Microsoft Non-Profit Pricing and Ordering Process is Changing

For non-profit Microsoft customers, beginning April 1st your process for ordering software and services from Microsoft will be changing.  In some cases just the authorization and purchasing method will change.  In others, the prices will go up.

If you order through TechSoup and you work with a Microsoft Partner, you should have a discussion with your Microsoft Partner about what the new plans will mean to your organization.  If you do not work with a Microsoft Partner (and are not big enough to have an Enterprise Agreement – over 500 users), you should find a partner that can help you navigate the new system.

If you want JDB Consultants to help you understand the new system please contact us.


Meltdown-Spectre Threat: Microsoft Develops New Tools for Security

Microsoft delivers free Meltdown-Spectre assessment tool for IT pros – ZD Net Article

“Protecting an organization from attacks based on two widespread and potentially deadly security vulnerabilities requires monitoring software, firmware, and antivirus updates. New capabilities in Microsoft’s Windows Analytics service display that status on a single dashboard.”

If your worried about security of your network (especially with Meltdown-Spectre), Microsoft’s new tools offer protection.  If you are using Office 365 your a setup up already as the backbone for the tool is already in place.  If you have the EMS add on and you have deployed Intune, your almost there already.

JDB Consultants “Gold Service” Maintenance Contract customers have the services built in to their systems.  Contact if you want to know more about how we actively protect our customers from security threats. 


Don’t just prepare for GDPR, embrace it!

With the GDPR deadline of May 2018 approaching, many organizations are preparing simply because they are required to. But those who “embrace GDPR compliance will have a great opportunity to advance their business”, according to Elena Elkina, Partner and Co-Founder of Aleada Consulting.

This month’s Modern Workplace episode focuses on GDPR’s impact, where compliance experts Elkina and David Kemp of Micro Focus discuss the challenges of GDPR compliance, along with answering how and why it’s important to be ready. The experts discuss the effects of GDPR on data privacy, ethics, and its business impact. Kemp highlights his 5 steps on how to get started with GDPR compliance.

  • Create a steering committee
  • Appoint a data protection officer, if required
  • Get a legal opinion
  • Do data discovery
  • Perform a risk and gap analysis

Plus a hands-on demo of Office 365 Message Encryption to help organizations protect their sensitive emails. Watch now and understand how you can be better prepared for GDPR compliance.

Office 365: Goodbye FindTime – Hello FindTime!!!

Goodbye FindTime

In October Microsoft canceled FindTime and replaced it with another tool for scheduling meetings.  A poll was created on Microsoft’s UserVoice and support was overwhelming for the features that were removed when FindTime was shutdown.

I also panned the new solution as nearly unusable on this site.

Hello FindTime

I am happy to report that if you have Office 365, FindTime is back!  I’ve tested it and all the features that were no longer availabe are back.  You can signup for this tool at the FindTime site.   The web only “Poll for a Time to Meet” is still in the Office 365 Calendar if you want to use that.  But if you have Outlook 2016 and Office 365, I highly recommend that you install the FindTime it’s a much better tool.

If you want to know why I loved FindTime and I’m so happy it’s back, take a look at the old article: Office 365: Goodbye FindTime.

Thank you Microsoft for listening to your users and putting this great tool back in our hands!

New Cars: What’s the Impact of EVs and AVs?

“By 2050, there may be one billion electric vehicles (EVs) on the road worldwide, bringing opportunities—and challenges—for automakers and the supply chain. ” – Morgan Stanley Article

EVs will make a big impact but this writer believes they will be small compared to fully automated vehicles (AVs).   More on that in later.


Gas Stations will need to adapt as more and more cars don’t use gas.  Will we start to see it get harder to find a gas station?  That’s really hard to predict but certainly not for awhile.  Maybe in 10-20 years.

Car parts manufactures are likely to have big impacts.  For example, EV’s don’t need spark plugs, exhaust systems or air filters.  Battery, Electric Motor and Auto Automation (computers) are clear winners as EVs will shift heavily to these technologies.


What happens if EVs also include driverless systems?  I love driving but would be happy to enjoy the scenery or get some work done instead of sitting in a traffic jam (I’m located in Los Angeles). Suddenly the impacts affect lots of other things.  If Uber has it’s way they will replace lots of people making a living on driving with these cars.  Will it even make sense to own a car?  My research says that for many it will not.  As for me, I like using Uber and Lyft and if it became cheaper than owning a car I’m quite likely forgo car ownership.  That impacts insurance, parking lots, cities that rely on parking violations.  Auto manufactures in working hard on these technologies.  Ford, Tesla, and most of the others are working on this.

Totally driverless cars could be allowed on California roads by June 2018” – LA Times

If you think that will take many years you might be suppressed.  According to the LA Times there are almost 300 driverless cars in operation in California.  Cars are also operating in states with looser standards like Arizona and Florida.  That head line is a bit misleading as the driverless car is already here.  Just in limited numbers.  As a billion new EVs, according to Morgan Stanley, hit the road by 2050, we will see a lot of changes.  I’m guessing that many of the EVs sold in 5 years will also be AVs.

I think we will see changes no one can predict as EVs and AVs take over the roads.  Big job displacements similar to the introduction of automated factories and robotics are, in my opinion, going to take place.  EVs are “driving” the trend but AVs are actually more disruptive to how people lead their lives.   I just went with a Mustang Convertible because I live close to Pacific Coast Highway and I think it will be the last car I will ever drive.  But that’s to be seen.

#ThinkTechnology @JDBConsultantsInc

Office 365: Goodbye FindTime

On October 1 Microsoft replaced FindTime with “Poll for a Time to Meet.”

Unfortunately Poll for a Time to Meet does not have all the features that FindTime had.

At JDB Consultants, we used FindTime extensively to schedule with clients.  Because a meeting poll could be inserted directly into an existing email thread the system worked as the people at the other end were already engaged in the conversation.  Now you have a create a new message thread and hope everyone is looking for it.  In initial tests I have found that, unlike FindTime,  “poll for a Time to Meet” (I don’t really like the new name either) does not seem to get good results on answers.  A much higher number of requests go unanswered.

FindTime notified the originator when people voted on the poll.  The new software does not.  This means you have to manually go check for vote status until everyone has voted.

The previous meeting poll had an Outlook add-in that let you schedule right from Outlook.  That is also gone.  Features in the add-in, like moving times in your calendar to the end of the list and showing “working hours” only (with an option to show other hours), are also gone.  In my 1st try I scheduled a meeting for 3 AM the same day I was doing the planning.  But at least the web site notified me that I had a meeting in the past before sending.  FindTime would not have even displayed a time in the past.

Hopefully Microsoft will revive the FindTime features including:
1) Add-in for Outlook 2016 to insert into a ongoing email
2) Option to not reserve times in advance
3) Notices when people vote
4) Email link to the meeting at setup so it can be clicked on from Outlook 2016.

In Summary, I am disappointed that Microsoft downgraded an App I thought was a real gem.  It worked great and the only explanation given was that it was now available to more users because it’s web only.

If you used FindTime and want to join me in requesting features be put back in to Poll for a Time to Meet, see the Forum here.

If you want the instructions for using “Poll for a Time to Meet” I have copied some of Microsoft’s web site redirecting FindTime users to the new software.  Here is an excerpt from the page that replaced http:://

Looking for FindTime? 

FindTime has been replaced by a new feature coming to Outlook on the Web: “Poll for a Time to Meet”.

When we launched FindTime last year, we wanted to offer the easiest way to find time to meet across companies. Since then, we’ve seen millions of votes to find the best day and time to meet. 

With the huge positive response, we wanted to make FindTime even easier to access (beyond an add-in) to help more people save time. Today, we’re sharing that FindTime functionality is directly available in Outlook on the web as a preview. 

As a FindTime user, we’d like to invite you to be one of the first people to “Poll for a Time to Meet” in Outlook on the web. 


How to get started 

To get started in Outlook, follow these steps: 

  1. Navigate to 
  2. Sign in.
  3. Open your calendar. 
  4. Click New. 
  5. Click Poll for a time to meet.