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June 25, 2014

What does a turn of the century Antarctic explorer and our very own Los Angeles Kings have in common? Well, other than ice you might think not much. But the reality is, they have a tremendous amount in common.

Sir Ernest Shackleton (see Shackleton's Way below) led what some would say was a failed expedition to the Antarctic in 1914. Failed because they didn't achieve what they set out to achieve. But looking back, it's been said it was successful beyond measure. Because of his leadership, all 27 explorers survived. Fast forward 100 years and we're celebrating the Kings win of the Stanley Cup while being pushed to achieve what was never achieved before - winning three game 7's all on the visitors ice each game coming from behind by 2 goals. Again, unheard of.

While I'm certainly not equating the two in terms of hardships endured, I do believe they're similar in how they achieved what they achieved. The key to overcoming the odds for both was due to the talented individual team members, the strong sense of team, and a huge commitment to each other. These were all built on the leadership shown by those in charge.

Similarly, the overriding strength of FPA has always been our strong company culture. As we grow into year 24, it always has been and still is about "how" we do what we do. We hire, train, and retain only the best. We have each other's backs. We focus on redefining what an IT Service Provider SHOULD be. We breed the mind set to "Take Care of the Client" and "Take Care of Our Staff". When we talk of FPA we talk of bleeding "FPA Purple". It's a pretty amazing thing to be a part of. And I know there aren't many companies out there like this. There certainly aren't many IT Service Providers like this.

While it's great for me to crow about this, the reality is because of this our clients get great service! They get a Partner filled will people who love what they do, love who they work with, and take pride in what they do. This is huge for any business but for one who provides such mission critical service as we do for our clients, it certainly gives us an edge.

While we don't get to lift the Cup like the Kings, we measure our success in the happy clients we have, the client kudos we get, and the continued growth we're seeing.

As we wrap up the first half of the year, we can look back and see all the changes we've made - and yet, haven't lost the inner spirit that makes us who we are. For this, I'm truly thankful.

That said, we hope you find what we've put together for you to be valuable.

Here's to a great 2nd half of 2014. And even though the season's over, here's one last "Go Kings Go!"

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

18 per cent of SMBs Still Use XP, Face Security Risks, Bitdefender Warns

Almost one in five small and medium businesses worldwide are exposed to major security risks as they are still using Windows XP after Microsoft ended support for the operating system, according to a three-month study by antivirus software provider Bitdefender. Read more here.

The NSA Gathers Millions of Web Images, New Leaks Reveal

The US National Security Agency is intercepting a massive volume of images to be used in facial recognition programs, according to the New York Times.

Newly released documents from former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden show that the agency has explored millions of images from people's emails, text messages, video conferences and other communication channels to identify targets and terrorist suspects. Read more here.

Apple's Big IPhones Said to Start Production Next Month

Apple Inc. (AAPL) suppliers in China will begin mass production of its largest iPhones ever next month, according to people familiar with the plans, as the smartphone maker faces increased competition. Apple is ramping up on two bigger devices, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Read more here.

Three Steps to Data Security

Quick, what do Target, Sony, and Neiman Marcus have in common? Yes, all are globally recognized brands. But lately these companies share a less enviable characteristic: they've all experienced large-scale data breaches, resulting in damaged reputations and millions of dollars in costs and forgone revenues.

They aren't the only ones, of course, and many others will be joining their ranks. Information security breaches are on the rise, according to the Ponemon Institute's annual cybercrime study. And they are expensive: the average cost of cybercrime in 2013 was $11.56 million for a U.S. company, says Ponemon. Read more here.

2014 Electronic Communications Compliance Report: What You Need to Know as a Financial Advisor

Results from the Smarsh 2014 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey shed light not only on the compliance gaps that expose financial services firms to risk, but reinforce the shift in attitude toward an acceptance of more types of electronic messages (and the compliance ramifications). Read more here.

Starting Social at Your Firm? Avoid These Mistakes

A wealth management firm's first foray into social media can be fraught with risks. Taking a measured approach is essential to avoid embarrassment, or worse, being caught out of compliance with regulatory requirements set out by state laws, regulatory rulings and federal regulations.

So what are the most common mistakes a firm could make when introducing social? Read more here.

The 5 Best Questions a Job Candidate Can Ask

While you certainly have questions you like to ask, and maybe you ask one question to identify a superstar... if you're an experienced interviewer you may almost always feel it's a waste of time when you ask the candidate, "Do you have any questions for me?" Why? The average candidate doesn't actually care about how you answer their questions; instead they try to make themselves look good by asking "smart" questions. To them, what they ask is a lot more important than how you answer.

On the other hand, great candidates ask questions they actually want answered because they're actively evaluating you and your company… they're deciding whether they really want to work for you. Here are five questions great job candidates ask... Read more here.

Leadership Is a Contact Sport

Developing as a leader is a difficult endeavor. Demands on leaders are increasing, meaning there is less time for focusing on change. And, the catch is that as more is expected of you as a leader, the less time you have for development, and yet improving your leadership skills is more important than ever. It's a tricky situation. With limited time, you have to learn on the job. You have to make the most of your surroundings and ask those around you for help. You have to enlist their support as you do your best to develop yourself, your people, and your teams - even them!

It's not easy, but I've developed a leadership development model that has now proven to work with thousands and thousands of people. This model is just eight steps... Read more here.

10 Things Successful People Never Do Again

"Never go back." What does that mean? From observations of successful people, clinical psychologist and author of Never Go Back: 10 Things You'll Never Do Again (Howard Books, June 2014), Dr. Henry Cloud has discovered certain "awakenings" that people have - in life and in business - that once they have them, they never go back to the old way of doing things. And when that happens, they are never the same. In short, they got it.

"Years ago, a bad business decision of mine led to an interesting discussion with my mentor," Dr. Cloud says. "I had learned a valuable lesson the hard way, and he reassured me: 'The good thing is once you learn that lesson, you never go back. You never do it again.' "I wondered, what are the key awakenings that successful people go through that forever change how they do things, which propel them to succeed in business, relationships, and life?" Read more here.

Infographic: How Business Mobile Solutions Help Sales Teams

Road warriors, probably more so than any other group, are always looking for an edge to help them nurture existing customers and find and win over new ones. With the emergence of devices like smartphones and tablets, and technologies like unified communications, sales people are quickly adopting them to achieve greater agility, efficiency and productivity. Read more here.


U.S. Takes Out Computer Malware that Stole Millions

Reuters Website 'hacked' by the Syrian Electronic Army

30,000 Servers May Be Exposed To Hackers

Evernote and Feedly Disrupted by Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks

UglyGorilla Hack of U.S. Utility Exposes Cyberwar Threat


What (Really) Happens When Office 365 is Down

How is it, arguably, the world's most impactful technology company can't provide the service they're betting the company on? Right now Microsoft's Office 365 is down and there's literally nothing we can do about – other than wait. This isn't how "the cloud" is described in all the pretty brochures. Yet, this is what we continue to see. Read more here.


FPA Donates to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

ENCINO, CA - June 3, 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 June anniversary dates it has made a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Read the full Press Release.

Independence Day

July 4th

Independence Day (or July 4th) is one of the most significant holidays in our country. This is when we celebrate the birth of this great nation, the United States of America. It's celebrated on the 4th of July each year because the first Continental Congress adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

John Adams, one of the founders of our new nation hoped that this occasion would be commemorated with "...pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other.." But, it wasn't until 1941 that Congress actually declared July 4 a legal public holiday.

In observance of the July 4th holiday, please note that our offices will be closed Friday, July 4th. If you encounter an emergency situation and need to contact us over the holiday weekend, please email our Help Desk and our on-call team will get back to you as quickly as possible. If you cannot send an email, call us at 818-501-3390 and select "Option 1" to leave a message on our voicemail system which will automatically email it to our on-call team.

Have a safe and sane 4th of July!

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Staff Spotlight - Nancy Wind

Nancy Wind

As one of our key hires in 2014, Nancy has come on board in the role of our Controller where she's responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of our internal Accounting records. She's brought accuracy, attention to detail , and new systems and processes which have improved how our business functions tremendously! While technically adept, her charm and positive attitude has added so much to FPA in the short amount of time that she's been with us. Simply put - she's a joy to work with!

When not at FPA, Nancy loves to work out, enjoy movies and the theater, and taking cruises as often as possible. While she's been in California for over 30 years, she still considers herself a midwesterner at heart - she still calls a Coke "pop" (and not "soda"). Nancy is married and has one grown daughter.

Client Kudos

"I just finished working with Justin and I just wanted you to know - he was excellent!"

- Alyce G.
Marketing Innovations International

"Angie - You should be getting gold stars and a raise! WOW!!! I'm impressed at your tenacity to make it work. THANK YOU!!!"

- Mark T.
Adept Consumer Testing

Recommended Reading

Shackleton's Way

Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer

by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell

Sir Ernest Shackleton has been called "the greatest leader that ever came on God's earth, bar none" for saving the lives of the twenty-seven men stranded with him in the Antarctic for almost two years. Today the public can't get enough of this once-forgotten explorer, and his actions have made him a model for great leadership and masterful crisis management.

Through anecdotes, the diaries of the men in his crew, and Shackleton's own writing, Shackleton's leadership style and time-honored principles are translated for the modern business world. Written by two veteran business observers and illustrated with ship photographer Frank Hurly's masterpieces and other rarely seen photos, this practical book helps today's leaders follow Shackleton's triumphant example.

Morrell and Capparell's excellent use of archival material (especially crew diaries) and their intelligent interpretation of what Shackleton's story implies about good leaders makes this book both pleasurable and educational. Throughout the story of the explorer's exploits, the authors have inserted summarizing subtitles that succinctly capture Shackleton's leadership style. The authors employ a subtle and effective hand in translating the actions of a man at the helm of a dangerous adventure into advice beneficial to leaders in all areas of life

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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- Unknown

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