Study: MSPs Fear a second Lockdown
IT Glue, a Vancouver, BC-based Kaseya company, has released its third annual Global MSP Benchmark Report indicating that nearly three-fourths of managed service providers responding to their survey fear a second lockdown related to the Coronavirus.
“The pandemic has created an unprecedented landscape for all businesses,” said Nadir Merchant, general manager of IT Glue. “Our initial Global MSP Benchmark survey in February provided an overview of sentiment among MSP professionals, but once the world changed almost overnight, MSPs needed data-driven guidance on how to adapt.”
IT Glue initially surveyed more than 1,500 MSP professionals in February about their technology stacks, headcounts, operations and more. After the global COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March, IT Glue followed up with a survey to MSP professionals in May 2020 to identify trends that emerged as a result, receiving over 500 responses. Though the May 2020 data found that a majority (74%) of MSPs are concerned about the impact of potentially a second quarantine in Fall 2020, both surveys revealed several existing opportunities for MSPs to drive value for customers as businesses reopen in the second half of the year.
According to the report, around half (51%) of MSPs saw monthly revenue decreases as a result of the coronavirus shutdown, and more than a quarter (29%) saw their accounts receivable increase, indicating more clients could not meet contractual deadlines to pay for services. Prior to the pandemic, the top concerns of MSPs were a lack of adequate time to complete work (54%) and an inability to find good technical employees (53%), followed closely by changing technologies (32%) and a lack of information sharing (27%).
However, less than 20% of respondents to the May follow-up survey marked these as top concerns following the start of the pandemic, replacing them instead with concerns for cybersecurity threats, customer churn, price pressure and a second lockdown. Concern for cybersecurity saw the greatest change, jumping from 27% in the February survey to more than 50% in May, likely fueled by an unparalleled increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic.
While their business model focuses primarily on monthly recurring revenues as opposed to one-time CAPEX sales, MSPs can become vulnerable if customers find difficulty in paying their bills.
ConnectWise Rolls out Cybersecurity Framework for MSPs
ConnectWise, a Tampa-based provider of software and services for solution providers, has announced the “MSP+ Cybersecurity Framework,” which is intended to shorten the learning curve for MSPs and enable them to more efficiently sell and deliver comprehensive security solutions to their customers. The framework is described as a compilation of MSP-specific guidance from other well-known frameworks including NIST CSF, CIS 20, UK Cyber Essentials, Australia’s Essential Eight and others.
“We talk a lot about how important it is to know ‘what good looks like’ in your business so you can work towards that in all areas. But the challenge has been that MSPs haven’t had a specialized and standardized framework to work against for cybersecurity and therefore don’t know what good cybersecurity looks like,” said Jason Magee, CEO of ConnectWise. “We’ve designed the MSP+ Cybersecurity Framework to address that issue, and it’s part of a comprehensive new cybersecurity education and certification program called IT Nation Secure that will position MSPs for long-term success.”
IT Nation Secure is an umbrella of offerings that includes educational training and assets, thought leadership, information sharing, engagement and business building aligned to the MSP+ Cybersecurity Framework. It includes consumable content and actionable steps for an MSP to produce, implement and run a successful security practice within their business. This includes advice and best practices on how MSPs can have a conversation about cybersecurity with their customers and how they can set expectations from a contracting standpoint on who owns the risk.
MSP-specific education and certification around cybersecurity has been somewhat lacking. This offering is intended to fill that gap.
D&H Distributing Adds Cisco Solutions to its Cloud Marketplace Lineup
D&H Distributing, the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based distributor, announced it has added cloud solutions from Cisco Systems to its cloud marketplace. The move will enable D&H partners to bundle Cisco’s managed services solutions with hardware, software, and services under a tiered pricing structure.
The agreement includes Cisco’s Webex Collaboration platform, its Umbrella layered security solutions, and its Stealthwatch cloud-based network visibility and threat detection solutions.
D&H will offer a Cisco-based collaborative “Meeting, Teams, and Calling” bundle built around Webex, which can include hardware and peripherals such as VoIP phones, branded headsets, and accessories to accommodate a turn-key videoconferencing package. Similarly, partners can assemble a secure “remote worker” package consisting of laptops, an associated Umbrella contract, Webex licensing for Meetings, Calling and Teams, plus add-ons like laptop cases and surge protectors. Bundles can include either Cisco-branded or third-party hardware.
“D&H has established an effective go-to-market strategy for partners looking to increase their cloud-based offerings,” said Jason Bystrak, vice president of D&H’s Cloud Business Unit. “Cisco’s solutions are a major addition to the robust portfolio we’ve curated.”
The Cloud Marketplace portal accommodates manual quoting, ordering, and automated contract modification, allowing the reseller to choose product combinations and quantities and finalize their orders. Partners can accommodate different end-customer budgets through the tiered pricing structure.
Primarily targeting the SMB market, partners can leverage the marketplace to deliver tailored, high-value services in a streamlined manner.