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Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 End of Support

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Extended support for Exchange Server 2007 ended on April 11, 2017. If your systems are still running Exchange Server 2007, you’re putting your business at risk! Talk to us about migrating to Office 365.

Some benefits of migrating include:
• Security updates
• Better hardware utilization
• Continued support
• Latest product innovations
• Easier and more complete compliance

Office 365 is compatible with newer devices and apps; it’s much more secure and has better compliance capabilities that adhere to the industry standard regulations.

If you don’t upgrade you’ll miss out on future enhancements and security updates. Plus, Exchange Server 2007 won’t support new hardware and it’s not compatible with modern Outlook clients.

Ready to move to the cloud? Give us a call today at 616-837-6930 to get started!

Microsoft Office 365 Made Easy :: Webinar

Friday, October 28, 2016

We're pleased to be working with SBDC of Michigan to provide an informational webinar titled "Microsoft Office 365 Made Easy." We invite you to join us on Wednesday, November 30, from 11am to 12pm as our Director of Technical Services, Andrew Smith offers an insightful discussion.

Whether you've already migrated to Microsoft Office 365, are thinking about moving to the cloud, or just want more information about its new features, this workshop is for you. Join us as we discuss Microsoft Office 365 conversion, how it will affect your day-to-day work, and what effects it will have for your business.

You will receive an email with a link to access the webinar one day prior to the event. Please add to your safe senders list to ensure you receive updates about this webinar. Contact Ian Rogers via email with any questions.

Register for this free event through the SBDC here.

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security :: Empowering Employees + Protecting Data

Thursday, October 06, 2016
What if an employee wants to use a personal device for work, or if a business tries to reduce expenses by having employees use their own devices instead of purchasing devices for them? How do employees keep the personal and professional aspects separate?

Figuring out how your business should approach the bring your own device (BYOD) revolution can be challenging as data is no longer stored on premise and employees are working from anywhere. As businesses are beginning to allow BYOD – it’s important to increase the awareness among employees. But, it’s equally important to make sure your business is fully protected and ready to support mobility.

53% of U.S. companies have no formal BYOD policy for security*. This figure should be shocking considering unsecured company data can cost millions in lost time, research, regulatory fines, or litigation settlements. But, protecting your information shouldn’t make it harder for workers to get their jobs done.

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) helps reduce security risks and enables workers to be more productive with features like:

Bottom line: EMS keeps employees productive on their favorite apps and devices—and company data protected.

Only Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security provides protection, detection, response across user identity, device, application and file content. No other solution provides this comprehensive range of security. It supports all types of devices (not just those running Microsoft operating systems) and unlike others, this solution works both inside and outside organizational walls, that is, on-premises and in the cloud. Moreover, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security technologies allow companies to manage applications and devices without having to “lock them down” in a way that frustrates employees.

If you’re interested in learning more about this solution – give us a call at 616.837.6930 or email us

* source: Champions Solutions Group

Goodbye Microsoft Windows 7 and 8.1

Monday, October 03, 2016
All good things must come to an end, and Windows products are no exception. The End of Sale (EOS) date for Windows 7 and 8.1 is October 31, 2016. This means any new laptops or desktops ordered after this date will be shipped with Windows 10.

Windows 10 is the best combination of the Windows you already know, plus a lot of great improvements you’ll love having. Technologies like InstantGo, which lets you boot up and resume quickly. Everything runs fast and smooth. And Windows 10 devices now have Battery Saver to automatically conserve power—so you can work longer and play harder. For total confidence, Windows 10 helps you stay up to date on the latest and greatest features and has more built-in security protections than ever to help keep your system safe.

Some of the best features of Microsoft Windows 10 include:
Use your laptop like a tablet - Tablet Mode delivers a smooth, touch-first experience on your tablet, 2-in-1 or touchscreen laptop. Apps scale smoothly and onscreen features adapt for easy navigation.

New emoji keyboard - 
The new emoji keyboard features a new font and categories of expressive and playful emoji, with more fidelity and skin tone options; available for 25 languages.

Dark mode themed apps - Instantly change your apps from light to dark mode – great for low-light conditions like working at night or on a plane.

Music controls in lock screen - If you have music playing when you lock your device, you can now control playback right from your lock screen to keep listening without missing a beat.

Safer and more secure - Windows 10 delivers more built-in security features and safer authentication. Always-enabled updates help keep your security current for the supported lifetime of your device.

Windows Hello - The password-free sign-in gives you the fastest way to unlock your Windows devices by using your face, fingerprint or companion device, it recognizes you – apart from anyone else. It’ll wave you in with a friendly hello, and even works on apps and Microsoft Edge websites.

Go beyond browsing - Microsoft Edge is the modern browser built for Windows 10. It’s more personal, responsive and all about getting things done online. Write directly on webpages, share your mark-ups with others, use extensions, and much more.

The best Windows ever for gaming - Play great new Xbox games on Windows 10 with the stunning performance of DirectX 12. Stay connected to your gaming community with the Xbox app, and play wherever you want with in-home streaming.
If you have any questions on Microsoft Windows 10, or the EOS of Windows 7.1 and 8, feel free to reach us at 616.837.6930 or via e-mail.

Microsoft Offers Technology Deals for Schools, Libraries, Museums, and More

Friday, July 08, 2016
If there's any business or institution that deserves a break on technology costs, it's a school. Vital for education, schools, museums, and libraries can take advantage of free products and services, academic licensing and special offers. All you need is a Microsoft Authorized Education Partner to take you there.

As a Microsoft Education Partner we can purchase and resell academic licensing to qualified educational users at a discounted price. Academic volume licensing is available to all qualified educational institutions including public libraries and museums, administrative offices, and boards of education.

Benefits of purchasing a Microsoft Open Value Subscription for Education Solutions (OVS-ES):
· Easy compliance – count your employees once per year and you’re covered
· Customized Solutions – add products either institution-wide, department-wide, or for individual devices
· Simplified Asset Management – track and manage your software assets with self-service tools
· Low Administration – subscription licensing eliminates the need to track licenses
· Lower Total Cost of Ownership – maximize your investment with access to current technology, student licensing, Software Assurance, and more
· Cloud on Your Terms – Free access to Microsoft Office 365 Education

When working with a Microsoft Education Partner, you know you're buying products and solutions from academic IT specialists. If you’re a qualified educational user, give us a call today at 616.837.6930. We can provide a flexible and affordable solution that fits your organization's size and purchasing preference.

Educational offers typically include deals on Office 365 and Windows 10. To find out what's currently being offered to qualifying educational institutions, visit Microsoft's special offers page.

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.

SQL Server 2005 : End of Support

Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Update: April 12, 2016 marks the official End of Support date for SQL Server 2005. If you’re still running this database, you will no longer receive security updates and may face potential compliance concerns. This also means increases in maintenance costs and leaves your network vulnerable to security attacks. Bottom line: the clock is ticking and you need to upgrade your systems ASAP.

If you have applications that are still relying on SQL Server 2005, it’s crucial to get those moved as soon as possible. You have upgrade and migration options to newer databases or the cloud.

Benefits to upgrading to the latest version of SQL Server include:
· Proven 13x higher performance for traditional OLTP ((On-line Analytical Processing)
· Additional performance gains from in-memory technologies for OLTP, data warehousing, and analytics
· Simplified updating and maintenance as well as more online processes
· Easier than ever high-availability
· Supported, compliant database platform with security patching and maintenance updates

We have the engineers, tools and experience to migrate your systems in a timely fashion. Contact us via email or call 616.837.6930. Our technical team can determine what your migration requirements are and provide a timeline for implementation. Every day you spend without support and updates from Microsoft is a risk to your business. There’s no time to waste.


As you begin planning for the end of the year and finalize budgets for next year, please take into account Microsoft SQL Server 2005 End of Support (EoS).

End of Support for SQL Server 2005 is forthcoming on April 12th, 2016. After this date, businesses will no longer receive hotfixes or security updates which can lead to major breaches of sensitive data. It will be especially problematic for those businesses that are required to be PCI and HIPAA compliant as SQL Server 2005 will not be compliant after April 12th, 2016. Along with these risks comes the inevitable rising costs of maintaining an aging database. That being said, upgrading to a modern database is shifting from a recommendation to a requirement.

If your business is running SQL Server 2005, talk to us. We can show you upgrade options and give you a timeline of implementation to ensure your business is safe and compliant before the drop dead date.

What should you do now?
Plan and budget for your upgrade now. Contact us via email or call 616.837.6930 and we can provide you with a clear upgrade and migration path. Our technical team can determine what your migration requirements are while minimizing your security risks.

Windows 10 Review :: The Best Features

Friday, August 07, 2015
The Windows 10 operating system was just released last month and there’s a lot of buzz going around regarding its new features and system requirements. Don’t worry if you’re not an early adopter and haven’t upgraded your system yet, the free upgrade (for those with a genuine copy of windows 7 or 8.1 not purchased via Volume Licensing) will be available for a year from the release date. A handful of ITR staff have already upgraded and we’d like to share some of our favorite features so far.

A sampling of the new Windows 10 task bar

Fresh interface:
The new Windows 10 interface is simple yet functional. It’s more comparable to Windows 7 than it is to Windows 8 and many of the Windows 8 features (that most users despised), such as the “charms” have been removed in Windows 10. The new interface will now work seamlessly with touchscreens and PC’s using a mouse and keyboard. The taskbar has a more practical feel that indicates which programs are active and running – similar to the MAC Dock. From the task bar, the user can switch between multiple views and manage numerous apps across various workspaces. If you struggled with Windows 8, this is a breath of fresh air.

Here's a glimpse of the new Windows 10 Startup menu

Simplified Start menu:
The Start menu, which acts as a gateway to your most frequently used programs, has finally returned. In our opinion, the Windows 10 Start menu is much easier to use than either Windows 8 or 8.1. It’s completely intuitive and can easily be customized to your specific needs. It provides easy access to your most commonly-used settings and programs with just a few clicks and comes with 3 shortcuts to File Explorer, Settings and Power. With additional setting options and improved user-friendliness, it’s evident that the return of the Start Menu is one of the best features of Windows 10.

A sampling of the new Windows 10 virtual desktop

Virtual desktop:
We’ve all been guilty of having an unreasonable amount of programs all open simultaneously. It causes confusion, slows your PC, and no one can be focused on that many projects at once. With Windows 10, all these programs can be effortlessly organized using the virtual desktop. This feature lets you create and add multiple workspaces to your PC. Meaning the user can switch between the workspaces (quick shortcut: Ctrl+Win+left cursor or Ctrl+Win+right cursor) as if they were on different screens, so files and programs can stay separated and organized. The virtual desktop feature is called Task view and is located in the task bar. An infinite number of workspaces can be added which can be a life saver when you’re working on multiple projects.

Face recognition: Another exciting Windows 10 feature is the ability for your PC to recognize your face or iris via an infrared 3D camera. While this camera is only available on specific higher end PC’s right now, you can expect to see this becoming more widespread in 2016. Since the camera will detect the user's face or iris and perform a secure authentication, this could mean the end of time for entering a password to log in each time.

If you have a favorite Windows 10 feature that we didn’t mention, share it with us on our LinkedIn or Facebook! And as with all new things, issues and bugs are expected. If you run into a problem after upgrading, give us a call, we’re here to help!

Symantec Subscription Changes

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Attention: all hosted Symantec users with a current subscription

On July 29th, all new endpoint installs of Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition will be automatically protected should the user decide to upgrade to Windows 10 in the future. For those currently using Windows 10, Symantec has already pushed out specific patches. There’s no action on the user's part but it is a nice reminder that Symantec has their customers covered by taking proactive action to make sure the user is always protected. Even if a user decides to update their machine to Windows 10 without telling IT Resource, if we are the Symantec administrator for the subscription, we will be notified immediately, then the patch will then be pushed out within 1-2 hours.

Not a Symantec customer?
If you’re not satisfied with your current anti-virus solution, you may want to consider a Hosted Symantec Endpoint Protection subscription. This will protect all of the desktops, laptops and servers in your environment without slowing them down. When connected to the internet, the updates and patches happen automatically without ever notifying you.

Because it’s hosted in the cloud, setup and deployment is extremely simple and fast which means it’s very affordable. To request a quote for the hosted antivirus solution or to discuss in more detail, contact us.

Microsoft Client Access License Price Increase

Friday, July 10, 2015
Effective August 1st, 2015, Microsoft will be increasing the price of their Client Access Licenses (CAL) by approximately 13%. This change will be applied to User CALs that allow every user to access the server using a variety of different devices. The price change will NOT be affecting Device CALs and SQL CALs. The following is a complete list of the on-premise user CALs that will see the 13% price increase:
  • Core CAL Suite
  • Enterprise CAL Suite
  • Exchange Server Standard & Enterprise CALs
  • Lync Server Standard, Enterprise, & Plus CALs
  • Project Server CAL
  • System Center Configuration Manager
  • System Center Endpoint Protection
  • System Center Client Management Suite
  • Windows Server CAL
  • Windows RDS & RMS CAL
We’re aware that many of our customers are utilizing Windows RDS and Windows Server user CALs which is why now is the best time to purchase the CALs at the lower cost. If your renewal date is fast approaching, please be aware that you will have the option to switch from User to Device or Device to User on your renewal date.

If you’d like to purchase more Microsoft Client Access Licenses, or if you have questions on what type of CALs you should purchase, please contact our sales department via email, or call our main line at 616-837-6930.