Collaborative Technology Management: The World’s First Affordable IT Department

Collaborative Technology Management (CTM) gives you the power of a full-service IT department at the price of a single employee.

CTM is designed to meet the needs of organizations busy enough to require a full range of IT services, but not large enough for an IT department to be feasible. This middle ground includes many nonprofits and small businesses with mission-driven needs and a budget focus. If you’re thinking about hiring a single employee to handle your organization’s IT needs, CTM may be for you.

The core of Collaborative Technology Management is an IT Services Manager who gets to know your organization deeply. Instead of the frantic fix-it focus that challenges many organizations, CTM gives you a strategic team member who can plan for your present and future needs.

Your IT Services Manager has the full resources of Tech Networks of Boston at your disposal. We’ll provide everything you need in an IT department: network monitoring, training, deskside support and more.

Collaborative Technology Management puts Tech Networks of Boston on your team. Contact us to learn more!

TNB Reviews Task Management Software

In this age of increased productivity, task management software keeps workforces organized. Inexpensive emerging software puts management science to work, with user-friendly interfaces everyone can use.

Typically, a manager defines a set of tasks and assigns them to individuals. Staff members then update the software with their status and time spent.

Many products are offered on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis. Often web-based, SaaS companies charge a monthly or annual subscription fee to use their products, instead of a one-time purchase price. SaaS pricing models may cost more over several years than one-time purchase, but the monthly outlay can be quite small. We only considered products priced under $200 per month without high per-user license fees.

Tech Networks of Boston recently investigated over 40 task management software products. Here are our highlights.

We liked Smartsheet.com (at right), FengOffice.com, HyperOffice.com, and Wrike.com. A Sharepoint-based alternative is offered on a non-SaaS basis by SyncTaskSoftware.com.

The first four products offer different emphases but similar features. Of these, we liked the format of Smartsheet, which is also the least expensive.

Smartsheet presents itself as a “smart spreadsheet.” On a project sheet, rows represent individual tasks, which can be placed in a project hierarchy if desired. We liked Smartsheet’s traffic-light indicators for task status: Not Yet Started, On Track, and At Risk. That’s at-a-glance reporting any manager will find useful.

SyncTaskSoftware.com goes in an entirely different direction, offering a Sharepoint template for purchase. SyncTask offers full integration with Microsoft Outlook tasks. We found their website lacking in specifics, but this product merits further investigation because it builds on the power of Sharepoint.

If you’d like more information or if you’d like a business technology evaluation for your organization, contact us anytime.

Southie Trees Group Gains Momentum

Autumn may bring falling leaves and brisk weather, but Southie Trees is in full bloom!

Earlier this month, the New England Grassroots Environment Fund awarded Southie Trees a full year of funding. This grant will jumpstart educational programs, tree maintenance projects and support for Southie residents in preserving trees around their neighborhood.

A second grant from the City’s “Grow Boston Greener” initiative funds tree planting along the staircase to Thomas Park.

In collaboration with Tech Networks of Boston, Southie Trees organized a street tree rescue on West 2nd Street. Residents and volunteers worked together to cut cables, remove stakes, trim branches and add fresh mulch. To wrap up the project, volunteers talked with local residents about community involvement in tree care.

Because the City has very little manpower, we’re calling upon Boston residents to lend a hand wherever possible. Together we can improve Boston’s green scene.

Tech Networks of Boston is proud to support Southie Trees by funding the Southie Trees Coordinator position at 20 hours per week.

Know Your City’s Trees! November Contest

Where in Andrew Square is this tree? The first reader to guess its location will receive a free gift.

This month we’re featuring a young street tree. With harsh conditions and scant access to water, street trees like this one live an average of only 8 years. They never grow large enough to provide shade or beautify the street.

Tech Networks of Boston supports the preservation of mature urban trees, which make neighborhoods more pleasant, filter our air and water, and moderate temperatures. Let’s save the decades-old trees entrusted to us by past generations.

We hope you’ll use this contest as a fun way to get to know your city’s trees!