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Gary Lutz: Our Fearless Leader

Wednesday, June 01, 2016
People profiles give you a chance to meet our staff - the folks you may deal with on a regular basis here at IT Resource.

Official Title: Sr. Partner/President

But this title sounds much snazzier: Chief Cat Shepherd

What do you do at IT Resource, and what certifications do you have: As co-owner and President, I have three primary responsibilities:
- Provide strategic planning for the overall growth and stability of the company
- Build and maintain our vendor partnerships and relationships
- Oversee and manage our technical engineering team and provide customer and project leadership
I maintain several sales and technical certifications with many of our partners including VMware, Microsoft, HP, EMC, Cisco, Symantec and others.

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? I would discover a clean and endless energy source.

Do you have any hidden talents? I can play the drums

What is the best part about working at ITR? Our customers and staff. Oh, and the fact that no two days are ever alike.

How long have you worked at ITR? Since the idea for the company was hatched in November, 2000.

If you knew then, what you know now, what piece of advice would you give yourself? Take bigger chances, take more time off.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Taller

Here's Gary & Griff at a customer appreciation event that IT Resource sponsored.

What is the most interesting job you’ve ever had that was not IT related? I worked at a pickle growing and storage facility where I held several positions from mowing and fieldwork to brining the tanks and managing the pickle sorting process. It included hard physical labor, long hours, managing a diverse workforce and a bit of chemistry. It had it all.

Tell us something your colleagues don't know about you. During my summers between 4th and 6th grades, I played drums in a college-aged jazz band that played summer concerts at parks and events throughout the local area. I still have recordings of the concerts made on an old portable cassette recorder.

Congrats to Our Riverbank Runners

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The 2016 Fifth Third Riverbank Run is in the books and we're so proud of our two team members who participated.

Gayla Lutz, our Director of Business Management (pictured above), ran the 25k this year. Sr. Partner Leo Reap ran the 10k. Both did a fantastic job and we were excited to be able to cheer them on.

Check out our last run, which included a relay team we put together for the 2015 Grand Rapids Marathon.

Visit Us At The Michigan Bankers Association Annual Convention

Friday, May 27, 2016
IT Resource will be attending and exhibiting at the Michigan Bankers Association (MBA) 130th Annual Convention June 21-24, 2016. This event is held at the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island and it’s a celebration of the MBA’s history where they acknowledge the industry's leadership, including naming the MBA banker of the year. This year's theme, "Facing Forward" has never been more appropriate. The convention will look into the bright future with thought-provoking topics, insightful take-aways and ideas, and networking to forge meaningful relations in this great industry. We hope to see many familiar faces as it will be dynamic and a great time to network with peers, discover new opportunities and enjoy all the perks of Mackinac Island.

We'll also be joined by our business partner, Zerto, provider of enterprise-class disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) software specifically for virtualized data centers and cloud environments. With BC/DR being top of mind for many banks, our teams will be ready to answer questions and share our knowledge with you.

We hope to see you there and if you’re interested in attending, registration is still open

West Michigan Cisco Users Group :: Engineers Panel

Monday, May 09, 2016
If you're a Cisco user and enjoy mingling with others in the technology field, join us at the West Michigan Cisco Users Group on May 25. This month they'll be featuring four great panelists from West Michigan, including our very own Andrew Smith. They will be leveraging the panel's diverse experience and knowledge to compare and contrast the past, present and future of networking. Anyone interested in learning more is welcome to attend!

Join us for discussion of the following topics:
Legacy Devices - How are you dealing with things that just won’t die?
Ransomware - It’s not just at home anymore.
Automation & DevOps - Things that can improve your productivity today.
SDWAN technologies and their impact on the future of connectivity.
Future of the data center - XaaS, SDN, Containerization.

Panel Members:
Andrew Smith - Director of Technical Services - IT Resource
Andy Calderone - Sr Network Engineer - Wolverine World Wide
Justin Wildeboer - IT Technician - Gentex
Kristoffer Homrich - Network Architect - Herman Miller

Moderator:
Jason Tally

Agenda & Location
5:30 - 5:45: Registration and Networking
5:45 - 6:00: Sponsor
6:00 - 7:00: Discussion
7:15 - Room closes, After-Meeting Social

The West Michigan Cisco Users Group takes place at Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Ave SE, Caledonia, MI 49512. We'll be meeting in the Sneden Hall Meeting Room 1/2/3 (Across from the Auditorium). Please remember to park in Event parking, section F, as identified on their location page. Please don't forget to print and use your parking pass.

RSVP
Not only is this event free of charge, but there's food too. You'll also have the chance to network with others in your field and learn a few new things about our industry. Please RSVP here so the group can get an accurate meal count. On behalf of Andrew and the entire IT Resource team, we hope to see you there!

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity with Zerto

Thursday, May 05, 2016
We’re delighted to announce that we’ve partnered with Zerto, provider of enterprise-class disaster recovery and business continuity software specifically for virtualized data centers and cloud environments. Data recovery isn’t just nice to have – it’s a must for any modern organization – and picking the right data recovery solution is just as important.


With Zerto's award-winning BC/DR software, you can protect your data on premise or in the cloud, removing the need for your DR site all together. You can restore any virtualized IT infrastructure in minutes with just the click of a mouse while keeping data loss to seconds - not hours or days. It’s pretty cool stuff and we’re excited to sell, integrate and support these proven BC/DR solutions.

If you’re ready to take your cloud strategy to the next level, give us a call and let us show you how Zerto solutions can be of added value across your organization! We can discuss your current IT infrastructure and tailor a solution that will work seamlessly in your business.

5 Ways Business Continuity Improves Profitability : Webinar

Monday, May 02, 2016
As a small business owner, you are an expert in your business. You understand your customers and what makes them happy. You understand how to run your operations efficiently and realize profits. That’s why having business continuity measures in place should be a priority, not just because it’s best practice, but for your bottom line as well.


5 Ways Business Continuity Improves Your Business’s Profitability : Webinar, May 19
IT Resource has partnered with Datto and disaster recovery expert, Donna Childs, for a FREE webinar, on Thursday, May 19, at 2:00pm EST. Find out how proper business continuity measures can actually help save your business money over time.

We hope you’ll join us, secure your seat, and register today!
You’ll learn:
• How business continuity can reduce costs and put money back into your pocket
• Effective strategies to increase revenues through continuity measures
• How to make the most out of the planning process

The webinar is free but registration is required, don’t forget to secure your spot. We look forward to seeing you there!
Do you have questions or concerns regarding your business continuity plan? Give us a call today at 616.837.6930.

2016 Michigan Bankers Association Conference

Monday, March 07, 2016
Make new connections, reconnect with friends and clients, and learn valuable information at the Michigan Bankers Education Summit & Tradeshow. With nearly 40 educational sessions to choose from, you're guaranteed to leave with loads of information that you can immediately implement into your business.

This year IT Resource will be exhibiting, sponsoring, and speaking - we’re looking forward to reconnecting with many familiar faces! Make sure to stop by our booth to say hello and join us on the wine tour on Wednesday, April 6th at 1:00pm. You can register to attend the conference and the wine tour here.

We're also very excited to announce that our Director of Technical Services, Andrew Smith, will be leading a breakout education session for the Operations and Technology track. He'll be focusing on EMV card deployment from both the banking and merchant standpoint. As you're probably aware, EMV chips have been overseas for quite some time and are now being deployed in the United States. The shift is more prevalent because banks are now liable, and if they don't provide EMV chips for credit cards they could face considerable losses. However, as they continue the deployment, the responsibility is shifting from banks to merchants. Andrew's session will include a case study on the current status of deployment using results from a survey he is distributing among the MBA members.

You can find registration information, hotel reservation information and the agenda here. We hope to see you all in Traverse City!

Set Sail With Meraki Switches for 5 Years

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

All aboard! Check out the brand new Cisco Meraki switch licensing promotion for 5 years of smooth sailing!

Over the past few years, Cisco has been highlighting the benefits of having intelligent switches in your network. Smart switching is a necessity because when (not if) something goes wrong, smart switches provide unparalleled visibility and troubleshooting, allowing for speedy resolutions. Switches tie your network together, and it’s time for them to do more.

We want you to experience the magic for yourself! In addition to getting a free PoE switch for attending eligible Introduction to Cloud Managed Switching webinars, for a limited time Cisco Meraki is also offering a special switch licensing promotion for first-time Meraki switch customers. Do you have Meraki wireless, security, or MDM? Are you totally new to Meraki? Either way, welcome aboard! We invite you to set sail with Meraki switches.

From now until 7/30/16, first-time Meraki switch customers who buy any MS switch with a 1-year cloud management license are eligible to be upgraded to a 5-year license at no additional cost

Visit meraki.com/setsail for more information. We hope to welcome you to the Meraki switching family soon!

See this and other great promotions on our promo page!

Meet Ryan Camp :: Network Engineer

Monday, February 08, 2016
People profiles give you a chance to meet our staff - the folks you may deal with on a regular basis here at IT Resource.

Official Title: Network Engineer

But this title sounds much snazzier: The Professor (But you have to say it like on Doctor Who…Nerd alert)


What do you do at IT Resource? I use my experience and knowledge to assist customers with their technology needs. My certifications include ITIL, and CCENT. I also have a Masters in Information Assurance from Davenport.

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? Open a brewery

Do you have any hidden talents? I can cook a mean meal and brew a yummy adult beverage!

What is the best part about working at IT Resource? The people, the atmosphere, and the drive!

How long have you worked at IT Resource? Since August, 2015

If you knew then, what you know now, what piece of advice would you give yourself? Some choices will affect your life dramatically. Think before you leap.

What do you want to be when you grow up? An actual brewer with my own brewery…if only I had a million dollars!

What is the most interesting job you’ve ever had that was not IT related? I worked at the local fairground/race track as a cook then as a manager. Not really interesting, but it had its ‘perks’, if you will…

Tell us something your colleagues don't know about you. I enjoy gardening, canning what is grown, and being able to appreciate the fruits of my labor. I also grow my own hops for my homebrew.

Comparing Office 365 Business Plans

Wednesday, February 03, 2016
When it comes to choosing the right Office 365 Business plan, the process can be downright confusing. It's a great product because it can be modified for all business sizes, but selecting the right plan has left many people scratching their heads. It’s important to understand what’s included in each plan and the different ways these plans can be purchased. IT Resource is a certified Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) which means we’re qualified to be your trusted cloud advisor and we're here to make sure you choose the right Microsoft cloud solution for your business. Our team makes the process of purchasing, acquiring and migrating to Office 365 a breeze. And right now, all monthly Office 365 Business plans include free unlimited level 1 helpdesk support for anyone in your company. 

A few things to keep in mind regarding payment options:
All Office 365 Business Plans have a user max of 300, with the exception of Enterprise plans, which have unlimited users. Choose from an annual payment plan or a monthly payment plan with an annual commitment. Annual Payment plans offer user discounts.

The 3 different plans in a nutshell:
1. Office 365 Business Essentials
- Online versions of Office including Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint
- OneDrive 1 TB file storage and sharing
- Business Class email with 50 GB mailbox
- Unlimited online meetings and video conferencing

2. Office 365 Business
- Fully installed desktop versions of all Office applications
- OneDrive 1 TB file storage and sharing
- Ability to install Office on up to 5 PC’s, 5 tablets and 5 phones
*Not included: business class email and online meetings

3. Office 365 Business Premium
- All combined features listed in Business and Business Essentials

Remember, all Office 365 Business plans have a maximum cap of 300 users but Enterprise Plans have no limit. If your organization requires more than 300 users, we can discuss the various Enterprise plans as well as education, government, and non-profit discount plans that Microsoft offers. Give us a call at 616.837.6930 or shoot us an email to discuss your Office 365 migration plan today.