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 2013

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
    • training
    • culture change
    • expectations for staff
    • management buy-in
  • It’s important to take a break once in a while and breathe.
  • Cloud-based apps:
  • 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
  • BYOD
    • 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
    • ComDoc
    • 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!

Allegheny B&B – September 2010 Meeting Notes

This was our last meeting for this year at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.  (Off to ACHIEVA in the South Side for October through December.)

Here are the topics, resources, and links discussed during our September meeting:

  • Where to have the B&B Holiday party in December?
    • The group agreed that touring the server room at one of the local casinos would be fun and interesting.  Several members are going to work some contacts and see if we can get in there.
    • Our second choice is Dave & Buster’s, but we agreed that we don’t want to eat there (will go to a restaurant nearby for lunch).
  • How to dispose of older tech equipment?
    • Try to sell back to vendor or manufacturer if an option.
    • There are companies out there who will eBay equipment for you.
    • Construction Junction does electronics recycling, will even pick up for a $250 freight fee (better to have a large load for this service).
    • DBAN is good for wiping your hard drives prior to recycling.
  • Hosted data centers
  • Bandwidth issues
    • Good bandwidth is really important if using VoIP.
    • Seems to be a general need for increasing overall organizational bandwidth as of late (more remote users, memory-heavy apps, etc.).
    • If shopping around for a different provider, a broker can sometimes get you better deals.  (M. Hines mentioned ConnecTel as an example – contact person there is Scott McKinney – can also do a telecom “audit” for your agency.)

I hope to see you all at ACHIEVA on October 6!  Don’t forget to register for TechNow 2010 if you’ve not already done so!! Oh, and the breakout sessions and presenter information are now available online:   http://technow2010.wordpress.com.