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November 14, 2013

Good Morning Los Angeles! I hope you're having a great day. Whenever we put together one of our newsletters, they always manage to take on a theme. And this one is no different...

While we're the "go to guys" when it comes to all things technical for a majority of our clients, one of the hardest things we do as a company has nothing to do with technology. Specifically, it has to do with the core of who we are, why we do what we do, and sticking to it along the way.

From day one, FPA has always tried to set itself apart by redefining what it means to be a computer consultant. In the early days, it was easy - not only because everyone else was so bad, but because being an IT Service Provider was really in its infancy as a business model. Now it's a little harder - we have a whole new generation in the workforce who've grown up online, technology is everywhere and in everything we do, and there are just so many more choices as to who you can work with. Sometimes it seems like it's almost indistinguishable between all the companies who do what we do (certainly it seems this way if you look at everyone's web sites).

But "almost" is the key word there. And to us (and many of our clients) it's HUGELY distinguishable! If any of you have seen Simon Sinek's TED talk about the importance of the "why", you may understand where I'm going with this (if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you check it out here).

At FPA, we're all about the "why". While we may seem passionate about the technology we work with every day, our passion lies deeper than this. Simply put - for us as a company, it's really all about the ever elusive goal of being great at what we do. It's all about excellence! Our goal is to provide IT services the way they're supposed to be provided - high quality, proactive, documented, professional, effective, efficient, with a highly consultative approach. Technical chops is a given. We're great at that. But, we really care about our clients, their experience working with us, and working with each other.

Internally, we say that "FPA is a culture of constant improvement". We push each other every day to learn, grow, and improve at what we do and how we do it. Our Core Values are unique and say it all - Take Care of the Client, Take Care of our Staff, Be Consultative and Professional, Document and Standardize, and Build Something Bigger Than Ourselves. We all take what we do seriously and hold each other to the highest standards. It's really something special that we're all proud to be a part of.

While this may sound like fluff, we really, really believe in it. This is why we're so successful at not only acquiring and retaining great clients, but also at retaining really great staff. It's this overriding approach that we've spent the last 20+ years refining that has developed this unique culture we have (we call it "bleeding FPA purple"). To me, this is our secret sauce. Now, maybe I'm pulling back the curtains a little too much, but the reason I'm sharing this is because I believe this is the secret to our success and why clients continue to select us to work with. It's not about the certifications, or our technical chops, or our systems, processes, and methodologies. All of these things are actually the result of our culture. Our quest for excellence. And the great thing is - our clients and our staff are the beneficiaries of this!

From my perspective, the best business relationships we've built over the years have been with other like-minded people. People who clearly have a "why" and are truly passionate about it. I'm thankful that we have this culture and the people around me who inspire me every day. I couldn't wake up in the morning and come to work without it. I hope you see it in your dealings with us. We love what we do and who we do it with. And for this, I am thankful.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and look forward to continuing to share our passion with you...

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Cisco Study: Virtualization Taking Hold but Still Room for Growth

Every year seems to be the year of virtualization. Every year, industry pundits predict that this will be the year when most organizations will finally adopt server, PC, operating systems or application virtualization in a major way. Solution providers have known the benefits virtualization brings to companies of all sizes in terms of efficiency, computing power, optimization and ROI. Well, it's safe to say we finally crossed the chasm.

Read the full article here.

Cisco-Threatening Switch Coming from Facebook, Intel, and Broadcom

Six months ago, Facebook announced that its Open Compute Project (OCP) would develop a top-of-rack switch that could boot nearly any type of networking software. With the help of Intel, Broadcom, and others, the consortium devoted to open hardware specifications would develop a rival to Cisco's network hardware.

Learn more here.

Who is Liable for a Data Breach?

Companies should do their due diligence during contract negotiations with cloud providers to ensure they're not responsible. Seeing an opportunity to make workflow more efficient, residents and physicians-in-training at Oregon Health & Science University started using cloud-computing service Google Drive to keep everyone up to date on patient information. After a faculty member discovered the staff was using the cloud service, the university launched an investigation, and it found that Drive documents held health data from 3,044 of its patients.

Learn more here.

How Google, Apple, Facebook and Others Use Your Personal Data (Infographic)

When you log onto the internet, click on a website or search a word, tech behemoths including Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Yahoo are watching. They track your preferences, collect information about your online habits and develop a profile of you.

Learn more here.

How to Opt Out of Google's Plan to Turn You into an Advertisement

The UpTake: If you don't value your privacy, and you don't mind other people using your image to sell your friends products, Google's new terms of service will make you really happy.

Learn more here.

Mozilla to Support Firefox on Windows XP After Microsoft ends Support for the OS

A few weeks back, Google said that it would continue to support Chrome on Windows XP after Microsoft ended support for the aging operating system. The move is a bit controversial as supporting a browser on an unsupported OS could lure users into a false sense of security as the browser may be up to date with the latest security patches but the underlying OS could be wide open.

Read the full article at Financial Planning here.

Amazon Is Closer Than Ever to Running the U.S. Postal Service

Amazon's drive for global domination took on a new dimension this morning, when it was revealed that the world's largest online retailer now owns a day of the week. In Los Angeles and New York, Amazon Prime customers can now get orders delivered on Sunday by the U.S. Postal Service. The company says it plans to roll out the Sunday option much more widely in 2014, with Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix among the cities next on the list.

Read the full article here.

How to Effectively Use CRM Services

Customer relationship management has recently become a boon for many organizations that have successfully implemented the service. With sophisticated client record capabilities, employees can easily interact with customers and constantly deliver a positive experience. CRM has become one of the most advantageous unified communications products and adoption has grown as the technology matures. However, businesses must understand how to use CRM effectively in order to maximize its benefits and improve client retention.

Read the full article here.

ShoreTel's New Webinar Outlines the Real Costs of IP Telephony and Unified Communications

When considering the purchase of an IP telephony and unified communications solution, an assessment of the total cost of ownership (TCO) is critical to sound decision-making. To get a true picture of total cost of an IP telephony and UC deployment, ShoreTel has produced a free Webinar that brings together industry experts and presents a new Nemertes survey of 211 companies to offer a comparative determination of TCO for industry vendors for a range of company sizes.

To find out more and listen to the Webinar, click here.


Windows Azure Hits Third Outage in a Year

Verizon Terremark Outages Take Down Obamacare Site

Hackers Have Seized 38 Million Adobe Customer Records

Singapore Prime Minister's Website Hacked

Microsoft PCs "Vulnerable to New Hack"


Say Goodbye to Windows XP

If you haven't already heard, Microsoft's Windows XP operating system is being retired next year. And we're less than six months away from that event (April 8, 2014). Considered revolutionary in its day, XP was released worldwide for retail sale on October 25, 2001. It's hard to imagine ANY technology lasting for over 13 years in today's fast changing environment but XP will have done that and more before its final bell is rung.


Just Because They Call Themselves a Managed Service Provider...

Wow! Just when I thought I'd seen it all, along comes another new client who had no idea how bad they had it. To be sure, they had some sort of "inkling" because they did call us in proactively to give their network a once-over. However, what we found continues to amaze me. Ultimately, we're righting the ship. But can you imagine...



FPA Makes MSPmentor Top 250 List

ENCINO, CA - November 5, 2013 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the preeminent IT Service Provider in the greater Los Angeles area, announces today that Craig Pollack, Founder & CEO of FPA Technology Services, Inc. has earned a spot on MSPmentor's annual Top 250 List looking at executives, entrepreneurs and experts shaping the global managed IT services market.

Read the full Press Release here

FPA Recognized as One of the Largest IT Consulting Firms in the San Fernando Valley

ENCINO, CA - November 4, 2013 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the preeminent IT Service Provider in the greater Los Angeles area, announces today it was recognized as one of the largest IT consulting firms in the San Fernando Valley by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

Read the full Press Release here

Thanksgiving Holiday


In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly traced to a 1621 celebration prompted by a good harvest at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. From the time of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln, the date Thanksgiving was observed varied from state to state. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 19th century. It was first celebrated on the same date by all states in 1863 by a presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln.

In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, FPA will be closed Thursday, November 28th. However, we will be open on Friday, November 29th providing support as needed.

If you encounter an emergency situation and need to contact us over the Holiday period, 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, you can also call us at
818-501-3390 and select "Option 1" to leave a message on our automated voicemail system which will then email it to our on-call team.

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

Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Upcoming Webinars

Webinar: FPA's Starter Guide to Data Breaches and Cyber Liability

Date: Thursday, November 21st
Time: 11:00am PST

In this Live Webinar, we will be sharing our Starter Guide to Data Breaches and Cyber Liability. This webinar will help you understand the coming wave of data breaches, how to prevent one from happening to you, what to do if you are breached, and what your level of liability could be. Some of the topics that will be covered include:

  • the key differences between an intrusion and a data breach
  • the key threats to your business
  • the 7 steps needed to ensure you're prepared for a data breach
  • the shocking misunderstanding most business owners have about their current exposure to "data leakage"
  • the foundations for a secure, compliant, and effective approach to Security including Cyber Liability Insurance

Register Now!

FPA Backup & Disaster Recovery Solution

Windows XP Retirement

RIP Windows XP

Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003: Support Ends April 8, 2014

If you haven't already heard, Microsoft's Windows XP operating system is being retired next year. And we're less than six months away from that event. Considered revolutionary in its day, XP was released worldwide for retail sale on October 25, 2001.

What does the retirement mean to you? It means that Windows XP Pro will no longer receive any sort of updates or support from Microsoft. Those crazy folks out there who create malware to wreak havoc on the rest of us will then have a field day. When Windows XP retires, it will not be long before a network with a Windows XP machine will be infected.

While the jury is still out on Windows 8, Windows 7 has been a solid operating system almost since day one.

If you have a Windows XP or a mixed network it's time to start planning your upgrades. If you have any questions or are looking for a trusted partner to help ease the transition, please give us a call.

Staff Spotlight - Nate Carpenter

Nate Carpenter

Nate is the latest addition to our stellar remote support team. As a Senior Remote Support Engineer, Nate leads the charge in solving some of our more complex and difficult support requests - although you could never tell it by his even keel and light hearted disposition. Beyond his technical chops, the key to Nate's success is his ability to weather any storm in the most calm and collected way.

In his free time, Nate enjoys listening to, playing, and recording music, reading books, and watching old movies. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and young son.

Client Kudos

"After struggling a bit with our former IT company, we engaged the services of FPA to conduct a network assessment. FPA's project communication, timelines, and willingness to go the extra mile is a breath of fresh air."
- Mark A.
Abernathy Insurance Agency

"I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of you over there who helped us with and coordinated this server cage project. I know it was a really big project and appreciate all the help and expert advice throughout the process."
- Kathy C.
Valbridge Property Advisors

"Sasha is excellent. I know that I can always count on Sasha to follow through with my request quickly. In my years of interfacing with IT companies, Sasha is the most on-the-ball supervisor I have had the pleasure of working with."
- Justin G.
Temple Beth Am

Recommended Reading

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

by Simon Sinek

The highly anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed bestseller Start With Why
Simon Sinek's mission is to help people wake up every day inspired to go to work and return home every night fulfilled by their work. His first book, Start With Why, offered the essential starting point, explaining the power of focusing on WHY we do what we do, before getting into the details of WHAT and HOW.

Now Sinek is back to reveal the next step in creating happier and healthier organizations. He helps us understand, in simple terms, the biology of trust and cooperation and why they're essential to our success and fulfillment. Organizations that create environments in which trust and cooperation thrive vastly out perform their competition. And, not coincidentally, their employees love working there.

But "truly human" cultures don't just happen; they are intentionally created by great leaders. Leaders who, in hard times, would sooner sacrifice their numbers to protect their people, rather than sacrifice people to protect their numbers, are rewarded with deeply loyal teams that consistently contribute their best efforts, ideas and passion.

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.

Contact Us








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"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."

- George Bernard Shaw

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