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Posts Tagged ‘tech help’


What Nonprofits Should Seek in an IT Provider

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

While many of the technical needs at nonprofit and for-profit businesses overlap, there are still several key considerations for nonprofits looking for the right IT services provider. Nonprofits’ motivations may be driven less by the concept of “spending money to making money” and more toward avoiding unnecessary costs so that the organization can focus more of its time and money on its message.

For nonprofits, working with an IT managed services provider can offer the following advantages:

IT Providers Help Streamline Technology Growth Alongside Nonprofit Growth

In many cases, growing nonprofit organizations struggle with keeping their infrastructure up to capacity to handle increased staff and workloads. Some nonprofits may find it easy to use in-house staff to set up and prepare new devices for new employees, whereas others may find an IT provider’s assistance invaluable. Other businesses may find it very difficult to keep their network infrastructure providing reliable performance while the number of employee computers and mobile devices continues to grow. Infrastructure can become overwhelmed as your business introduces more devices. IT service providers can help keep a watchful eye on desktop and network management.

Protecting Nonprofits From Technology Threats

Nonprofits and for-profits alike need to make IT security a priority: Overconfidence in your organization’s ability to protect itself and recover from cyber-attacks can be a major security threat in itself.

Though similar to for-profit businesses, nonprofits place a little less emphasis on targeted attacks because nonprofits aren’t as likely to be working with the same level of financial assets or confidential information. However, desktop management, which involves keeping security software running and all applications patched, can easily fall behind if on-site staff doesn’t actively monitor it.

IT services can ensure a nonprofit’s computers are strongly protected from threats.

Additionally, hiring an IT services provider for help with disaster recovery and backup can help your business avoid otherwise catastrophic situations. Proper backup practices require continuous diligent work to minimize loss from events such as hardware failure and ransomware attacks. For nonprofits, it can be invaluable knowing backups are completed correctly without having to worry about it. Losing an hour’s work by restoring data from a backup is a much more desirable prospect than losing entire projects.

Budgeting and Cost-Saving Help for Nonprofits

IT providers can also help nonprofits both stabilize and lower their budgets for IT expenses. Additionally, IT providers can work with nonprofits to only provide needed services and keep as many services in-house as the nonprofit desires. Nonprofits may pay extra attention to keeping overhead costs down, so outsourcing expensive, infrequently used services can bring in huge savings. Additionally, IT providers can offer a flat-fee subscription-based agreement so a nonprofit won’t have to deal with as many possible “surprises” when determining its IT budget for labor and capital expenses. For example, a business might look to IT services to cover IT management, implementation, equipment, software, and maintenance while maintaining control of its own in-house help desk and customer service.

The IT providers at MPA Networks can help your Bay Area nonprofit by fulfilling your IT needs at a lower cost. Contact us today to learn more.

6 Can’t-Miss Tools for Innovative Presentations

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

It’s easy to grow jaded about presentation software. After all, each new version of PowerPoint and Keynote may feel like the equivalent of the same old room getting a new coat of paint. However, new tools and apps offer all sorts of fresh and clever ways to make better presentations. Encourage your employees to experiment with the following six tools in 2018 and see where they take you.

1. Collaborate with Google Slides

Google Slides may not offer PowerPoint- and Keynote-level features, but it’s free, widely supported and cloud-based. If you’re working on a presentation as a part of a team it’s easy to use Google Slides to work together. The program updates itself online in real time, so if one person on the team makes a change to a slide, the rest of the team will see it immediately if they are also working on the presentation. Google Slides also features automatic saving.

Additionally, your staff can use Google Slides as a tool to create a first draft of a presentation. When the draft is done, one employee can transfer the slideshow to another more capable program for revisions.

2. Exchange Ideas with SlideShare

LinkedIn SlideShare is like a social network for slideshows.

As long as the presentation doesn’t include confidential information, your staff can showcase their work and get feedback from other presentation experts.

Additionally, your staff can take a passive role in the social network: You can use it to look at other presentations from people across the world for inspiration on how to make a better presentation. SlideShare offers expert-taught presentation courses as well.

3. Dump Dated Software for Slidebean

Slidebean is a popular alternative presentation program that’s built to create stunning presentations with minimal effort from the content creator. Slidebean is a cloud-based app much like a premium version Google Slides and offers seamless online collaboration. It’s built to work on just about any device that supports a web browser.

4. Make a Non-Linear Presentation With Prezi

Prezi is an excellent tool for presentations during which the presenter interacts with the audience and adjusts points based on the discussion. It’s excellent for non-linear presentations as well as Q&A-style conferences. It can also be a helpful visual aid for a Q&A session after another presentation.

5. Present From Your Tablet or Phone with ApowerMirror

ApowerMirror is an application that streams a presentation from an Android or iOS device onto a computer. This tool can be very helpful for presenters who prefer the freedom of being able to move around and control their presentation with a smart device rather than a clicker. It’s also helpful for making sure that all the necessary media files are accessible for the presentation because it can access the device’s storage.

6. Generate Website-Based Timelines with TimelineJS

TimelineJS is a handy tool for presenters who want to produce a timeline with relative ease.

The tool quickly generates a timeline for display on a website from data entered into a Google spreadsheet template.

Presenters can display the timeline through any web browser to guide a presentation outside of a slides program.

Empower your productive staff to become even more productive with the right tools at your disposal. The IT consulting experts at MPA Networks can help your business identify and utilize new apps and tools to increase productivity well beyond your greatest expectations. Contact us today to learn more.