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ANNUAL KASEYA MSP BENCHMARK SURVEY REVEALS GROWING MSP AWARENESS THAT PSAS DON’T DRIVE BUSINESS REVENUE 

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ANNUAL KASEYA MSP BENCHMARK SURVEY REVEALS GROWING MSP AWARENESS THAT PSAS DON’T DRIVE BUSINESS REVENUE

Survey respondents reinforce RMM as the most critical operations application and point to security as the top IT challenge of 2018, highlighting GDPR uncertainty

Kaseya®, the leading provider of complete IT management solutions for managed service providers (MSPs) and mid-market enterprises (MME), today released the results of its 2018 MSP Benchmark Survey. The seventh annual survey reveals that the majority of MSP respondents have moved away from commodity, break-fix services to deliver more strategic, value-added offerings powered by the critical role of remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions – not professional services automation (PSA) tools.

A key issue factoring into the value-add approach for 2018 is a heightened focus on security. According to the survey, security is up year-over-year in revenue for 65 percent of respondents worldwide and was the service least likely to be stagnant or decrease. Meanwhile, meeting security risks was cited as the top challenge by 33 percent of respondents with no other problem or service need exceeding 10 percent on either a worldwide or regional basis.

Despite the importance of security, the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on MSPs is still underestimated. With the May 2018 GDPR deadline quickly approaching and a general worldwide upturn in privacy regulations, MSPs no longer have the luxury of treating compliance as an afterthought. When asked about compliance requirements or regulations that impact them or the customers they serve, many MSPs indicated they do not believe they will be impacted by the E.U. regulation. While the worldwide (22 percent) and Americas (10 percent) response was not surprising, the EMEA response of only 77 percent was. With only 52 percent of MSPs worldwide (and 55 percent in EMEA) offering compliance assessments, a significant growth opportunity is readily available for MSPs that can act quickly.

The annual Kaseya MSP Benchmark Survey is known as the most powerful tool in the industry for analysing the MSP market, pinpointing the technologies and processes that separate the most successful MSPs from the rest of the pack. In years past, the survey focused on pricing and service delivery trends in the marketplace. Building on that foundation, this year’s survey collected additional information to shed light on not only pricing strategy but also new service offerings and operational resources and requirements. Data was gathered from nearly 900 MSP respondents in over 40 countries.

“It is critical to Kaseya to constantly gauge the temperature of MSPs worldwide so we can stay in front of the trends, technology innovations and market fluctuations that impact this global industry,” said Miguel Lopez, SVP of managed services providers at Kaseya. “With the added insights from this year’s survey, we’re able to take an even deeper look at the issues that are most impactful to our customers and provide them with invaluable guidance to capitalise on growth opportunities. Ultimately to succeed in this highly competitive landscape, MSPs must continually expand and evolve their offerings to stay ahead of market trends and demands, find ways to work more efficiently through better resource allocation and technology usage, and better communicate the value of their services to clients.”

Key findings from Kaseya’s 2018 MSP Benchmark survey include:

RMM Reigns Supreme with IT Documentation Playing a Key Role

RMM remains the most critical application to MSP operations. Nearly half of respondents worldwide named RMM as the most important application, followed by IT documentation (20 percent) and PSA (16 percent). RMM is essential to managing endpoints, an MSP’s bread and butter, so its prominence is little surprise. While RMM is most commonly associated with endpoint management, a holistic and comprehensive RMM solution enhances security, reduces downtime, increases productivity, and lowers total cost of ownership. In a nutshell, an RMM solution can make or break your business. However, the importance of IT documentation is noteworthy as it demonstrates MSPs’ awareness that the PSA solution is not driving business revenue. It also implies some frustrations with limitations of first-generation PSAs, which are still in wide use among MSPs.

Price-Match Strategies Continue Their Decline

As MSPs have moved away from break-fix services to managed services, price match strategies are becoming far less common. This makes sense given break-fix lends itself to a commodity approach whereas managed services are all about value. This trend has carried over to pricing as well, and it should be no surprise that price match strategies declined for the second consecutive year in favour of cost- and value-based pricing. While cost-based pricing has remained relatively stable since 2015 – fluctuating between 24 to 31 percent, value-based pricing is by far the most popular choice used by nearly two-thirds of respondents. As a result, price matching is now in play in only six percent of MSPs, down from 21 percent two years earlier.

Cloud Continues its Growth

While cloud adoption can now be considered mature (with 86 percent of respondents worldwide citing some level of adoption) some areas have a stronger increase than others, opening the door to MSPs to add new revenue streams. Public cloud management, for example, has far stronger adoption than cloud monitoring or hybrid cloud. Even cloud backup has room for growth, with only two-thirds of respondents offering onsite-to-cloud backup, and just over one-fifth of respondents providing cloud-to-cloud backup. The takeaway: Cloud services continue to offer ample room for growth. MSPs unable to increase their cloud-based revenue would be wise to expand beyond their current offerings.

For more details and a comprehensive analysis of the findings, download the 2018 Kaseya MSP Benchmark Survey Report here: https://www.kaseya.com/resources/best-practices/2018-msp-benchmark-survey-whitepaper

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OPEC+ to weigh modest oil output boost at meeting – sources

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OPEC+ to weigh modest oil output boost at meeting - sources 1

By Ahmad Ghaddar, Alex Lawler and Olesya Astakhova

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – OPEC+ oil producers will discuss a modest easing of oil supply curbs from April given a recovery in prices, OPEC+ sources said, although some suggest holding steady for now given the risk of new setbacks in the battle against the pandemic.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, cut output by a record 9.7 million bpd last year as demand collapsed due to the pandemic. As of February, it is still withholding 7.125 million bpd, about 7% of world demand.

In January OPEC+ slowed the pace of a planned output increase to match weaker-than-expected demand due to continued coronavirus lockdowns. Saudi Arabia made extra voluntary cuts for February and March.

Three OPEC+ sources said an output increase of 500,000 barrels per day from April looked possible without building up inventories, although updated supply and demand balances that ministers will consider at their March 4 meeting will determine their decision.

“The oil price is definitely high and the market needs more oil to cool the prices down,” one of the OPEC+ sources said. “A 500,000 bpd increase from April is an option – looks like a good one.”

A rally in prices towards $67 a barrel, the highest since January 2020, the rollout of vaccines and economic recovery hopes have boosted confidence the market could take more oil. India, the world’s third biggest oil importer, has urged OPEC+ to ease production cuts.

Saudi Arabia’s voluntary cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) ends next month. While Riyadh hasn’t shared its plans beyond March, expectations in the group are growing that Saudi Arabia will bring back the supply from April, perhaps gradually.

Some OPEC+ members also anticipate that the Saudis will be willing to ease cuts further, but it was not clear if they had had direct communication with Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has warned producers to be “extremely cautious” and some OPEC members are wary of renewed demand setbacks. One OPEC country source said a full return of the Saudi barrels in April would mean the rest of OPEC+ should not pump more yet.

“The Saudi voluntary cut will be back to the market,” the source said. “I’m personally with no more relaxation, not until June.”

Russia, one of the OPEC+ countries which was allowed to boost output in February, is keen to raise supply and a source last week said Moscow would propose adding more oil if nothing changed before the March 4 virtual meeting.

(Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal and Nidhi Verma; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

 

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UK’s Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending

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UK's Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending 2

By William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will next week promise yet more spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak, who is due to announce a new budget plan on March 3, has already racked up more than 280 billion pounds ($397 billion) in coronavirus spending and tax cuts, pushing Britain’s borrowing to a peacetime record.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to lift England’s current lockdown entirely only in late June so Sunak is expected to rely heavily on the debt markets again.

His job retention scheme, paying 80% of employees’ wages, will probably be extended beyond a scheduled April 30 expiry date, further inflating its estimated cost of 70 billion pounds. Support for the self-employed looks set to stay too.

Businesses are demanding Sunak keep other lifelines, such as exempting the firms hardest hit by the lockdown from property taxes and giving them a value-added tax cut.

And calls are growing for an extension of a 20 pounds-a-week emergency welfare increase due to expire in April.

The Times newspaper said Sunak would prolong his stamp duty property tax break for three months until the end of June.

Sunak hopes that by then Britain will be emerging from its deep freeze thanks to Europe’s fastest vaccination programme.

Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane likens the economy to a “coiled spring” primed with the savings that households have built up after being stuck at home.

A strong recovery would mean a jump in tax revenues, doing some of the Treasury’s job of fixing the public finances.

Rupert Harrison, an aide to former finance minister George Osborne, said Sunak should not try to slash Britain’s 2.1 trillion-pound debt mountain, equivalent to 98% of GDP – a ratio unthinkable for decades.

Instead he should write new budget rules tied to the cost of debt servicing, which is close to record lows.

“We can safely carry higher levels of debt than before,” Harrison told a webinar organised by Onward, a think-tank.

But the scale of Britain’s borrowing is raising questions about how long Sunak and Johnson can stick to their promises not to raise key taxes, made to voters before the 2019 election.

BROKEN PROMISES?

The huge costs of tackling the worst of the coronavirus pandemic are likely to ease in the months ahead, meaning this year’s 400 billion pound budget deficit should narrow.

But Britain is probably on course to be stuck with a gap of 60 billion pounds between revenues and day-to-day spending by the mid-2020s, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank says.

In a nod to that, Sunak is expected to start raising Britain’s low corporation tax rate.

The Sunday Times said the rate would rise steadily to bring in an extra 12 billion pounds a year by the time of the next election, due in 2024.

Other options include ending a freeze on fuel duty increases which has been in place since 2012 and looks at odds with Britain’s plans to be carbon net zero by 2050.

But higher fuel prices now would hurt the haulage industry, already struggling with Brexit-related disruption, and could alienate working-class voters who backed Johnson in 2019.

Higher capital gains tax or lower pension incentives would anger lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party.

David Gauke, a former deputy finance minister, said the only big revenue-raising options were the ones that Johnson has promised not to touch – income tax, VAT and national insurance contributions.

“In the end, they are going to have to say, sorry we just can’t responsibly maintain that manifesto commitment,” Gauke told the Onward webinar.

($1 = 0.7046 pounds)

(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Catherine Evans)

 

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Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says

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Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says 3

By Sonia Elks

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women gained legal rights in nearly 30 countries last year despite disruption due to COVID-19, but governments must do more to ease the disproportionate burden shouldered by women during the pandemic, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

Nations should prioritise gender equality in economic recovery efforts, the bank said, warning that progress on equal rights was threatened by heavier job losses in female-dominated sectors, increased childcare and a surge in domestic violence.

“This pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities that disadvantage girls and women,” David Malpass, World Bank Group president, said in a statement accompanying the annual “Women, Business and the Law” report.

“Women should have the same access to finance and the same rights to inheritance as men and must be at the centre of our efforts toward an inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A total of 27 countries reformed laws or regulations to give women more economic equality with men in 2019-20, said the report, which grades 190 nations on laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunities.

While countries in all of the world’s regions made improvements in the new index – with most reforms addressing pay and parenthood, women on average still have only about three quarters of the rights granted to men, the report found.

Notably, nearly 40 countries brought in extra benefit or leave policies to help employees balance their jobs with the extra childcare needs created by coronavirus restrictions.

But such measures were “few and far between” worldwide and will probably not go far enough to tackle the “motherhood penalty” many women face in the workplace, it said.

The report also noted separate data from a United Nations tool tracking gender-sensitive pandemic responses which found 70% of such measures addressed violence, with just 10% targeting women’s economic security.

The pandemic could result in “a backslide on various hard-won advances in women’s rights achieved in recent years”, said Antonia Kirkland, the global lead on legal equality at women’s rights organisation Equality Now.

“This disruption is a unique opportunity for countries to rebuild more resilient, inclusive and prosperous economies,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email.

“But this can only be achieved alongside the removal of sex discriminatory laws that prevent women from participating fully and equally in economic, social and family life.”

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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