Using Green IT to Transform your Organization

It’s finally happened! Those old PC’s are sputtering and it’s painfully clear that a hardware upgrade is in order. Luckily, ratings like EPEAT and ENERGY STAR make it easy to acquire sustainable IT products. IT purchasing departments everywhere can sleep soundly knowing they’ve done all they can do for the planet….or have they?

IT organizations often limit their focus to purchasing “green” technology, yet miss the significance Green IT can have in transforming their entire business. By keeping a few things in mind throughout the purchasing and implementation process, companies can go beyond the acquisition and influence dramatic company-wide change.

Domino Effects in the User’s Experience
In an office setting there are few things more visible and impactful to employees than the hardware and software they use every day. [Read more…]

Victory: It’s Yours for the Taking

Wondering how to begin your journey into the wild green yonder? They’re called ‘victory projects’. They’re simple, cost-effective initiatives that rarely require approval beyond senior IT management. They also yield big dividends for your business and the environment. Without the need to change behaviors or collaborate with other departments, your end users will end up being greener, even if from where they stand it is business as usual.

The philosophy is simple: go for the easy win. In attending to the low hanging fruit – and there is plenty to be had in most companies – you can build the case for those really ambitious projects that require significantly more in the way of resources and capital investment.

We’ve outlined three ideas that will give you a fast start out of the gates. Not only will you reap some early wins, you will also enjoy knowing that you’re laying the foundation for bigger green things to come.

[Read more…]

The taste of success

So today we learnt that the slogan of our favourite Rwandan beer, Mutzig, is “The Taste of Success” and…..drum roll please…..we finished the basketball court today!!!!!
Yes, after passing thousands of pans of cement down an assembly line of softchoice muzungus and local gashora men (each pan of cement about 30-40 pounds each) we pan by pan filled the entire court! It was a crazy long day starting at 7am and ending when the sun went down. But we had a goal to have it done, and the entire crew wouldn’t give up until we reached it. 
One success is finishing the basketball court, but another success happened in the computer lab today as well. It was the first that that we had kids come into the lab and the teachers starting teaching them how to use the computers. These teachers had never even seen a computer in their lives before last week, and now, after our 1 week with them, they are starting to teach kids. The principal of the school came up to us today and said that he had finished the course schedule for next term….and for the first time ever in Gashora Primary history there is a new class that is being offered next term…..COMPUTER SCIENCE!! So from teaching the teachers, to the teachers now teaching the students, we’ve helped to bridge the digital divide in this small town and hopefull given these kids a leg up for the future.
So talking about success, and the “taste” of it. Today there were a couple moments that defined success for me. The first being when a man from the town came up to us to thank us for what we are doing. He mentioned that he was so impressed that we were “one of them” He said that he appreciated that we were working side by side by them, and were part of their community. We spent over 10hrs in the heat today. Sweating along with them. Singing along with them. Dancing along with them. Getting coverered in cement along with them. Carrying tons and tons of cement with them. Lama one of our local team leaders mentioned that Africa does not need Aid. And what we are doing is “service”. We are working side by side in the same conditions and doing the same work. We are helping the community and not giving them a handout. That is what makes all the difference.
At the end of the day Felciane, one of the local workers turned to me and said “We will never forget you. Please never forget us”. I know that we have had a big impact on their lives, but i don’t think they realize what a big impact they have had on ours.

More donations coming in…

Thanks to the Toronto Sports & Social Club (www.torontossc.com) for the donation of soccer balls, basketballs, volleyballs and footballs! And to the Toronto Ultimate Club (www.tuc.org) for the donation of frisbees.

 Also thanks to Dennis Fruin at Columbia Pharmacy in Chicago, IL for the donation of much needed medical supplies for the community.

 We also have software donations from Nuance and Corel for the computer lab!

 All your support is much appreciated!!!

Product Sponsorship is flooding in!

September 24, 2009

Thanks to our incredible vendor partners who keep sending in donations for us to take to Rwanda. These technology donations are going to be used to set up the first ever computer lab in Gashora, Rwanda! Your help in bridging the digital divide is much appreciated!

 Targus – 12 laptop carrying cases

Microsoft Hardware – 12 mice and 3 webcams

Tripplite –  Power bars

Symantec – Anti-virus softare

Microsoft – Various Software programs

Softchoice IT Dept – Wireless Router

Softchoice Cares announces mission to Rwanda

The Softchoice Cares Board is ecstatic to announce that the team will have the opportunity to build the foundation for a successful community in rural Rwanda this upcoming October.

The 2009 Softchoice Cares volunteer mission is to complete the building of a new facility and teach computer skills in Gashora, Rwanda. Gashora is a town of approximately 5,500 residents in the Bugesera District and it is roughly 45 minutes from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The primary employers in Gashora are the local government and the army barracks and there is a small commercial centre with a variety of shops. However by far the majority of residents are subsistence farmers who earn about 5000 francs (Can. $10.00) per week. It’s difficult to determine the unemployment rate, but it’s estimated around 60 – 80%. The lab we will be helping to set up is in one classroom of about 5 rooms in a new wing of the local school. In total there are about 20 classrooms serving over 1000 children