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November 23, 2011

Well, here we are - pulling into the 4th and final turn of 2011 coming down the home stretch. Yet again, it's hard to believe Thanksgiving's knocking at the door and the Holiday Season is almost here (again).

In our family, we go all out for Thanksgiving. One of our traditions is a pre-Thanksgiving Mexican feast served up on Wednesday night. Why? I think we're still working that one out. I think it's just to give us an excuse to feel like we're really NOT overindulging on Thanksgiving Day itself! Really though, it does give us another time to reflect on what we're all thankful for this year. Personally, I couldn't be more thankful that our family, friends, clients, and FPA are all healthy and doing well.

While it's not yet time for New Years resolutions, one that I'm working on all the time is simply "being present". By that I mean, if you walk into any restaurant, airport, park, or even elevator you'll see people who aren't really there. While their bodies are there, their minds and spirits are in another world - on email, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Angry Birds, or any other virtual world.

Some people would argue that the always-on wireless world we now live in has allowed us to stay more connected and closer to each other than ever before. Yet I see it all the time that as a society we're truly not.

So, while I'm thankful for all that we have and the connected world that we live in, I'm also thankful for the small slices of time that we can savor. At least for a little while over the next few days I'm also going to be thankful that our phones have off buttons as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

The Importance of Continuity Planning

FPA firmly believes in the importance of continuity planning and encourages our clients to take steps to prepare for emergencies. Statistics show that 94% of small business owners believe a disaster could seriously disrupt their business within the next two years. Are you prepared?

We recommend that you take a few minutes to view any of the following webinars from Agility Recovery that would help you become better informed and better prepared:

• Culture of Preparedness - The 72 Hour Rule

• The 10 Commandments of Disaster Preparedness

• Resilient America - Personal & Community Prep

• Survivor Panel - Real Lessons Learned

To view a webinar, please click here.

Year End Technology Review Considerations

With the end of 2011 quickly approaching, it's more important than ever to consider the following when doing any technology review or planning:

  1. the tax implications of any potential capital outlays
  2. the insurance implications related to technology changes made during the year

Capital Depreciation Considerations

Purchases of most capital equipment, including furniture, computers and most vehicles, may qualify for more generous expensing options than may be allowed in the future. For the 2011 tax year, tax code Section 179 allows a deduction of up to $500,000 for qualified purchases (either outright, financed or through a capital lease) of up to $2 million. That means many small and mid-sized businesses that make purchases by year-end might be able to deduct most, if not all, of their outlays for machinery and equipment. Without an extension by Congress, the $2 million limit drops to $560,000 next year, and the maximum deduction drops to $139,000. Similarly, the current ability to write off 100% of the purchases in the year bought (rather than an amount prorated for use during the purchase year) may go away next year, too. Naturally, please consult your tax preparer for specific federal/state benefits or limitations that may apply to your specific business.

Insurance Considerations

Another important consideration relates to insurance coverage for technology related investments. A review of policy coverage for computer and other related equipment acquired during 2011 (or before) ensures your investments are well protected. Don't forget to include business equipment used or located outside the main office premise(s), including those used by offsite employees. Providing a complete listing of site locations is important when making policy changes to ensure proper asset coverage.

Please contact FPA to begin your annual technology planning for 2012 (if you haven't already).

CompTIA Report on Managed Services

A recent study conducted by CompTIA, a non-profit IT professionals association, revealed that more than two-thirds of end user organizations contract with a Managed Services provider for some or all of their information technology needs. Half of the respondents stated that their annual IT costs were reduced by 1% to 24% by using a Managed Services provider.

The study reported that 89% of the users were “very” or “mostly” satisfied with their experience. Factors contributing to satisfaction were performance and uptime, agreeable contract terms, a secure environment, and the flexibility to easily and quickly add new services.

To read more from CompTIA's report, please click here.

To find out more about our approach to Managed Services, please check out our Managed Services site www.fpamanagedservices.com.

McAfee's Threat Report: Android is a Target

McAfee has released its third quarter Threats Report, and the findings aren't all that different from the second quarter issue: Android is basically a mess when it comes to malware.

McAfee found that the amount of targeted Android devices jumped by almost 37 percent since the previous quarter. To top it all off, nearly all new mobile malware that was produced during the third quarter was targeted at Android. The most common new forms of malware attacking Android were SMS-sending Trojans that collect personal information and steal money, as well as malware that records phone conversations and forwards them to the attacker.

To read more about this, please click here.



Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

FPA will be closed Thursday, November 24th in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. However, we will be open on Friday, November 25th providing limited remote support.

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

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

Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Concerned About Data Loss?

FPA's Backup and Disaster Recovery Solution addresses your concerns and removes your worry.

Data and information are the life blood of most businesses. Studies show that 50% of companies who lose their data for just 10 days file for bankruptcy immediately while 93% file within a year.

Do you know how secure your data is if disaster strikes? Can you recover quickly from data loss? Are you willing to take the chance that this won't happen to you?

Our Backup and Disaster Recovery Solution provides a highly reliable and cost effective way to address any organization's backup, online storage, and server disaster recovery needs.

For additional information about how to protect your data, please contact us.


Staff Spotlight - Cecilia Graves

If you've ever called our office at some point over the years, then more likely than not you've spoken with Ceci. As our Office Administrator, she keeps everything in our office running. Considering her start date was the first work day after Y2K, she's seen a lot and has been a big part of our growth over the years.

When not working at FPA and not busy raising her 6 kids, she relaxes with a little Journey (the Steve Perry version that is).

Client Testimonial

"We started working with FPA a couple months ago and have had nothing but great service. Everyone (at FPA) has been very professional and response to issues has been prompt. We enjoy working with FPA and look forward to continuing the relationship."

Joe R.
Acacia Wealth Advisors

Recommended Reading


Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson

Even if you have no interest in military books or have tried them and didn't like them, don't pass this one up. Written not just as a tale of what occurred in Afghanistan those fateful few days, but also as a testament to the unbelievable courage, patriotism and heroism found amongst the Navy seals.

Lone Survivor is an amazing tale that would be excellent even if it was fiction. The fact that these were real people that lived the story makes it so much more gripping, heart wrenching, and rewarding.

"The most unbelievable story of heroism in our time. These guys rock. Makes you more than proud to be an American. Hoorah!"










iPads & The NFL - A Winning Combination

When it first came out, the iPad had everyone stumped - at least from a business perspective. How can we use this great new technology in a real and meaningful way? One of the great attributes of the iPad is it's ability to present integrated information in a great, new way. What I mean by "integrated" is that all types of media (ie: text, images, and video) can be accessed all from the same device.

I recently ran across one of the most creative ways to take advantage of all that the iPad has to offer. And it's being done by none other than the NFL. That's right. A few of the teams in the National Football League are leveraging iPads like never before.



FPA Selected as IT Service Provider for Insyght Interactive, Inc.

FPA Technology Services, Inc., the leading full service IT Services and Support firm in the Los Angeles area, announces today that it has been selected by Insyght Interactive, Inc. as their IT Service Provider.

FPA Named as One of the Best Places to Work by the Los Angeles Business Journal

FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading full service IT consulting firm in Los Angeles, is proud to announce that it has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in LA by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

FPA Makes MSPMentor Top 250 List

Craig Pollack, Founder & CEO of FPA Technology Services, Inc., the leading IT Services and Support firm in the Los Angeles area, recently earned a spot on MSPmentor's annual Top 250 List looking at the executives, entrepreneurs and experts shaping the global managed services market.

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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I.T. 101

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 them...

What is a Droid?

If someone says they have a Droid phone, what does that mean?

A "Droid" is short for "Android". Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google that's used by many of the latest smartphones - such as the Motorola Droid, the Samsung Galaxy, and Google's Nexus One.

Unlike the iPhone OS (Operating System), Android is an open source OS, meaning developers can modify and customize the OS for each phone. Android phones typically come with several built-in applications and also support third-party programs. Since several manufacturers make Android-based phones, it is not always easy to tell if a phone is running the Android OS--you can often find the system information by selecting "About" in the Settings menu.

The name "Android" comes from the term android, which refers to a robot designed to look and act like a human.

Careers @ FPA


Looking for a career change or know someone who is? We're always on the lookout for talented people to join our elite team. Please contact us if you know of anyone.

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"Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships."

-- Michael Jordan
Former Professional Basketball Player




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