ITP Featured on Microsoft Podcast, SMB Insider Spotlight

Get the inside scoop with Microsoft’s Insider Partner Spotlight Podcast, featuring ITP

This month Information Technology Professionals (ITP) CEO, Paul Hager, was featured on Microsoft’s partner podcast, the Insider Partner Spotlight. Hosted by Microsoft’s Brent Combest, the General Manager of Central Region SMB, this 10-minute podcast highlights some of the top partners in the region and how they are differentiating their businesses locally. In this episode, Paul shares how to successfully grow a business.

Introducing easy-to-adopt product to grow your business

Paul and Brent discuss ITP’s beginnings as a professional service provider specializing in the legal industry, and the 13 year-journey that has lead us to serving farms, school districts, financial institutions, and many other industries across Wisconsin.

The podcast covers innovations in Microsoft’s cloud technology and how small and medium-sized organizations are leveraging these new tools, with the help of ITP, to grow and expand their business operations. Paul dives into the intellectual property ITP has developed, wrapping Microsoft solutions + other hand-selected technologies into packages that serve specific industries.

Paul discusses shifts in the technology landscape over the last few years, and how IT providers are adjusting their service offerings to stay relevant. Listen as he shares insight into Microsoft’s cloud investment, and some of the first steps businesses can take to get to the cloud with confidence and without breaking their budgets.

Watch the video from the podcast:


Looking for more?

See all of the Partner Spotlights topics and featured partners, visit

Check out Microsoft New Digs!

Get a first look with a behind the scenes tour!
You’re invited! ITP is hosting a special private event at the Microsoft office in Milwaukee. Join our team as we get a behind the scenes tour of the newest and highest tech office in downtown Milwaukee. This event is being held on Thursday, June 29th at 5:00-7:00 PM. Join us for networking, a tour of the newest Microsoft office, and then test drive some of Microsoft’s latest high-tech gadgets.

Get an Immersion Experience
Explore Microsoft devices and tools to discover the full potential of Office 365. Attendees will get a preview of our newest offering, the Immersion Experience. This invite-only Immersion Experience is an opportunity for your team to get hand-on with a customized demo of Office 365 tools and devices. We’ll provide the facilitator and devices for this 3-4 hour in-depth Microsoft session. Our team will show you how to maximize and fully utilize your investment in Office 365.

Explore Microsoft devices and tools and discover the full potential how O365 can solve your business needs by:

  • Enhancing mobile productivity
  • Encouraging collaboration
  • Boosting sales productivity
  • Increasing accessibility to BI data and insights

Details & registration
Get all of the event details on our ‘After Work Network: Microsoft Behind the Scenes’ event page. Registration is free! We’ll be hosting food and beverages.

Cloudy with a Chance of Vulnerabilities: Webinar

ITP and our newest security partners, Tenable, announce the latest session in our webinar series. Join us June 15th at 1PM CT for ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Vulnerabilities’ webinar. This virtual session will cover the landscape of cybersecurity threats IT and security managers face, and the tools available to proactively monitor and control internal and external threats.

The ‘Cloud with a Chance of Vulnerabilities’ webinar will discuss best practices for mitigating the risks of third party applications. We’ll help attendees understand cloud services running in your network that pose threats, and how to monitor business-critical applications.

After the webinar, we’ll be hosting happy hour in Madison and Milwaukee. Join our team members for a beer at Mo’s Irish Pub (10842 W Bluemound Rd, Wauwatosa, WI 53226) and The Great Dane (123 E Doty St., Madison). Drinks are on us from 4-6PM!

Meet Tenable
Gain greater insight into your security risks with Tenable, the newest member of the ITP line card. Tenable is changing security processes for businesses through adaptable and easy to use security dashboards. Their tools help eliminates blind spots and prioritize threats.

Register for the Cloudy with a Chance of Vulnerabilities Webinar
Join ITP and Tenable for this 40-minute session + happy hour after party. And then meet in person for our free happy hour in Madison and Milwaukee. Get more details about the webinar and happy hours on the ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Vulnerabilities’ event page.

ITP May Newsletter

Complete security: easy & affordable

Google’s phishing attack last week serves as a reminder that sophisticated security threats can linger in unexpected places and spread at lightning speed. Social engineering tactics, like the ones used in this attack, have been on the rise over the last few years and are only becoming more personalized.

Comprehensive security for your critical business applications, users, and devices is within reach. Meet Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), a complete and affordable security solution. It’s advanced protection without office disruption or training necessary.

Get 15% off EMS now until June 30th.
Take advantage of this deal >>>

Upcoming ITP Events

Each month we curate the emerging tech news and trends that you’ll want to know. Join us for some fun, networking, and knowledge. Check out of our upcoming event:

Cloudy with a Chance of Vulnerabilities: June 22nd @ 1PM –  Virtual + Happy Hour!
Are third party applications threatening the security of your environment? See new scanning and threat prioritization methods in our upcoming webinar + happy hour with cybersecurity experts, Tenable. Register here >>>

Skype for Business – now with Cloud PBX!

Microsoft has announced worldwide Cloud PBX capabilities for Skype for Business! With this update, Skype for Business has truly become an alternative to the traditional phone system. Additionally, new business-critical features have been released…

  • Auto Attendant: an automated system to answer and route inbound calls
  • Ring Groups: route inbound calls to the next available live attendant in the order they are received.
  • Call Analytics Dashboard: rich data to help IT admins troubleshoot issues in real-time.
 Want to try Skype for business? Request our Skype for Business Demo Box >>>

Skype for Business Announces Cloud PBX

Skype for Business, Cloud PBXIn April Microsoft announced that they have officially rolled out Skype for Business Cloud PBX worldwide. The goal of release this is to increase user friendliness and to centralize customer’s conferencing needs into one program. These new features are designed to replace multiple systems simply use Skype for Business Cloud PBX for all their communications.

New to Skype for Business
With the unveiling of the Skype network enhancements they added a few new features worth mentioning. The goal of these new features is to put communication at the heart of productivity:

  • Auto Attendant: provides an automated system to answer and route inbound calls using dial pad inputs and speech recognition without the need of an operator or attendant to direct calls.
  • Call Queues or Ring Groups: which enables incoming calls to be routed to the next available live attendant in the order they are received.
  • Skype for Business Call Analytics dashboard: This provides a rich telemetry data to help IT admins troubleshoot any issues in real-time like network related problems and headset issues as well as improve the user’s experience.

Cloud Communication at its finest
The greatest benefits of moving communications to the cloud? The ability to consolidate all meeting and calling systems to a single solution. Shed your extraneous tools for webinars, team chat and conference calls. Skype for Business also streamlines device and line provisioning, and the need for additional administration. Additionally, new robust analytic capabilities help Skype for Business users have better visibility into their calling data.

Replace legacy meeting and phone systems, and help your employees to join meetings, as well as to make, receive and manage calls right within Office 365—all on any device. Skype for Business Cloud PBX also provides central management within the Office 365 admin console, making it seamless for IT admins to manage communications alongside email, content and collaboration.

Considering Skype for Business? Take a test drive with our Skype for Business devices. We have a variety of devices (headsets, speaker phones and more) available for you to try for free. We’re happy to give you an overview of how Skype for Business can replace or augment your existing phone services. Request the Skype for Business devices >>>

5 Ways to Streamline Your Hybrid Communications Solution

An increasing number of CIOs are considering a hybrid approach to their IT infrastructures, especially as they become more comfortable with cloud deployments. Among large enterprises, for example, Gartner found that nearly 75% plan to implement a mixed, hybrid-based solution by the end of this year.

Hybrid environments are enticing because they enable companies to have the best of both worlds: the flexibility and functionality of the cloud, while maintaining the hardware of their current onsite investment. Yet, many IT managers worry that pairing these two environments will make it more difficult to manage an IT infrastructure that combines and connects an onsite system with cloud-based functions.

Below are five ways CIOs can reduce complexity and still reap the advantages of a hybrid communications cloud solution:

1.  Develop a Holistic Strategy. With perhaps dozens of systems and hundreds of requirements across an organization, it may seem more manageable to address each system individually. But when CIOs put each into the context of their broader IT vision, it enables them to make more strategic decisions about deployment. Seek solutions that simplify communications deployment and management by integrating applications and data onsite and in the cloud, resulting in reduced complexity and cost and increased efficiency.

2.  Require Cohesive Management. Of course, complexity increases with the number of cloud deployments and onsite locations that are often served by a multitude of UC and IP telephony platforms. But it becomes really significant when IT managers must log into disparate communications systems in order to troubleshoot problems. When evaluating services, look for a solution that can provide a comprehensive view of the whole system. For example, a common,  integrated and service-centric communications solution like ShoreTel Connect gives IT managers a single-screen view of system administration across cloud and onsite communications, or any hybrid mix of the two deployments. This greatly simplifies IT management and enables faster troubleshooting should problems arise.

3.  Lean on Vendor Expertise. In large companies, IT teams have a diversity of experts. But CIOs in smaller businesses don’t always have the same luxury. They need to operate with greater efficiency, without necessarily having in-house help. By prioritizing internal expertise and mapping it to company initiatives, CIOs can determine which applications are best maintained in-house and which should be managed in the cloud by a services provider. For example, efficiency is created when a company can rely on ShoreTel expertise to manage the phone system in the cloud, thus freeing up the IT team to focus on other corporate priorities that require local control, such as overseeing private data security.

4.  Automate Routine IT Tasks. It’s not unusual for IT teams to manage routine tasks manually, but doing so should be the exception. With a hybrid communications solution, the CIO can take advantage of the cloud services provider’s ability to automate processes and provide the latest innovative updates quickly and easily, thus reducing the burden on internal resources.

5.  Build in Greater Flexibility. A strategic deployment of cloud assets can also create efficiencies when developing new initiatives. By providing flexible access to cloud applications as they are needed in hybrid communications, IT can enable teams to become more agile, streamlining the development process and enabling faster time to market and revenue.

As CIOs look to deploy hybrid communications solutions, complexity doesn’t have to be an obstacle. The key to success is maintaining a strong vision for an end-to-end cloud and onsite communications deployment strategy that is integrated and seamless.

To learn more about ShoreTel’s hybrid communications solution, visit ShoreTel Connect HYBRID Sites. This blog originally appeared on the ShoreTel blog

April Newsletter

Strengthen Your Security Stance.

Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) is the easiest and most cost-effective way to stay secure. From mobile device management to secure file sharing… your role in keeping your organization’s data safe is a complex one. EMS is a comprehensive set of cloud-based security tools that use machine learning to keep threats at bay. Dive deep into the EMS tools >>> 

Thank you for your feedback!

In March we conducted a customer satisfaction survey. Thank you to everyone who participated. Your feedback helps us grow and serve you better. Congratulations to our $100 Amazon Gift Card recipient, Karen from R. Sabee Company!

If you missed the survey, click here to share your feedback.

Get hands on with Microsoft. Get a unique perspective on how Office 365 connected devices and tools will impact your day-to-day business operations with a Microsoft Immersion Experience.

The Immersion Experience is a hands-on session to “Experience the Possible” by test-driving Microsoft devices and solutions through simulated, everyday scenarios. Our team will help you experience the true impact of being a Microsoft-powered organization during one of these free, 3-4 hour sessions. Get a Microsoft Experience for your team  >>>



All About Azure – Disaster Recovery

Batten down the hatches! Prepare for unforeseen circumstances with Azure.

Let’s have a real talk about disaster recovery for applications…not just virtual machines. Your CIO stops by your office one day and asks, “What if we are hit by some unforeseen disaster tomorrow? Are you confident that we can run our critical applications, that employees will be able to work, and that we can get up and running again quickly?” So many disaster recovery offerings are just about recovering your services, with no promises for your critical business applications… think Quickbooks, Outlook, ERP systems (Epic), and CRMs (SalesForce, Dynamics).

Azure Site Recovery combines cloud-first design with a simple user experience that allows you to recover entire applications (and their settings) in the event of a disaster. This feature supports application consistency for a single virtual machine and across multiple VMs that compose the application. Why? Because most multi-tier applications have dependencies. For example, the database tier should load first, before the application or web tiers are recovered.

Stress-Free Recovery

Disaster recover for applications should be a single-click stress-free, end-to end process with low RTO. Get the confidence for this ‘big red button’ moment with Azure’s Site Recovery. What’s more, Azure Site Recovery offers you the choice to work with other replication technologies, making it a flexible solution that can be your plan-A or your plan-B for application recovery.

Learn more about disaster recovery with Azure’s Site Recovery in this in-depth video series and in ‘Disaster recovery for applications, not just virtual machines using Azure Site Recovery‘ – a post that originally appeared on the Microsoft Azure blog.

Lock down your disaster recovery plan with a stress-free solution. See the role that Azure can play in recovering your business-critical applications quickly with an Azure Workshop.

Get a workshop >>>