Technology Decision Makers

last person joined: 22 hours ago 

A group for those in nonprofit IT decision-making roles to connect with peers and share best practices.
This Technology Decision Makers group is for nonprofit IT or MIS Directors/Managers as well as CIOs and CTOs to connect with their peers and share best practices. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to: hardware and software management, product reviews, emerging technology, best practices, collaborating effectively with other departments, and management conundrums. Membership is restricted to IT staff at nonprofit organizations.

Meeting: This group typically has a monthly community call on the fourth Wednesday at 1pm PT
Collaborative notes and community call-in information: http://bit.ly/npITnotes
Short link: http://community.nten.org/tech-decision-makers

Topic: Office 365

1.  Office 365

Posted May 16, 2017 18:18
Hi,

We currently have a windows server and are also using google docs.  We want to move completely to the clouds.  Google doesn't seem, by itself, to be the answer and I'm curious to hear people's experience with Office 365.  We would likely continue to use gmail and google calendar.  Cost is a big consideration so it seems like Dropbox is out for that reason.  My understanding is that Microsoft's donation to nonprofits will make Office 365 either free of a minimal fee.

I wondered if anyone out there would be up for a phone call about Office 365.  I'd love to know your experience with it. How the migration went.  If you can collaborate live with others and if they have to be also have Office 365 to do so.  How the file structure can be set up for an organization.  How much storage space is available.  And anything else you have to say about it.

Feel free to respond here as well.

Thank you so much

Lindy Walsh
Community Cycling Center
503 314,4390
lindy@communitycyclingncenter.org

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Lindy Walsh
Director
Community Cycling Center
Portland, OR
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2.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 17, 2017 10:45

Looking to do pretty much the same thing here.  And yes – MS gives most of it way if 100% cloud – there is a nominal fee per/user for having the software loaded on the actual computer vs. using the browser-based versions.

 

Effective March 31, 2017 – RAP Foundation mailing address has changed:

41-550 Eclectic St., Palm Desert, CA 92260

 

To schedule a meeting or phone call – click HERE

Stuart F. McClain, MBA, CPA(inactive), CITP

Controller

General Phone: (760) 674-9992 ext. 101

Direct Dial: (760) 469-4371

Website: http://www.rapfoundation.org

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AmazonSmile-RAP-SmallIE Capaciteria

 






3.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 18, 2017 01:01
I'd be up to joining the Wednesday call to talk about this if anyone can make it.  I'm assuming it is next Wednesday?

It'd be really helpful to hear about other people's experience.  Sounds like it would be a good fit for us, all things considered.  I'm curious to know more about the costs and how much storage capacity there is.

Thanks.

--
Lindy Walsh
Director of Finance and Administration
Pronouns:  She/Her

Community Cycling Center
Office:  503.288.8864
Bike Shop: 1700 NE Alberta - Hours: Open every day, 10am-6pm.  503.287.8786

Celebrate National Bike Month in May; join Team Tailwind! Team Tailwind is our crew of monthly donors who support the Community Cycling Center's transformative work. Sign up today and win cool prizes!






4.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 17, 2017 10:53
I admit we are still on Exchange, and are weighing 365 vs Google. I'd love to join a call about this as well!

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Miriam Savad
Director of Data and Technology
Center for Community Change
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5.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 17, 2017 11:37

We migrated to O365 a couple years back and I'm happy to talk about our experience. We had a SBS 2008 server and while we still have local servers, we're using a lot more of O365.

 

Thanks,

Michael

 

 






6.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 17, 2017 11:39

I realize I left off my signature. If there's a bunch of people interested, let me know and I'll circulate a doodle.

 

Thanks,

 

Michael Hofrichter, Esq. | Director of Compliance and Operations | Staff Attorney

Houston Volunteer Lawyers  | 1111 Bagby, Suite FLB 300 | Houston, Texas 77002 | 713.275.0147

 

www.MakeJusticeHappen.org

 

facebooktwitter-bird-blue-on-white

 

 

 






7.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 17, 2017 21:31
We love really like O365, we've been on it a couple of years and in fact have helped a bunch of smaller agencies migrate to it (doing another this Friday in fact). You can definitely collaborate in docs like in Gdocs using the online version of the Word/Excel/PPT, , even if the other party doesn't have O365.  You definitely need to desktop versions of those apps, but you can buy them once for $27/seat for 2016 on TechSoup and then use the O365 "E1" license that's free for nonprofits and not have to pay a monthly fee.  For $4.50/user/month more, you can get E3 to get lots of encryption features and some pretty robust mobile device management, plus a bunch of other products.

Definitely decide Google vs O365, then stick with one (you can tell which one I prefer).  Mixing them up can be confusing / painful.

I'm happy to join a call if I can cram it into my schedule, but wonder if this wouldn't a great topic for the last-Weds-monthly-4PM-EST Technology Decision Makers call.

Enjoy!

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Tom Anderson
Founder
IT4 Causes
Midlothian, VA
804.241.2555
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8.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 18, 2017 09:13
we migrated to O365 3 years ago and its been a very positive move for our organization. The collaboration tools are excellent. Check this article out as well;

Moving Your IT Infrastructure Into the Cloud: Lessons From the Field - Idealware


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Dan Dwyer
Director IT
CFHI
Ottawa, ON
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9.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 18, 2017 11:34

I think it would be great to have at least 1hr call just focused on Google v MS, as well as shortfalls especially of each -

 

Effective March 31, 2017 – RAP Foundation mailing address has changed:

41-550 Eclectic St., Palm Desert, CA 92260

 

To schedule a meeting or phone call – click HERE

Stuart F. McClain, MBA, CPA(inactive), CITP

Controller

General Phone: (760) 674-9992 ext. 101

Direct Dial: (760) 469-4371

Website: http://www.rapfoundation.org

Banner1

AmazonSmile-RAP-SmallIE Capaciteria

 






10.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 24, 2017 09:21
Office 365 will be on the Agenda during today's Tech Decision Makers call at 4ET/3CT/2MT/1PT. Dial in at (866) 853-1888 and join us online at NTEN -Tech Decision Makers Community of Practice - Monthly Call Notes
Google Docs remove preview
NTEN -Tech Decision Makers Community of Practice - Monthly Call Notes
Welcome! Each month NTEN's Tech Decision Makers Community of Practice holds an open conversation for nonprofit IT leaders to share experiences and resources. We take collaborative notes here and you're all invited to help. Stay in touch throughout the month: Tech Decision Makers Community...
View this on Google Docs >


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Richard Wollenberger
Director, Information Technology & HIPAA Compliance and Security Officer
Parents as Teachers
St. Louis MO
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11.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 19, 2017 09:47
I'd be interested in participating as well. We made the jump to 365 last year and I'd love to hear if/how smaller orgs are leveraging Azure and Sharepoint.

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Emilio Arocho
Director, Technology and Digital Strategy
Food and Drug Law Institute
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12.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 22, 2017 09:48
I'll add an Office 365 discussion to THIS WEDNESDAY's Tech Decision Maker call. Invitations will go out shortly, but join us at 3:00pm Central by calling in at 866-853-1888.

(You're an IT person, you figure out your own time zone :) )



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Richard Wollenberger
Director, Information Technology & HIPAA Compliance and Security Officer
Parents as Teachers
St. Louis MO
------------------------------



13.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 22, 2017 17:38
I am brand new to this organization, and would be very interested in joining a call to hear the pro's and con's of 365 - how/where do I find the info to join the call?

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Mary Beth Foster
Irving, TX
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14.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 23, 2017 10:07
We are close to our 4th year on Office 365.  Prior to our Office 365 migration, we had multiple Windows 2008 servers for AD authentication, file and printer services, local file storage, mailboxes (Exchange), and intranet (Sharepoint).  I did an analysis on Google and Office 365 before deciding to go with Office 365.  A key point to that was familiarity with Microsoft servers and systems, powershell exposure and the granularity of security, and with the cost being free (E2), it was very attractive to us.  It seemed to be geared more towards the business class of IT, and for me, we try to run our IT shop with the same considerations that businesses have to consider.  I'm sure Google has come a long was since 2013, but it wasn't there at that time.

Migrating (which was fairly straightforward) to Office 365 essentially eliminated all but our AD servers for some local authentication back through our on-premise PBX system, but the majority of our staff now authenticate via AzureAD (running Windows 10 devices).  This essentially put us in full cloud mode, with minimal servers used on premises.  Training and education is the key to a successful roll out and implementation...i repeat training and education! :)

As it stands, we use the following Office 365 service, 99% of the accounts are running the E2, free for staff plan:

Outlook
SharePoint
Skype for Business
OneDrive for Business (no more file servers)
Yammer
Office Online apps
Office 365 Video (for quick tech tips)

We are about to delve into PowerBI and Power Apps to see if we can further improve the work we do and services we provide.

We too purchase via TechSoup Office 2013 and 2016 licenses, although once you get over a certain amount of licenses you can no longer buy from TechSoup during that calendar year.  We ran into that issue when we did a large scale refresh on some of our systems.  In that case, reach out to your IT vendor and they can ensure you still get the discounted pricing structure.

Hope this help!

------------------------------
Nathan Curry
IT Director
Community Action Partnership of North Alabama
Decatur, AL
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15.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 24, 2017 09:26

This is very helpful Nathan and all contributors. We are planning to migrate to Office 365 next month, though we do have Google G Suite and use Google Docs for collaboration, my team are comfortable with the Exchange and Outlook. Point noted, Nathan about Training, Training ad Training.

 

Ebenezer Dadzie | Director, Information Systems

<a href=image012.png@01D1918A.1BEC2430">

1725 I Street NW, Suite 510,Washington, DC 20006

202.627.3733 Direct | 202.627.3737 Main | 202.530.1698 Fax

Website:www.wfpusa.org |Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | LinkedIn

HUNGER IS THE WORLD'S GREATEST SOLVABLE PROBLEM

 






16.  RE: Office 365

Posted May 25, 2017 18:38
I've been meaning to wade in on this and sorry I missed the call yesterday. Three years ago I led a migration to Office 365 at my previous organization, but then about three months ago I took a new position at an organization that uses Google Apps. So now I have experience administering both and some perspective on the pros and cons of each platform. I don't think there's a clear cut "winner" when choosing between the two. It really depends on what features are more important to your organization. The following list is in no particular order:

  • The core benefit for each program is email hosting, and it's amazing that we nonprofit techies get to choose between these two world-class email hosting services completely for free. Here's my take on the nuances between them:
    • If your organization prefers keeping Outlook as your standard email client, advantage Office 365. There's a pretty seamless integration between Outlook and Office 365 as opposed to needing Google's G Suite Sync connector. The Google connector has improved over time but still has some quirks and bugs.
    • If your organization prefers web mail and calendaring, advantage Google. The Gmail and Google Calendar interfaces are more refined than their Office 365 counterparts
    • If you need tons of storage space, advantage Office 365. Microsoft's donation program allows each user 50GB of storage per mailbox (unlimited if you take the paid upgrade to E3) and 1TB per user for file storage on OneDrive for Business. Google's donation program allows users just 30GB of storage across both Gmail and Google Drive.
  • Each program includes a suite of productivity applications. Google Docs in Google's case and Microsoft Office in Microsoft's case
    • Microsoft Office desktop apps are of course the gold standard and used ubiquitously. The free E2 subscriptions include just the web versions of them, while the discounted E3 subscriptions include desktop app licensing. It's important to note that the "boxed" 2016 version of Office is different from the Office 365 version of that same product (even though both are called Office 2016). Microsoft has been rolling out feature updates and product enhancements to the Office 365 version of the software which are not available in the standalone version. So while you can get standalone licenses for Office 2016 via TechSoup, that version is a static release which does not get updated with the latest features ongoing. I think that the writing is pretty clearly on the wall that Microsoft is moving towards a future where Office licensing will primarily be offered on a subscription basis.
    • Office applications are increasingly integrated with Office 365 services in terms of storage and collaboration features. Storing and editing Microsoft documents on Google Drive storage is possible, but it's somewhat clunky and feels like it's minimally supported.
    • Google Docs is not as feature rich as Microsoft Office desktop apps but does offer a superior user experience to Microsoft Office online. Using Google Docs and Drive within a G Suite deployment unlocks some features, such as the ability set document sharing and editing permissions based on people within the organization, and a new Team Drives feature for centralizing storage.
    • Office 365 offers OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. The former is not quite as slick as Google Drive IMHO but has caught up in terms of basic functionality. SharePoint is a whole other animal and a platform on which you can build a full-featured intranet portal. Google does not offer anything that competes directly with it.
    • Google Docs let you provision forms which can be posted and enter values directly into a spreadsheet. Microsoft doesn't offer a widely available feature like that.
  • Google has Hangouts which allows users to chat, talk, and screenshare. Microsoft has Skype for Business which allows users to chat, talk, and screenshareSkype also integrates with Outlook (presence indicator and Skype meeting integration) and if you really want to go deep with it can integrate with some telephone and unified communications systems as well.
  • Google services can be integrated with custom scripting and numerous third party integrations available, such as this SalesForce integration which looks super intriguing.
  • Office 365 can integrate with Azure Active Directory, which can be synchronized with your on-premise active directory so that user account details and passwords are the same for logging in locally as they are for online directories.
  • Office 365 configuration can be managed via PowerShell, which provides a very powerful command line access to granular settings. And the GUI for managing it provides you with pretty much all the control that the back end of an on prem Exchange or SharePoint server does. I've heard about a command line tool out there for GSuite, but as far as I can tell it's not an official Google offering and I haven't yet tried it. And I can say that the range of configuration options in the GSuite administration portal is less robust than O365.

There are a number of other differences between the platforms but I think I covered a lot of the major ones. Wonder if this might be a good topic to propose as an 18NTC session?

------------------------------
Jason Samuels
IT Operations Manager
American Craft Council
Minneapolis, MN
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17.  RE: Office 365

Posted Jun 09, 2017 13:55
I'm still trying to get my head around moving to Office 365.

My questions:

  • If we have desktop application Office 2016, can we still use that and One Drive?
  • What the disadvantage of not having the subscriptions to desktop applications?
  • Can I have some people on one subscription plan (ie pay the $2/mo) for some staff and the free version for others?
  • Is Sharepoint part of Office 365?  I'm still trying to understand that feature.
  • My thought is to move us to One Drive and away from our Exchange Server so that all our files are stored in one place.  We would continue to use Google for mail and our calendar.  Is that a horrible idea?

Thanks for any help!

------------------------------
Lindy Walsh
Director
Community Cycling Center
Portland, OR
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18.  RE: Office 365

Posted Jun 09, 2017 14:13
Here are some answers:

  • If we have desktop application Office 2016, can we still use that and One Drive?
    • Yes.
  • What the disadvantage of not having the subscriptions to desktop applications?
    • Online offers mobile apps as well as desktop apps and freedom to use them on up to ten devices. Desktop licensing allows for one additional computer; mobile apps have to be paid for separately. Desktop office isn;t updated regularly; 365-provided office is (this might be a mixed bag).
  • Can I have some people on one subscription plan (ie pay the $2/mo) for some staff and the free version for others?
    • Yes. 
  • Is Sharepoint part of Office 365?  I'm still trying to understand that feature.
    • Yes. It is powerful and complex - read up on it. The google vertical is probably sites, but Sharepoint is much more powerful.
  • My thought is to move us to One Drive and away from our Exchange Server so that all our files are stored in one place.  We would continue to use Google for mail and our calendar.  Is that a horrible idea?
    • I find this confusing, Your using Exchange and GMail? You can use Office and Onedrive with GMail and GCal. But I would use one or the other for email. But, if you don't plan on using Exchange/Outlook, or have a compelling need for Sharepoint, you might look at other cloud storage options like Box. 


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Peter Campbell
CIO
Legal Services Corporation
Washington DC
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19.  RE: Office 365

Posted Jun 13, 2017 12:16
In trying to understand Sharepoint, it seems like that is where we would want to store organization files rather than One Drive?  Is that true?  In one video I saw they suggested organizational files in Sharepoint and One Drive is for staff to have files that are not automatially shared with others.

Thoughts?

Thank you.

------------------------------
Lindy Walsh
Director
Community Cycling Center
Portland, OR
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20.  RE: Office 365

Posted Jun 14, 2017 11:41
Hi Lindy,
We migrated from traditional file storage to SharePoint/One Drive not long ago and what you are describing is how we explained it to our users.
One Drive is your personal drive.  Use it for draft documents, works in progress, email attachments and other "working documents".  SharePoint is the company file share where anything that needs to be saved long-term should be saved.
It can be confusing because you can sharing and collaborating using Office 365 can be done either way, and you can access your files remotely using either one, but we found this to be a helpful way for people to make the transition from storing things in the proper network drive location to a new on-line file location.

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Rob Foley
IT Director - The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis
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21.  RE: Office 365

Posted 8 days ago
I'm wondering what security features there is in office 365/Sharepoint.  It will be the first itme we would have our files in the clouds and it makes me very nervous to think about laptops out in the world that have such easy access to our organizational files.

Thoughts?

------------------------------
Lindy Walsh
Director
Community Cycling Center
Portland, OR
------------------------------



22.  RE: Office 365

Posted 8 days ago

You can enable multifactor authentication which will require users to not only know the password but have access to the user's mobile phone. There are some other things you can do if you are really paranoid but MFA is a good start.

 

Leland Foster, HM TE






23.  RE: Office 365

Posted 7 days ago

I don't know all the specifics – but as with any laptop etc. password security would be the primary defense – regardless of being in Office 365 or not – such as memorize passwords that auto complete/auto fill for logins.  IF those passwords are saved in the browsers or coded in some way – then whomever has access could log in.

 

Microsoft does allow you to force Multi-Factor Authentication for Office 365 to Office 365 Midsize Business, Enterprise plans, Academic plans, Nonprofit plans, and standalone Office 365 plans, including Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. This will allow organizations with these subscriptions to enable multi-factor authentication for their Office 365 users without requiring any additional purchase or subscription.

Will force users to set up a 2nd user verification methed

 

You can increase that through use of Azure multi-factor authorization process as well

 

Effective March 31, 2017 – RAP Foundation mailing address has changed:

41-550 Eclectic St., Palm Desert, CA 92260

 

To schedule a meeting or phone call – click HERE

Stuart F. McClain, MBA, CPA(inactive), CITP

Controller

General Phone: (760) 674-9992 ext. 101

Direct Dial: (760) 469-4371

Website: http://www.rapfoundation.org

Banner1

AmazonSmile-RAP-SmallIE Capaciteria

 






24.  RE: Office 365

Posted 7 days ago
The process you design for logging into Office 365 can be as secure as any process that you would design for accessing your network, and possibly less expensive. You can set password policies as you do now; you can enable multi-factor authentication at no extra cost; your documents are auto-saved to multiple, geo-graphically diverse servers, offering better data protection than you would likely have otherwise; and Microsoft's built in spam-filtering captures more malware than any of the three last programs I used in-house did.

If that's not sufficient, for $1.65 a month per user, you can add Microsoft's EMS, which includes single sign-on, mobile device management, digital rights management and advanced threat detection, all things that would tighten up your security and be much more expensive to purchase for a traditional network environment.

The risk in the cloud is generally not that your content is less secure - I would argue that it's almost always going to be more secure, as Microsoft has scads of licensed security professionals on staff and we generally don't. The concerns are contractual - what happens to your data if they go out of business; what assurances do they make about uptime and access; and, important for many NPOs, what will they do if your data is subpoenaed?  You also might have concerns about where your data is being stored, as different countries have different laws regarding data security and privacy (but MS will work with you on that).

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Peter Campbell
CIO
Legal Services Corporation
Washington DC
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25.  RE: Office 365

Posted 4 days ago
Adding to everyone's already helpful comments, Microsoft has a Security & Compliance Center where they have instructions and configuration options for many security features within Office 365.

Office 365 Security & Compliance Center

You can login at https://protection.office.com.

Sample from the Security & Compliance Center:

How alert policies work

Here's a quick overview of how alert policies work and the alerts that are triggers when user or admin activity match the conditions of an alert policy.



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Joshua Peskay
Vice President
RoundTable Technology
joshua@roundtabletechnology.com
www.roundtabletechnology.com
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