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May 28, 2014

You blink and school's almost over and it's summer time. Luckily we're approaching June and the Kings' season is far from being over. Unluckily, I'm forced to continue to wear my Playoff Beard. What we won't do for our teams!

Similarly, there isn't much we won't do for our clients. We recently embarked on a quest to significantly improve the quality of service we deliver to our clients. We started by meeting with our clients one on one and getting direct and detailed feedback about how we're doing. Based on what we heard, we're making some changes around here that we believe will have a major impact on the quality of service we deliver. Beyond lip service, we're making some real and meaningful changes. We've reorganized some of our Client Teams. We've hired a Manager of Remote Support. We're continuing to hire more and more technical staff. And we're spending more and more time on training. Check out my recent blog to learn more. While things won't change overnight, we're really excited by these changes and look forward to seeing how they will play out over the coming months. So, stay tuned...

While we're moving forward with these changes, we continue to move forward on other fronts as well. As the Cloud continues to make inroads, one of the areas we're seeing a lot of activity on is where we're moving more and more clients to Office365. While it may not be cost effective for everyone, this does seem to be the most logical first step for clients who are looking to get some of their infrastructure offsite and into the cloud. We're also seeing more and more movement in the VoIP area. We've had a number of successful ShoreTel implementations over the last few months. ShoreTel has become the "no brainer" VoIP solution of choice. If you want a rock solid, feature rich, cost effective phone solution - ShoreTel is hard to beat! Server Virtualization continues to be a cost effective solution to address on-premise server needs. At the same time, our own FPA VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) solution is becoming more and more popular. This is where we build a virtual private cloud solution hosting everything other than the local workstations. Again, another unique solution offering we can provide. Lastly (and probably the least glamorous), growth in our BDR (Backup & Disaster Recovery) solution continues unabated.

While you may read and hear about the "death of the PC" and the growth in tablets - and we're certainly seeing more and more integration of tablets into the work flow - we're still not necessarily seeing the death of the PC per se. What we are seeing is the continued growth in the reliance on technology, the need to access technology at different times of the day (blurring the work / life line), and the need to access information from different platforms more than ever before. As they say, the only thing constant in the universe is change. This just means that as an IT Service Provider, we have to know more than ever before and be better at it all helping fuel our clients' success. To us, this is a challenge that drives us - certainly it keeps us striving towards greatness!

Lastly, there have been and continue to be breach upon breach of information stored in the cloud. This isn't to say that the cloud is bad - just that we need to be aware of the playing field and all that it brings with it. We have a couple of items below about these very breaches as well as some different suggestions on how you can protect yourself. If you can, check out the link to some some tools to help you manage your passwords more effectively.

That said, please enjoy this newsletter. We hope you find what we've put together for you to be valuable. And here's to the start of a great summer!

Oh, and Go Kings Go!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Hackers Raid eBay in Historic Breach, Access 145 Million Records!

EBay Inc said that hackers raided its network three months ago, accessing some 145 million user records in what is poised to go down as one of the biggest data breaches in history, based on the number of accounts compromised. It advised customers to change their passwords immediately, saying they were among the pieces of data stolen by cyber criminals who carried out the attack between late February and early March. Read more here.

Seeing Hidden Passwords in a Browser Takes a Few Simple Steps

Passwords are a royal pain in our digital lives. If you create one that's simple, it isn't safe. If you create one that's safe, you'll never remember it. On top of that, you really need to have a unique password for every account and Web site in case a hacker gets hold of one of them. With regular data breaches of millions of usernames and passwords happening at major companies like Target and Michaels, it's a very real worry.

That's why it's such a relief your Web browser stores passwords for you. You can create the hardest passwords around and not have to remember any of them. Even better, your browser will fill in passwords automatically for you. Unfortunately, there is a catch that no one likes to talk about. Read more here.

Half of American Adults Hacked This Year

Hackers have exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans -- roughly half of the nation's adults -- in the last 12 months alone.

That massive number, tallied for CNNMoney by Ponemon Institute researchers, is made even more mind-boggling by the amount of hacked accounts: up to 432 million. The exact number of exposed accounts is hard to pin down, because some companies - such as AOL and eBay - aren't fully transparent about the details of their cyber breaches. But that's the best estimate available with the data tracked by the Identity Theft Resource Center and CNNMoney's own review of corporate disclosures. The damage is real. Read more here.

Microsoft Gets Lots Right With Surface Pro 3

Microsoft had Apple in the cross hairs when it introduced the Surface Pro 3 tablet last week. Every one of Apple's tablet rivals has iPad-envy after all. What was unexpected was the degree to which Microsoft hammered its claim that the newest Surface also is meant to duke it out against Apple's popular MacBook Air laptop as well. Left unsaid was that Surface Pro 3 might also slug it out against any number of Ultrabook computers though Microsoft was understandably reluctant to utter such a thing out loud since Windows software is the lifeblood of Ultrabooks. Read more here.

What's the Best Password Manager?

In the wake of the Heartbleed bug, which put so many passwords at risk, one has to ask - which is the best password manager? Well, there are a lot of them -including LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, Keeper, and PasswordBox. PC Magazine said it this week: "Going online without a Password Manager is risky business." Read more here.

How IT Can Establish Better Cloud Control

There's no getting around it: Employees who use SaaS applications are more irresponsible about password security, file transfer and IT compliance. But IT's failure to communicate about risky behavior and provide tools to help employees do their work is part of the problem. Here are steps you can take to bring SaaS back under control. Read more here.

The 5 Biggest Reasons the Wrong People Get Hired

Based on thousands of candidate interviews and leading training programs with more than ten thousand recruiters and hiring managers, there is no doubt the wrong person, not the best person, is often the one hired. Here's why. Read more here.

Anthony & Sylvan Pools Dives into VoIP for Better Customer Service

This Memorial Day many of us probably have plans including barbequing and swimming. For one of ShoreTel's customers, hanging around swimming pools is their business. ShoreTel customer Anthony & Sylvan Pools installs the highest number of swimming pools of any company in the growing U.S. market. Read more here.

ShoreTel Connects with 250 CIO's at Midsize Enterprise Summit - Wins Award for Highest ROI for Business Solutions

Each year, 250 CIO's of midsize companies gather at the MES (Midsize Enterprise Summit East) conference to learn about the latest innovations that can help their organizations. CIO's vote for the best solutions which demonstrate the most proven and highest return on investment. We're pleased to have earned their recognition for having the highest ROI of all solutions shared at the conference. Read more here.


One in Three Cloud Services was Susceptible to Heartbleed

Hackers Raid eBay in Historic Breach

Spotify Issues Android Users A Warning After Data Breach

Adobe's Creative Cloud Suite Suffers a Massive Outage

Apple Users Hit by Ransom Demand after Mystery iCloud Account Breach


A Memorial Day Thank You

We're taught that Memorial Day is a day to look back and give thanks to all of those who've given the ultimate sacrifice serving our country. This goes without saying. But at the same time we should also be thinking of and thanking... Read more here.

Good, Better, Best - In Search of Greatness

A "Culture of Constant Improvement" - this is one of our internal mantras. To us this means we're always looking for ways to improve ourselves individually as well as for FPA as a whole. We really believe this. One of the cool things about running a technology services company like ours is... Read more here.

Helpful Hints to Improve Your Emails

It's 2014 and I'm still seeing emails that look more like notes passed between friends in junior high rather than professional correspondence. Now, I'm not talking about quick, little emails to your spouse. I'm talking B2B correspondence between... Read more here.


FPA Donates to the American Cancer Society

ENCINO, CA - May 6, 2014 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the preeminent IT Service Provider in the greater Los Angeles area, announces today that on behalf of their clients with May anniversary dates it has made a donation to the American Cancer Society.

Read the full Press Release

Flag Day

Flag Day

Flag Day falls within National Flag Week, a time when Americans reflect on the foundations of the nation's freedom. The flag of the United States represents freedom and has been an enduring symbol of the country's ideals since its early days. During both events, Americans also remember their loyalty to the nation, reaffirm their belief in liberty and justice, and observe the nation's unity.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress replaced the British symbols of the Grand Union flag with a new design featuring 13 white stars in a circle on a field of blue and 13 red and white stripes - one for each state. Although it is not certain, this flag may have been made by the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross, who was an official flag maker for the Pennsylvania Navy. The number of stars increased as the new states entered the Union, but the number of stripes stopped at 15 and was later returned to 13.

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Benefits of Office 365 Brochure

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Staff Spotlight - Mehernosh Amroli

Mehernosh Amroli

As the newly hired Manager of Remote Support, Mehernosh is responsible for the quality of service our remote helpdesk team provides. Mehernosh has hit the ground running getting up to speed quickly by meeting with a number of our clients and hearing first hand their needs and wants. Mehernosh has come to FPA with a great deal of experience running the helpdesk for a software development company and we're looking for great things from him!

When not at FPA, or working to increase his workflow knowledge (ITIL, Six Sigma, etc.) Mehernosh enjoys his free time with his family, playing a little guitar, listening to music, or catching a movie. Mehernosh is married with two young children.

Client Kudos

"You guys are making my life so much easier and YOU ALL ROCK!"

- Karen T.
Price Law Group

"This was my first opportunity to work with Justin. He was calm, self-assured, efficient, and it was a thoroughly satisfying customer service experience.
Thank you for your high standards, FPA!"

- Barry F.
Marketing Innovations International

Recommended Reading


Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

by Gino Wickman

Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you?

All entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar frustrations - personnel conflict, profit woes, and inadequate growth. Decisions never seem to get made, or, once made, fail to be properly implemented. But there is a solution. It's not complicated or theoretical. Based on years of real-world implementation in more than 100 companies, the Entrepreneurial Operating System is a practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned.

In Traction, you'll learn the secrets of strengthening the six key components of your business. You'll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company that will give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. Successful companies are applying Traction every day to run profitable, frustration-free businesses - and you can too.

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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"Happiness is the joy that we feel when striving towards our potential."

- Unknown

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