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August 11, 2010

Greetings,

Hard to believe, but it seems like the end of summer is creeping up on us. Before we know it, vacations will be over, our kids will be back in school and it will be Fall again. How did this happen?

The only viable "excuse" I can offer up is we've been busy, busy, busy here. In the past, we would often see a slowdown in the summer - with clients going on vacation or slowing down or last year with the economy. This summer our Implementation Services team has been booked solid and our Support Services Team has been constantly busy. We've also been busy internally building up our Network Operations Center (NOC) Services and Remote Support Services teams to continue to increase our remote capabilities. Just this week we added two additional engineers! While this has been going on, our Development Team has been adding tons of features to our internal Client System as well as putting the finishing touches on our (soon to be released) updated Client WebPortal.

One the mantras we have internally is to build a "Culture of Constant Improvement". To us this means constantly looking for ways to improve "how" we do what we do. Beyond just our technical expertise, our certifications, and improvements to our own systems, we're constantly pushing ourselves by asking questions to make us better. How can we improve the processes around our NOC services so that we can increase the uptime for our Managed Services clients? How can we share the ROI (Return on Investment) we see one client attain implementing a given technology with other clients? How can we lower the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for clients on an ongoing basis? How can we improve the Business Continuity aspect for our clients? With a constantly changing landscape, it's not always easy or readily apparent. But, it's something we take to heart and work hard at.

Our goal with our "Business Before Technology" viewpoint is to share this mindset with our clients. We're always looking for ways to share proven methods that will help our clients leverage technology to meet their business objectives. So, if there's ever a thought or a suggestion you can offer up to help us improve, by all means please share it with us.

That said, we wish you a great rest of the summer and continued success in your business...

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team


Net Neutrality: What is it and what does it mean to me?

Net neutrality, basically, is a principle proposed for user access networks that advocates no restrictions by ISP's and government on content, sites, platforms, as well as service levels. Neutrality proponents claim that telecom companies seek to impose a tiered service model in order to control the pipeline and thereby remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and oblige subscribers to buy their otherwise uncompetitive services. ie: if Google controls parts of the "pipe" they might prioritize YouTube traffic (since they own it) ahead of those going to say Yahoo (a competitor). Many believe net neutrality to be as fundamentally important as the preservation of freedom of speech!

While this may not seem to be much of an issue currently, as more and more businesses become more and more reliant on "the cloud" this will become increasingly more impactful to businesses. Imagine a world where the speed of your internet connection is no longer solely dependant on your connection speed, but rather by the provider you have as well as for the type work you're trying to perform. What if Google prioritized traffic to Google Apps over say Netsuite or other hosted apps?

While currently only a fringe topic of interest, this will become more and more of a real-world issue in the coming months/years.

Stay tuned...


Microsoft Unloads Massive Patch to Users

Microsoft released a record fourteen security bulletins yesterday (Tuesday), eight of them with a maximum rating of Critical. In total, Microsoft fixed a record-tying total of thirty-four vulnerabilities.

All FPA Managed Services clients had these fixes automatically deployed to all machines under management. All non FPA Managed Services clients may download and install the fixes themselves, contact FPA for assistance, or (if you choose to do so) hold off until the next Microsoft security update is released.

Note: For those installing the patch on your own, please make sure that the fixes are applied while logged in as Administrator for each machine.

If you have any additional questions, please contact us directly at 818-501-3390 or by email at info@fpainc.com.


Recommended iPad App

We've had an iPad since the 3G version was first released with the main goal being to figure out how to best apply it for general business use. Don't get me wrong, it's a great device - actually quite elegant. I'm sure Steve Jobs will go down in history as a modern day Edison. But, with all the apps and ways to enjoy media on it, I think some of the business capabilities get lost or at least appear lower down the priority list of use.

That said, one my favorite "business" apps has to be Dropbox (www.dropbox.com). It's a Web-based file hosting service which uses cloud computing to enable users to store and share files and folders across the Internet using file synchronization - and for free! You simply install the app on your iPad, install a small program on your computer and then copy any file you want accessible on your iPad into the Dropbox folder (on your computer). When you connect your iPad to the internet, Dropbox automatically synchronizes the files. It's that simple.

This program gives me the ability to carry around all of my needed reports on my iPad - readily available at a moment's notice. I no longer have to carry reams of paper to meetings. From this aspect, it's a huge winner! One of my favorites.


Business Benefits of Virtualization

When companies virtualize the hardware with hypervisor technologies such as VMware Infrastructure or HyperV, they empower themselves to make more flexible, dynamic choices in their application deployment and their allocation of resources — business benefits that affect the bottom line — including higher server utilization, improved service levels, ability to better meet changing business requirements, and increased business continuity and disaster recovery.

Some benefits include:

  • Zero downtime maintenance
  • Freedom from vendor-imposed upgrade cycles
  • Pooling hardware resources
  • Virtual hardware to support legacy operating systems
  • Dynamic resource sharing
  • Security and Fault Isolation
  • Business continuity and backups

Read more...


FPA, Twitter, and Facebook

Just a reminder that you can keep in touch and see what's going on with FPA on a regular basis on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out!

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Will Your DR Plans Work as Planned?

Despite the continued lowering of costs for IT solutions and infrastructure, small businesses can still run into significant challenges in the design and implementation of backup and business disaster recovery (BDR) strategies...

What's Your Approach to IT?

I've noticed a trend lately. I'm meeting more and more with business owners who are looking to improve their IT infrastructure but aren't getting the level of expertise or service from their existing (outsourced) IT company that they feel they should be...

FPA Selected as IT Service Provider for All City Employees Benefits Service Association (ACEBSA)

FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading IT Services and Support firm in the Los Angeles area, announces today that it has been selected by All City Employees Benefits Service Association (ACEBSA) as their IT Service provider...

FPA Achieves Symantec Silver Partner Status

FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading IT Services and Support firm in the Los Angeles area has achieved the level of “Silver Partner” with Symantec Corporation.

 

Labor Day Holiday Hours

Our FPA team would like to wish you a wonderful holiday! In honor of Labor Day, our offices will be closed on Monday, September 6th.

If you encounter an emergency situation and need to contact us over the Labor Day weekend, please email our Help Desk and our on-call team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a great holiday!


Project Spotlight

www.kamranco.com

We recently completed the website redesign for Kamran and Company, a Food Service Equipment Consulting and Contracting firm. We worked with them to re-build the site from the ground up giving them an eCommerce ready site as well as a new way to showcase their unique services.

Staff Spotlight -
Art Siriyanonda

If you're an FPA client, then there's no doubt that you've spoken with Art. He's our Lead Network Support Engineer making sure that all of our clients' remote support requests are well taken care of. Art is the last line of defense in escalating remote support requests. We like to say, "if Art can't resolve an issue, it can't be resolved remotely"!

Art loves technology. When he's not working to resolve an issue you could find him hacking into a Droid phone or a Blue-Ray player. Oddly enough, when the power's off Art loves to relax outdoors camping and fishing.

Client Testimonial

"I just want to thank you for the GREAT customer service you provide us. I really appreciate the patience your staff shows when explaining the diagnosis and how they solved the problem (when we have one). FPA is always thorough and professional . I do appreciate your quick response as well to my helpdesk requests."

Kathy D.
Cummings Appraisal Group, Inc.

Windows 7 Central

Windows 7 has arrived! Click here go to our Windows 7 Central page.

Careers @ FPA

Know of anyone looking for a career change? We're always on the lookout for talented people to join our elite team.

Contact Us
Phone: 818-501-3390
Email: info@fpainc.com
Web: www.fpainc.com
www.fpamanagedservices.com
   
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"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

--Maya Angelou
American Writer & Poet

 

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