Spring is here! Which usually means a rebirth after
a long winter. It also means the end of Tax Season,
March Madness, and a recent breach in "the cloud"!
It's hard to believe, but we're now a quarter of the
way through 2011. According to the Tax Foundation, this
means only 7 more days till this year's "Tax
Freedom Day" - the day where we're no longer
working to pay off our tax debt to the IRS - 3 days
later than last year. At least this year we get 3 more
days to file - we now have till the 18th!
Did anyone catch the Final game of the NCAA Basketball
Tournament last night? It was billed as the underdog
(Butler) coming back for retribution after losing in
last year's final pitted against the big dog Uconn.
Unfortunately, it was the lowest scoring game since
1949! Butler, the losing team, shot an incomprehensibly
low 18.8%. Hard to believe you'd win anything with these
sort of numbers.
Speaking of hard to believe - I received this email
over the weekend notifying me that I was on a list which
was hacked. Little did I know at the time, but this
was far more reaching than I could have imagined. Epsilon
International is the online marketing company who
was hacked. They serve over 2,500 different companies
- companies like JPMorgan Chase, Kroger, TiVo, Best
Buy, Walgreens, and Capital One. Unfortunately, this
is the fear of anyone looking to move their information
"to the cloud". While most data in the cloud
is encrypted, it's clear this wasn't (or at least wasn't
tough enough). And while the information they got wouldn't
be deemed "critical" (they only got names
and related email addresses), the concept of how they
got in is the most troubling. How these sort of breaches
bodes for the cloud still remains to be seen.
Even so, the marketing of "the cloud" is
louder than ever. Stay tuned...
Craig Pollack & The FPA Team
of Small Businesses Using Facebook
Network Solutions recently released its 2010 State
of Small Business report and it has lots of interesting
information, including data on social media usage by
small businesses. As the chart below shows, Facebook
is used by 27% of small businesses for business purposes.
That's up from 17% just last June. This is stunning
growth and another data point suggesting Facebook is
taking over the web.
the Eight Building Blocks of CRM to Social Media
How to improve the
effectiveness and long-term success of social CRM initiatives
The increase in adoption of social media
across media, high-tech, consumer goods, and retail
sectors has been prolific during the past few years,
and is set to expand into other industries during the
next three years. Organizations need to embrace this
phenomenon as an integral part of their CRM strategy.
A decade ago, Gartner created a framework
called "The Eight Building Blocks of CRM"
to help organizations be more successful. This framework
has stood the test of time and is still highly regarded
Gartner defines social CRM as a business
strategy that mutually benefits cloud-based communities
and the business by fostering engagement while generating
opportunities for sales, marketing, and customer service.
The key considerations within this definition that organizations
need to take heed of are...
Ways Your Business Can Leverage Video To Train and Collaborate
Today's workers routinely use online video, but few
leverage it effectively on the job. That can change.
Companies can use video conferencing and edited videos
to more effectively share information, train staff and
enhance collaboration. Among the methods eWEEK discusses,
are using video conferencing to help meet the collaborative
needs of an increasingly virtual workforce and extend
the reach of experts. The video also discusses how video
conferencing and video clips facilitate familiarity
to improve collaboration, let users train at their own
pace, and help new workers get into the fold faster.
Characteristics of Successful People
If you’ve been around long enough, you’re
probably aware that most important things in life come
about seemingly by accident, chance, or coincidence.
Discovering what you were meant to do, meeting your
spouse, finding an incredibly unique opportunity or
a great job, that sort of thing.
Well, those events are not as random as you might think.
Certain behavioral attributes increase the probability
of these “happy accidents” occurring. And
not only are these characteristics of successful people,
they are, I believe, learnable or teachable.
First, here are some examples of what I’m talking
#2: Using Mass-market Equipment to Run Business-class
Second to the "Set it and Forget it Mentality",
we see this mistake in way too many new prospects (and
some clients too!). Maybe that's why they're calling
us in? While they're trying to save money by using inappropriate
or outdated levels of a particular technology solution,
they end up costing themselves more in the long run.
#1: Having a Set it and Forget it Mentality
I was recently asked by a new prospect what I thought
were some of the most important things to keep in mind
when dealing with technology for a small business. Immediately,
my mind went into a flurry of thoughts - from backup
to security to over extending life-cycles to under-funding
to over-simplifying requirements. I was a whirling dervish
before I sat down and documented all of my concerns.
Here's the first in a series...
Talk about proof of concept. While there's always
stress when a server crashes, this week we clearly saw
proof of concept both with regards to our BDR Solution
as well as our Managed Service approach to IT management
and support. The hard part is seeing the positives during
the stress of dealing with a crashed server. Now that
the dust has settled a little, we can see success from
A little background - this week, the Exchange Server
at one of our clients crashed (they're about a 30 user
company with 2 locations). It was a complete hardware
failure (the motherboard failed and needed to be replaced).
The timing of this couldn't have been more interesting
- we were in the midst of the project to replace their
server. If we had started the project a week earlier,
we wouldn't even be talking about this. So, here's how
it played out...
Selected to Participate in Intel’s vPro Pilot
FPA Technology Services, Inc., the leading full service
IT Services and Support firm in the Los Angeles area,
announced that it has recently completed working with
Intel® in their vPro™ Pilot Program. Within
this program, Intel partners with select Managed Service
Providers to install and configure “seed”
workstations, provided by Intel, for several clients
and then testing and analyzing the performance results
of the machines.
This functionality greatly improves FPA’s remote
management and administration of client networks resulting
in improved response to failure, meeting shorter recovery
time objectives, as well as providing the ability to
decrease power consumption.
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
Check us out!
April Means Tax Day!
April 15 is the date that tax returns
are "always" due, right? So why has
the deadline been moved to April 18 this year?
It turns out that Emancipation Day,
which celebrates the freeing of slaves in the
District of Columbia, is on April 16th. Since
that falls on a Saturday this year, it will be
observed on Friday, April 15th. With a large number
of workers in Washington, D.C., the IRS felt it
was appropriate to move the filing date to the
next business day - hence Monday, April 18.
This gives you a few more days to
get your return completed (but let's hope you
don't leave it to the last minute).
Need Custom Programming?
FPA provides the design, development,
and support services needed to build custom software
applications. Custom programming means we can
meet the unique needs a client might have.
Our development team specializes in creating
software to meet the unique needs of our clients
in specific industries. For example, do you know
that we are the creators of KITS™,
which is the only completely comprehensive software
application for the Commodity Supplemental Food
Program (CSFP) for food banks available on the
Our success as software developers comes from
our years of experience, our underlying business
acumen, and ultimately our technical expertise
in software development.
Staff Spotlight -
Layla Khorsand initially started with FPA providing
Remote Help Desk Support. She has since progressed
to becoming a solid Network Engineer providing
onsite support services for clients. Her enthusiasm
and zest for life is contagious and many clients
let us know how they "only want to work with
Layla believes that “knowledge is the common
factor across all languages.” When not working
on servers, she likes to travel, which she does
a few times a year, and also enjoys kickboxing
and spending time with her nephews.
been using this program you installed on my machine
for a few weeks now and just wanted to say THANKS
so much for the great install you did on it!
can’t say how nice it is to click on it,
have it come up and be able to use it as it should
be used…to use a program without a problem…so
know I send a lot of “help” requests,
but wanted to send this thanks notice to say how
much I appreciate you for all you do for us and
how much you help us out.”
Cummings Appraisal Group, Inc.
As a strategic partner of FPA, we
Search Agency in as a way to assist mid market
Fortune 1000 clients with their online marketing
They are an active member of Google, Yahoo!,
and MSN advertiser councils, and regularly alpha
test new features with each of the major search
engines. Their philosophy is that “Success
can be defined in many different ways, but ultimately
we believe that success is based on results: more
leads, more sales, more conversions for you as
If you’re looking for assistance with developing
your online marketing strategy, contact The Search
Agency at 310-582-5700 or by going to their website
There are a lot of acronyms
and abbreviations tossed out in IT and we forget
that not everyone knows our secret shorthand like
we do. So, we thought it might be helpful to define
VPN: Virtual Private Network
A secure private network that uses the public
telecommunications infrastructure to transmit
data. In contrast to more expensive lines leased
or owned for use by only one company, a VPN is
a communications network tunnel through another
network, dedicated for a specific network. A VPN
encrypts all data that passes between two Internet
points, maintaining privacy and security.
MOJO: How to Get It, How to
Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It
by Marshall Goldsmith
Mojo is the moment when we do something
that's purposeful, powerful, and positive and
the rest of the world recognizes it. This book
is about that moment--and how we can create it
in our lives, maintain it, and recapture it when
we need it.
Marshall Goldsmith is widely recognized as the
world's leading authority in helping successful
leaders achieve positive, lasting change in behavior:
for themselves, their people, and their teams.
Looking for a career change
or know someone who is? We're always on the lookout
for talented people to join our elite team.