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.


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