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 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 – August 2016

Bagels & Bytes attendees discussing tech around a tableWe held our August meetup in the sunny conference room at Jewish Residential Services. Thank you to Paula, Harold and the rest of the JRS staff for hosting us!  We will return to JRS for our September 7 meetup, then it’s off to ACHIEVA for October and November.

P.S. TechNow 2016 Conference registration is open and early bird rates are active!  Register by September 30 to get the best rate!

Here are the notes from this month’s meetup:

Adding Search to Website

Telephone Systems

Technology Challenges Faced by New Nonprofits (and Some Suggested Solutions)

NP Tech Skill Set

Custom Software vs. Off-The-Shelf Software

  • Hybrid is best- off the shelf that can be customized
  • Example: want to process volunteer applications via the web
    • Upload PDFs/scans, etc.
    • Portal on website
    • WordPress Visual Form Builder plugin
    • If WordPress site, turn off Google indexing of PDFs in media library by editing robots.txt file
  • Spiceworks – network monitoring, management, help desk ticketing and inventory – has concierge service and is free

CRM Software

Finding Nonprofit Tech Jobs

Additional Resources (Shared by Attendees Post-meeting)

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – October 2014

ACHIEVA on Bingham Street in PittsburghThis month, we are grateful to Steve and Nicole from ACHIEVA for hosting us in their comfortable board room!  We will be back at ACHIEVA next month, when Steve will be giving us a Google Apps demonstration.

(Oh, and I know you’re all tired of hearing me say this – but don’t forget to register for TechNow if you haven’t done so already!  🙂

Here are the notes from this month’s meeting.

iOS 8 Upgrade

  • iOS 8 on older devices
  • Battery issue
  • 5s already has issues with battery on some models
  • Takes ~ 5GB of memory
  • Keeping some app updates from installing (want iOS update 1st)
  • iCloud
  • Pay if more than 5 GB
  • Choose what to backup via iTunes

Cell Phone, Providers and BYOD

  • Most orgs that provide phones to staff standardize & give out one kind of phone
  • Some do BYOD & put on network
  • BYOD policies (could also put in regular acceptable use)
  • Lookout security app – backs up device & takes photo of person if tries to unlock more than 3 times (phone and iPad)
  • Need to put in policy if require that type of app for employees
  • Verizon – recently came down in pricing but have to ask

Windows 10

The Future of Technology

  • Talked about pace of change in tech, last 15 years
  • Minority Report movie has cool tech that we might see in real life someday (also check out the 2012 version of Total Recall)

Learning Management Systems

  • Websites & internet access generally required for learning (K-12 and higher ed)
  • Electronic textbooks as a standard would be great
  • Blackboard is still in use
  • Google has an app called Google Classroom
  • Moodle
  • Aquos Board (Sharp product – Wilson Group may have info at TechNow)
  • Possible SMARTboard uses
    • Notes
    • Annotations
    • Skyping (if camera)

Boardbookit

Place to Get Tech Deals

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:

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – September 2013

We were small but mighty again today.  🙂  Here were our topics of discussion.

TechNow

  • October 24, 2013
  • Breakouts and speakers have been posted to the website.

SMARTBoard

Deep Freeze software

  • For computer labs or visitor computers
  • Vendor is Faronics

Discounted Software

Speaking of TechSoup, B&B is now a NetSquared affiliate group!

Dependence on cloud technology

  • Pros and Cons, definitely
  • Great when working
  • Crippling when goes down (or lose network connectivity or electricity)

Discussion of social networking

  • Some people’s constant need to post updates and photos (self-validation? self-esteem?) – collectively, we don’t really “get” this.
  • Can a person truly multi-task? Or do we just think we can do it?