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July 16, 2013

Well, we're knee deep into summer now and the heat's not relenting one bit. And for FPA, neither is new business. When most people are vacationing and taking advantage of all that LA has to offer, we're busy onboarding new clients, searching for quality candidates to hire, and working with many of our clients to take advantage of this (so called) "down time" addressing system refreshes and updates. At the same time, we're busy with a number of interesting projects - from building private cloud solutions to acting as outsourced Project Managers and CTO's to performing security audits to managing an eCommerce implementation. As the single point of contact for our clients, we provide a pretty wide array of services and I think this is one of the unique aspects of FPA that our staff enjoys.

In addition to these projects, we've also been busy spreading the gospel about some other intriguing topics in IT. We recently completed a joint webinar with Cities Digital sharing the benefits of going paperless for our Investment Advisor clients (look for an upcoming one specifically for our CPA partners). While our next joint webinar is set to address Security Threats and the benefits of Cyber Liability Insurance, we're also putting together the finishing touches on our view of the Cloud. Look for these and more in the upcoming months and please let us know if there are any topics you're interested in learning more about.

It's interesting that while we continue to see the push (mostly from the channel and the pundits) to move things to "the cloud", we also continue to see the proliferation of hacks, outages, and reductions in our personal freedoms (can you say "PRISM"?). Large companies are unable to fully control who has access to the information we post online (let alone our phone calls) which makes for an interesting dilemma and interesting reading (see below). While we certainly have our perspective on public vs. private clouds, no pun intended - it's all still quite murky.

And while the channel keeps pushing the "latest and greatest" - things like Windows 8 and the Cloud, we're still seeing more than our fair share of the more down to earth (ie: "boring") solutions our clients are looking to benefit from - things like server virtualization, replacing workstations with thin clients, increasing internet bandwidth while reducing costs, unified communications (ie: ShoreTel VOIP) and mobility, and the old reliable BDR. While many of these things are far from glamorous, they are the critical foundation needed. The approach we see trending is something I like to call "stabilize, optimize, enable". This means getting the proper foundation in place, optimize its performance, and then add the business systems needed to truly leverage technology to get your business to the next level. This is where our TAMs (Technical Account Managers) excel. Like I mentioned earlier, we've seen an uptick on the number of paperless office solutions going in. We've also been involved in our fair share of SharePoint solutions, web systems, warehouse automation, and new ERP and CRM implementations. It runs the gamut. The bottom line is - we're always looking at how we can best help our clients leverage technology to meet their business objectives. This is where we really earn our stripes.

So, there you have it. Knee deep in summer and as busy as ever. We hope you enjoy this newsletter and be sure to check out our upcoming webinars.

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

5 Security Bolstering Strategies That Won't Break the Bank

Today's security threats span a broad spectrum of social engineering schemes, international hackers, and insider threats like the recent NSA breach. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the potential threats and where money should be spent to keep up, let alone stay ahead of the curve.

Security experts offer five tips for enhancing security that don't cost a lot of cash -- and sometimes no money at all -- so companies can spend their security dollars on the hard stuff.

Read the full article here.

At long last, Microsoft Office comes to the iPhone

Over the past few years, Microsoft has been inching closer to making Office available on any device. By launching its Office Mobile for iPhone app, Microsoft is just about there. The app, which launched in Apple's App Store, has a catch. It's available (and free) only for users who subscribe to Office 365, Microsoft's cloud-based Office program that costs $100 per year. That means if you're using Office 2010 or Office 2013 on premise, you're out of luck.

Read the full article here.

After the crash: Driver's license, registration, cellphone, please

You've been in an accident. The police officer goes through the normal drill, asking for your license and registration. Then she goes a step further. "Could I have your cellphone, please?" she says. New legislation proposed by a New Jersey state Sen. James Holzapfel would let cops confiscate cellphones if they have "reasonable grounds" to believe that the driver was talking or texting when the wreck occurred.

Read the full article here.

NSA Slides Explain the PRISM Data-Collection Program

The top-secret PRISM program allows the U.S. intelligence community to gain access from nine Internet companies to a wide range of digital information, including e-mails and stored data. The program is court-approved but does not require individual warrants. Instead, it operates under a broader authorization from federal judges who oversee the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Read the full article here.

ACLU Files Lawsuit Over NSA Surveillance

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of a U.S. National Security Agency surveillance program targeting customers of Verizon Communications. The ACLU's lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, contends that the NSA's bulk surveillance of Verizon telephone customers violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, giving U.S. residents the rights of free speech and association, and the Fourth Amendment, protecting residents against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Read the full article here.

Between Venus and Mars: 7 Traits of True Leaders

Control is a mirage. The most effective leaders right now--men and women--are those who embrace traits once considered feminine: Empathy. Vulnerability. Humility. Inclusiveness. Generosity. Balance. Patience. Two-thirds said the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. Consumers were asked to characterize 125 traits as male, female, or neutral and to indicate those most desirable in modern leaders. Topping the list of most desirable traits were patience, expressiveness, intuition, flexibility, empathy, and many other traits identified by respondents as feminine.

Read the full article here.

Note to Managers: Positivity Matters

Those who lead or manage others have the unique potential to serve as an energizing force within organizations today. With their position and collected experience, they have the ability to influence not only what transpires within our work lives, but how we process those moments. There are many elements to consider as we evaluate strategies to effectively lead a group of individuals in today's world of work — but, can positivity play a central role in enhancing a team's outlook and performance outcomes? A growing body of evidence says, yes.

Read the full article here.

Six Reasons Your Best Employees Quit You

There’s a saying that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers – and today they are leaving more often than ever. According to recent Department of Labor statics, the average tenure of an employee in the U.S. is now only 1.5 years. What do these numbers mean? Are managers doing that bad of a job engaging and retaining their people. Is this churn and burn dynamic the new norm?

Read the full article here.

ShoreTel Webinar Shows the Importance of TCO When Considering IP Telephony Purchases

A key consideration for IT decision-makers when purchasing an IP Telephony and unified communications solution is the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The free Webinar features an Aberdeen Group survey of real-world TCO experienced by 485 users of IP telephony and legacy Time Division Multiplexing telephony. Andrew Borg, Aberdeen’s research director for enterprise mobility and collaboration, outlines the survey’s results, which show that users of ShoreTel solutions experienced the lowest TCO.

Read the full article here.

ShoreTel Dock: A Better Way to BYOD

Have you ever wished that your mobile phone had a great speakerphone for those long conference calls? Or wanted a better way to use your tablet to multitask? If this sounds like you, then you’ll love ShoreTel Dock, the first and only business-grade device that transforms your iPhone or iPad into a deskphone.

Read the full article here.


Google Outage Takes Down Gmail, Docs, Calendar

2.5 million Californians Exposed in Data Breaches

Hackers use Dropbox, WordPress to Spread Malware

Hackers Attacked Microsoft Using Security Hole That Google Found


From a Trusted Advisor to an IT Rock Star

This last week we attended the Level Platforms' annual MSP Community Event where I was one of the panelists speaking on the future of technology and how we as IT Service Providers need to prepare for the changes we're in the midst of - things like the cloud, mobile device management, virtualization, and the impact from the slowdown of PC sales. After the presentation, and during the rest of the show it was like I was an IT rock star.



FPA's CEO to Speak at Level Platforms 2013 MSP Community Event

ENCINO, CA – June 17, 2013 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading IT Service Provider in the Los Angeles area, announces today that its Founder & CEO, Craig Pollack, has been selected by leading remote monitoring and management software provider, Level Platforms, to speak at their annual Community Event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Read the full Press Release here

U.S. Small Business Administration Honors FPA with Award

ENCINO, CA – June 6, 2013 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading IT Service Provider in the Los Angeles area, announces today that it has been selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a Los Angeles District award winner, having been named the Innovation Through Technology Business of the Year.

Read the full Press Release here



National Parents Day - July 28

July 28th

Many Americans are unaware that our nation has a new day of commemoration called Parents' Day. This is good news for America's parents and families

In 1994 President Bill Clinton signed into law the resolution unanimously adopted by the U. S. Congress establishing the fourth Sunday of every July as Parents' Day, a perennial day of commemoration similar to Mother's Day and Father's Day. According to the Congressional Resolution, Parents’ Day is established for "recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children."

If you're a parent (or have one), make sure you take some time to recognize that special parent (or parents) in your life.

Upcoming Webinars

Webinar: FPA's Starter Guide to Mobile Device Management

Date: Thursday, July 25th
Time: 11:00am PST

In this Live Webinar, we will be sharing our Starter Guide to Mobile Device Management. This webinar will help you understand the coming wave of mobility and its benefits, threats, and risks to ensure you have the policies and systems in place for secure and compliant mobility access for your business. Some of the topics that will be covered include:

  • the top 10 drivers forcing Mobility on you (whether you like it or not)
  • the key differences between Mobility and BYOD
  • the key threats to your business through Mobility
  • the shocking misunderstanding most business owners have about their current exposure to "data leakage"
  • the foundations for a secure, compliant, and effective approach to Mobility

Register Now!

Partner Spotlight

Cities Digital

As a strategic partner of FPA, we bring Cities Digital in to our clients as a way to assist them with reducing their hardcopy and moving to a paperless office system.

Cities Digital is a company dedicated exclusively to document imaging and management solutions. They concentrate their expertise into innovative paperless solutions.

For additional information about them, check out their website at: www.citiesdigital.com.

Staff Spotlight - Jodi Harms

Jodi Harms

Besides creating our product quotes, and ensuring timely delivery, Jodi's primary role as our Procurement Coordinator is to ensure that we're getting the lowest possible costs for our clients on the hardware and software we purchase on their behalf. In her role, Jodi is also responsible for maintaining the relationships we have with our vendors as well as knowing the in's and out's of the intricacies of what licensing has become (especially all the complications involving Microsoft, VMWare, Symantec, and SonicWALL to name a few). With over 4 years at FPA in this role, Jodi has become a critical component of our success.

When she's not working or busy taking care of her two kids you could find her working out or running.

Client Kudos

"Highest praise I can give is to recommend your services. Good people, collaborative, understand our pain points and are an extension of our team."

Barbara Palmer
The Search Agency

"I'm thrilled with the professionalism and great help we receive from all the team members at FPA. I need help with ideas to make sure the rest of my team is as happy as I am."

Liz Atherton
Baroda Ventures, LLC

FPA Managed Services

Recommended Reading

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions - and lots of stress.

You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends.

In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to:

  • cut through the clutter
  • achieve better results in less time
  • build momentum toward your goal
  • dial down the stress
  • overcome that overwhelmed feeling
  • revive your energy
  • stay on track

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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"Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair."

- Unknown




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