Kevin Snyder


814-312-2623 (C)
814-696-9048 (H)

Email me!

Between the Lines November 2020 Newsletter

Return Home

There are many momentous events that will happen this month. Fortunately, others more eloquent than I have written about them in more detail. I can’t stress how important it is for you to VOTE. You have a real say in what happens in this topsy-turvy world, so make your voice heard!!

Enough said on that, now let’s go over some A.B.A.T.E. of PA updates and business.

A.B.A.T.E. of PA’s office systems are undergoing a rather large overhaul. We are migrating from the current hodgepodge of systems to a Microsoft 365 environment. We have one PC networked to a printer/copier at the state office, a laptop for the products officer, and that’s about it. Everything else relies on individual officer’s personal equipment and file storage preferences. Backups are also up to the individual officer doing the work.

When I say that, it seems crazy that a small company like ours could operate like that, but we do. Now it’s time for a serious upgrade. We discovered the Microsoft 365 for Non Profits program a few months ago, and Microsoft is being quite generous. We got ourselves qualified in the program and are setting things up. Two new PC’s have been installed in the state office, one for Popcorn and one to back her up and for the Legislative Coordinator to use.

This migration will allow officers to have their own secure storage areas for their own files plus a library for common files accessible to all the officers. Hopefully, the cloud storage will make transitions from one officeholder to the next a lot easier. All in the cloud, all secure and backed up, large enough that we’ll never fill it up, and free.

We have to work out the details of the email migration before bringing the rest of the officers into it. Their email addresses won’t change, but they will be using Outlook instead of the current Smartermail web interface which isn’t real easy to use.

Also, the membership database will be migrated to a server in the cloud running on SQL. Much more secure that the local PC setup we’ve been using since 2002. There are still performance issues to solve which I am working on before it goes live.

Why am I filling up a column with this? Because I’ve been doing most of this myself and I am definitely not an IT person. I have taught myself enough to get by over the years, but I know my limits. I want to have someone else as a system admin to share the fun. Having one person who knows the details, no matter how well documented, is not a good situation to be in. So if you’re in the IT world, familiar with Microsoft 365 and Azure SQL in a small business environment, willing to commit for the long term, and want to get in on the fun, let me know.