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Automation Nation: Labtech Software User Conference

Thursday, August 09, 2012

In June of this year, one of our leaders here at IT Resource headed out to Orlando, Florida to attend a conference called Automation Nation, regarding our ticketing and monitoring software. Leo Reap spent two days with plenty of other IT partners and business owners to learn the ins and outs of our monitoring software. By attending this conference, Leo received firsthand experience and information regarding the software and how it can benefit not only our company, but our customers here in Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin as well.

By better utilizing the software we use here at IT Resource, we can put what we learn into practice and learn even more. Leo spent the two days taking in new information about best practices, monitoring, and execution of newly learned abilities. Not only did he attend meetings on various topics throughout the two days, he was also able to connect with different partners who also use similar software, and chat about what works and what may need more attention. An event like this is great for getting new information and meeting new people for future references as well! Plus, it’s not all just sitting in lectures all day. Some fun is had, too!

This event runs every year around this time, so hopefully next year Leo can attend as well and learn even more as the product continues to grow!

Renovation Work Continues

Monday, July 30, 2012

We've been sharing the progress of our renovations with you ever since day one and things are really starting to take shape. We started with our before shots, followed by some demolition, then the walls came down, and new ones went back up. Here we are again with a new update and this time we've got drywall, cabinets, and some ceiling work done.

Here is a sneak peak at our new kitchen. Cabinets and countertops are in and we're excited to get the appliances, flooring, and finishing touches complete so we can put this room to good use.

Opposite our kitchen cabinets is this long countertop which will serve us well when we have company lunches and buffets.

Here is a look at one of our conference rooms. We'll have a few different break away areas for folks to set up meetings, bring in customers and talk about projects.

We're so thrilled with the way things are coming along. Each week more progress is made and before long we'll be moving in!

Making Progress...

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The expansion project continues.... Just as quickly as the walls came down, new walls went back up. Or at least they're in the process of going up. The studs were put in place last week and we're finally able to get a good idea of how our new space will be laid out.

What you see here is the main entry area off the west side of the building.


This area will soon house our engineers.


Here is another view of our engineer stations.

This is the doorway that will connect our two spaces. Management and sales will be through that doorway in our current office, while the engineering department will be in the new space. 

Its hard to imagine the project coming to completion, but we're right around the corner and new progress is being made every day. We can't wait to show you the big reveal!

Our 3rd Annual Golf Outing

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer in Michigan usually means barbecues, get-togethers, and of course, golf. Every year we make it a point to combine all three as a way to say thank you to our terrific customers, vendors, and friends. This week was our third annual IT Resource golf outing and as usual, a good time was had by all. 

The weather cooperated beautifully (although it was incredibly hot), unlike the memorable monsoon we braved last year.

Our awesome IT consultant Andrew is ready to get the party started!

Molly and Hans chat with a few customers while they wait to tee off.


Carrie and Deidra are ready to head out!

Our event was once again held at the Meadows Golf Course at Grand Valley State University. They have a beautiful course and do a great job handling all the details of our event.

About 16 holes in, everyone was having a great time, and surviving the heat!

Gary and Gayla stop for a shot with their teammate Nicole


Here's Leo with his team of golfers

These ladies had a great time! Susan and Gina from Northern Physical Therapy, Peggy from Choice One Bank, and Pat from Raap Signs


Tim and the guys watch as one of their teammates tees off

No golf outing is complete without prizes and a barbecue. Here Leo does the honors of handing out our prizes to the best golf team of the day.

Thank you again to everyone who joined us! We had a record number of golfers this year and we're already looking forward to hitting the greens next year! You can see some additional photos from our outing on our IT Resource Facebook page.

Volunteering Makes Community Stronger

Thursday, June 21, 2012

According to WebMD, volunteering and helping others may be the most direct route to happiness. When we help others our brain is actually releasing endorphins, which in turn, makes us happier. Given that theory, volunteering is a win-win for everyone involved.

Supporting our community by donating our time, energy, and resources is something we have always felt strongly about at IT Resource. While we serve clients all over the Midwest, we feel it necessary to help build and support those in our own backyard.

We have been longstanding members of the Coopersville Area Chamber of Commerce, and after being a member of the Board of Directors for 3 years, our Director of Sales, Carrie, was nominated and elected to serve as President for 2012. As a part of running the Chamber, Carrie has worked hard to grow Chamber membership and make positive improvements in the organization and community.

Carrie is pictured at the Chamber Legislative Luncheon with the event's moderator, Shelley Irwin

In addition to serving the Chamber of Commerce, IT Resource has been an annual sponsor of the Del Shannon Car Show, which offers significant benefits to the city of Coopersville, its local businesses, and residents. Not only are we a financial sponsor, but we also donate countless hours of time to help out in any way we can. It takes a village and we're happy to play our part. If you stop by the Car Show this August, be sure to say hello!

Not only do we work while volunteering, we also play. This summer we sponsored and participated in the Coopersville Neo Forum Golf Outing, where proceeds went to helping at-risk youth by reducing drug, alcohol, and tobacco use as well as reducing violence within the PreK-12 population through education. 

Gary and his son Eric played in the Neo Forum outing this summer.

We also believe in supporting local schools and youth programs which is why we've donated both time and computer networking equipment to Trinity Lutheran Schools, local Boy Scout Troops, and the Spring Lake Band Boosters.

There are so many ways to give back and support others in your community. Whether you give your help seasonally like we did here, or help businesses grow by supporting them through local groups and events, every little bit helps. If you're wondering where to start, look in your own back yard.

Michigan's Economic Bright Spot Awards Ceremony

Monday, June 18, 2012

As we mentioned here, we were so honored to have been included among this year's list of Michigan's Economic Bright Spots, presented by Corp! Magazine. This is the second time IT Resource has achieved this honor in the past 3 years. The awards ceremony was held June 7 at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy, MI.

Our Managing Partner, Gary Lutz, and Director of Sales, Carrie Borchers, attended the ceremony to accept the award.

Gary is pictured with a Corp executive and the 2012 award

Being labeled an Economic Bright Spot in our great state is a huge honor and we are always striving towards enhancing business, the economy, and well-being here. We always have, and continue to believe that Michigan is a great place to do business. We are proud to be recognized for the achievements we have made.

Tearing Down the Walls

Monday, June 11, 2012
Our expansion project is moving right along, and by the looks of things, you can see we've torn down all the walls to start with a blank slate. Its a far cry from where we were when we first updated you on our renovations here, and a much more open and clean space compared to the second update seen here.
We're so excited for our renovations to be complete, we've already started talking about our Open House!

IT Resource Selected as a 2012 Michigan Economic Bright Spot

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We have some exciting news! IT Resource was selected out of hundreds of nominees as one of Michigan’s Economic Bright Spots. The annual award is presented by Corp! Magazine to Michigan based businesses that are experiencing growth and giving back to the community. This is the second time IT Resource has been recognized for this achievement.

Nominees were selected based on their involvement in an emerging or growth business sector, involvement in a Michigan economic development project for industrial or commercial purposes, expansion of their business, and the fact that they had made a conscious decision to stay in Michigan, despite opportunities to relocate outside of the state.

“Michigan is a great place to do business and we are very proud the customers relationships we’ve built and the commitments we’ve made to our local communities,” said Gary Lutz, our managing partner. “We feel very honored to be recognized once again for the contributions we’ve made at both a local and state wide level.”

Gary Lutz (second from the right) is pictured with fellow recipients at the 2010 Economic Bright Spot Awards Ceremony

We have experienced steady growth rates each year since the inception of our company in 2000 and the number of full time staff members has grown 100% in the last 5 years. After seven years in business we expanded by moving the headquarters from Grand Haven to Coopersville, where we would have a larger office space. As of today we are experiencing yet another expansion, but this time we’re staying in Coopersville and renovating the building space next to ours to accommodate our growth.

The decision to expand next door came after careful consideration as to whether or not the new office space should be in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, or Michigan. We have a number of clients in both Chicago and Wisconsin and having office space closer to them would have been proximate, but we choose to stay in west Michigan, as it is the place we all call home. We have deep commitments in the communities in which we work and live and we plan on continuing to build relationships with local businesses and community organizations.

In order to stay up to date on ever-changing technology, and accommodate the growth we have experienced, we made a conscious decision to increase our technical partnerships and in 2011 we added both Singlewire and Axcient as partners. This involved staff members becoming educated and certified on the variety of products these new partners offer, and in return, we can sell, support and install these products. In addition to bringing on two new partnerships we have also deepened our levels of expertise and expanded our capabilities with our core partners (Cisco, Microsoft, and VMware). We have also acquired 8 new certifications in the last year.

We will be honored at the Michigan Economic Bright Spot awards presentation on Tuesday, June 12, 7:30 a.m., at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy, MI. Tickets to this event can be purchased at www.corpmagazine.com.

Renovation Update

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Things are looking quite different since the last time we visited our expansion project next door. Demolition has begun and the walls that were once up have come down. We're preparing a clean slate for the arrival of our new engineering wing, complete with a spacious conference room, kitchen, and eventually a full set of bathrooms with shower facilities.

We're getting there...
Its hard to imagine how this space will look when its complete, but we're excited to see progress being made. Sometimes the demolition phase can make the largest impact.
We can't wait for the new space to be complete!
Stay tuned as we continue to update you on the progress of our new office space. If you ever want to take a look for yourself, stop by and we'd be happy to give you an "in-progress" tour. We can't wait for the big reveal!

Help Desk Implementation

Monday, May 21, 2012

In 2011 we pledged to continually improve our help desk team by implementing a new process to resolve issues more efficiently. We're happy to report that things are moving in the right direction and we're using our help desk to assist customers each and every day.

Our clients can now email or call our help desk team directly and we will either work to resolve your issue or collaborate with our engineering team, working together towards a resolution. By putting the help desk first in the line of contact, our customers will see a quicker turnaround time on tickets they submit.

From fixing printer problems or adding a new user to the network, the help desk team is here to help when needed! You can contact us in a few different ways:
Email: Send a message to help@itrw.net with your issue and any relevant information, and rest assured the ticket will be created and seen by the help desk as soon as it’s submitted. From there, the team will triage the problem and work with you to either solve it, or escalate it to an engineer who may be more knowledgeable on the subject.
Phone: Calling our office at 616.837.6930 will connect right to any one of our talented employees at IT Resource. If the help desk isn’t the one to answer, the call can easily be transferred to them where the problem can be created into a ticket to be worked on.

Currently, the help desk team is composed of Kevin Luke, Lori Brandt, and me, Justin Graeff. We are happy to answer your calls and respond to your emails, so don’t be afraid to contact us!