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
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Meeting Notes – May 1, 2013

Once again, we enjoyed the spring scenary at Frick Art & Historical Center!  Next month is our annual summer outing, Bagels & Bytes on a Boat.

The 2013 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.

Here are the notes from this month’s meeting:

Software

Nonprofit vs. for-profit mindsets towards technology

  • For-profits tend to implement more quickly, things don’t have to be perfect

Website getting hacked

  • WordPress – have to apply the updates, can get hacked pretty easily
  • Also shouldn’t keep admin username

Botnets

Online donations

Big data

B&B Meeting Notes – Feb. 6, 2013

We had a great time on Wednesday morning at the Children’s Museum of Pgh. and a productive, informative meeting!  A big “thank you” to George, Mercy and the Children’s Museum Cafe for hosting & catering our meeting.

Meeting Topics and Resources

  • Social media questions
    • What networks? Linkedin? Facebook? Twitter? Blog?  (Find out where your audience is.)
    • Personal vs. professional – a persistent question.
    • Slideshow: 10 Social Media for Business Myths.
  • Virtual servers
    • Is one physical server/computer that has been partitioned at the hard drive level to function as two or more separate servers (they share hardware resources, but have separated disk space and operating systems).
    • VMware:  “How Virtualization Works.”
    • It’s good to have a second server (physical, not virtual) to back up the virtual one(s).
    • Benefits – you can allocate hard drive space as needed, assign disk space “on the fly,” upfront costs are a little higher but the overall long-term costs are lower (less servers to replace).
    • VMware has a feature – ability to move servers to another server easily.
    • When should you virtualize?  Generally if you have three servers or more, you should begin to consider it.
    • Backups / disaster recovery – people typically use external hard drives or cloud-based backup.
    • Sonic CDP (stands for “Continuous Data Protection”) is a good backup tool.
    • Mobile app for remote access called 2X Client.
  • Internet service providers (ISPs)
    • Connectel is a local isp/phone broker, they get paid in commission by telecom companies, so orgs pay nothing to get their assistance.  Local rep is Doug Dembiczak / ddembiczak@connectelinc.com.
    • Considerations: having a redundant internet line, shared vs. dedicated, up/down speeds.
    • Free online speed test available.
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) issues
    • Agency-owned vs. personal?
    • Who pays?  For equipment?  For data plans/service?
    • Important to have a policy for this.
  • Data/file system housekeeping policies
    • If your org has a document retention policy, use that for guidance on digital files.
    • Ok (and frequently necessary) to set limits on staff’s storage space.
    • A method for archiving email must be found.  Gmail is easy, Outlook and other programs are trickier.
    • 7 years seems to be a standard timeframe for keeping most docs, but check with your org’s solicitor for guidance.
    • Duplicate File Finder – free software that will go through your file system and find/display duplicate files.  Can be installed on a PC, doesn’t have to be the server.
  • SharePoint

Our next meeting will be at the Children’s Museum, Wednesday, March 6 (8:30-10 am).  Hope to see you there!

The 2013 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.