[UPDATE: NOW WITH CLOUD!] TechSoup Canada's Microsoft Program: Donated, Discounted, and Cloud Offerings
Last year, Microsoft announced a number of changes to its nonprofit donations and discount programs. The reason for the shift is Microsoft's desire to optimize its offerings to better serve smaller nonprofits. The shift also reflects a larger, global trend to move IT infrastructure to a cloud-based model.
This shift has affected what TechSoup Canada offers to nonprofits. Generally speaking, three key changes are significant:
Nonprofit organizations have many of the same needs as for-profit businesses, from data storage to digital security. However, because so many nonprofits are strapped for resources, such basic needs are often viewed as unaffordable luxury items. For example, for many nonprofits, the cost of paying an IT consultant to host their email servers and to manage their data encryption can be prohibitive.
Despite all the resources public libraries have to offer, they sometimes lag behind in technology. Big data has become an essential tool in the business world, but most libraries have not yet adopted predictive analytics. The good news? Tech leaders are urging Ottawa to create a national big data strategy.
The latest versions of Office Suite, available through TechSoup Canada's Microsoft Software Donation Program, are the installed desktop version of the software. Office Online, on the other hand, is a browser-based version of Microsoft Office, which can be used for free or included in a subscription of Office 365. Which version makes the most sense for your organization?
Exciting news -- if your nonprofit works within the field of education, you may now be eligible for Amazon Web Services (AWS)! AWS has expanded the eligibility requirements for its Donations Program, meaning that more nonprofits will now have access to its comprehensive suite of cloud-based computing services.
We are thrilled to announce that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now a TechSoup Canada donor partner! AWS provides organizations around the world with access to affordable, scalable, and customizable cloud computing services. With AWS, your nonprofit can build websites, develop apps, manage outreach and fundraising, and host core business and employee-facing systems.
Through its Cloud for Good program, Microsoft Philanthropies aims to create equitable access to technology across society. As part of this initiative, Microsoft provides nonprofits with donated cloud services to help transform the way they achieve impact.
You’ve probably noticed the influx of SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud technology for nonprofit organizations - programs like Raiser’s Edge, DonorPerfect, Salesforce, and even Keela. These programs often use a cloud-based system to centrally store your data, allowing teams to access information wherever they are, as long as they have access to the internet. Put simply, cloud computing is a network of servers working to deliver a specific function, like storing your contact data or managing your projects.
"The cloud" refers to a computer concept whereby groups of large computers specializing in storing and processing information (known as "servers") work together to share information and workloads towards completing a specific task.
What is 'the cloud', and is a move to the cloud right for your nonprofit or library? To help you decide, this article discusses what organizations should know before taking the plunge.