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Last month, TechSoup Talks hosted a free one-hour webinar on ways your nonprofit or library can use new affordable telecommunication tools like Voice over IP (VoIP), virtual PBX, and virtual private networking (VPN) to reduce your need to travel and better enable telecommuting and virtual meetings.We had questions from "What is a VPN?" to "I'm curious to hear more about the issue of securityΓÇª how/what info should be shared over VPN?"This webinar was assembled with people responsible for technical decisions like Executive Directors, CFOs/Directors of Finance, and Office Managers in mind, rather than for those with the technical expertise of an IT Director. It was especially useful for organizations that have branch locations, organizations that respond to emergencies or disasters, or those that are interested in having more employees and volunteers able to work effectively outside the office. Telecom expert Matthew Bauer from BetterWorld Telecom discussed the challenges that nonprofits are currently facing and made the environmental and budgetary argument for moving to some of these newer technologies.
Hayes Morehouse from the Ella Baker Center, answered the question, "Did you say you can take your phone home; plug in to Internet; and it connects to the office?" At the Center, they have already implemented VoIP, virtual PBX, and VPN. He discussed their rationale for switching to these technologies, their costs, their benefits and the hurdles they faced.The cost of travel is expensive as well as adding huge carbon costs to the environment. So skip the trip and use ICT (information and communications technologies) to work remotely. This online seminar was archived and the recording, PowerPoint presentation, and downloadable audio are all available through the archive page. Be sure to check out the travel reduction section of the GreenTech Initiative project here at TechSoup for other great resources like this.
Introduction to VPN
Unified Communications Options for Nonprofits
Producing Webinars for Nonprofits and Libraries
WWF Report on Telecommuting
VoIP Security Learning Guide
Guidelines for Supervising Telecommuters (PDF)
Learn about the support for virtual private network (VPN) technologies in Microsoft Windows
Cisco's Introduction to VPN
Web Conferencing Software Comparison
Side-by-Side Comparison of the Top 7 Business IP Phone Systems
Virtual PBX Comparison Chart
Microsoft Windows Server (VPN)
MS Internet Security and Acceleration EE