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5th Annual Carter’s Kids Golf Event

Thursday, July 09, 2015
Hang out in Traverse City, golfing with IT Resource and Carter Oosterhouse!

IT Resource will be sponsoring and playing in the 5th Annual Carter’s Kids Golf Outing this year and we would love to see you there! The 18 hole outing on Friday August 7th will be held at Traverse City’s beautiful LochenHeath Golf Club with a post reception dinner and party with live music and prizes.

The event is open to the public and there’s still time to register here as an individual or foursome. Don’t play golf? You can register to attend just the after party or dinner too! All proceeds from this event will benefit Carter’s Kids Charity and Glen Lakes High School in Michigan. Carter’s Kids Charity helps fight childhood obesity by building playgrounds in communities across the country and Glen Lakes High School is in need of athletic department improvements.

ZixGateway: Trusted Email Encryption That’s Incredibly Simple

Tuesday, July 07, 2015
No matter what industry you’re in, every organization has sensitive data and it’s the responsibility of the business to make sure its sending and receiving sensitive information securely. If you have concerns or would like to research different email encryption options, look no further than ZixCorp encryption services.

ZixCorp is the leader in email encryption and email security services. Who’s using Zix?
- 20% of all US hospitals
- 25% of all US banks and credit unions
- Nearly 10,000 businesses
- More than 1,900 financial institutions

While Zix offers products for organizations of all sizes, we would like to introduce the ZixGateway product which provides transparent encryption to 20 or more users. This is a policy-based email encryption product that automatically scans outbound email based on what your business deems “sensitive”. It can automatically encrypt outbound messages and attachments or even block them all together and your IT administrator will be able to brand outbound email tailored to your specific policies. Another benefit that sets Zix aside from other services is that it can be deployed in less than a day and there’s absolutely no training for your end users – it’s that simple!

We understand there’s lots of email encryption and email security products out there but we’re confident Zix provides the best security with the simplicity to match. All Zix products are compliant with HIPAA, GLBA, and federal and state regulations.

Ask yourself: does your business have a secure send and receive policy? If not, use this link to register for a 30 minute demo with IT Resource and Zix and see for yourself how easy it can be.

Our IT Sales Team is Growing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The IT Resource Sales Team includes: (back row) Gayla Lutz, Paul Montag, Kim Helmers, Carrie Borchers, Craig Lowrie, Luke Jenkins; (front row) Carolyn Martin, Sally Anderson, Molly Reid

We are growing! And we plan to continue to grow even more. We're excited to share that earlier this quarter we added two exceptional sales account executives to our sales team: Luke Jenkins and Craig Lowrie. Luke and Craig both come to IT Resource with significant experience in technology and consulting. They join Paul Montag and Molly Reid to round out our team of accomplished sales account executives.

Sales Account Executive team led by Carrie Borchers, clockwise starting top right: Molly Reid, Luke Jenkins, Paul Montag, Carrie Borchers, Craig Lowrie

Our sales team, led by Carrie Borchers, now includes knowledgeable professionals in outside and inside sales, marketing, procurement, distributor relations, invoicing and accounts receivable. It is the goal of this diverse and talented team to provide cost effective IT solutions that enhance your business, all while developing strong relationships.

Sales Operations and Administrative team includes Kim Helmers, Sally Anderson, Carolyn Martin and Gayla Lutz

Now Offering 24/7 Emergency Tech Support

Monday, June 15, 2015
We understand that IT problems don’t always happen during normal business hours and that's why we offer the option of around-the-clock support to our customers. Our 24/7 emergency support service gives businesses peace of mind, knowing that no matter what day or time it is, they can receive support with guaranteed response times and reduced after-hours rates.

Many of our customers already know that after-hours support is something we have always made great efforts to do, but this service gives us and the customer clearly defined guidelines to follow, should an emergency occur. It holds us accountable and the customer knows exactly what to expect.

The 24/7 emergency support agreement is available for $300 per month and entitles the customer to a 2 hour Service-Level-Agreement (SLA), at $185 per hour with a minimum 1 hour commitment. The support line is staffed entirely by IT Resource employees living in Michigan, the same folks that you’re already familiar working with. The only prerequisite to signing up for this service is that you must have a Remote Monitoring and Reporting (RMR) Agreement. This is required so that we can troubleshoot in a timely manner and avoid any delays.

The emergency support service agreement does not apply to, nor is it required, for scheduled after hours time & materials and project service work.

Please let us know if you have any questions and check out our 24/7 emergency support data sheet here. We are excited to offer this additional level of support and guaranteed service. If you are interested in this service contact us or call 616.837.6930.

Microsoft Server 2003 End of Support - Final Notice

Friday, June 12, 2015
For over a year we’ve been telling our readers, customers and prospects that Microsoft Windows Server 2003 will be ending support and we promise, this is the last time we’ll remind you. If you have not already migrated your systems away from Server 2003, now is your absolute last chance! Support for Server 2003, including updates, security patches, and tech support will be gone on July 14, 2015. We cannot stress enough that the risks are real. Protect your business and don’t fall victim to an attack or data breach.

Without regular security updates and patches, your data is at a far greater risk of being compromised. Depending on your industry, upgrading your systems may not even be an option. If your business has regulatory obligations – it’s REQUIRED that you upgrade as systems running on Server 2003 will no longer be compliant after July 14th. Not being in compliance not only opens the door for threats but it can also mean losing key trading partners, investors and incurring hefty fines. 

If you’re still running Windows Server 2003 and you’ve waited until the last minute to upgrade, please contact us immediately and we can work with you to create a strategic plan that ensures your data will be safe after the July 14 deadline.

For additional information on Microsoft Server 2003 End of Support, see our blog post from this past January here.

Renew to the Cloud :: Save 20% with Microsoft

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Now through July 31, 2015 Microsoft has an incentive to move your business to the cloud using Office 365. If you purchase Office 365 through Open Value or Open Value Subscription you will receive 15% off Enterprise E3 licenses or 20% off ProPlus licenses for your entire first year of service. Now you can bring enterprise grade services to your organization using Office 365 at an affordable price.

If you’re still unsure whether you want to move your entire business to the cloud, you can pick and choose the workloads that stay on premise and the ones that you move to the cloud. For example, you can still maintain your annuity agreement for on-premise purchases and continue to enjoy the volume discounts and software assurance while only moving your email workload to the cloud. Whatever makes the most sense for your business, an Office 365 migration can be tailored to your unique and exact business needs. Below is a Microsoft comparison chart of both license offerings:

Important terms and conditions to remember:
  • Must purchase ProPlus or Enterprise E3 licensing agreements before, or on, July 31st, 2015
  • Minimum of 5 seats and a maximum of 250 seats
  • Available on the Open Value and Open Value Subscription price lists
IT Resource has extensive experience, including over 100 successful Office 365 migrations for small to mid-size businesses. Our consistent processes ensure a smooth migration from start to finish - including training and documentation for employees. Contact us today and we’ll have one our sales executives get in touch with you. They can determine the best route for your business and put together an action plan. And remember, this promotion is only good through July 31st and now is the time to begin planning.

The Future Connection Standard: USB Type-C Connects All Devices

Monday, May 11, 2015
We’ve all experienced the frustration of having a different connection and cable for basically all of your devices – your laptop connection is different from your tablet, which is different from your cell phone. And, if you’re like most people, this tends to lead to messy drawers full of tangled up cords. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a go-to all-in-one cable that’s compatible with all of your devices? Luckily, these days may be coming to an end with a new connection standard USB Type-C. 

 The tech industry is finally making advances to standardize cables and have one universal connection that will work with any device. These all-in-one cords will definitely make your life easier and you can say goodbye to incompatible connections. The USB Type C is similar to the familiar USB cable but it comes with a few significant differences:
  • It can transfer data and power – meaning you can use it to power a device or use it with multiple peripherals such as a HDMI, VGA, or USB cable and transfer data. 
  • It’s much smaller than the standard USB cable. This means future laptops will not need the bulky power adapters and will be able to charge via the small USB port, similar to a tablet or phone. 
  • It’s more powerful and faster than most cables on the market with an expected top speed of 10Gbps and a power output of up to 100W. 
  • It will have identical ends so you won’t have to worry about plugging it in upside down.
  • It’s backwards compatible with the cables you have now, so long as you have an adapter. 

What can you expect right now?
Apple and Google products are already using these ports and cables in their products and other manufacturers are expected to follow suit beginning heavily in 2015. Hopefully by this time next year most hardware will be shipping with this port. At the very least you can expect to switch out your old cables for ones that are USB Type C compatible.
Additional information can be found here.

Young Minds + Engineering Technology = Great Things

Friday, May 08, 2015
When you pair young students with engineering technology, something great is bound to happen. That's why we're so excited to sponsor the Coopersville High School 2015 Electrathon Race at Berlin Raceway! The juniors and seniors had two cars in the open class race, car 222 and 999. These races are made up of electric cars built entirely by the students. Throughout the school year, the engineering students get hands on experience and dedicate many hours to assemble, test, and modify their cars.

Eric Lutz, a junior at Coopersville, and son of IT Resource’s Co-owner Gary Lutz, is captain of telemetry on the engineering team for both cars. Eric is responsible for the overall monitoring of the car batteries, electronics and other components, and wirelessly transmitting that information to the remote team. The team can then analyze this data and figure out ways to modify their car and ultimately increase speed.

We are exceptionally proud to join other Coopersville businesses, including one of our customers, Northern Physical Therapy, in supporting not only our local school but the engineering students as well. The technology efforts that these high school students are receiving can be an integral part of their future success in the engineering field. Go Broncos!

Grand Rapids Network Security and the West Michigan Cisco Users Group

Wednesday, May 06, 2015
We’d like to say thank you again to the West Michigan Cisco Users Group (WMCUG) for inviting Gary Lutz to participate in last month’s panel discussion on IT security and compliance. Gary was joined by James Czerew, Owner and Senior Technology/Security Consultant at TechConnect, LLC, James Placer, Domain Architect – Security at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids and Thomas Madden, Senior Manager at Deloitte.

Discussions focused on the roles that IT plays in relation to risk and compliance, how to engage your employees to value security, and how actual breaches have been dealt with in the past. The entire panel did a great job creating an engaging and high energy conversation.

During the meeting, we surveyed approximately 50 attendees and asked what their top IT security concern is at their organization. We found that network security is at the top of IT leaders' minds with network hacking as the number one threat they’re most worried about followed by a malware/ransomware attack. If you have any questions on technology, network security, or security in general, feel free to contact us, and if you’d like to learn more about the WMCUG in Grand Rapids, check out their website here.

Email Data Protection with Zix - A Preferred Partner

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
We are excited to announce that IT Resource is now a ZixCorp Preferred Partner. ZixCorp is one of the leading solution providers in email data protection – more than 25% of U.S. financial institutions and one in every five U.S. hospitals use ZixCorp email encryption, a unique email Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution and innovative email Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solution. Financial, Healthcare, Government and Insurance organizations are implementing ZixCorp solutions to meet mandatory regulatory requirements and protect customer privacy in all their email communications.

As with all our vendor/manufacturer/OEM partnerships, we're very selective about who we decide to partner with. We chose to develop a relationship with ZixCorp because they are the leader in email data protection. We have experienced this leadership first hand in the support of our Financial, Healthcare and Government customers, and as a ZixCorp Preferred Partner we can now resell their solutions to all our customers. We have access to ZixCorp resources for technical assistance, training, certification and we can pass promotional pricing on, which is available only to Preferred Partners, like us.

To learn more about ZixCorp solutions and how their desktop email encryption can benefit you, click here to download our data sheet, or contact today for a 30-day free trial of ZixCorp solutions.