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January 17, 2014

Happy New Year!

There's nothing like starting the new year on full throttle after such an exciting 2013. While many of you may be getting ready for the next round of NFL playoffs (and of course many of us are as well), FPA is running full speed ahead with many exciting things. So sit back, relax, and enjoy what we hope is a valuable January newsletter!

We're starting off 2014 with one of our premier events - our upcoming (replicated but never duplicated) Open House. Last year's was a huge success and this year's should be even better. The FPA Open House is our most popular event of the year and with only one week left, time is running out to RSVP! What makes our Open House such a popular event? Well, in addition to seeing all the "behind the scenes" goings on at FPA, all the great vendors who will be demonstrating their products (such as Microsoft and Shoretel), there's always the great food and drink, raffles, and giveaways (did anyone mention a Samsung Galaxy Tablet?). The FPA Open House really gives us a chance to spend some quality time meeting, asking questions, bouncing ideas around, and mainly just having some fun.

For 2014, FPA is really pushing the accelerator to the floor. We will be introducing new staff, new services, and new and improved ways of doing what we do all in an effort to ensure we're delivering the highest level of service possible. Our clients mean everything to us and as Core Value #1 says - "Take Care of the Client." And this is what we aim to do.

January is when our Management Team holds our annual Strategic Planning Session. This is where we look long and hard at how we did last year and what we want to accomplish this upcoming year. We have a number of areas we're looking at to see what worked, what didn't, and what we need to do differently. We look at hot topics and figure out how to turn them into meaningful deliverables for our clients - AND in ways that ensure value is always delivered. One thing that will never change with us is our viewpoint that everything we do has to be about the value provided. Everything we deliver to our clients has to have value in it!

Some of the things we see on the horizon this year include more server virtualization, more desktop virtualization, more cloud solutions, more Office 365, more security management, more paperless office, more SharePoint, more SaaS (Software as a Service), more device-independent file access, more Unified Communication solutions, increased internet speeds, better infrastructure management, and more efficiencies in our management capabilities. With Windows XP going away (even I'm retiring my old XP machine), and Windows 7 holding on, Windows 8 (slowly but surely) seems to be starting to penetrate the business network. Certainly the Windows Surface Pro Tablet rocks! So, I know we'll see more of these. When implemented and managed correctly, all of these things will improve access to information, reduce IT maintenance and support costs, and result in more uptime! Which sounds like a win-win-win to me!

While it's always heart warming to look back at what we've achieved in 2013, we're so totally focused on 2014 and beyond! As Colin Cowherd says, "you drive through the windshield, not the rear view mirror." And that's what we're doing - looking forward to a great 2014!

We hope you enjoy this newsletter, wish you all the best during this coming year, and most importantly - remember that we're always here for you!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Neiman Marcus and Other Retailers Hacked: Are the Data Breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus Connected?

Neiman Marcus is the latest retailer to have fallen victim to hackers -- and according to Reuters, three other stores had their networks breached over the holiday shopping season last year, according to sources familiar with the attacks.

Those other retailers have not yet been named, but authorities are investigating whether any or all of the attacks are linked.

Find out more here.

Hackers Stole Millions of Phone Numbers and Usernames from Snapchat - Here's How to See if You're OK

Hackers posted a database of 4.6 million Snapchat usernames and phone numbers online.

To find out if your phone number or Snapchat user name was exposed,
click here

6 Mobile Marketing Trends to Leverage in 2014

What will be the best ways to reach mobile shoppers in the new year? Mobile marketing experts reveal which new mobile marketing apps and strategies can help you reach customers on the go.

Learn more here.

Cloud-Based Security Services Poised for Rapid Growth

The rush of businesses to move their operations to the cloud is creating a slipstream that's pulling security services into the nimbus. People have become more comfortable now with the cloud so they're feeling more comfortable leveraging certain cloud services for security.

For more information visit here.

SaaS Predictions for 2014

While the bulk of enterprise software is still deployed on-premises, SaaS (software as a service) continues to undergo rapid growth. Gartner has said the total market will top $22 billion through 2015, up from more than $14 billion in 2012.

The SaaS market will likely see significant changes and new trends in 2014 as vendors jockey for competitive position and customers continue shifting their IT strategies toward the deployment model. Here's a look at some of the possibilities.

Learn more here.

Get IT Right - Or Get Left Behind

It's not what you have; it's what you do with it.

Yes, information technology sharpens a company's competitive edge - but only if management learns how to master it for maximum impact.

Read the full article here.

BYOD Became the 'New Normal' in 2013

CIOs have had an eventful year when it comes to BYOD. Concerns over hidden costs, employee privacy and corporate data security gave way to convenience. However, mobile device management vendors stepped in to help IT sell the concept of compliance and lawyers and the National Labor Relations Board jumped to the aid of employees smacked with draconian BYOD policies.

Read the full article here.

Top 100 Technology Predictions for 2014 Part 1

The VAR Guy's top 100 technology predictions for 2014 (not really) covers cloud, big data, social and mobile technologies (sort of) and insider humor (absolutely). Here's part one of the list and how to list your predictions, too.

Find out more about it here.

2013: A Look Back at a Productive, Memorable Year

With the end of the year in sight, we thought we'd take a look at some of the major accomplishments in 2013. It was a busy year, indeed!

ShoreTel experienced a record year of growth. We now serve more than 30,000 businesses in over 60 countries with more than 3 million users. We grew the number of ShoreTel Sky customers to record levels. Internationally the company continued to gain market share. In particular, in Asia the number of net new ShoreTel end-user customers doubling in the 12 month period ended June 30, 2013. And in EMEA, analyst firm Canalys' Unified Communications Analysis report recently noted that ShoreTel had a 21.9 percent year-on-year growth in EMEA.

Read more here.

Seven Steps to a Pain-Free Migration to VoIP

Workers want to be able to collaborate and communicate wherever, whenever and however it is convenient, and unified communications (UC) systems can give them that freedom. With a UC system that knits together VoIP telephony, instant messaging, mobility, presence, and collaboration capabilities into a seamless business environment, organizations can boost employee productivity and lower costs. But a UC deployment, like all IT projects, must be carefully planned and executed.

Make sure your move to an IP phone system is a success by following these seven best practices for migration.

To find out more visit here.


Target Credit Card Data Breach Now Could Affect 110 Million People

Snapchat Hack 4.8 Million Mobile Numbers Posted On Internet

Skype's Social Media Accounts Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

East Coast Blizzard Takes Down Amazon Customers

Netflix Holiday Outage

Dropbox Outage

Console Network Holiday Outage


My Search for the Ultimate Productivity Tool

Here we are at the very start of 2014. The year is a blank slate. So, I'm looking forward to all things new again - new opportunities, new challenges, and most importantly - new toys! With less than months left until the end of Windows XP, I've decided to take the leap. While it's certainly a leap of faith, it's actually more of a plunge - like the first swim in the Polar Bears Club! Here's what I mean...



FPA Donates to the American Cancer Society

ENCINO, CA - January 3, 2014 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the preeminent IT Service Provider in the greater Los Angeles area, announces today that it made a donation to the American Cancer Society on behalf of their clients with January anniversary dates.

Read the full Press Release here

Happy New Year

Happy Holidays

Happy New Year from all of us at FPA! We wish you and your staff all the best for a happy, healthy, and highly profitable 2014!

Upcoming Events

Event: FPA's Open House

Date: Wednesday, January 22nd
Time: 5:00pm PST

Time is running out to RSVP for our upcoming Open House!

Mark your calendar. Come join us to see "where the magic happens", meet our staff, see how we do what we do, and see some of the latest and greatest technology. Don't forget there'll be plenty of delicious food and drink as well!

We'll be joined by some of our key partners including:

  • Microsoft
  • VMware
  • ShoreTel
  • Laserfiche

If you'd like to join us, please RSVP to info@fpainc.com.

We hope to see you there!

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 in less than three months! 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 - Henry Ramirez

Henry Ramirez

As a Junior Remote Support Engineer, Henry is a key member of our Remote Services team (ie: HelpDesk). Henry is one of our first responders to end-user help desk requests. He makes sure our clients' end-users can work when they suddenly find themselves at a standstill for whatever reason.

Henry's positive attitude, even under the most challenging of technical situations is always appreciated by our clients.

In his free time, Henry likes to play sports including baseball, basketball, and soccer. He also enjoys the occasional paintball and mountain biking. Henry is a youth mentor and teaches Bible studies to the children at his church. When he's not busy with all of these activities, Henry spends time with his family and friends.

Client Kudos

"With our server down yesterday afternoon, Sam picked up the issue and utilizing the BDR we were back to being operational again. I was very impressed and wanted to be sure you were aware."
(Handled New Year's Day)

- James B.
Clifford Swan Investment Counsel

Recommended Reading

Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap to Social Media & Mobile Marketing

by Heather Lutze

Join the conversation... People are talking about your company online... Do you know what they are saying? You should.

If you're a CEO, Business Owner or Marketer, would you like to: get ahead of your competitors; develop an overall social media road map for your business to follow; create pathways so your customers can find you in all the new ways they prefer; manage and enhance your company s reputation and position; track the true return of your investment from any social media campaign; know which online tools work best with social media; maximize your exposure with mobile marketing; and do it all with no geek speak?

Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap to Social Media and Mobile Marketing shows you why your website is no longer enough. Created by acclaimed Internet Marketing Expert and Communicator Heather Lutze, Thumbonomics takes you step-by-step through the development and implementation of your social media marketing program. Her exclusive Findability Makeovers showing you real results for real companies are included.

Thumbonomics shows how to successfully engage social media's Big Five: Blogging, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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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"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

- Thomas Edison

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