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May 23, 2012

It's been 19 years since "The Great One" led my beloved Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals and now we're in it again! I don't know how many of you saw the game last night, but it was a great win. Not only that, but to put things into perspective, they took out the #1, #2, and #3 seeds all by the scores of 4-1, 4-0, and 4-1. This is quite a remarkable feat - let alone from the #8 seed!

For the uninitiated, watching hockey sometimes is a tough thing to do. There's so much happening away from the puck and so many things happen in an instant. Last night's game was won near the end of overtime in the blink of an eye. As I've been watching the Kings throughout these playoffs, it's struck me how often they remind me of our team here at FPA. Everyone plays their part to perfection - from the 1st line to the 4th. Everyone steps up when called upon. Everyone does the little things away from the puck out of the limelight. While everyone here is great at what they do, everyone also does things "The FPA Way" ensuring consistency. Everyone documents everything we do (ensuring we meet Core Value #3 "Document and Standardize"). Everyone goes above and beyond to make sure we exceed client expectations. At FPA everyone does things away from the puck!

While the game was going on last night we had two situations where we were going above and beyond yet again - one was where we migrated a failed server which has been running on a BDR to a temporary FPA loaner machine (till they can get the replacement server in); and the other was where we were converting a physical server to a virtual one as part of a SWAT project. Keep in mind - both of these required down time so they were performed after hours to mitigate the impact to the clients. I know both of these were going on (and both were done successfully by the way) because the staff involved were keeping our systems updated and (over)communicating along the way. Both of these were done this way not because the clients asked us to but because we knew it was the right thing to do for the client.

While the Kings have Jonathan Quick in goal, we have our own "netminders" in Dee, Jodi, and Sasha as the last line of defense making sure nothing gets past us and nothing falls through the cracks. While the Kings have their playmakers in Kopitar and Carter, it's been the solid play of the defense that's really brought them to the finals. This made me think our defense can be thought of as our NOC and HelpDesk. They're always doing all the little things behind the scenes making sure our clients' systems are protected and running optimally providing that solid foundation for our onsite and implementation teams.

While it's the big things that all too often get all the limelight, it's the little things behind the scenes that truly make the difference and make a championship team - like what we're witnessing now with the Kings and like with FPA.

With one more series to go, knock wood, my playoff beard is working and we'll see the Kings raise the Cup before too long. Go Kings Go! And Go FPA Go!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Google Revamps Search, Tries to Think More Like a Person

Google on Wednesday announced Knowledge Graph, a significant change to how search results are delivered that the company believes will make their search engine think more like a human.

With Knowledge Graph, which will begin rolling out to some users immediately, results will be arranged according to categories with which the search term has been associated. The user can then click on one of those boxes to only get results for the specific topic they were searching.

To read more on this story, please click here.

The Five Big Lies about ‘Going Mobile’

You may have a bunch of people in business and IT that are telling you how you should approach mobile, but beware. They might not even recognize that mobile is different in every way from previous technology waves.

Mobility presents a new set of challenges. Development has to be shifted to a different technology platform that requires fresh skill sets and experience. A mobile solution should be something that thousands of people can use on any of the 200+ platforms anytime and anywhere. You must provide devices for your employees or establish bring-your-own-device policies. You must sync content with your website, support it and keep the application refreshed. And let’s not forget that all this must be accomplished without compromising security or performance.

To read the 5 big lies, please click here.

15 Current Technologies A Child Born Today Will Never Use

There are devices and concepts most of us use today that will fall out of mainstream use so soon that our kids either won’t remember them, or will only have hazy memories of them. Remote controls, phone numbers and movie theaters are just three of the items on the author’s list of 15 things to-be-obsolete in the next few decades.

To read the full list, please click here.

Master Interruptions or They Will Master You

A survey by Basex reveals that interruptions account for 28 percent of the typical career professional’s workday. On average, employees typically get only 11 minutes to focus on any task before they encounter another interruption! Then, another 25 minutes on average are consumed before returning to the original task or project, if it happens at all on that day.

What do the highly productive among us do to stay productive, keep interruptions at bay, and still remain in the communications loop? They keep their communication technology at hand and periodically check to see who has left a message, and then immediately turn back to the task at hand.

To read this article, please click here.

Business Etiquette: 5 Rules That Matter Now

The concept of etiquette is still essential, especially now—and particularly in business. New communication platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn, have blurred the lines of appropriateness and we're all left wondering how to navigate unchartered social territory.

Boil it down and etiquette is really all about making people feel good. It's not about rules or telling people what to do, or not to do, it's about ensuring some basic social comforts. Here are a few business etiquette rules that matter now—whatever you want to call them.

To read the 5 rules, please click here.

Google Writes Book on “The ZMOT”

Traditionally marketers focused on consumers' three-step buying process. There is a stimulus, such as an advertisement; there is a purchase in which the buyer goes to the store and buys the product; and there is the experience when the buyer gets the product home and starts using it.

Now, according to a study of 5,000 consumers by Google and Shopper Services, there is a fourth step – the Zero Moment of Truth. The study showed that before going to a store, shoppers will consult on average 10.4 sources. According to Google, success comes to the marketer who addresses all four steps.

To watch the video, please click here.


Is Your Data in the Cloud Really Yours?

As more and more companies look to the cloud to store their information, such as the recently unveiled Google Drive, the era of being able to mindlessly click “OK” or “Agree” on the terms of usage may be over. When your information is stored on your network, you (or one of your IT minions) are responsible for keeping it safe, secure, and backed up. But when you shift from local storage to "the cloud", you need to understand that you now live by the terms and conditions set by someone else. There are two sets of word-dense documents you need to read before marrying yourself to a cloud-service: the privacy policy and the terms of service.





Memorial Day - May 28, 2012
Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War but has grown into a day of remembrance for all of those who have died in our nation's service.

In December 2000, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed, which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, all Americans voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence.

In observance of Memorial Day, our office will be closed Monday, May 28th. If you encounter an emergency situation and need to contact us, please email our Help Desk. Our on-call team will be available to help.

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

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Backup and Disaster Recovery

FPA's Backup and Disaster Recovery Solution addresses your concerns and removes your worry. More than simply another way to backup, our BDR is truly a business continuity solution.

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 - Rick Blevins

Rick Blevins

"When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself." - Confucius

You can tell by his favorite quote Rick Blevins takes great pride in doing things “The FPA Way.” Rick is an Assistant Project Manager involved in some of the more sophisticated client environments and has found a niche in them. He notes that unlike other companies where he's worked at in the past, at FPA all Project Managers have extensive technical skills. Rick's technical capabilities adds significant value for our enterprise level clients who he's involved with.

Rick’s interests outside of work include Theoretical Physics, Politics, Marine Biology and Neuroscience. He moved to California from Washington D.C. two years ago, and enjoys scuba diving, surfing, sky diving, camping and off-roading when not working with clients.


Client Testimonial

"FPA has been exactly what we needed - a true extension of our IT department. They are all in - sleeves rolled up - to tackle each challenge and opportunity as it arises. We could not have gotten through our move or MPLS implementation without them."

The Search Agency

Recommended Reading

Lead With Purpose

Lead With Purpose

By John Baldoni

John Baldoni believes it's a leader's job to provide his people's work with meaning. His book, Lead with Purpose, is a great read full of interviews with and stories about thought leaders and CEOs. The book offers a practical approach to learning about leadership best practices through examples.

Baldoni presents a framework of seven core commitments leaders must make in order to lead with a purpose:

1. Make purpose a central focus
2. Instill purpose in others
3. Make employees comfortable with ambiguity
4. Turn good intentions into great results
5. Make it safe to fail (as well as prevail)
6. Develop the next generation
7. Prepare yourself

The book discusses leadership best practices, but also includes good examples of what practices and mistakes to avoid. There are valuable questions that readers can ask themselves as they go through each chapter to perform a self-evaluation on their own leadership skills. Each chapter includes a display of the survey results that pertain to that chapter, so that the reader can see how the author arrived at each point.




FPA Partners with Hope for Paws to Improve its Online Presence

Technology Services, Inc., the leading full service IT Consulting Firm in the Los Angeles area, announces today that it was selected to provide its web development services to Hope for Paws, a Los Angeles area non-profit animal rescue organization that rescues dogs and other animals who are suffering on the streets and in the shelters.


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 WHOIS?

WHOIS is the name of a protocol that is used for querying the databases that store the registered users or assignees of an Internet resource, primarily website domain names. WHOIS information includes the name and contact information of the domain owner the name and contact information of the registrar (the organization that registered the domain name), registration dates, the name servers on which the domain resides, the most recent update, and the expiration date.

The WHOIS system originated as a method for system administrators to obtain contact information for IP address assignments or domain name administrators. The use of the data in the WHOIS system has evolved into a variety of uses, including determining the registration status of domain names and supporting the security efforts of network operators and administrators and law enforcement authorities.

WHOIS searches can be done from domain registration websites using a form that allows you to simply enter the IP address or domain name.

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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"There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love: 'I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is.' And this is how I've tried to run Apple."

- Steve Jobs
Apple Founder & CEO




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

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