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August 22, 2013

Whew. It's a scorcher out there. But in here, everything's well under control. Our NOC (Network Operations Center) is humming along with lots of activity - dealing with alerts, keeping patches updated, ensuring backups are running, and updating firmware - just to name a few. Our HelpDesk is also busy with all sorts of activities - from simple helpdesk requests to troubleshooting virtual server configurations to setting up new users. Our Remote Services team covers it all!

While we've all been enjoying the summer with family and friends (and for me an incredible 15 Year Anniversary trip to Costa Rica with my wife), FPA's been rolling along making all sorts of things happen for our clients. Besides all the standard "running the systems" sort of proactive work we do, some of the range of things we've been up to for our clients include:

  • completed implementing five "core" network upgrades
  • completed building our own private cloud providing hosted desktops
  • migrated a number of clients' hosted email to Office 365
  • completed a couple of Paperless Office Server implementations
  • implemented a new ShoreTel VOIP phone system
  • implemented an IP closed-circuit video camera system
  • completed a couple of Strategic Technology Plans
  • completed a Business Continuity Plan
  • analyzed and recommended an eCommerce platform
  • completed two website redesigns

And in addition to all of this, at the same time we achieved the VMware Enterprise Partner level (see the Press Release below) as well as brought on two additional Remote Support staff and a new Marketing Coordinator! Whew. Looking back at this list, all I can say is what a varied skill set we have!

As you can see - lots of stuff going here. And there's lots of good stuff in this newsletter. Some things of interest below include a slideshow for when kids get their first smartphone (skip to #13 for the "Family Phone Agreement"), some great articles on Cyber Security, some well founded info for when selecting a VOIP phone system, and a great book on Marketing called "Youtility".

Next month we should see the release of the latest iPhone(s) and then in October Windows 8.1 is scheduled to be released (finally, Microsoft's bringing back the Start menu!). So a couple of good things on the horizon. At the same time, don't forget that Microsoft will halt Windows XP support on April 8, 2014. This doesn't mean that it will stop working. However, it does mean that Microsoft will no longer provide patches and security updates for it. Which in turn means it will become a hackers paradise - with them looking for ways to infiltrate networks who still run it. We're doing all we can to migrate our clients up to Windows 7 and beyond well before then. But again, this is something to keep in mind.

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 next webinar. Have a great Labor Day!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Bringing Home That First Mobile Phone: Smart Tools for Parents, Kids

Each back-to-school season sees a new bunch of kids leave their homes with a first phone in hand. These devices are a big responsibility for both the kids and their parents. Kids need to learn everything from what happens to a phone bill when you stream digital video on the bus ride to and from school, to digital etiquette - when it's inappropriate to use a phone and just how lasting a seemingly fleeting, maybe not-so-nice message can be. Parents need to set boundaries...

Read the full article here.

$1.5 million Cyberheist Ruins Escrow Firm

A $1.5 million cyberheist against a California escrow firm earlier this year has forced the company to close and lay off its entire staff. Meanwhile, the firm's remaining money is in the hands of a court-appointed state receiver who is preparing for a lawsuit against the victim's bank to recover the stolen funds.

Read the full article here.

The Gathering Cyberstorm

Winston Churchill's "The Gathering Storm" describes how Nazi Germany conspired to conquer the democracies, which were unwitting, unprepared and nearly defeated when the storm of World War II finally burst upon them. Today, another gathering storm threatens freedom and the survival of civilization: cyberwarfare. Terrorists and rogue states are making cyberattacks on a daily basis, using computer bugs to probe defenses of U.S. critical infrastructures.

Read the full article here.

NSA: We read .00004% of Web traffic

On the same day that President Barack Obama spoke to the press about possible surveillance reforms - and released a related white paper on the subject - the National Security Agency came out with its own rare, publicly-released, seven-page document (PDF), essentially justifying its own practices.

Read the full article here.

How Government Snooping Threatens the Cloud

Early concerns about data security may have been assuaged at this point, allowing for the exponential growth of the Cloud. But recent leaks about the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM program and other intelligence-gathering activities in the United States have heightened a new variety of concerns about data security in the Cloud, particularly in Europe, according to a University of Amsterdam working paper.

Read the full article here.

Apple's Latest iPhones Will Be Boring Despite the Hype: 10 Reasons Why

Looking at Apple's decision over the last several years, one thing should stick out: the company likes to deliver major updates every other year. Last year, the iPhone 5 was one such update. That means that this year, Apple will offer the iPhone 5s that will arrive with only one minor feature upgrade.

Read the full article here.

LinkedIn Lesson

With so many social media platforms to choose from, why do businesspeople flock to LinkedIn? Because unlike Facebook, whose users share a steady stream of personal updates, LinkedIn subscribers sign on to get down to business. That includes networking, marketing, recruiting employees, researching companies, receiving industry news, and learning about career and client opportunities.

Read the full article here.

10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees

Good bosses have strong organizational skills. Good bosses have solid decision-making skills. Good bosses get important things done.

Exceptional bosses do all of the above--and more. Sure, they care about their company and customers, their vendors and suppliers. But most importantly, they care to an exceptional degree about the people who work for them.

Read the full article here.

Choosing the Optimal VoIP Solution for Business

VoIP phone services have become more popular among organizations looking to upgrade their current communication systems. VoIP has benefited businesses in various ways, and the demand for the technology is expected to continue to grow. When choosing a VoIP solution, be sure to address these main areas...

Read the full article here.

BYOD Continues to Revolultionize Communications

Businesses have adopted bring-your-own-device policies as a way to not only cut company expenses, but also give employees mobility to work from virtually any location. While many people are happy with these benefits, there are still issues associated with enterprise mobility solutions that have workers worried about giving their devices to their supervisors.

Read the full article here.


Amazon.com Back Up After Going Down for U.S., Canadian Users

Analyzing Friday's Google Outage

Burger King's Twitter Account Hacked, Made to Look Like McDonald's

Syrian Electronic Army hacks Washington Post Web site

Feds Charge Russian with Hacking Nasdaq, Banks and Stealing Millions


Network Security and the Financial Industry

As hackers have become more and more aggressive, it's more important than ever for financial services firms to understand the latest risks and protect themselves accordingly. Watch dog organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have handed out hefty fines to those firms who hadn't sufficiently protected their clients' confidential information from cyber criminals. In fact, a $1.5 million cyberheist against a California escrow firm earlier this year forced the company to close and lay off...



FPA Achieves Enterprise Level Partner status with VMware

ENCINO, CA - August 12, 2013 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the leading full service IT Consulting Firm in the Los Angeles area, is proud to announce that it has achieved Enterprise Level Partner status with VMware, Inc., the leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions. Enterprise Partner status is only awarded to a chosen few organizations that...

Read the full Press Release here

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

Labor Day - Sept. 2, 2013

Labor Day

Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882; in 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.

In honor of Labor Day, our offices will be closed on Monday, September 2nd. If your business encounters an emergency situation and you need to contact us over the Labor Day weekend, please email our Help Desk and our on-call team will get back to you as soon as possible. If you cannot send an email, call us at 818-501-3390 and leave a message on our automated VoiP system.

Have a great holiday!

Upcoming Webinars

Webinar: FPA's Starter Guide to Mobile Device Management

Date: Thursday, August 29th
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!


Staff Spotlight -

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

FPA is proud of its Network Operations Center (NOC) and the staff manning it. As a Senior NOC Support Engineer, Alex Rodriguez is one of those who monitor and manage our clients' networks keeping things running smoothly for all of our Managed Services clients. One of Alex's areas of expertise is with our backup and business continuity solution. So, if you've ever had us restore a file for you, or had to spin up a server in a crunch, chances are you've worked with Alex.

Not only is he a busy man at FPA, but during his free time he's a singer and pianist, a newly-married husband, father to a daughter and all while also enjoying some soccer and tennis on the side.

Client Kudos

"You run a first class organization. Well done. Steve and I truly appreciate your service. Enough said."

Eric Casper
California Waste Services

"You guys were extremely helpful in diagnosing several hiccups we encountered during the installation of our new server and its related components. There is no way we could have installed this without you guys. Thanks FPA!"

Mark Holmes
Discount Hockey

Partner Spotlight

Telcom Insight

As a long time strategic partner of FPA, we bring Telcom Insight in to our clients as a way to assist with reducing their voice and data expenses. In almost every situation we've brought them into, we’ve been able to slash 20-30% from our client's monthly phone/data bills while also increasing their internet speed.

If your contract is coming up for renewal or you're looking to increase your throughput. For more information you maycontact us or Telcom Insight directly at: www.telcominsight.com

Recommended Reading

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

by Jay Baer

The difference between helping and selling is just two letters

If you're wondering how to make your products seem more exciting online, you're asking the wrong question. You're not competing for attention only against other similar products. You're competing against your customers' friends and family and viral videos and cute puppies. To win attention these days you must ask a different question: "How can we help?"

Jay Baer's Youtility offers a new approach that cuts through the clut­ter: marketing that is truly, inherently useful. If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life.

Drawing from real examples of companies who are practicing Youtility as well as his experience helping more than seven hundred brands improve their marketing strategy, Baer provides a groundbreaking plan for using information and helpfulness to transform the relationship between companies and customers.

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're interested or if you know of anyone.

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"Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life."

- Henry Doherty
Founder of CITGO

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