Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – March 2017

Grow PittsburghWe had a great meeting again at Grow Pittsburgh! Thank you again to Rebekah and GP staff for hosting us! (We will be back at GP for the April meeting on 4/5, then we go to the Frick Art & Historical Center in May.)

Here are the notes and resources from the meeting. Note that we concentrated very specifically this month on questions and issues raised by group members.

Data security audits for nonprofits

  • Assume banking standards because of donor-related info?
  • HIPAA compliance required for health care orgs
  • PCI-DSS – annual certification needed if accepting credit cards – there’s a 120 page document used to verify compliance on various systems
  • Trustwave – scans monthly for testing purposes
  • TransArmor – a security solution from First Data
  • Think about all security systems by going through PCI certification doc
  • PCI-DSS – limited where info is stored, who has access, etc.
  • If keep paper copies of credit card data, only liable for that – must keep locked up and have procedures in places for storage and destruction
  • If using 3rd party online service, compliance is on them
  • In PA, if a single record in the database is compromised, the organization is liable for $60-70 fine per person for a mandatory three years of a monitoring service
  • Idea: take risk analysis to executive director for org (to prove need to take action and/or make case for changes)
  • Many nonprofits are already in a crisis state and don’t need additional problems added to that
  • PNC Bank does not do merchant services – they resell for First Data
  • In terms of credit card processing, there are really only three processors, with everyone else being resellers: First Data, World Link and ______ (group couldn’t think of third company)

Phone systems, vendors, best practices for implementations

  • If don’t want cloud-based system, what are options? (Want phones that work when Internet goes down)
  • Also want to depreciate as capital expenditure
  • Avaya vendor – Advent Communications (pricey for support, but don’t have to call often – very stable)
  • Can use a broker to do your telecom research and pricing negotiation for you – Connectel, Opticom Consulting
  • Full Service Network – phone vendor, cloud-based retailer – not good for Internet service, only phones
  • Computer Reach – has put in phones, vendor in California
  • Internet configuration – suggest Internet router separate from phones so heavy network traffic doesn’t knock out phone system
  • Prime Communications – sell MyTel system
  • Guardian – owned by Armstrong Cable

OneDrive for Business if no Office 365 or Sharepoint

  • OneDrive is integrated with Windows 10
  • Hotmail is also integrated into OneDrive now
  • Can now simultaneous work in docs on OneDrive
  • TechSoup has Office 365 for $0, but need to purchase other things for it to be fully functional
  • Tech Impact provides migration services for eligible organizations via TechSoup (it’s a partnership – there’s a $10 fee for an assessment first)

If leaving your tech job, what should you document and share with the incoming person?

  • Keep a list of your daily activities for one month
  • Make other lists for weekly/monthly tasks
  • Propose that your org hires you as an independent consultant for a month or two
  • Refer to job description, then list all possible jobs the person might need to do under each heading
  • Get the info out of your head and onto paper
  • Think about the spinning plates act on the Ed Sullivan show – china plates spin most easily but are hard to replace, so are more important (critical tasks). Paper plates are harder to spin but easy to replace, so are less important (busy work).
  • Verbal only – give them the political read on people and relationships – but watch what you say because it’s a small nonprofit world in this geographical area

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – March 2015

This month we met again at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Once again, a big “thank you” to George, Luke and the CMP staff for hosting us and providing a lovely breakfast spread!

Our next meeting is Wednesday, April 1, 8:30-9 am at the Frick Art & Historical Center in the East End.

Bagels & Bytes attendees happily discuss tech!

At the end of the meeting, we had a drawing for two prizes: a set of ear buds from Constant Contact and a Paypal card reader.  (Cindy L. picked up these items as swag from the Nonprofit Technology Conference last week.)  The winners were George Brzezinski and John Ingram.

George Brzezinski and John Ingram holding their prizes.

Here are the meeting notes for this month:

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – February 2015

Front door and view of the Children's Museum buildingThis month, we met in the spacious conference room at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  Our thanks to George, Luke and the CMP staff for hosting us and providing food and beverages!

Here are the meeting notes for this month:

  • PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance was discussed at length. One attendee described their organization’s experience with following the steps to become compliant. PCIstandards.org was listed as a good resource for information.
  • Migrating database to the cloud was discussed. Pros and cons of moving to cloud were brought up. People also shared their experience with using SalesForce CRM. Also, Veeam for virtual server backup.
  • PC life cycles and depreciation were discussed. Some groups shared thoughts on using warranty as guideline for equipment lifespan.
  • Squaretrade.com was mentioned as a good resource for buying equipment.
  • Keeping Wi-Fi secure. Managing access points.
  • Migrating to Office 365 including the pros and cons of having cloud based email.
  • Other suggestions included:
  • Using www.yournerdybestfriend.com blog.
  • Asana for free project management software.
  • W3.org and wix.com were mentioned as good resources for web development basics.
  • Fing Android app for network analyzing in regards to wireless networks.

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 – 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 on a Boat Meeting Notes – June 2014

Bagels & Bytes attendees waving from the deck of the Explorer.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.

Bagels & Bytes attendees waving from the deck of the Explorer (close-up photo).

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.

QuickBooks Online

  • 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

The Cloud

  • 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
  • GTECH
  • 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.

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – April 2014

Haller House on the Frick campus

Haller House at the Frick Art & Historical Center.

Thank you to Linda and the Frick Art & Historical Center for hosting at Haller House this month! I forgot to take a photo of the group, but I did manage to find a nice pic of Haller House online (right).  We’ll be meeting at the same location next month, first Wednesday, same time as usual.

First, a quick reminder from Johna, as posted in a recent TechSoup newsletter:

“We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Windows XP will not receive security dates and therefore will no longer be HIPAA compliant. The time to upgrade is now.”

Cloud & Productivity Software

  • Office 365
    • Multiple devices
    • Now have iPad version
    • $4 per person + $2 for OneDrive
    • Available through TechSoup
  • Concerns over going to cloud and the subsequent shift in expenses from capital to operating.
  • Some orgs really pushing for monthly donors so have more unrestricted funding with which to work.

Archiving Files

  • 7 years legal limits for saving, but most orgs also want to keep historical data.
  • Look at process on paper side for file retention and retain that process, just translate it to digital files.
  • It’s important to have a retention policy and an archiving process.
  • Archiving software: ApplicationXtender
    • One local vendor for this is CompuCom
    • Easy retrieval of files
    • Can email files from it
    • Can search easily
    • File format is Tiff (so can annotate)
  • Still need to have a staff person with designated responsibility for the archiving process and maintenance.
  • Sample document retention policy:  PDF format or MS Word format

BYOD vs. Organization-Owned Tech

  • Someone mentioned a correlation between how organizations have handled health insurance – when company pays for benefits, people tend to go to doctors way more often and some people abuse the benefits completely.  Perhaps if organizations took the approach of co-ownership of tech or having staff pay for some of the costs, they would take better care of the technology?
  • If staff members pay for their technology and maintenance with a stipend, they tend to take better care of the tech.
  • Have to get staff to take responsibility for their tech, especially their knowledge and learning.

Hiring Technology Staff (for non-technical people)

  • What questions to ask in interviews?
  • How to evaluate answers?
  • Group brainstorm:

Managing Technology (when you don’t have internal tech staff)

  • Someone mentioned the Circuit Rider model of tech support from years ago, asked if anyone was still doing this.
  • Most attendees agree that it’s better to have a relationship with a vendor – a support contract of some kind – so that you get all the expertise of the firm when you need it, rather than relying on a single person to have that much knowledge of complex technology and so you aren’t left in dire straights if the person moves away or otherwise becomes unavailable.
  • The Bayer Center maintains a directory of vetted vendors who provide technology services to nonprofits.

Social Media

  • Shifting usage – living your life in the real world, rather than online.
  • A few interesting articles along these lines, just to give you a sense of how people are beginning to think about social media: