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February 3, 2012

Wow! Here it is February 3rd and we're already 1/12 of the way through 2012. No different than most companies, we spent January closing the books on 2011 giving us a clear sense of how we did. I hope this past year was a good one for you.

For FPA, 2011 was a rock solid one. We spent a lot of time, energy, and dollars investing in improving in our internal infrastructure hosting our systems, improving our remote help desk services and our NOC, and bringing on more talented staff. We're bigger, stronger, and dare I say - better than ever before! We've increased the number of clients we support while also working hard at improving the quality of the services we provide. We've seen the fruits of our labors of moving to a Managed Services approach with the reduction in both the number and severity of crises that we deal with (all while increasing the number of clients we support). We hit most of the metrics we set out to achieve and even crushed some of them! All in all, we made a lot of progress this year.

So, what's in store for 2012? Well, we're going to continue to invest in improving our systems and staff. We're going to continue to invest in additional training and advanced competencies. We're in the process of rewriting our Client WebPortal to make it better and faster. We're going to be working more and more with "The Cloud". Hosted Exchange has been a big success for many clients and we're starting to see some good success with Microsoft 365. We see compliance and security issues coming to the forefront more and more. We see tablet and smartphone integration increasing. We see Sharepoint becoming an integral tool for many of our clients. We also see Virtualization as a key component to controlling ongoing IT infrastructure costs. All of these and more look to make 2012 an interesting year.

So, what's on the horizon for your business? We'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to give us a call.

Remember - we focus on your IT, so you can focus on your business! While this may seem like a catch phrase to some, to us it's what we live by.

Here's to a great 2012 and getting the most out of your technology!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Software Audits to Increase in 2012

The number of software audits requested by software publishers and their trade groups is expected to increase dramatically in 2012.

Gartner, a leading technology research company, reported in March 2011 that 61% of their survey recipients were audited by at least one software vendor in 2010. This number was the highest percentage of any comparable Gartner survey.

As companies finalize their budgeting for 2012, they should include funding for software asset management and implementation of SAM policies.

For additional information and recommendations, please click here.

Hacking Group 'Anonymous' Vows to Strike Again

The global activist hacking group Anonymous claims to have obtained thousands of credit card numbers and personal information from the high-profile clients of a leading analytical intelligence company, all in the name of charity.

Up to $1 million was reportedly stolen from Stratfor, in Austin, Texas, a leading provider of military, economic and political analysis for clients that include Apple and the U.S. Air Force, and Anonymous promised that the attack on Stratfor was just the beginning of an assault on a long list of targets.

Anonymous claims it isn't hurting people but rather donating the stolen money to various charities, like a modern day Robin Hood.

For more on this story, please click here.

It has also been reported by Symantec that a chapter of Anonymous has accessed the network of an unidentified third party and has taken source code from two of its corporate security products, Symantec Endpoint Protection 11 and Symantec AntiVirus 10.2. Symantec claims that the source code in its current products could not be taken via the techniques used to take code from the older products.

Click here to learn more.

Could Google's Chrome overtake IE?

A month ago, Google's three-year effort to push its Web browser, Chrome, took a major step when analysts said it had passed Mozilla's Firefox to become the second-most popular tool of its kind on the Internet.

Today, that climb continues and has some tech observers wondering whether Chrome could do the unthinkable and topple perennial leader Internet Explorer from atop the browser rankings.

To read more about this, please click here.

Google Search Undergoes ‘most radical transformation ever’

Google has announced an update to its search engine, called “Search, plus Your World,” which causes Google’s robots to incorporate data from its social network as well as the public Internet when delivering search results to people.

The new system is designed to make life easier for people, allowing them to find both privately shared content from friends and family plus material from across the Web through a single search. However, there are some concerns about making private content more visible than was initially intended.

For more on this topic, please click here.

Why SMBs Need to be Proactive on Security

Small and medium-sized businesses must be proactive in securing their data and systems by assessing potential threats to their intellectual property and mobile-network infrastructures, Blue Coat Security's Chris Larsen says. "You might say that 'we're so small nobody will come after us.' But if you have intellectual property that would make it worthwhile, then somebody will come after you -- and if Google can get hacked, so can you," Larsen says.

To learn more about an expert security researcher's top security concerns and his advice on how smaller companies can manage risks, please click here.


Who's in Your System?

Any idea who's in your system? I'm not sure how many people really think about this and if so, usually not until it's too late. The reason I ask this is one of the hot topics floating around in our industry these days is outsourcing. And by this I don't mean outsourcing your IT services. I mean IT service providers who outsource some of the services they're selling to their clients to 3rd parties. There's a whole growing industry of companies providing white-labeled services to IT service providers who then resell them to their clients.



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, 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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New Year's Resolutions

I may seem a little late to talk about New Years resolutions in February, but studies have shown that more goals set in February are achieved than in January. It’s estimated that 1 out of every 3 Americans resolve to better themselves in some way when the new year comes, although it’s a much smaller percentage of people who actually achieve their goals or have even started one month later.

It may be difficult to keep up the enthusiasm but it’s not impossible nor is it too late. This year, pick a worthy resolution and stick with it. You’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment come December!

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, and ongoing maintenance and 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.


Charity Spotlight

As with most people in society, we at FPA haven't gone untouched by this dreaded disease over the years. Among many of the charities we work with, the American Cancer Society is one that is most near and dear to our hearts.

The ACS is aiming to build a world that's cancer free. Till then they're focused on one with less cancer while helping people get well and stay well while searching for a cure.

You can learn more about this organization at http://www.cancer.org/.

Client Testimonial

"The FPA Team is the best! We don’t know what we would do without them! Their timely responsiveness to our IT needs is critical to our day-to-day retail operations and they deliver each and every time."

All City Employees Benefits Service Assn.

Recommended Reading


Steve Jobs

by Walter Isaacson

Within two months of Jobs’ retirement last summer, his life was over. This book tells of his youth, his promise, and his journey to succeed. Any sadness felt when starting the book, however, is soon replaced by something else as you learn about the intensity of Jobs’ focus and vision. The man invented "insanely great" things and urged us to "think different" (note: different NOT differently). And at the same time reinvented how society processes and consumes information and media.

The book provides a great deal of background as to how Apple came to be. It is a timely and complete portrait that pulls no punches and gives insight into a man whose contradictions were in many ways his greatest strength.

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.

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 Bluetooth?

We’ve all heard the phrase “Bluetooth” but what does that mean? This wireless technology enables short-range communication between desktop and laptop computers, PDAs, digital cameras, cell phones, scanners, and printers.

Bluetooth is an improvement over older infrared technology because it is faster and because objects (such as walls) placed between the two communicating devices don't interrupt the transmission. However, its range is only 30 feet. So, while the short range limits you from going too far, it does add to the security of communication.

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"Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."

- Anonymous




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