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The beginning of the year has started out at a fast and furious pace. You blink and we're already halfway through the first Quarter of 2014! How'd this happen?
Unlike the disappointing Superbowl game, FPA promises a much more exciting season for our clients. We recently completed our 2014 Strategic Planning Session with our Management Team and are psyched about our plans for this upcoming year. Many of the things we're looking to address will go towards improvements to our service delivery. We're always striving to deliver the best service possible to our clients and our "Culture of Constant Improvement" never stands still. One area we're looking to immediately address is staffing. We have a number of openings we're looking to fill - some are to add additional technical resources and some are new positions we're creating to improve how we're servicing our clients. We're also taking a hard and long look at some of our systems to see how we can most effectively improve them. Look for updates in the coming months...
All who attended would agree - our recent Open House was a huge success! We enjoyed seeing our friends again as well as putting faces to the names for people who we hadn't met before. Microsoft, ShoreTel, and VMware brought out their latest technology to demonstrate. For those of you who missed it, you can check out the video:
And while our clients are working hard on their businesses, FPA continues to work hard at helping them leverage their technology. It seems that things tend to happen in cycles. And some of the latest "trends" we're helping more and more clients with these days includes moving parts of their infrastructure to the cloud - specifically, we're doing a lot of Office 365. We're also doing more and more ShoreTel (VoIP) implementations as well as more and more SharePoint work. Again, these are just some of the trends we're seeing since the start of the year.
We'll keep you posted on more of the trends we're seeing in future months. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this newsletter. But above all, hopefully you're able to get some valuable "nugget" from it.
Here's to a great Q1!
Craig Pollack & The FPA Team
Exactly How Big are the World's Biggest Data Breaches?
Ever wonder exactly how big the world's biggest data breaches currently are? What about last year's biggest data breaches? Click the link below to interact with the world's biggest data breaches visual. Hover your mouse over any data breach to find out more about it. And remember to keep a close eye on your data everyone.
To learn more, click here.
Before You Get Rid of Your Company's Copy Machine Make Sure You Erase or Remove the Hard Drive First
Nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive (just like the one in your computer). It stores an image of every document scanned, copied, or emailed by the machine. Basically turning your copy machine into a company top secret storage device.
When you get rid of your outdated copy machine, every company document ever copied or scanned, from personnel records to medical records to company secret information goes with it (and possibly to anyone who decides to copy the data for nefarious uses).
To see how this works, watch the video here.
U.S. Retailer Michaels Warns of Possible Payment Card Breach
Michaels Companies Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, said its investigating a possible security breach on its payment card network and advised customers to check their financial statements for fraudulent activity.
If confirmed, it would mark the second known data breach since 2011 at Michaels, which is preparing to sell shares in an initial public offering.
Find out more here.
Public-Cloud Lessons Learned After Dropbox Outage
"The important thing for businesses to realize is that cloud computing can come in many different flavors," said cloud service expert Charles Weaver. "There are consumer-grade and business-grade cloud providers, and it is important for organizations to assess their needs prior to selecting a cloud platform. This includes both data privacy and security."
For more information
Web Companies Give First Look at Secret Government Data Requests
Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google on Monday began publishing details about the number of secret government requests for data they receive, hoping to show limited involvement in controversial surveillance efforts.
The tech industry has pushed for greater transparency on government data requests, seeking to shake off concerns about their involvement in vast, surreptitious surveillance programs revealed last summer by former spy contractor Edward Snowden.
Read the full article here.
Windows XP Support Cutoff Poses Data Breach Risk for Retailers
Retailers will face an increased risk of data breaches after Microsoft ends support for Windows XP, a version of which powers the majority of modern cash registers, security vendor Symantec warned in a report published Monday.
Many point-of-sale (POS) devices run the Windows XP version of Windows Embedded, a scaled-down version of the operating system designed for devices such as set-top boxes and vehicle computers. Microsoft will no longer provide security patches for Windows XP as of April 8, when it ends support for the 13-year-old OS.
Find out more about it here.
4 Habits of Punctual People
Those people who are always on time? How do they do it? If you are part of the 20% of Americans who are chronically late, get ready to change everything.
Plan any event and chances are one in five of the people you invite will be late.
To learn more, click here.
Habits of the Wealthiest People
What are common habits of the world's richest people?
To view the infographic, click here.
4 Ways to Make Your Employees Love Working for You
A holistic focus on employee happiness leads to productive personnel with a high retention rate.
To learn more, click here.
Virtualization is Here: ShoreTel Delivers Customizable Virtualization
ShoreTel has officially launched ShoreTel 14.2 which allows companies of all sizes to deploy a ShoreTel communications system in a virtual environment. ShoreTel 14.2 delivers greater flexibility for customers, with the ability to mix and match hardware-based and virtual appliances in a single network, all managed using a single web-based management interface. With ShoreTel 14.2, customers may now select the UC deployment model that best suits their business and infrastructure needs - virtual, physical or any combination of both. The benefits are immediate - reduced hardware and operational complexity, higher application availability, increased scalability and reliability.
Read more here.
ShoreTel's Guide to VoIP
VoIP, the Voice over Internet Protocol, is a way to use the Internet to make phone calls. It's been around since the mid-1990s. Since then the number of businesses using it has steadily increased, and so has the variety of ways they're using it. In this guide we're going to compare VoIP to traditional office phone systems to better understand what it is, how it works, and why so many businesses are making the switch. And we'll start with a simple comparison to music.
Are Small Businesses Safe from Cyber Attacks?
With all the focus on large retailers such as Target, Neiman Marcus, and Michaels being breached by hackers, many small businesses are living in an unrealistic comfort zone. After all, since hackers are going after the big boys, a little business like yours won't be on their radar. Right?
FPA Named to CRN's Managed Service Provider 500 List
ENCINO, CA - February 19, 2014 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the preeminent IT Service Provider in the greater Los Angeles area, announces today it has been named to CRN's Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list as one of the MSP Pioneer 250 companies.
FPA Donates to Hurdle Jumpers and the American Cancer Society
ENCINO, CA - February 11, 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 February anniversary dates it has made donations to Hurdle Jumpers and the American Cancer Society.
FPA Selected to Participate as a Case Study for CSUN's Business School
ENCINO, CA - February 5, 2014 - FPA Technology Services, Inc. (FPA), the preeminent IT Service Provider in the greater Los Angeles area, announces today that it has been selected to participate in a program to help CSUN business students gain real-world experience.
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