windows 10. 6 GB is the minimum generally agreed upon by the group, even though MS’s specs state 4 GB minimum.
Note from CL: I owe a huge thank you to the group for stepping up to self-manage the meetup in my absence! Extra, extra thanks to Rebekah Jenkins and the Grow Pgh staff, not only for hosting us, but for picking up the breakfast food too. I’m so grateful and touched by the aspect of “community” that we have in our group. You all rock!
Next month we will be having our meetup at the Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze on Wednesday, 4/6. I hope to see you there!
Here are the notes and resources from the meeting (thanks Nicole and Heather!):
- Discussed a BYOD problem Johna is having
- Discussed a Office 2013 issue with deleting a recurring appt that then dupes itself
Disposing of Old Equipment
- Computer Reach – recycling for anything but CRT monitors, they re-image them to Linux OS for redistributing to other orgs (small fee applies for wiping drives)
- DBAN program – for wiping drives
- YUMI – turn a flash drive into a Boot Device
- will check all partitions
- Best to have same AV software on all equipment for ease of maintenance to serve out updates
- No McAfee
- Norton (cloud based, good price through Techsoup)
- Symantec ($4/license, can clas with Spiceworks and other software)
- Avast (free AV)
- Avira (free AV)
- ClamWin (free, open source AV)
- ESET (good for Windows OS updates and AV)
Internet in the Field
- phone tether vs hotspot vs tablet with data
- Tether to cell and reimburse?
- Mobile app – enter the info offline then synchronize?
- Voice dictation in Google Docs?
- Chromebook – can split between Gmail logins but need wifi
- Add as tether ($10 on Verizon)
- Firefox, other programs will tether outside the phone
Policy re: Encryption
- Should company sponsored cell phones have encryption?
- Formatting into partitions w/encryption
Document Sharing in Real Time
- Google Drive vs secure intranet (Drive is real time, local server would have file locking occurring)
- Egnyte – cloud-based server with apps or in browser
- 2 people in the local file on a shared drive can corrupt the file
Encrypted Flash Drives
- Use an app or can buy some with encrypted options
- Some external drives are encrypted (some numeric and some biometric) of the hardware (not the software)
- Enclosure also that takes any laptop drive
Moving Email to the Cloud
- Moving email to Google or Office 365 can cut IT costs $100K to $60K.
- Include data migration if you go Exchange to cloud
- Ask if you can migrate email yourself
Thank you once again to Steve, Nicole, Dave and the rest of the ACHIEVA staff for hosting us in their South Side office this month! Next month we will hold our annual Holiday Party on Friday, December 12, from 1-4 pm at Dave & Buster’s at the Waterfront. See this upcoming BCNM E-news article for more details. I hope to see you there!
This month, Steve McDonell of ACHIEVA gave us a demonstration of Google Drive and answered many questions about setting up Google for an organization as well as about the apps. Here are the notes from the meeting:
Google Drive and Apps
- Has sharing and chat features
- Has revisions (when in a Google doc, click on “all changes saved in drive” at the top of the menu to access revision history)
- Grid on top right has all apps/icons
- Upgrades take a few days to roll out
- Check out Google blog and Tech Republic’s Google blog for news
- Can now convert and edit MS Office docs in Google Apps
- Mail merge – only available for email merges (Still need MS Office for envelopes, etc.)
- Email archiving is available if you pay for a Google Vault account
- Free, but certain features like spam filtering or email archiving cost ($35/per user/per year)
- To set up a new account, register with Google, provide 501c3 proof (Google gives you MX record to hook up your domain name for email)
- Saves time on app (desktop) installs and other IT admin items
- Groups and Sites (can mix internal and external) (Can limit who can admin or send/share)
- Sites – can have pages, calendars, etc.
- Can insert/add lots of other Google Apps – into pages – integrate easily
- Groups – can use a variety of ways (has its own archive) – public or private
- Support available through reseller(s) and from Google
- Very few outages and service interruptions
- MDM is available (mobile device management)
- Good job at explaining in layman’s terms
- Big culture change
- Collaboration and sharing are the two biggest pieces to this
- Can backup if want to usingthird party apps, but Google has good backupbuilt in
- When deleted, email stays in trash until deleted so there’s a chance to retrieve from there
- Can retrieve for up to 30 days
- Very scalable – up or down – since it’s subscription based
- https encryption for docs
- Gmail to Gmail is encrypted end to end
- Procedures and policies used to “control” transmission of HIPPA related info (Faxes still being used a bit, online service such as e-fax)
- Email monitoring through/in Google Vault
- Gmail has Labels that act like tags
- Google labs – experimental plug-ins for Gmail
- Undo send
- Using canned responses
- Google Learning Center has lots of tutorials and documentation
We 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:
- NAEIR – discount shopping online that has a lot of technology-related items available
Cloud file storage
- 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
- Discussed the news of companies fining people for giving negative online reviews, which we agreed is poor customer service and not a smart long-term business view
- The sharing economy is changing society – sites like Uber, Lyft and Craigslist
- 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
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!
This month, a big “thank you” goes to the Frick Art & Historical Center and our pal there, Linda! We will meet one more time at the Frick on May 1. (Then it’s time for B&B on a Boat in June!)
The 2013 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.
Here are the notes from this month’s meeting:
Managing board meetings / creating board packets
- Acrobat Pro – for building board packets
- Board portal – Schneider Downs document management system
- Google Drive – need a google account to use
- Filezilla FTP, hosted in-house, assign rights to users, (don’t let people post, only pull files)
- For sensitive documents, that aren’t to be printed, some portals have security built in
- Think acrobat has a enter password to limit printing
- Do board members ever complain about having to print materials for themselves for meetings?
- If they have iPads, that helps, but not all do.
- Hosting – free at Podbean.com
- Why aren’t more people doing podcasting? Primarily content – takes a lot of time to come up with content.
Meeting organization software