If you're having trouble reading this email Click Here to view it in your browser.









December 27, 2011

I'm sure you'd agree that 2011 has been quite a year - volatility in the stock market, countries being downgraded (or worse), impasses in Congress, and hopes that we're on our way out of the recession. While all of this and more has been going on, FPA has been quietly doing what we do best - taking care of our clients and taking care of our staff. These two components of our Core Values ensure that we don't lose sight of what's critical to our success. After all is said and done, 2011 will have been quite a year for FPA. With only one week left in the year, I wanted to take this opportunity to look back and briefly share some of the highlights of the year for us.

In 2011, we...

  • made the MSPmentor Top 250 List
  • participated in Intel’s vPro Pilot Program
  • were named One of the Best Places to Work in LA by the LA Business Journal
  • earned the CompTIA MSP Partners Trustmark

In terms of growth, we...

  • added 6 great new staff members
  • increased the number of Managed Service clients by 36%
  • increased the number of BDR's supported by a whopping 400%!
  • now manage over 3,000 devices (servers, workstations, etc.)

We also...

  • implemented 24 SWAT projects (ie: server/network implementations)
  • dealt with over 350 Critical Events
  • addressed over 3,800 end user helpdesk requests
  • addressed over 6,800 system alerts

As you can see, 2011 has been a busy year for us. But more importantly, it's been a year of delivering on our promises. We've spent a great deal of time improving ourselves and our systems and staying true to our focus - "do more for less". We've upgraded our internal systems, increased our capabilities (especially in the areas of server virtualization and business continuity), and trained our staff (with a number adding additional certifications under their belts). This has allowed us to become more efficient and more effective ultimately delivering much better service to our clients. This is reflected in higher CHI scores this year (CHI is our own Client Happiness Index - based on the Net Promoter concept).

Most importantly from where I sit, we've built a strong company based on what I believe is the greatest staff an outsourced IT services firm could have. I see our guys (and ladies) go above and beyond for our clients over and over again. I see them on-call jumping on after-hour alerts to ensure uptime. I see them holding vendors accountable. I see them taking on new clients and cleaning up things that are almost too embarrassing to mention. This year we've taken on more new clients as the result of some catastrophe than ever before. All too often, we've had to come in in crisis management mode and pick up the pieces from someone who shouldn't have been managing IT in the first place - no documentation, no firewalls, firewalls left wide open, old out of date Anti-virus, no backups, unlicensed software. You name it, we've fixed it. And all at the drop of a hat.

As we reflect back on 2011 and all that the year has been, we're proud of all that we've accomplished. But more importantly, we're thankful for the clients we serve, the partners we work with, and all of the meaningful relationships we've built. Last, but certainly not least, we couldn't have accomplished all that we have this year without each and every one of our valued FPA team members. Each is a key component in our success and adds meaning to the work that we do. And for that, 2011 will go down as one of the best years ever.

Have a Happy Holiday season, a Happy New Year, and here's to an even better 2012!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

How Canada Lost the Smartphone, Err... Tablet Wars

Recently, Blackberry smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIMM) dropped a bombshell when they announced that not only was its Playbook line of tablet computers floundering but also that the company would incur a massive $485 million charge in Q3 from writing off excess Playbook inventory and expenses.

The amount was so staggering that many analysts and industry observers were left wondering exactly how the company could have made such a strategic error. This blunder teaches some important lessons that all technology investors should understand.

To read the full article, please click here.

L.A. won't put LAPD on Google's Cloud-Based Email System

In a setback for Google Inc.'s ambitions to be a major provider of email service to governments, Los Angeles has abandoned plans to move 13,000 law enforcement personnel to the Internet company's cloud-based messaging system.

The City Council voted to scale back the city’s email services contract with Google, saying its technology could not meet the security needs of crucial departments including police and the city attorney’s office. The city will continue using Google’s email system for 17,000 other employees.

According to city officials, Google may have overestimated its ability to satisfy strict federal security rules about sensitive data from law enforcement agencies.

For more on this topic, please click here.

10 Innovative Ways to Reward Your Employees

We often think that rewarding employees means big bonuses, which can affect the bottom line. But recognition for a job well-done can come in all shapes and sizes.

Small tokens of appreciation given at the right moment not only provide well-deserved acknowledgement—they can keep your employees motivated. Let’s explore the art of saying “thank you” in new and innovative ways.

1. Get Flexible. Reward dedicated employees by offering flexible work hours. Start with flex Monday and Friday schedules or find a way for it to work more broadly for the entire week. This vote of confidence in your employees’ ability to self-manage and get things done is a great acknowledgement and motivator.

2. Go Remote. If your business can leverage the work of off-site employees, offer telecommuting arrangements for your best and brightest. Remote workers can skip long commute times, tolls, parking hassles and stress. One energetic and happy employee in pajamas can perform better than two frazzled commuters in corporate casuals.

3. Snag rock-star parking. Depending on the size of your office, a good parking spot may come at a premium. Reward rock-star employees by assigning them a stellar parking spot for a month or for a quarter. Consider dedicating a permanent parking space for this very purpose and rotate it among your star performers.

Please click here to see more suggestions.

18 Year-End Financial Must-Do's

With 2012 fast approaching, it's time to take action on making some financial moves that will have impact on your 2011 financial statements and taxes.

We recommend that you take a few minutes to review the following list and take action on the items that will help you to improve your financial status at year-end.

• Collect delinquencies. Make a last ditch effort to collect from delinquent accounts, even if you have to negotiate on the amount. If you can't collect, you'll probably want to write them off as bad debt. Not doing so will hurt your accounts-receivable turnover ratio--a red flag for lenders and investors.

• Encourage all customers to pay. You want your other customers to pay before the end of the year also. But before you offer an early-payment discount, be sure it won't take too big a bite out of your overall gross profit margin. That's another financing red flag if it declines from prior years or is below industry standards.

• Ask for progress payments. Collect payments on projects already underway and see if you can secure deposits for any projects that will begin this year.

• Delay paying bills. If the bills can wait...

To read more, please click here.



Holiday Hours

FPA will be closed Monday, January 2nd, in observance of the New Years Day holiday.

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 Happy Holidays!

Web Development Services

Is it time for a site "refresh"?

Is your site old and outdated? Contact us to find out how we can help get it current.

FPA provides web design and development services including creating or updating the "look and feel", development, implementation, ongoing support, as well as SEO and SEM services. We can assist with registering the domain name and integrating the ISP to host the site. We leverage our business experience and technical expertise with our creative edge to develop highly effective sites. Check out our portfolio here.

Staff Spotlight - Scott Harrington

Scott Harrington has established himself as a strong Project Manager whose skills and dedication are highly respected. He takes pride in providing technical solutions in a timely fashion, resulting in high client satisfaction.

Scott believes in helping clients understand how technology will improve their business and increase their bottom line. He likes spreading the "gospel" of how technology can help businesses in real and meaningful ways.

Scott hails from Vermont and enjoys outside activities. One wouldn't guess by his business acumen that he was once a professional mountain bike racer.


Charity Spotlight

A perfect gift for that book lover to share his or her passion for reading with others!

Worldreader.org’s mission is to make digital books available to all in the developing world, enabling millions of people to improve their lives. They identify schools, train teachers, work with communities, and partner with publishers to bring millions of books to under served children and families in the developing world.

Learn more about this not-for-profit public charity at https://www.worldreader.org/

Client Testimonial

"You guys are the best..."

Jordana Cosmetics

Recommended Reading


Developing the Leaders Around You

by John C. Maxwell

Knowing that a company cannot grow without until its leaders grow within, John Maxwell encourages you to grow your organization by growing your leaders. Developing leadership qualities in others is the way to ensure success in today's competitive world because the one asset that truly appreciates within any organization is its people. People can grow, develop, and become more effective if they have a leader who understands their potential value.

This book is the next step after you turn yourself into a leader and is a great guide for discovering who could be a leader and how to develop them into a leader.

Developing the Leaders Around You reinforces how important mentoring, coaching and supporting are for great organizations.

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.





Business Continuity - Risk vs. Impact

I don't know how many clients we talk to on a daily basis who decide things based only on the risk involved and NOT truly taking into consideration the impacts of that risk. And further, that "risk" they're usually basing their decision on is the statistically incorrect assumption that since "we've never had a crash therefore, we never will." Or, when it does happen "we have a backup so we'll be fine." More often than not...



FPA Earns CompTIA MSP Partners Trustmark

FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading full service IT consulting firm in Los Angeles, is proud to announce that it has received the CompTIA MSP Partners Trustmark for its use of industry-accepted best practices for service delivery and customer interaction.

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, 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!

twitter facebook



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 an Avatar?

Generally speaking, an avatar is the embodiment of a person or idea. However, in the computer world, an avatar specifically refers to a character that represents an online user. Avatars are commonly used in multiplayer gaming, online communities, and Web forums.

Online multiplayer role-playing games allow users to create custom characters, which serve as the players' avatars. Avatars are also used in online communities and can be custom-designed to create a truly unique appearance for each player.

Also, online discussion boards typically require users to register and provide information about themselves. Many give users the option to select an image file that represents the user's persona. This image, combined with a made-up username, serves as a person's avatar.

Contact Us










twitter    facebook









"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."

- Henry Ford
Founder of the Ford Motor Company




Copyright 2011 FPA Technology Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

To cancel your subscription to this newsletter, reply to this message with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the Subject line.

THIS DOCUMENT AND OTHER RELATED DOCUMENTS ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. The information should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of FPA and FPA cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication. INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. Privacy Statement.