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April 24, 2012

For those of us older than Y2K, you may remember a campaign Microsoft had back then that was titled "Where do you want to go from here?". The concept was a simple one - Windows was so easy to use that, literally, the sky was the limit when it came to what's next.

Well, here we are now - more than a decade later - and we're still looking to answer this question. The industry keeps churning out all sorts of new things - devices, apps, platforms - and touting all sorts of "the next big thing" that it makes things that much harder to just get done what we need to get done. Right now we're grappling with unparalleled changes in the industry - like The Cloud, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), Managed Services, Hosted Services, Infrastructure As A Service - just to name a few.

But from our perspective, it keeps coming back to the same overriding concern - how does this (whatever "this" is) help my business? With all the options we have available to us now, you'd think things would get easier rather than harder. But that's not necessarily the case. Being a technology services provider means we have to stay on top of the ever evolving existing technologies as well as the ever increasing scope of technologies that are being added into the mix. The more choices there are, the more ways there are to access information, and the more way we want to see that information, the more complex the solutions become.

While there have been so many advances in computing (and certainly computing power) over the years, the very core essence of how to best implement the solutions ensuring that we're addressing the needs of business seem to get lost in this technology overload.

But this is where FPA excels! Our Business Before Technology approach ensures that we're always looking out for our clients. While all the choices and options for delivering information via technology grows exponentially, our core focus stays the same. We're constantly asking the questions - How does this impact your business? What's the ROI (Return on Investment)? What's the near-term and long-term impact to your people, processes, and systems? And most importantly - How will this help you achieve your business goals?

Whatever the problem and potential solution may be, let's not lose sight of what it's all about. It's about the business. We need to remember that while technology is a means to an end, it can't be the end all be all.

So, where do you want to go from here? Give us a call.

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Mobile Device Security: Startling Statistics on Data Loss and Data Breaches

A recent study released from Kensington reveals the costs associated with the loss or theft of mobile devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The data shows that the cost of the loss is far greater than the cost of the device itself, thanks to lost productivity, the loss of intellectual property, data breaches, and legal fees. With the loss of a single laptop, including downtime, support, and management time, the average loss exceeds $49,000. For SMBs, this kind of loss could spell disaster...

For more on this story, please click here.

Apple Building Malware Removal Tool

Faced with a major malware attack on the Mac, Apple says it is developing a software tool to detect and remove the Flashback Trojan that has infected 600,000 Macs. The success Flashback creators have had installing the malware has shaken the perception many users have had that the Mac is less susceptible to viruses than Windows PCs. The malware infects Macs by exploiting a Java vulnerability Apple patched weeks after a fix was available for Windows PCs.

To read more on this story, please click here.

Why Facebook needs to build a browser

Sometime in the next 12 months, Google Chrome will become the world's most popular browser, knocking Microsoft's Internet Explorer off the mountain it has ruled for more than a decade. This fact should scare the pants off of Facebook.

In July 2008, IE controlled 68.5 percent of the market, according to Statcounter, while Chrome wasn't even on the market. Now Microsoft's browser is down to 34.8 percent market share while Chrome controls 30.9 percent of total browser usage. Chrome has grown by a percentage point the last few months, while IE has dropped by around the same amount. It's only a matter of time until Google dominates the browser market.

Now you may be asking yourselves: why should Facebook care about the fate of the browser market? Facebook's a social network, not a desktop software company -- why do the browser wars matter? The answer lies in Google's ambitious plans for Google+, the company's "social spine." It's no secret that Facebook and Google are at war, and that Google would love to take the wind out of...

To read more about this, please click here.

Greenpeace Gives Apple, Amazon Low Marks for 'Dirty' Clouds

A recent Greenpeace report that studied the environmental impact of the cloud criticized firms like Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, and Amazon for lagging behind their Web counterparts. The firms, however, took issue with that characterization. Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft "are all rapidly expanding without adequate regard to source of electricity, and rely heavily on dirty energy to power their clouds," Greenpeace said in its report, dubbed "How Clean Is Your Cloud?" Facebook, which has tangled with Greenpeace in the past, earned high praise from the group for committing to renewable energy, particular with its new data center in Sweden.

For more on this topic, please click here.

5 Traits of Personal Mastery


Since you are reading this blog there is a great chance you already possess this most critical attribute for personal mastery and that is being a consummate learner. Those who actually achieve a level of mastery are obsessed with learning, growing and improving.

You probably read the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (you have, haven’t you?). This is where he repeatedly refers to the 10,000-hour rule as what separates those who end up with great “talent” from everyone else—essentially they just out-practice everyone else.

My favorite model, because I relate, of someone who is OCD about constant improvement is the late Steve Jobs. One of my favorite quotes from Jobs is, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

For more on this topic, please click here.

8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses

A few years back, I interviewed some of the most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management secrets. I learned that the "best of the best" tend to share the following eight core beliefs:

1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.

Average bosses see business as a conflict between companies, departments and groups. They build huge armies of "troops" to order about, demonize competitors as "enemies," and treat customers as "territory" to be conquered.

Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers ... and even competitors.

2. A company is a community, not a machine.

Average bosses consider their company to be a machine with employees as cogs. They create rigid structures with rigid rules and then try to maintain control by "pulling levers" and "steering the ship."

Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community–and company–at large.

For more on this topic, please click here.




Administrative Professionals' Day

Administrative Professionals Day

Administrative Professionals' Day (also known as Secretaries Day or Admin Day) is an unofficial holiday observed in several countries to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals. In North America, it is celebrated on the Wednesday of the last full week of April (April 25 in 2012).

The official period of celebration was first proclaimed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer as "National Secretaries Week," which was held June 1–7 in 1952, with Wednesday, June 4, 1952 designated National Secretaries Day. The first Secretaries Day was sponsored by the National Secretaries Association with the support of corporate groups.

However you choose to spend this day, we recognize our Administrative staff and thank them for all they do!

Network Health Assessment

Network Health Assessment

As part of FPA's commitment to the proactive approach to managing our clients' technology services, we offer a Network Health Assessment through our comprehensive Technology Review Project.

We perform a TRP as the initial step when onboarding all new clients. This approach provides a formal way to document and evaluate the state of their technology while also taking the pulse of their existing infrastructure to determine its strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This ensures that we begin every client engagement by taking a "big picture" look at the current state of their overall approach to technology. This also ensures that we're working with our clients to make informed organizational and financial decisions relating to IT.

The results of our Network Health Assessment are provided through our TRP Report. Our proprietary report provides nearly 100 points of industry standard best practices ensuring a detailed and comprehensive analysis of their technology. The resulting Network Scorecard provides a baseline that we use on an ongoing basis in our Quarterly IT Status Review Meetings to ensure that we're staying on track working with our clients to achieve their overall business objectives.

For more information about our Network Health Assessment services, please contact us at info@fpainc.com or by phone at 818-501-3390.

Staff Spotlight - Todd Beldner

As our Controller, one would think Todd's primary responsibility is to ensure that our accounting records are accurate and up to date. However, Todd brings so much more to the table. In addition to his accounting duties, Todd also brings high level value in areas such as operations, HR, and business strategy.

Todd has been with FPA for over 7years and is an integral part of our Management Team.

Outside of work hours, Todd spends time with family and friends and the never ending project of updating his home.


Client Testimonial

"I just wanted to let you guys know that you have yourself a really great team player in Chris. He clearly knows a lot and really comes through for us."

TJ Jones
Gamble Jones Investment Counsel

Recommended Reading

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman

In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities -and also the faults and biases - of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation - each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.




BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Do you have a company supplied smartphone or do you use your personal one to get your company email? There used to be a clear line between company and personal when it came to smartphones and accessing company data. Within the last few years, this line has more than just blurred - it's been obliterated. What was once only done on a company supplied smartphone is now being done all over the place on personal smartphones and tablets. Because of this, it used to be that company data was easier to manage...



FPA Partners with CompTIA in Troops-to-Tech Careers Program

FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading full service IT Consulting Firm in the Los Angeles area, announces today that it has partnered with CompTIA in their Troops-to-Tech Careers program. CompTIA created the Troops-to-Tech Careers program to provide opportunities and resources for veterans and their spouses interested in working in the IT field. Within this program, FPA will work with CompTIA to show its commitment to prioritize the hiring of IT certified veterans.

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 HTML?

We’ve all heard the acronym “HTML”, but what does it really mean? "HTML" stands for "Hyper Text Markup Language" which is the underlying language web pages contain for web browsers to display them. The purpose of a web browser is to read HTML documents and compose them into visible or audible web pages. The browser does not display what are known as HTML "tags", but rather uses the tags to interpret the content and the layout of the page.

HTML elements form the building blocks of all websites. HTML allows images and objects to be embedded and can be used to create interactive forms. It provides a means to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text such as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotes and other items. It can embed scripts in languages such as JavaScript which affect the behavior of HTML webpages.

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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"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail."

- Charles F. Kettering
American Inventor




Copyright 2012 FPA Technology Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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