Business Consulting and Information Technology experts Forfusion are proud to announce another year of growth, job creation, and recent accolades such as Cisco Preferred Supplier and Microsoft Gold Partner. Specialists in designing, deploying and supporting secure communication solutions, Forfusion has grown from strength to strength and made a real impact, particularly in the North East.
The diverse team is all too familiar with delivering country-wide technical solutions, but they have also raised the bar by taking advantage of Social Media and associated Sales and Marketing initiatives. CEO Steven Forrest is confident that decisions made in the past twelve months will play a major part in Forfusion’s continued and sustainable growth.
“Last year can only be described as a blur,” says Forrest, who along with co-founders David Griffin (COO) and Ian Musgrave (CTO) is responsible for business related strategies and initiatives. “Towards the end of the summer we embarked on a new Sales and Marketing strategy, which meant refreshing our Website and getting to grips with Social Media; the results have been nothing short of fantastic.”
Forfusion’s HQ is in the heart of North Tyneside with a satellite office and data centres in London. They are currently looking for more office space in central London to increase footprint and better service businesses in the capital.
“Last year we focused on restructuring the business and bolstering our team to stimulate growth in line with demand,” remarks David Griffin. “We now have a business divided into Practices, making way for both junior and senior personnel, across multiple technology verticals. This, combined with our recent ISO 9001 accreditation and introduction of Enterprise grade back-office tools, means this year will most probably be busier than last, which I didn’t think possible.”
The Forfusion Directors are aiming high again this year, on the back of displacing two multi-million pound incumbent suppliers. One of the major changes to Forfusion’s portfolio being FusionCare, the complete Managed Service offering that has grown from strength to strength within a period of 18 months, a service delivered in collaboration with Cisco, providing customers with a fully customisable, belt and braces approach to support.
“Having the ability to displace much larger, better established Systems Integrators speaks volumes of our capacity to deliver, especially considering how long the FusionCare service has been running. 2014 sees an even more streamlined, flexible service and one we intend to develop further in the coming months. We narrowly missed out on the prestigious Cisco Services Innovation Award, which we hope to amend this year,” says Ian Musgrave.
In support of governmental directives, Forfusion continues to provide services directly into Public Sector organisations with assistance from the newly appointed Government Secure Services (GSS) practice lead. “Our new lead has got the perfect mix of technical and commercial skills,” says Musgrave. “His area of focus will be Public Sector business development and he will be solely responsible for the Profit and Loss (P&L) of our practice.”
Forrest concludes by saying, “having increased our operating profit by more than 200% and our workforce by 150% is an indication we are heading in the right direction, but it’s no time to rest on our laurels. More focus will be given to growth, but not to the detriment of customer service – our key objective is to keep our 100% customer retention record intact and it’s a challenge we’re all prepared for.”
Forfusion comprises a dynamic, specialist team of forward thinking professionals. They specialise in the deployment and support of secure communications solutions. Highly customer focused and with years of industry experience, they are set to make even more of an impact in 2014.
Forfusion continues to demonstrate the value in building a business with strong engineering and consultancy focus. Don’t be surprised if you hear a lot more about them in the business pages and via social media channels in the coming months.
G20 to show united front on support for global economic recovery, cash for IMF
By Michael Nienaber and Andrea Shalal
BERLIN/WASHINGTON/ROME (Reuters) – The world’s financial leaders are expected on Friday to agree to continue supportive measures for the global economy and look to boost the International Monetary Fund’s resources so it can help poorer countries fight off the effects of the pandemic.
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s top 20 economies, called the G20, held a video-conference on Friday. The global response to the economic havoc wreaked by the coronavirus was at top of the agenda.
In the first comments by a participating policymaker, the European Union’s economics commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said the meeting had been “good”, with consensus on the need for a common effort on global COVID vaccinations.
“Avoid premature withdrawal of supportive fiscal policy” and “progress towards agreement on digital and minimal taxation” he said in a Tweet, signalling other areas of apparent accord.
A news conference by Italy, which holds the annual G20 presidency, is scheduled for 17.15 (1615 GMT)
The meeting comes as the United States is readying $1.9 trillion in fiscal stimulus and the European Union has already put together more than 3 trillion euros ($3.63 trillion) to keep its economies going despite COVID-19 lockdowns.
But despite the large sums, problems with the global rollout of vaccines and the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus mean the future of the recovery remains uncertain.
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz warned earlier on Friday that recovery was taking longer than expected and it was too early to roll back support.
“Contrary to what had been hoped for, we cannot speak of a full recovery yet. For us in the G20 talks, the central task remains to lead our countries through the severe crisis,” Scholz told reporters ahead of the virtual meeting.
“We must not scale back the support programmes too early and too quickly. That’s what I’m also going to campaign for among my G20 colleagues today,” he said.
Hopes for constructive discussions at the meeting are high among G20 countries because it is the first since Joe Biden, who vowed to rebuild cooperation in international bodies, became U.S. president.
While the IMF sees the U.S. economy returning to pre-crisis levels at the end of this year, it may take Europe until the middle of 2022 to reach that point.
The recovery is fragile elsewhere too – factory activity in China grew at the slowest pace in five months in January, hit by a wave of domestic coronavirus infections, and in Japan fourth quarter growth slowed from the previous quarter with new lockdowns clouding the outlook.
“The initially hoped-for V-shaped recovery is now increasingly looking rather more like a long U-shaped recovery. That is why the stabilization measures in almost all G20 states have to be maintained in order to continue supporting the economy,” a G20 official said.
But while the richest economies can afford to stimulate an economic recovery by borrowing more on the market, poorer ones would benefit from being able to tap credit lines from the IMF — the global lender of last resort.
To give itself more firepower, the Fund proposed last year to increase its war chest by $500 billion in the IMF’s own currency called the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), but the idea was blocked by then U.S. President Donald Trump.
Scholz said the change of administration in Washington on Jan. 20 improved the prospects for more IMF resources. He pointed to a letter sent by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to G20 colleagues on Thursday, which he described as a positive sign also for efforts to reform global tax rules.
Civil society groups, religious leaders and some Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. Congress have called for a much larger allocation of IMF resources, of $3 trillion, but sources familiar with the matter said they viewed such a large move as unlikely for now.
The G20 may also agree to extend a suspension of debt servicing for poorest countries by another six months.
($1 = 0.8254 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber in Berlin, Jan Strupczewski in Brussels and Gavin Jones in Rome; Andrea Shalal and David Lawder in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Susan Fenton and Crispian Balmer)
Oil set for steady gains as economies shake off pandemic blues – Reuters poll
By Sumita Layek and Bharat Gautam
(Reuters) – Oil prices will stage a steady recovery this year as vaccines reach more people and speed an economic revival, with further impetus coming from stimulus and output discipline by top crude producers, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
The survey of 55 participants forecast Brent crude would average $59.07 per barrel in 2021, up from last month’s $54.47 forecast.
Brent has averaged around $58.80 so far this year.
“Travel and leisure activity look set to catch up to buoyant manufacturing activity due to the mix of stimulus, confidence, vaccines, and more targeted pandemic measures,” said Norbert Ruecker of Julius Baer.
“Against these demand dynamics, the supply side is unlikely to catch up on time, leaving the oil market in tightening mode for months to come.”
Of the 41 respondents who participated in both the February and January polls, 32 raised their forecasts.
Most analysts said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) may ease current output curbs when they meet on March 4, but would still agree to maintain supply discipline.
“With OPEC+ endeavouring to keep global oil production below demand, inventories should continue falling this year and allow prices to rise further,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
Oil demand was seen growing by 5-7 million barrels per day in 2021, as per the poll.
However, experts said any deterioration in the COVID-19 situation and the possible lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran could hold back oil’s recovery.
The poll forecast U.S. crude to average $55.93 per barrel in 2021 versus January’s $51.42 consensus.
Analysts expect U.S. production to rise moderately this year, although new measures from U.S. President Joe Biden to tame the oil sector could curb output in the long run.
“A structural shift away from fossil fuels” may prevent oil from returning to the highs of previous decades, said Economist Intelligence Unit analyst Cailin Birch.
(Reporting by Sumita Layek and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Arpan Varghese, Noah Browning and Barbara Lewis)
Japan’s jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures – Reuters poll
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s jobless rate is expected to have edged up in January as service industry businesses suffered renewed restrictions on movement to fight spread of the coronavirus in some areas, including Tokyo, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Friday.
While industrial production activity picked up in Japan, emergency curbs rolled out last month such as asking restaurants to close early and suspending the national travel campaign hurt the jobs market, analysts said.
The nation’s unemployment rate likely rose 3.0% in January, up from 2.9% in December, the poll of 15 economists found.
The jobs-to-applicants ratio, a gauge of the availability of jobs, was seen at 1.06 in January, unchanged from December, but stayed near September’s seven-year low of 1.03, the poll showed.
“As the impact from the coronavirus pandemic prolongs, it is hard for firms, especially the service sector, to expect their business profits to improve,” said Yusuke Shimoda, senior economist at Japan Research Institute.
“So, their willingness to hire employees appear to be subdued and it is difficult to see the jobs market recovering soon.”
Some analysts also said the government’s steps to support employment and existing labour shortages will likely prevent the jobless rate from worsening sharply.
The government will announce the labour market data at 8:30 a.m. Japan time on Tuesday (2330 GMT Monday).
Analysts expect the economy to contract in the current quarter due to the emergency measures to counter the spread of the disease.
(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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