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October 23, 2012

Someone once said, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." I think these days it's more like "The more things change, the faster they change!" While it only took 50 years for Felix Baumgartner (ie: the parachute man) to break the record for the highest parachute jump, this same week we saw Microsoft release its new Surface Tablet AND Newsweek announce that it's halting the print version of its magazine.
Felix Baumgartner

While the parachute jump was certainly interesting (to say the least) and brought us all together (at least for a moment), and most are either saying "it's about time" or "what took you so long?" to Microsoft, the end of Newsweek the printed magazine may pass unnoticed but is probably one of the most significant items to note. Add in today's (purported) announcement of the iPad-mini and this new "digital age" we live in is impacting us in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. Not only do we have so much information available to us via the internet - we literally now have it all at our fingertips - any time and any place! And this has become the norm. My kids can't envision a time when we couldn't contact each other immediately or if we had to figure something out we had to look it up in the "World Book". They can access everything from the palm of their hand and this is how they expect the rest of the world to work.

So, how is this change affecting your business? Do you even realize that it is? How is your staff accessing your computing resources? Do you allow them or, further, promote their access to your computing resources remotely? Do you have policies in place to control who has access to what information (see my blog below Key Considerations for Developing a Mobile Device Policy)? How is this being communicated to your clients, customers, and partners? Or is it? Are you managing your staff's mobile devices or is it just happening without your knowledge and control? Would developing a mobile app improve your profitability or reduce costs somewhere? Are you working with your IT service provider to come up with new and innovative ways to stay competitive?

If the answer to any of these questions is a big, fat "I don't know," please give us a call so we can help you navigate these waters.

One of the changes we're dealing with here is literally on the "brick and mortar" side of things. As our Press Release below states, we're in the midst of building out a new office suite. Our new suite will be approximately 33% larger than our existing one and will be built exactly how we want it. We're most excited by our new NOC and HelpDesk area. Here are a couple of updated pics...

For more pictures, check out our Facebook page.

So there you have it - from the virtual mobile world back down to the brick and mortar. I hope you enjoy this month's newsletter and here's to a great and productive month for all of us!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Microsoft Unveils Surface Tablet for Pre-Order

On October 26, Microsoft will make its entry into the tablet war with its Surface tablet. The initial version of Surface will run Windows RT and will start at $499 for the 32GB version. $599 will net you the same 32GB tablet; however, with a Touch Cover Keyboard and for $699, a 64GB version with a Touch Cover keyboard can be yours.

If the Microsoft Surface is on your holiday wish list, you might want to place your order now. According to the Microsoft online store, the RT tablet's $499 32GB model (without the Touch Cover) sold out in a day. It is now scheduled to ship "within three weeks."

Pre-orders for the the two remaining devices — the $599 32GB and $699 64GB, both with the black Touch Cover — are still expected to deliver by Oct. 26.

Read the full article here.

What Big Things To Expect From Apple's "Little" Event Today

This is what you can expect - and what you shouldn't hold your breath for:

iPad Mini, Refreshed iPad, Retina 13-Inch MacBook Pro, New iMacs, iBooks Upgraded to Version 3.0, iTunes 11, etc.

Read the full article here.

Online Analytics Firm Settles Suit Over Unstoppable User Tracking

KISSmetrics, a popular tool for websites to monitor who is using their site, has agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing the company of using shady techniques to recreate cookies after users deleted them and track users who blocked cookies. The company was sued in August 2011, just after Wired.com reported on research into the company’s practices by UC Berkeley researchers. The suit accused the company of violating California and federal anti-hacking laws and misappropriating their personal information for profit.

KISSmetrics tracking techniques worked even if a user had cookies turned off and private browsing mode turned on. The company’s tracking codes including one function with the damning name “cram cookie.”

Read more here.

7 Apps You Need Now

Believe it or not, sorting through the App Store for productivity apps isn’t particularly productive. With thousands of apps with varying degrees of complexity (some of which really shouldn’t call themselves an app), it can be difficult to sort the clutter of links, images, videos, social media, shopping and documents all online. Simple day-to-day life isn’t always so simple anymore.

Find out what they are here.

6 Tips for Mastering Your New LinkedIn Profile

The recent LinkedIn profile updates may seem subtle at first glance, but to stay current on this professional social networking site, there are some things you should know and do. First, be prepared to get a professional head shot, given that your smiling face is much more prominent as a result of the updated look that LinkedIn rolled out in late summer.

Find out what it is here.

Beginner's Guide to Social Media Strategy

The growing opportunity cost of ignoring social media has led even the most 'old school' businesses to get started with this engaging form of market communication. However, the lack of understanding of how to implement a social media strategy has raised the barrier to entry for many in this group. I've put together an easy to understand three-step process for jumpstarting your social media strategy.

Read more here.

On Social Media, Authenticity Always Wins

When I first read a blog post by J.C. Kendall, I had no idea who he was or what he did for a living. All I knew was, the guy's writing had pluck. And that's why I liked it. Come to find out, Kendall is the chairman and CEO of a company called TekPersona, which he says "teaches businesses how to turn audiences into customers." He writes curmudgeonly musings each week that often have nothing to do with his business. For example, recently he posted...

Read the full article here.


Sprint Network Outage Leads to Flight Delays with Alaska Airlines

Amazon Web Services Outage Once Again Shows Reality Behind "The Cloud"

Washington Confirms Chinese Hack Attack on White House Computer

World Health Organization Website Hacked by NullCrew

Poor Security Practices Lead to Sony User Account Hack


What to Look for in a Cloud Provider

Are you considering moving "to the cloud"? While there are a number of benefits to doing this - lower initial capital outlay, known monthly fees, increased accessibility, built in business continuity, etc. - there are still a number of serious considerations to keep in mind before you do. Thanks to its skyrocketing popularity...


Key Considerations for Developing a Mobile Device Policy

You and your coworkers are probably already using personal smartphones and tablets to access business information and applications. It’s clear that mobility can boost productivity and improve collaboration. And whether your employees are Millennials or the over-40 set, people simply expect...



FPA Leases New / Larger Office Space to Accommodate IT Managed Services and IT Consulting Growth

ENCINO, CA – October 1, 2012 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading full service IT Consulting Firm in the Los Angeles area, announces today that it has signed a lease with Douglas Emmett for a new, and much larger, office space to accommodate the growth of its business. As demand increases for FPA’s solutions for 24/7 network monitoring and management, business disaster & recovery, cloud computing, virtualization, and mobile device management, the company has added staff to better serve its clients.

"We’re looking forward to our new space which has been designed and developed from the ground up based on FPA’s growth over the last few years as well as our current organizational makeup. These are exciting times with FPA’s continued growth in the areas of managed services, business continuity, and the Cloud and we’re excited by the opportunities our new office space will afford us” said FPA Founder & CEO Craig Pollack.

FPA's fax and phone number will remain the same. The only change in contact information will be the new suite number - Suite 550.

Read the Press Release

FPA Achieves Silver Partner Level with Leading Security Solutions Provider ESET

ENCINO, CA – October 8, 2012 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading full service IT Consulting Firm in the Los Angeles area, announces today that it has achieved the Silver Level partner status with ESET, the leading provider of Security Solutions for companies of all sizes, home users, and mobile phone users. In addition to standard anti-virus protection provided by their NOD 32 product, ESET develops high-performing security solutions which detect and disable all known and emerging forms of malware.

“Achieving this milestone shows the level of our commitment towards security for our clients and our commitment to ESET," said FPA Founder & CEO Craig Pollack. "We look forward to further leveraging this partnership to increase the benefits we provide to our clients.”

Read the Press Release



Happy Halloween

This is just another example of how we're always thinking "technology" - even when we're carving our pumpkins!

A special shout out to Matt Spero (our Implementation Services Manager) for his creative pumpkin carving talent.

We hope you have a great Halloween!

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October has been designated as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM was designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

October 2012 marks the ninth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC).

Backup and Disaster Recovery

FPA's BDR Solution

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 - Mike Dalby

Mike Dalby

Mike joined FPA as a Network Support Engineer working in our NOC (Network Operations Center). Among other things, he focuses on ensuring our clients' BDR's are running consistently, effectively, and completely. He also works with the NOC team proactively responding to client alerts generated by FPA's monitoring system and then troubleshooting and addressing them before they adversely affect their networks. Like many of FPA's staff, Mike enjoys technology and stays up to date on the latest developments in computing, networking, and the cloud.

Mike's interests include basketball, movies, music, technology, and animals. Mike volunteers time with a cat rescue operation that traps feral cats, gets them fixed, and finds them homes or releases them back where they came from (depending on age and temperament). He's the proud owner of two formerly feral cats and hopes to get a dog someday.

Mike's favorite quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller

Charity Spotlight

Ability First

Ability First

Formerly known as the Crippled Children's Society of Southern California, Ability First is headquartered in Pasadena and provides programs and services to help children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities reach their full potential throughout their lives. Four of its seven community centers have pools at which swimming lessons are provided, and the organization operates a summer camp, Camp Paivika, with multi-week summer sessions and other events year-round.

Ability First programs for children serve those from 5-22 years old and provide a creative, nurturing environment where children can learn, develop key life skills, build confidence, and have fun. When parents enroll their child with Ability First, they also gain access to a variety of family support resources. Ability First services for adults are intended for women and men of at least 18 years of age and include Employment Programs, Day Programs, Camping, and Accessible Housing. For more information, please visit www.abilityfirst.org.

Client Testimonial

“FPA's timely alert minimized the damage to our IT infrastructure. And just as important, the BDR kept our effective downtime to under two hours. Compared with the much more complicated backup and recovery plan that it replaced, the BDR saved us at least 24 hours. To say we were ‘thrilled’ with how FPA's BDR solution came through for us is an understatement!”

Donald Gould
Gould Asset Management

FPA Backup & Disaster Recovery Service

Recommended Reading



By Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

In this book authors Bossidy and Charan argue that the biggest obstacle to success is the inability to execute. They emphasize the fact that execution is a discipline to learn, not merely the tactical side of business. They describe the building blocks of successful businesses--leaders with the right behaviors, a culture that rewards execution, and a reliable system for having the right people in the right jobs--that need to be in place to manage the three core business processes of people, strategy, and operations.

The authors support their arguments with interesting stories of the "execution difference" being won (EDS) and lost (Xerox and Lucent). The book that shows how to get the job done and deliver results whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job.

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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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.
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"The only thing standing between you & your goal is the BS story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it."

- Felix Baumgartner
World Record Holding Skydiver




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