Friday, August 24, 2007

Part 2 : Office 2007 Plunge - Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007

I couldn't be more pleased with how Wednesday nights upgrades went. The Office suite seemed to run nicely on the pcs that I mentioned in my previous blog.

I didn't go in to the office until around 5pm preparing for what I thought might be a lengthy evening. But all was said and done by around 10:30pm including all the patches and upgrades for the Office 2007 suite.

I'm extremely excited about the potential that this upgrade has to offer our staff both on an efficient level as well as a 'fun' level. There is nothing wrong with adding a little fun to the everyday mundane office world. Currently our church doesn't have an exchange server but in 2008 that will all change. Like I have mentioned previously I come from the corporate world. That said, this is probably one of the first offices I've been in that doesn't have shared calendar and such available. Bringing shared calendar here to the size staff SFLC now has will be a huge help I'm sure to almost everyone. More to come on our current Email environment in my next blog...

Thursday we had a nice sit down and walk-through session for our administrative staff on the changes of features and looks. Microsoft actually had a great power point presentation that helped me throw a little something together visually. It can be found here. There are actually quite a few tools and resources available there as well that can be very useful to your staff in getting started and adjusted to the changes of this office version as well as it's previous packages. And hey it's free - and who doesn't like free, right?

As I mentioned earlier we currently do not have exchange, sharepoint, or groove environments. But I've been researching a lot of the advantages and features of both sharepoint and groove and I'm excited to start testing away with both. Getting an exchange server is part of our major upgrade for the beginning of 2008 and should be a huge welcome here. So Office and Exchange alongside sharepoint... the possibilities are almost endless. Please share your success and maybe not so successful stories of implementing these tools if you have the time! It would be great to hear how it's had an effect on your environments. Office 2007 + Exchange 2007 + Sharepoint 2007 = A producttivity powerhouse.

Well Phase 1 of the upgrade - Complete
Phase 2 - The Pastors... This will be a longer task in trying to hunt down our mobile users... I wish there was an easier way to manage mobile users in the areas of upgrades and installs... Anyone have any answers?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Part 1 : Office 2007 Plunge - Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007

This week I will be pushing out office 2007 to our administrative support team. I have been using office 2007 for several months now and I think it's going to be a welcome upgrade for our staff. I'll be going in late this Wednesday to make sure that everything goes smoothly. We have software assurance on all of our current XP and Office 2003 licenses. Probably one of the best decisions I’ve made here in our purchases over the last year was getting software assurance.

My plan is to do a system push by just setting up a group policy on my admin support staff OU. I'll probably go around to each workstation to make sure everything works out smoothly. We have about eighteen users that this will affect on this run through. Hopefully after about a month or so I’ll gather all the feedback and then push it out to the remainder of the staff with the pastors last due to the fact that they mostly use notebooks.

For the most part I have been extremely happy with Office 2007. One down side is that like all new MS product lines (it requires a lot more resources). This software suite is HUNGRY for memory! The end of 2006 was a much needed upgrade year for entire admin staff. We're running Dell Precision 380's with the following specs:

Pentium D 3Ghz Processors
1 GB 667 DDR2 RAM
160GB sata II 7200 rpm HDs
NVIDIA Quadro NVS 285 vid cards

Due to the fact that both the video cards and amount of memory - we won't be upgrading to Vista until those resources get upped. Upgrading to Vista is a whole other beast in itself though. I've been dual booting with Vista Enterprise for a while on one of these backup systems with the exact build that the staff has and I’m just totally un-impressed with how it runs. Plus XP Pro in my opinion is great and I see no real reason to upgrade yet just for the sake of upgrading. I would say just in looking at my year’s goals and projects this isn't a necessity right now. Just for the record I’m not un-impressed with Vista – in fact I’m very impressed with a lot of the new features and I can see a great future. I’m feeling much like I did when XP was first released. It’s just not ready for the "big time". But that’s another blog….

Thursday I will be having a short training to show some of the major upgrades and changes to the software suite: ribbon, etc.
Want to give a quick thanks to Jason Lee for posting the Office 2007 overview pdf. I'll probably use some of that as a tool for our staff!
Jason Powell has a link Here for download.
Jason Lee : do you have a Blog? :)

So what are some of Your Thoughts? Are you all using Office 2007 suite yet? If so why/why not? Do you feel Office 2007 is ready for the 'big time'? Feel free to discuss!

I'll be sure to let you all know how my plunge ends up.... Pray... If you don't here back from me... well that probably means one of our staff members killed me haha.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My New Wiki

Well if you would like to keep up with my current projects... And there are a lot of them. I am currently building a wiki that you can check out here.

testing 1 ... 2.... testing 123.

Well after putting it off for over a year or more I have finally created and started my first blog in hopes to reach out and connect with the large and growing church technology community throughout the world serving to support ministries through tech matters.

In the last few months I came across an extraordinary :Church IT Podcast: started and lead by Jason Powell. So just a quick HUGE pat on the back and many thanks to him and all the contributors! It was perfect timing in my life that I came across this tool, and very refreshing to hear the many other church's all connecting and helping each other out in this area. Who would have thought?

So on with the introductions!

I currently attend the most amazing inner city church located in the heart of Kansas City Missouri. For the last year and a half I have served as the "IT GUY" for Sheffield Family Life Center. Coming from the coperate world of IT in to the world of ministry has been one crazy, but a blessed ride.

So that's my Work.... but umm.. my family. I am the man I am today because of my family. My wife, and son AND soon to be daughter ALL help me to step back and really examine what life is all about.

So yeah - that's my starter. And there is of course A LOT of stuff that I have to share and i'm sure it will be fun... so stop by and drop me a note.. nice to meet you all :)