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September 5, 2014

Another busy summer comes to an end. And with it, the start of school year traffic. I love LA!

There are certain times of the year (and this is one of them) where we look back, assess what and how we've done, and look forward to the challenges ahead. While technically Q4 doesn't start until October, it certainly seems like a good time to evaluate what's been working, what hasn't been, and adjust what we need to do so that we can have the best Q4 as possible. Certainly with the new school year starting, the new Fall TV season, and the Football season all starting it feels like the start of something new.

To that end, below we've highlighted a great book called The Power of Habit. While it's not specifically a business book, it certainly can be applied to business. For a company so solidly entrenched in systems, processes, and methodologies often times it's the (good) habits that work to our advantage while sometimes habits (or being on autopilot) work against us. It's never a bad time to reevaluate our own habits so that we can refine and improve what's working.

For us, what's working continues to be the ongoing development of our staff. Most recently we earned an upgrade in our Dell Partner level with some added technical competencies (see below). We've also recently achieved a "white-hat" hacking certification as well as an additional Office 365 cert. All in an effort to improve our abilities to serve our clients.

With September being National Preparedness Month, if you don't already have a Business Continuity Plan, now more than ever is the time to look into it.

We have some great content below and certainly hope this newsletter finds you prepared, ready for some new good habits, and raring to go. I know we are!

Craig Pollack & The FPA Team

Facebook's Autoplay Video Feature is Destroying Cell Phone Bills

Smartphone users are at risk of maxing out their data plans if they don't change this default setting in the Facebook app, which otherwise will automatically start streaming videos in the News Feed window. Read more here.

What Hackers Know About You

Every month, there's another major data breach. Criminal hackers steal all sorts of information about you. Check out this tool to see what specific pieces of information they have about you. Read more here.

How C-Level Execs Can Learn to Speak Digital

When executives and IT teams aren't speaking the same language, projects fail, time and money are wasted, and collaboration and productivity suffer. But Decoded is looking to help overcome the "language barrier" and enhance collaboration between IT teams and C-level executives through one-day digital literacy classes. Read more here.

The CIO and CMO Perspective on Big Data

CMOs now command more of the tech budget than any other executive outside of the CIO. With big data being one of the main drivers of technology spending, a strong relationship between IT and marketing is critical to business success. Read more here.

Mapping the Cloud: Where Does the Public Cloud Actually Live?

A lot of the actual hardware used by the big public cloud providers in the U.S. lives in collocated facilities alongside servers used by other companies, making it difficult to pin down exactly whose computers are whose without a detailed look inside the buildings. Given that Microsoft, Google and Amazon are largely considered to be the big three of cloud services in the U.S., we thought a map of their major data centers would go some way to answering the question of where, exactly, the cloud lives. Read more here.

Should Financial Advisors Start Using New, Trending Social Media Platforms?

In this 'Back to Basics' series, I have already covered how to connect with your current contacts online, best practices for the 3 big social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter), and what type of content to share on these networks. Because there are so many different social platforms, I am going to go over which additional platforms, if any, you should consider as a financial professional. Read more here.

500,000 Victims of Cryptolocker Can Finally Recover Files Without Paying a Ransom

In 2013 antivirus companies discovered a new ransomware known as Cryptolocker. Ransomware is the type of malware that restricts access to the computer system it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creator to remove the restriction. They demanded that the fee be paid within 72 hours or all their files would be destroyed forever. However, recent news has been released that all 500,000 victims can now recover their encrypted files by the malware without paying a ransom. Read more here.

10 Things Bosses Never Tell Employees, But Should

Even if you're an exceptional boss, there's a lot you don't know about your employees. There's also a lot employees don't know about you. Here are a few things bosses wish they could say to their employees... but never do.

Read more here.

ShoreTel wins 2014 ARN ICT Award for Telecommunications Vendor of the Year

At a glittering, black tie event last night at Sydney's Hilton Hotel, ShoreTel ANZ picked up the 2014 ARN ICT Award for the Telecommunications Vendor of the Year. ShoreTel is proud to be a sponsor of the ARN Awards to show our support for the industry as a whole and to recognize those partners, distributors and other vendors who contribute to the eco-system that brings technology to the Australian market. Read more here.


Obamacare Site Hacked But Nothing Taken, HHS Says

iCloud Photo Thefts Put Apple, Cloud Data Storage in Cross Hairs

Home Depot Investigating 'Massive' Hack

Massive Bank Hack: What You Need to Know

Customers Praise Microsoft's 'No BS' Explanation of Cloud Service Outage

Data Breach at UPS Stores in 24 States


The Cloud

"The Cloud" It seems like these words strike either confusion or fear into people's hearts. People ask me all the time, "should we be in the cloud?" Most of the time, I carefully and calmly let them know that they... Read more here.

You're Hired!

These are the two words every job candidate longs to hear. But are you really doing everything that it takes to ensure you get to hear them? In Jim Collins' book "Good to Great", Jim talks a lot about "getting the right people on the bus". What he's saying is that one of the biggest similarities all of the companies who he studied and defined as "great" have in common is... Read more here.


FPA Achieves Dell Preferred Partner Status

ENCINO, CA - August 22, 2014 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the preeminent IT Service Provider in the greater Los Angeles area, announces today that it has achieved Preferred Partner status in Dell's PartnerDirect Channel Program, earning the additional required technical competencies.

Read the full Press Release

FPA Donates to the American Cancer Society

ENCINO, CA - June 25, 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 July anniversary dates it has made a donation to the American Cancer Society. With July 1 being the 23rd anniversary of FPA, it's that much more special to communicate that the anniversaries recognized are also for two existing clients who started with FPA 23 years ago!

Read the full Press Release.

National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

Since its inception in 2004, National Preparedness Month is observed each September in the United States of America. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security, National Preparedness Month encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. FEMA's Ready Campaign, the correlating public education outreach campaign, disseminates information to help the general public prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

Is there a better time to talk about how well your business is prepared to handle an IT crisis than during National Preparedness Month? How recently have addressed these questions:

  • What does your Business Continuity plan look like?
  • Do you have a Business Continuity Plan?
  • When was the last time you tested your backup?
  • Is your backup of your data only or does it include server images?
  • Do you have a complete offsite backup (including server images)?

Contact us today to ensure - like our clients - that you're meeting industry standard best practices so that your business is prepared to operate with minimal impact from a disaster.

Download our Backup & Disaster Recovery Brochure

FPA Backup & Disaster Recovery Solution

Upgrade to the Cloud
Benefits of Office 365 Brochure

Download the Office 365 Benefits Brochure

Staff Spotlight - Henry Ngo

Nancy Wind

Henry has come on board in our Network Operations Center (NOC) as one of our Jr. NOC Support Engineers. In addition to ensuring all of our clients' backups are complete and accurate, Henry also assists in many of the recurring proactive maintenance tasks our NOC performs for our clients' networks. Henry is a no-nonsense, get it done sort of guy. Which makes him perfect for our NOC!

When not at FPA, Henry spends time with his wife and 3 (!) boys. Whatever free time he has left, Henry spends jamming on Blues guitar.

Client Kudos

"I just wanted to let you know that Henry (R.) is awesome and Elise agrees!"

- Nora S.
The Sinay Company

"Justin assisted me this morning with my issues and was able to resolve things. So fast and friendly!"

- Nelly B.
Price Law Group

Recommended Reading

The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation's largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.

At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.

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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