3 Ways Cloud Technology Helps Non-Profit

February 4, 2011

Non-profit organizations need to be efficient and effective managing donors, employees, and other stakeholders to succeed in bringing their vision to life.

One of the realities of being a non-profit organization (especially in a tough economy) is facing some competition for funds with other non-profits to sustain critical programs. While there are no easy answers, cloud services can help your team in three ways: (1) expands IT role to take on more strategic tasks, (2) lowers the total cost of technology, and (3) brings a hardworking, mission-focused team together.

(1) Expansion of IT Role

If you’re working for a non-profit organization, your IT department is likely swamped with end user issues on a daily basis.  While the cloud doesn’t take away the end users, it does promise a 99.9% uptime guarantee.  This means your organization’s email will be up and running anytime of day and the IT department can now focus its energies on more strategic goals for the organization.

(2) Lowers Costs

Lowering the cost of hardware can make a big difference to the bottom line, which means more resources to spend on those critical programs. Cloud services provide the benefit of little to no upfront costs and since the costs are scalable, you can predict monthly budgets depending on the number of users and which services are active.

(3) Brings a mission-focused team together

Non-profit organizations work hard every day to provide essential services to their community. One way to streamline processes and reward employee dedication is to provide resources that allow for more flexibility and timely access to information. A cloud-based email and file sharing service gives employees anywhere, anytime access to the information they need and promotes collaboration with fast visibility into calendars, shared files, and online presence of other coworkers. From the office – to board meetings – to a donor’s door, the cloud can keep your employees in sync.

How People for Puget Sound Benefited from Cloud Services

Cole Coleman from People for Puget Sound speaks about his experience with the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) with an emphasis on the ease of migration and compatibility across multiple operating systems.

Friendly Advice: Be sure to discuss any changes with your IT staff or an outside consultant, as not all cloud services are needed for every organization.   If you’d like an assessment, please call Aaron Nettles at (206) 781-1797 and see if your organization is ready for the cloud!

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3 Things You Need to Know Before Migrating to Office 365

January 28, 2011

Microsoft announced a few requirements for Office 365, which include updates to your (1) operating system, (2) office client, and (3) browser. Make sure you perform a full analysis (cloud assessment) of all your software prior to making the leap to Office 365.

Requirements

Key Changes for Office 365

  • Office 2003 is not supported
  • Office Communicator 2007 R2 with Office Communications Online will no longer be supported
  • Internet Explorer 6 with the Microsoft Online Administration Center, My Company Portal or Outlook Web App will no longer be supported

If you are not ready to make these software upgrades, but are interested in secure hosted email, SharePoint, Communicator, and/or Live Meeting – the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) is on a different platform and can accommodate the older software versions.  In addition, Microsoft is allowing a full year on BPOS after the launch of Office 365 so you will have more time to budget for the Office 365 software requirements.

If you’re at all confused about this post or the transition requirements, please call Aaron Nettles at (206) 781-1797.


Cloud Chat with Optistor Technologies

January 5, 2011

Diane Gallagher, co-founder of Vorsite Corporation and Don Holman of Optistor Technologies discuss the benefits of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (cloud service) for small business.


Windows Intune, a fine and new addition to Microsoft Cloud Services

July 9, 2010

Interested in managing your PCs from anywhere, supporting end-users remotely, or just keeping track of your assets?  Look at Windows Intune, the Microsoft cloud service has not released yet but is very promising. We had the privilege of working with a few of our customers during the previous month to manage them through a beta; upon completion of the program the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

If you are interested in learning more about Windows Intune from a partner and would like us to send you updates about the services please submit your information here http://www.trymsonline.com/windows-intune.aspx

Microsoft’s Top 5 Reasons to Try Windows Intune

1.      Achieve big-tech results with a small-tech investment. Designed to fit businesses without a large IT infrastructure, Windows Intune is an all-in-one solution that includes PC management, malware protection, and Windows upgrades rolled into one easy purchase. With minimal overhead, simple billing, and no formal training required, it’s easy to get started and maintain.

2.      Get the best Windows experience. Upgrade to Windows 7 Enterprise or run a prior release—it’s your choice. As long as your subscription remains active, you’ll receive upgrade rights to the latest operating system, so you won’t need to worry about buying upgrade licenses when the time comes.

3.      Identify issues before they impact business. Windows Intune sends alerts that notify you when you’ve got a threat or if a critical update was unsuccessful—so you can fix it before your PCs become vulnerable.

4.      Help manage and secure your PCs from virtually anywhere. Through a simple Web-based console, your IT staff can provide remote assistance, centrally manage updates, and proactively help protect PCs from malware threats, so your employees can stay focused on the business.

5.      Diagnose and repair even unbootable PCs. Using the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT), available to download for Windows Intune customers, administrators can recover data from PCs that have become unusable. It helps you rapidly diagnose probable causes of issues and quickly repair unbootable or locked-out systems.

Additional Resources

Windows Intune website

Watch the Windows Intune Overview Video

Microsoft Online Services for Business


4/22 Webinar: Key Reasons for Small Businesses Moving to the Cloud

April 8, 2010

Why should small businesses consider moving to cloud computing or Microsoft Online Services critical to a long-term success? Want to gain your competitive advantage in 2010?
As a Microsoft gold certified partner, Vorsite is hosting a special edition webinar to help you navigate through the cloud.  Register Now!

Key Reasons for Small Businesses Moving to the Cloud:
SharePoint Online Solution Showcase 
    Date:  Thursday April 22, 2010
    10:00 am – 11:00 am PST
    Presenter:Diane Gallagher, Vorsite CTO.
    Agenda:

  • Less IT spend, more investment in your business operation and customer acquisition
  • Stay nimble as your business grows
  • SharePoint Online Solutions Showcase

 

Microsoft Exchange Online mailbox is now 25GB per license: bigger mailbox, better productivity!

Learn More… Try 30-day BPOS free trial software http://www.TryMSOnline.com, or contact the Vorsite Online Services team(800) 218-7260 x101, TryMSOnline@vorsite.com


3 Key Reasons for Small Business to Move to the Cloud in 2010

March 17, 2010

After reading Global CIO: The Top 10 CIO Issues For 2010” by Bob Evans published in Information Week, I started to think about the how his top 10 applies or translates to small business. Why should small business consider moving the cloud critical in 2010 to long-term success . As a small business owner, below is my take, I have condensed down to 3 key areas of opportunity.

Gain a Competitive Advantage in 2010

 As a small business, you have the advantage of agility and time to market. Focus on your customers’ needs and offer services before your larger competition. As a small business, typically the owner/CEO is the CIO. You do not have budget for trial and error or sourcing ongoing IT projects that have nothing to do with adding to your bottom line. If you’re looking for areas to cut cost and gain a competitive edge against your competition, moving core IT operations to the cloud should be a priority this year. The move will enable you to achieve the following:

1. Less IT spend, more investment in your business. Spend your budget on process improvement, customer acquisition, and retention; and let someone else worry about IT infrastructure. Implement communication and collaboration solutions that provide rich interaction and improve productivity and process automation to your sales team and customers. For example, improve your website to make purchasing your products or services simpler, provide an easy mechanism for your customers to interact with you and get answers quick.

2. Stay nimble as your business grows. Small businesses should learn from the IT issues of big business, and don’t get caught in the weeds. Understand critical business functions that can be moved to the cloud; select a trusted vendor that is stable, secure, and has a solid roadmap. Your customers will appreciate your capability to respond to their needs quickly, accurately, and with flexibility. Besides, it should be easier to integrate strategic process now than when you have tripled in size.

3. Reduce areas of overhead. This is not a fun topic, however as a small business overhead can tip the scales between success or extinction. Cloud technologies offer services agreements and system stability that require less investment IT management.

Vorsite is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner. We provide business solutions supported by Microsoft Cloud Services to small and mid-sized business. Vorsite was founded in 2000; we have successfully on-boarded over 85 businesses to the cloud since 2009.

You can find more information about Business Solutions in the Cloud on http://www.msonlineforbusiness.com


Gain a Competitive Edge With Microsoft Cloud Services

March 17, 2010

April Webinars Early Bird Registration Starts Now!

Vorsite presents two webinars-

1. Why Move to the Cloud?

Date: Thu, April 15

Time: 10-11 am.  Pacific Time.

Presenters: Ed Omland (Microsoft), Jeff Medford (Microsoft), Aaron Nettles (Vorsite)

Register Now!

Agenda

– The Cloud Imperative
– What Can Microsoft cloud services do for you?
– How does the cloud value transform your business operation and efficiency?
– Product Demonstration
– Concerns of migration process and what to expect? How to start?

2. Gain a Competitive Edge with SharePoint Online Solutions

Date: Thu, April 22

Time: 10-11 am.  Pacific Time. 

Presenter: Diane Gallagher (Vorsite)

Register Now!

SharePoint Online is an effective collaboration and communications platform for businesses of all size. Gain a competitive edge by nurturing customer relationships, streamlining key business process, and increasing communication effectiveness.  This webinar will uncover SharePoint Online Standard, How to get your small business started using SharePoint and  Showcase real-world success stories.


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