Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – August 2017

This month…

…we met at Jewish Residential Services in the Rodef Shalom Congregation building. A big “thank you” to Paula and the JRS team for hosting us!!

We will meet there once again on Wednesday, September 6 from 8:30 – 10 am. See the sidebar to the right for ways to register.

Here are the topics and resources discussed during this month’s meeting:

  • CRM for Nonprofits (Constituent/Client/Customer Relationship Management)
  • Sharing Documents with People External to Your Organization
  • Salesforce Resources
  • Migrating to Google Drive
  • Outlook + Sharepoint Desktop Version vs. 365
    • Permissions have been a persistent issue for some
    • Training is a constant issue
    • User acceptance can be slow
      • 365 is more difficult to understand – the cloud and file sharing aspects of it
      • Files get saved over if don’t change file names from version to version
    • Can embed a Google Calendar inside of Sharepoint
    • Are we pushing older workers out by all these upgrades in tech?
    • What about outsourcing to the cloud completely?
      • Internet bandwidth must be sufficient to do true virtualization
      • Off-site hosting is more $ for service, less $ for backups, maintenance, licensing
      • JENLOR is one local company that does virtualization
    • Office 365 is on TechSoup
  • LaserJet 401 Troubleshooting
    • Old printer, but hates to get rid of it because has been a workhorse till now
    • Won’t print graphics, only text
      • Maybe is an issue with Windows security?
      • Perhaps an issue with a recent Windows update?
    • Where to e-cycle if decide to ditch it?
  • Listserv Usage
    • Reminds us of VCR tapes and DOS
    • Mass email marketing tools if wanting to do one-to-many messaging (like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp)
    • Group tools if want members to message each other and the group at large (Facebook, Google or Linked group)
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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

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.

Allegheny Bagels & Bytes Meeting – May 2012

This was our final month at UCP/CLASS in Regent Square!  Once again, thank you to Michelle Hines and the UCP/CLASS staff for permitting us to use their space.

NOTE: There is no *regular* B&B meeting in June.  Instead we have Bagels & Bytes on a Boat, our “summer outing,” on June 13.  As in the past, we will hold our meeting on RiverQuest’s boat Explorer.  Get more information and find out how to RSVP here.

Resources and Notes from our May Meeting

  • Sharepoint (general discussion)
    • Makes document “versioning” easier
    • Saves file space and allows for better document management
    • Can start with the free edition and add capacity gradually or later
    • If you have a lot of docs, you should probably install Sharepoint on its own server
    • Windows 7 search is not as compatible with these files
    • Helps to decrease duplicate saved files across a network
  • Physical relocation of an organization’s office
    • Import to pull in tech and other departments
    • Planning for tech is crucial from early on
  • Case Management software
  • Remote PC access 
  • Getting tech support from large companies
    • Best time to call seems to be ~ 10 a.m. EST
    • Seems like one is less likely to be sent to off-shore representatives at this time of morning
  • Payroll solutions

The 2012 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.

Allegheny B&B – April 2012 Meeting

This month we met at UCP/CLASS‘s (relatively) new building in Regent Square!  A huge thank you goes to Michelle Hines of UCP/CLASS for not only hosting the meeting, but for taking care of the food and running the meeting while Cindy Leonard was away at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

We will meet one more time in this location on Wednesday, May 2, 8:30 – 10 AM, at the UCP/CLASS building just off the Parkway East (1400 S. Braddock).  Visit the 2012 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar for more information.

Resources and Notes from the Meeting (also compiled by Michelle – thank you!!)

  • Telephone Recycling
    • Look at existing vendor as part of the sell agreement
    • Family Resources had a 3rd Party company they found
    • eBay
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Migration to WordPress from a CMS
    • Suggested talking to Cindy from the Bayer Center more (yes, please do at the next meeting – am sorry i missed this discussion!)
    • Great resources can be found if you search carefully on YouTube – especially helpful for training other staff.
    • Suggested making your own personal blog to get used to WordPress
    • Other options than WordPress
  • Some stories about project outcomes from Technology Consulting in the Community from CMU http://www.cmu.edu/tcinc/
  • Shared information on the Pittsburgh Chapter of the SharePoint User Group http://www.pittsburghsharepoint.com/pages/home.aspx
  • A good resource for computer licenses that you may not be able to get on Tech Soup is Constant Computer Bargains http://www.ccbnonprofits.com/
  • A discussion about how good Microsoft has made Office 365 look but need reviews on if Office 365 works like the presentation or is it truly lagging behind Google Apps.
  • Shared April Fools Pranks
    • Users leaving computer unlocked having auto text generated for them
    • Changing ringtone to the Emergency Weather tone
    • Tiger Direct’s personal nuclear power plant
    • For other you can visit this website: http://www.geekosystem.com/april-fools-2012/

Bagels & Bytes on a Boat – June 2011

We held our third annual Bagels & Bytes on a Boat on Wednesday, June 8, 2011.  RiverQuest graciously permitted us to use their beautiful boat Explorer for our meeting.  We had a great turnout and a great time!

Here are resources from the meeting (photos will be uploaded in a separate post on this blog shortly):

We have no B&B meeting in July, but will be back on Wednesday, August 3, at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.  Have a great summer!

Allegheny B&B – November 2010 Meeting Notes

This month we met for the final time this year (holiday party notwithstanding), once again at ACHIEVA on the South Side. Thank you to Steve, Dave, and their staff for hosting us!

Here are the resources and links from the meeting:

  • Tech culture discussion – what are our “ideals” for the tech culture at our nonprofits?
    • Having management and leadership that “get it,” realize the critical nature of IT, and validate that fact to other staff through their words and actions.  (We must continue to educate upper management that IT is a tool that can be used to help improve the agency.)
    • Technology is not an “afterthought” but is deliberately included in all planning endeavors.
    • Policies and procedures include IT.
    • Communication flows (how the information is transmitted to tech) are deliberate and concrete.
    • Tech staff (or accidental techies) have respect and credibility within the organization, something that is influenced partially by upper management.
    • Unhappy end users are dealt with so as to keep a positive and stable tech culture.
    • Technology management is proactive rather than reactive.
    • There is knowledge of the cost of IT, including direct and indirect costs.
  • Post-meeting, Johna from Allegheny Conference shared some info on SharePoint:
  • Dave from ACHIEVA emailed a few links:

B&B HOLIDAY PARTY
Friday, December 3 from 1 – 4 p.m.

We will meet in the lobby of Dave & Buster’s in the Waterfront at 1 p.m., then take a group vote on where to have lunch, likely either at Dave & Buster’s or at the Rock Bottom Restaurant across the street.  After lunch, we’ll do a “tech” white elephant gift exchange, then go have some fun at Dave & Buster’s!  (The official invite will come out in the next week or so via email, so keep an eye out for that and remember to RSVP.)


Get 2010 and 2011 B&B meeting info and location/directions here.