This past month I’ve studied 3 days at Ignite DC downtown, 2 days partner training at the Microsoft offices, and 30 hours at Mack Sigman’s SharePoint Boot Camp. If I can fit in my schedule, I’ll do Mack’s SharePoint Admin course in Dec or Jan. These all involved prep and follow-up study.
These studies are all in Microsoft technologies of Office 365. The Project/Program/Portfolio Management methodologies have been of a particular interest. Why spend so much time studying Microsoft Office 365? Two reasons: we’ve been concentrating our practice on Office 365 because it’s now free for all 501(c)3 non-profits and because Google Apps is not even free for small organizations anymore.
Many thanks to Mack Sigman and other FEDSPUG/WSPDC volunteers Bisi Adebesinx and Nikkia Carter for their many hours of community-building work and teaching.
The buy versus rent choice is really another way of saying: cloud or on-premise systems. A non-profit can get huge discounts off the commercial rate on software or services either way. The capital expenditure versus expensing doesn’t really matter to a non-profit. Continue reading “Non-Profit Infrastructure Choices: Buy vs. Rent”
I set up a website and email system for a fledgling business last week in about 3 hours. I sent some options with pros/cons and then Skyped the founder. He showed his desktop and clicked through some links. We chose to buy the web domain and hosting from WordPress.com. WordPress.com makes it easy to set up email through Goggle Apps. I helped the founder click through the sign up process, and we chose a site template. He went away to write up the content while I set up the site and email. The next day, I posted the content and Skyped the founder. He showed his desktop, critiqued the site, learned how to post, and signed into his pre-existing Gmail account. We then went through how he is now receiving his company name email into his Gmail , can send from the new company domain address, and tweaked the site. The domain, hosting, and email comes to under $15 a year in one payment. It was refreshing to get something going without complications.
Free software isn’t always cheaper in the end. I’m dealing with a horrible cluster of open source software on one project; we barely get anything done with all the time we spend trying to figure how the software works. My recent web projects have been in Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, and with Microsoft tools. I’ve even been playing with Tumblr and Squarespace. But (and this is hard to admit) Microsoft’s new “cloud offerings” have me going to trainings and up nights studying. Continue reading “Office 365, Intune, and Dynamics CRM Online”