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June 14, 2012

To followup on last month's newsletter theme, I have to share that I'm excited, overwhelmed, stunned, proud, and even a little hoarse but still need to give a shout out to our very own (and long overdue) Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings! To anyone who loves hockey, they know how completely unbelievable this is. And to any true Kings fan, "unbelievable" is probably THE most appropriate word!

Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings

While today's parade will allow all of us to revel in the celebration of winning the Cup, I believe the real accomplishment here is better reflected in who the team is made up of and that, undeniably, their success in this playoff run was because of their commitment to "team". While Jonathan Quick was their anchor in goal winning the Conn Smythe trophy (for most valuable player in the playoffs), the over-arching storyline throughout their run was the fact that they were truly a team. They didn't have one star, but rather scoring came from all over the place. From game to game it was a different guy stepping up to be the hero. They truly define the word "teamwork".

Similarly, our FPA Team strives for excellence in everything we do everyday. While everyone here strives to be great at what they do, they also strive to continuosly get better at what they do. Our "Culture of Constant Improvement" ensures that everyone looks for ways to improve our processes, our systems, our company, and ourselves. Our "FPA Way" ensures consistency among our staff so that our clients receive nothing but the best possible work product.

While we can't call ourselves Stanley Cup Champions, this tweet from the LAKings says it all...

Go Kings Go! And Go FPA Go!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Leadership Lessons from Summer Camp

What does summer camp have to do with business? Read this interesting blog post from the Success magazine blog.... "It’s the highlight of most kids’ summers—no mom or dad, wearing the same clothes three days in a row and candy every night before bed. What could be better? Last summer when we were at parent pickup, I realized that they are doing some things right that we can use at work.

1.) You need a cabin. Cabins are home base. This is the place the campers go back to each night for fun and fellowship. They do skits together and evidently have a lot of inside jokes. There is pride for their cabin and the campers brag when they are recognized as “best cabin” or “winner of Race Day.” They are a team and count on each other for friendship, to excel and have fun. This camaraderie builds commitment, pride and feeling part of something important...."

To read more, please click here.

8 Rules For Creating A Passionate Work Culture

Ken Thomson was a Canadian businessman and art collector who, at the time of his death in 2006, was the richest person in Canada, and the ninth richest person in the world, according to Forbes.com, with assets of approximately US $17.9 billion.... He left both a financial legacy and an art legacy, but his most lasting legacy might be the culture he created.

For the long-term viability of any enterprise, Thomson understood that you needed a viable corporate culture. It, too, had to be long-term. So he cultivated good people and kept them. Thomson worked with honest and competent business managers and gave them his long-term commitment and support. From these modest principles, an empire grew. Here are eight rules for creating the right conditions for a culture that reflects your creed....

To read the 8 rules, please click here.

Business vs. Personal: How to Selectively Share on Facebook

If you have a Facebook account, you’ve probably faced the dilemma of whether to accept a friend request from a business associate. Declining the invitation can cause wrinkles in professional relationships, but accepting the invitation may mean that you may not be able share as freely as you’d like on Facebook.

You can configure your Facebook friends list so that only your closest friends will see what you post, unless you choose to share with a broader group. This process involves creating a list and then adjusting your privacy settings...

To read the full article, please click here.

Good Customer Care Builds Loyalty

The way customers interact with companies is changing dramatically, largely because of the rapid emergence of social media and mobile devices. At the same time, consumers—thanks in part to the Internet—have become much more discerning and knowledgeable about service quality and market alternatives.

Companies that ignore these trends do so at their own peril. Businesses have a huge opportunity to improve customer relationships—whether it’s through consumer-driven technology, cloud services and data analytics or via new business processes that emphasize enhancing the total customer experience. By failing to take a strategic approach to building stronger customer relationships, companies can risk losing out to competitors that do.

To read this article, please click here.

Unemployment Is Up. Why Is It So Hard to Find the Right Hires?

Wharton professor Peter Cappelli argues in a new book that companies need to recruit talented people, and train them--the way they used to. Cappelli thinks companies should switch from "buy" to "build" orientations: instead of shopping for perfect-out-of-the-box outsiders, they should expand training programs and offer apprenticeships.

To read the Inc. interview with Cappelli, please click here.


Knock, Knock. Who's there? RIM. RIM, who?

Knock, knock. Who's there? RIM. RIM, who? RIM! Research in Motion. Remember us? Will RIM executives be able to resuscitate the company, once the leader in smartphone technology, or will it end up as a punch line to a joke?

This week RIM told investors that it probably will face an operating loss for the current quarter and announced that it hired bankers from JPMorgan Securities and RBC Capital Markets to help it with a financial "transformation." The company did not say if the restructuring would mean selling itself in whole or part, or closing weaker operations such as smartphone manufacturing.


Apples and Oranges: Salesman vs. Trusted Advisor

I've been noticing a trend lately that, at it's core, can really be reduced down to why we do what we do. Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone in our industry is about being a trusted advisor. To our advantage, we're "stuck" competing in this landscape in the fortunate position of being the orange to everyone else's apple.



FPA Selected as IT Service Provider for Kelly Pipe, Inc.

FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA) announced today that it completed a vital infrastructure upgrade project for Kelly Pipe, Inc. unifying their 20+ owned and operated locations across the Globe. In addition, FPA has been selected by Kelly to provide ongoing system monitoring, backup, and network advisory services. Kelly Pipe is one of the largest distributors of pipes and fittings in the U.S. With its sizeable, diversified inventories and sales offices spread throughout the country, as well as The United Kingdom, Colombia, Canada and Mexico, Kelly is widely recognized as an unrivaled master distributor.

Read the press release...

FPA Selected as IT Service Provider for Emblem Enterprises, Inc.

FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA) announced that it has been selected to provide outsourced IT services for Emblem Enterprises, Inc., a quality designer of custom and stock embroidered logos for customers in law enforcement, fire and rescue, branches of the U.S. military, youth groups such as the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, motorcycle and martial arts clubs and many others.

Emblem Enterprises’ initial intent was to engage FPA to assist its in-house IT team with ongoing support of its network infrastructure. Before FPA could begin its initial Technology Review Project, a critical network-wide event occurred - Emblem’s server hosting their in-house email server “crashed” requiring an immediate response. Over the span of one weekend, FPA worked non-stop and side-by-side with Emblem’s in-house staff to...

Read the press release...

FPA Bowling Night

Dee Perez, Manager of Operations, was the big winner with the high score at FPA's recent bowling night...

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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Flag Day - June 14, 2012
Flag Day

Today is Flag Day which commemorates the date the flag of the United States as we know it was officially adopted. This happened on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Flag Day was established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. In August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

IT Management Services

Strategic Planning & Guidance

Do you have an IT Strategy? Do you have a Technology Plan? How about an annual IT budget? What about a Computer Use Policy? Are any of these 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 of our clients with strategic planning and budgeting services to address their technology needs while helping them plan for growth.

FPA works with our clients to develop and manage annual capital and operating budgets ensuring that these budgets are met on an ongoing basis. For some of 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 staff.

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 - Sasha Bondarchuk

Sasha Bondarchuk

FPA's Remote Services Supervisor, Sasha Bonderchuk, joined the company earlier this year. As FPA's "first responder" running our Help Desk, she manages the queue ensuring prompt and accurate response for our clients' remote support requests. In her role, Sasha ensures FPA's remote support and network operations center (NOC) services are delivered using industry-standard best practices in the most effective and efficient way.

Outside of work, Sasha's outlet is fitness: she loves the outdoors and nature and enjoys hiking, swimming, and soft sand beach runs. Which is apparently a good thing as one of her other favorite activities is baking! Her favorites include crepes, lemon bars, apple and sweet potato pie - sweet! In addition, Sasha loves spending time with her pup Dmitry. Two things you wouldn't know about Sasha is she's a former member of the USA National Rhythmic Gymnastics Team and she's an unsuspected heavy metal music fan.

Sasha's favorite quote (translated from Russian):

For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it.
For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it.
For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.

– Ivan Panin

Charity Spotlight

Hope for Paws is a Los Angeles area non-profit animal rescue organization that rescues dogs and other animals suffering on the streets and in shelters.

Hope for Paws has been featured in Martha Stewart’s blog The Daily Wag, on the Anderson Cooper show, and on NBC’s Today Show. When Hope for Paws wanted to update their website - adding addtional features, showcasing their viral videos and social media messages, and adding a way for visitors to search for a specific pet they’d like to adopt - they chose FPA as their web development partner.

To see more information about Hope for Paws, view their video stories on animal rescues, make a donation or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube, please visit www.hopeforpaws.org.

Client Testimonial

"For IT - FPA is THE company. I'm glad we went with FPA when we did and would highly recommend them to anyone who takes IT seriously as a sure fire way to improve their business."

Mark T.
Adept Consumer Testing

Recommended Reading

Lead With Purpose

The Enthusiastic Employee

By David Sirota, Louis A. Mischkind, Michael Irwin Meltzer

This book is about employee enthusiasm: that special, invigorating, purposeful and emotional state that's always present in the most successful organizations. Enthusiastic employees far out-produce and outperform the average workforce.

Drawing on never-before published case studies and more than 30 years of employee attitude research, Sirota and his colleagues detail exactly how to create an environment where enthusiasm flourishes and businesses excel.

I.T. 101

There are a lot of acronyms and terms 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 some of them...

What is Failover?

Failover is the automatic switching to a redundant or standby computer server, system, hardware component or network upon the failure or abnormal termination of the previously active application, server, system, hardware component, or network.

Network Architects usually add in failover capability in servers, systems or networks requiring continuous availability and a high degree of reliability. At server level, failover automation usually uses a "heartbeat" cable that connects two servers. As long as a regular "pulse" or "heartbeat" continues between the main server and the second server, the second server will not initiate its systems. There may also be a third "spare parts" server that has running spare components for "hot" switching to prevent downtime. Some systems have the ability to send a notification of failover. Some systems are intentionally set up to not failover automatically, but require human intervention.

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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"Your brand is the promise you keep, not the promise you make."

- Patrick Lencioni
Author & President of The Table Group




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