Imagine becoming the head coach for an NFL football team, when the only experience you have with the sport was two-hand touch in gym class. That was essentially the situation faced by an employee at a Madison based real estate development and management company a year ago when she was given the task of managing the company’s IT, with no IT background. Until Applied Tech stepped in to help.

E.J. Plesko & Associates, Inc. (EJPA), founded in 1976, handles development, ownership and management of community and neighborhood shopping centers, senior housing communities, planned single family and multi-family residential communities. Besides the Madison headquarters, they have a regional office in Minneapolis.

And that was part of the problem: more than a dozen properties scattered over a large region and the ambitious task of communicating secure financial and proprietary information between them.

“Connecting with on-site staff who manage our different locations is extremely important to us. We need to be able to effectively share information between the main headquarters in Madison and the 14 different properties we operate, and we found that difficult to do without (good) technology,” said Becky Gleiter, executive assistant and Applied Tech’s point of contact at EJ Plesko.

So five years ago, EJPA turned to Applied Tech to solve their communication and data needs. Applied Tech helped connect their main office and properties using the Office 365 suite of communication and collaboration tools. EJPA also used Applied Tech to assist their in-house IT manager and outsourced occasional larger projects to Applied Tech.

But that all changed last year when EJPA’s IT manager left and management of their technology fell on Gleiter’s plate. However, since Gleiter had no previous technology background, EJPA decided to move to a complete TechCare package with Applied Tech. Since EJPA made that move, they’ve never been happier with their technology.

“Whenever we’ve had a case, (Applied Tech) has been very reliable, professional, and we’ve been very happy with the response times we’ve received,” Gleiter said. “Everyone I have worked with has been very knowledgeable and I love how they explain situations in a way that the common man can understand. For people who may not know the terminology that’s great.”

EJPA takes Applied Tech’s strategic technology advice to heart because of the trust that has been built throughout the relationship. For example, last year EJPA was compromised and their entire system was taken offline. As part of complete TechCare, Applied Tech stepped in to help them get out of the mess as quickly as possible. Within a day Applied Tech got EJPA back on their feet.

“We were very happy and impressed with how quickly we got back up and running. I can’t say enough about how well Applied Tech handled the situation. To be back up and running within a day was just amazing. (Applied Tech) really saved us,” said Gleiter.

But Applied Tech then proved they were not just a break-fix type of company. Realizing that EJPA was compromised because of multiple people logging in remotely to their server, Applied Tech proactively suggested they move their server to Azure (the cloud) for its increased security so the issue would not be repeated.

That type of strategic advice, almost like having Applied Tech as a partner in the board room, is the type of partnership and success both companies seek. EJ Plesko and Applied Tech look forward to continuing their mutually beneficially relationship for years to come.

“Everything we’ve done with Applied Tech has been great. We can’t say enough good things about (Applied Tech), and we would definitely recommend a relationship with them to other companies,” Gleiter said.

Daniel Petersen, COO at Applied Tech, said they are proud of the long working relationship with EJ Plesko & Associates, Inc.

“EJ Plesko sees the value in being strategic with their technology,” he said. “They understand what it takes to do business the right way, and I am glad they see us as the strategic partner who can guide them down the road and help them overcome any bumps along the way. I look forward to continuing our great work together for years to come.”

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