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February 20, 2014

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:

Raffle Winner

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 visit here.

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.

To find out more visit here.


"The Mask" - Careto

Bell Canada Hack Attack

Microsoft Twitter and Blog Hack

Easton-Bell Sports Data Breach

Yahoo email Outage


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.

Read the full Press Release here

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.

Read the full Press Release here

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.

Read the full Press Release here

Happy Presidents Day!

Happy Holidays

This holiday was originally set aside to celebrate George Washington's birthday, but President's Day has evolved into a day of recognition for all past and present presidents. At one time, both Abraham Lincoln's birthday and George Washington's birthday were celebrated as separate holidays, just 10 days apart, but President Nixon merged the two holidays in 1971. Now, the third Monday in February is officially designated President's Day.

Open House Raffle Winner

Congratulations to Brendan Dooley of Lloyd Mats for winning the Samsung Galaxy Tablet at our Open House!

Brendan Dooley (Lloyd Mats) and Dee Perez (FPA's Manager of Operations).

Download our Managed Services Brochure

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 6 weeks! 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 Windows XP running anywhere within your network, time is quickly running out to upgrade before your entire network becomes vulnerable to hackers and data breaches. If you have any questions or are looking for a trusted partner to help ease the transition, please give us a call.

Staff Spotlight - Jason Katz

Jason Katz

FPA is always looking for the best and brightest and Jason definitely fits the bill. Jason joined FPA as a Junior Network Engineer in our CSG department.

While Jason works on many of FPA's inhouse network projects, he's also a resource for onsite technical issues for our clients as well. You can say he keeps both FPA and our clients running on all cylinders. He has the technical skills, client communication skills, and a constant thirst to take on any technical challenge; exactly what FPA and our clients appreciate in a network engineer.

While not in front of a computer, Jason is a New York Jets and L.A. Kings fan. He enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and as you would expect from an FPA network engineer, he is always doing something technical away from the office including upgrading his computer. When Jason isn't doing something technical, you can bet he is still near a computer, and for entertainment loves playing PC games. His favorite quote is simply, "let me Google that for you."

Client Kudos

"Craig and his group do a good job at retaining staff because a lot of these people have been there for many years. I like the fact that I can always work with the same group of people and I have a good relationship with them; that makes a huge difference."

- David F.
Fractor Consulting

"I have an excellent experience with FPA staff, including working with Matt. I look forward to picking up the phone when Matt calls. It's hard to stump him. I know if Matt doesn't have an answer, he has a full team which will have the answer."

- Joe F.
Insyght Interactive

Recommended Reading

Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

by David Marquet

"Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers."

David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. As newly appointed captain of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, he was responsible for more than a hundred sailors, deep in the sea. In this high-stress environment, where there is no margin for error, it was crucial his men did their job and did it well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet.

Marquet acted like any other captain until, one day, he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why the order wasn't challenged, the answer was "Because you told me to." Marquet realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things.

That's when Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Turn the Ship Around! is the true story of how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy's traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control.

Before long, each member of Marquet's crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became fully engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day, and the Santa Fe started winning awards and promoting a highly disproportionate number of officers to submarine command.

No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet's radical guidelines to turn your own ship around. The payoff: a workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where people are healthier and happier, where everyone is a leader.

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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"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."

- Benjamin Franklin

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