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February 21, 2012

While the Angels now have their Pujols, the Kings have their Kopitar, and the Lakers have their Kobe, we too have our own superstar - Alex Kazmin! Many of you may know Alex or have worked with him through the years. If you have, you know how much of an asset he's been to FPA. We're proud and excited to announce that Alex was recently promoted to Director of Consulting Services & CTO (see the Press Release below for more details).

While this is an evolutionary step for Alex, it's also a reflection on FPA as a whole. Through the years we've become one of LA's leading IT Service Providers by adhering to our Core Values, leveraging our systems, processes, and methodologies, and continuously going above and beyond for our clients. But, more importantly, we've done it through the talent we put on the field. We pride ourselves on the quality of our team members, their skills and capabilities, but most importantly - their character. As they say, "you can train skills, but you can't train character".

FPA spends an inordinate amount of time evaluating, screening, and then training our new hires. We're very selective about who joins our team. Once on board, we provide ongoing technical as well as professional development throughout our staff's tenure here. Our FPAU provides a formalized way to ensure that the quality of the services we deliver as individuals is the same across all teams. While providing the services we provide, we also work hard at continuing to improve everything we do. We believe in our "Culture of Constant Improvement" and over the years it's been a key component that's continued to fuel our growth.

We congratulate Alex on his new role as well as the rest of the team here at FPA for all they do.

Happy Leap Year. Enjoy the extra day we get!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Apps for iPad 3: What Apple Should Demo at the Grand Unveiling

All indicators suggest Apple will unveil the iPad 3 during the first week of March. That's less than a month away, and sources at The Next Web say Apple is in "crunch mode," working hard to line up apps that show off the unique features of the next-gen tablet.

The iPad 3 is expected to feature a high-definition, 2048 x 1536 "retina display." If the new screen does appear in Apple's big reveal, it should provoke all the excitement of the company's first retina display, which appeared in the iPhone 4 in 2010. According to a source who spoke with the New York Times, the next iPad's screen will be...

For additional information and recommendations, please click here.

8 Things Your Employees Need Most

Pay is important. But pay only goes so far.

Getting a raise is like buying a bigger house; soon, more becomes the new normal. Forget about raises and better benefits. Those are important - but this is what your staff really wants.

Higher wages won’t cause employees to automatically perform at a higher level. Commitment, work ethic, and motivation are not based on pay. To truly care about your business, your employees need these eight things - and they need them from you:

1. Freedom. Best practices can create excellence, but every task doesn't deserve a best practice or a micro-managed approach. (Yes, even you, fast food industry.)

Autonomy and latitude breed engagement and satisfaction. Latitude also breeds innovation. Even manufacturing and heavily process-oriented positions have room for different approaches.Whenever possible, give your employees the freedom to work they way they work best.

2. Targets. Goals are fun. Everyone - yes, even you - is at least a little competitive, if only with themselves. Targets create a sense of purpose and add a little meaning to even the most repetitive tasks.Without a goal to shoot for, work is...

For more on this story, please click here.

Google Wallet Security: PIN Exposure Vulnerability

A recent crack of Google Wallet's near field communication-enabled payment application reveals how easy it is for thieves to steal credit card information from a smartphone. The question is: How will this security flaw affect NFC adoption and how quickly can Google shore up the breech?

Cell phone-based credit card payments are a burgeoning industry. There is a great deal of backroom negotiation going on today among players like Google, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. They each want to establish themselves as a middleman in what they are betting will be a trillion dollar a year industry.

The NFC payment system works with existing “contact-less” readers like MasterCard’s PayPass. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if most next generation smartphones include this capability. People will likely use cell phones instead of physical credit cards to make in-person purchases within the next two years.

There are many benefits to using smartphone payment systems as opposed to a physical credit card – not the least of which is the potential for much better security. Credit cards traditionally have no security. It is up to the owner to report theft and unauthorized transactions.

Discovering the Google Wallet PIN Vulnerability viaForensics recently came out with a report about the security of Google Wallet. In it, they concluded that due to the unencrypted personal...

To read more about this, please click here.

Microsoft SQL Server License Alert

Microsoft expects to release its new SQL Server 2012 in the coming months. Along with the new product release, Microsoft elected to change its licensing metrics for SQL Server. Significantly, Microsoft determined that it would stop allowing companies to license SQL server on a processor-based model and that beginning with SQL Server 2012, the new licensing model will be based on cores rather than physical processors.

Going forward, Enterprise Edition will only be licensed on a core basis, while the new Business Intelligence Edition and the previous Standard Edition can be licensed on either a core basis or server/CAL basis. A customer must purchase a minimum of 4 cores if it elects to license on a core basis. So if a machine has one processor and a single core, the customer must still purchase 4 core licenses. The price for 2012 SQL Server CALs is increasing by about 27%.

Microsoft is allowing its customers with Software Assurance a grace period to convert their processor licenses. If the client does not timely and correctly convert their licenses, Microsoft will impose default conversion metrics that are not favorable to its customers. It is important to follow...

For more on this topic, please click here.


We Want to Telecommute!

As more and more businesses are looking for ways to improve the performance of their employees, one thing that staff seem to be looking for more and more from their employers is approval to work remotely. While I'm sure this is a result of the improved capabilities that the computing world now offers (ie: faster computers, better remote control tools, increased bandwidth of our home internet connections, etc.), I believe it has more to do with the ever changing climate of business in general. Ten years ago, most of our clients wore suits and ties. Now, I'd say the percentage of businesses who are this "formal" are down to less than 10%. Ten years ago, most of clients wouldn't think about allowing access to "their" information outside the perimeter of their office walls. Now, most everyone allows business email on their smartphones. As our dependence on computers in our every day lives continues to grow, the line between work and play gets ever more blurred. So, the next logical outcome of this is...




Presidents Day 2012

Presidents Day, originally known as Washington's Birthday, falls on the third Monday of February. This year Presidents Day fell on February 21, 2012. Here are some interesting facts about this day:

It is the first federal holiday in the United States to honor an American citizen. It was originally celebrated on February 21st - , the birthday of George Washington. Washington was actually born on February 11, 1731, as per the old style Julian calendar, but he changed the date the following year to February 22, the equivalent day as per Gregorian calendar. Also, the Uniform Monday Act took effect on January 1, 1971 which decided to shift Presidents Day to the third Monday of February each year. Effectively, Presidents Day now falls on any day between February 15th and 21st.

IT Management Services

Strategic Planning & Guidance

How are you addressing your strategic IT needs? Do you have a Technology Plan in effect? How about an annual budget? Do you have a Computer Use Policy in place?

FPA provides a wide array of strategic IT and business consulting services tailored to the specific business needs of our clients. Our outsourced CIO and CTO services offer the highest level of IT experience and expertise at a fraction of the cost of having one in house. We provide many clients with strategic planning and budgeting services to address their technology needs while helping plan for future growth.

FPA works with clients to develop and manage annual capital and operating budgets ensuring that these budgets are met on an ongoing basis. For our larger clients, we also assist with planning and managing their technology staff. While we can assist in the hiring process, we also offer training services to enhance the technical abilities of their existing IT staffour site old and outdated?

For more information about our Strategic Planning & Guidance services, please contact us at info@fpainc.com or by phone at 818-501-3390.

Staff Spotlight - Chris Radoumis

Chris Radoumis is one of our talented Network Engineers providing onsite and remote support services for our clients. His enthusiasm and zest for all things technology are contagious. The feedback we've received from clients continuously says how impressed they are with him and his work.

Chris is a military veteran having served in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2007 and 2011. In his free time he enjoys studying meteorology and working on cars.


Partner Spotlight

As a long time strategic partner of FPA, we bring Telcom Insight in to our clients as a way to assist with reducing their voice and data expenses. In almost every situation we've brought them into, we’ve been able to slash 20-30% from our client's monthly phone/data bills while also increasing their internet speed.

If your contract is coming up for renewal or you're looking to increase your throughput. For more information you maycontact us or Telcom Insight directly at: www.telcominsight.com

Client Testimonial

"We really appreciate your helpdesk. We consider FPA an invaluable partner."

Crane Asset Management

Recommended Reading

The Compound Effect

by Darren Hardy

As publisher of SUCCESS magazine, author Darren Hardy has heard it all, seen it all, and tried most of it. This book reveals the core principles that drive success. The Compound Effect contains the essence of what every superachiever needs to know, practice, and master to obtain extraordinary success.

The chair once occupied by Orison Swett Marden, W. Clement Stone, Napoleon Hill, and Og Mandino is where SUCCESS publisher and editorial director Darren Hardy now sits. Darren has been a leader in the personal-development industry for sixteen years, having led two personal-development-based television networks—The People's Network (TPN), and The Success Training Network (TSTN)—producing and launching more than a thousand TV shows, live events, and products and programs with many of the world's top experts success.




FPA Announces Promotion of Alex Kazmin to Director of Consulting Services & CTO

FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading full service IT consulting firm in Los Angeles, is proud to announce the promotion of Mr. Alex Kazmin to Director of Consulting Services and Chief Technology Officer.
Mr. Kazmin has been with FPA since 1998 and most recently was in the role of Consulting Services Group Manager guiding the service delivery of FPA’s network infrastructure practice area. In his new role...


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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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...

NOC: Network Operations Center

A NOC, pronounced like the word "knock", is a location from which control is exercised remotely over a set of computers or networks. NOCs are responsible for monitoring the networks for alarms or certain conditions that may require special attention to avoid impact on the network's performance. NOCs analyze alarms, perform troubleshooting, and track issues through resolution.

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- Danish Proverb




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