Weekly News Roundup: Around The Channel

AI Adds A New Twist To ‘Shadow IT’  

A new study of knowledge workers by cybersecurity company Kolide and Dimensional Research finds a significant gap between the percentage of employees allowed to use artificial intelligence (68%) and those who actually use it (89%). Moreover, about half (49%) of the workers surveyed believe that fewer than 10% of their colleagues use AI-based applications. Only 1% of workers correctly estimate that the REAL NUMBER is closer to 90%. 

What are they using? Tools that generate or edit text, such as ChatGPT, Bard, and GrammarlyGo, are being used at least once a month by 51% of respondents, while another 31% are using coding tools such as GitHub Copilot and SourceAI. 

Despite the prevalence of these tools, the research reveals a lack of governance and acceptable use policies for AI, with just 56% of companies educating employees on the risks. 

Syncro’s New Pricing Reports Finds Majority Of MSPs Raised Prices This Year 

If you raised prices for your managed services this year, you are not alone. Syncro, provider of an integrated PSA, RMM, and remote access tool for MSPs, recently surveyed over 400 IT and MSP professionals across the U.S. about how they’re currently pricing their services. According to the findings in the MSP & IT Professionals Pricing Report 2023, 63% of MSPs raised their prices in the last 12 months, citing current economic variables such as inflation and rising labor costs as the top reasons why. 

The survey also found that most MSPs offer four or more standard plans, yet more than a quarter (26%) say they don’t know how their organization created its pricing strategy (with only 7% developing pricing rates backed by research). In addition, larger organizations with higher revenue, more endpoints, and additional technicians tend to provide a greater variety of pricing options, and respondents favor variable pricing plans over flat-rate plans. Respondents also report that 39% of their revenue comes from monthly contracts. 

Interestingly, 15% of MSPs now accept crypto as payment. 

Cowbell Partners With Microsoft And Ingram Micro 

The partnering among cyber insurance providers and cybersecurity vendors continues.  

Cowbell, a provider of cyber insurance for SMBs, is now collaborating with Microsoft and Ingram Micro to enable Cowbell policyholders to gain access to complimentary Microsoft Exchange migrations to Microsoft 365 Business Premium. The new relationship harnesses the Cowbell Connector for Microsoft to offer a seamless transition to Microsoft 365. Cowbell now offers free cloud migration services to businesses in the U.S. and U.K., providing its policyholders with the ability to enhance their security posture and earn a 5% premium credit at renewal by implementing essential security measures, including multifactor authentication and Microsoft Defender for Microsoft 365. 

Prior to the migration, each organization will undergo an evaluation of their current IT infrastructure, and once the scope of the migration is understood, Ingram Micro’s partners will provide estimates for migration duration, with an average turnaround time of one week. Once the cloud migration is completed, organizations will have the opportunity to gain a deeper level of insights on their cloud environment through Cowbell’s cyber platform. 

SentinelOne And Pax8 Deepen Their Partnership To Secure SMBs 

Cybersecurity vendor SentinelOne and distributor Pax8 have expanded their four-year relationship. Under terms of the multiyear agreement, Pax8 is committed to accelerating the adoption of SentinelOne solutions among its partner base and expanding its service offerings beyond the company’s traditional endpoint security product into areas like cloud, identity, and other related modules. And SentinelOne will leverage Pax8’s ecommerce platform to speed adoption of the solutions among SMBs through a new, click-to-buy option, making it faster and easier to connect to Pax8, if they choose to. 

TD SYNNEX Expands AI Training 

Following the launch of its Destination AI program earlier this year, TD SYNNEX is expanding its AI enablement and training capabilities further through a new solution that uses artificial intelligence to analyze and understand images and videos, the Intel Geti software platform. TD SYNNEX will serve as an initial distributor of the platform in the U.S. and Europe.    

In TD SYNNEX’s recent Direction of Technology report, the number of partners offering AI/ML solutions skyrocketed by 625% globally, and in North America, AI/ML is the top technology skill partners are looking to hire for in the coming months.  

The enterprise-grade Intel Geti platform is used to build vision models for detection, classification, segmentation, and anomaly-based tasks in any industry where computer vision can bring business value. The trained models can be deployed for inference on all modern hardware platforms, regardless of CPU or GPU manufacturer.   

The Intel Geti platform is currently available for trial and purchase for eligible TD SYNNEX partners in the U.S. and Europe.  

How Will We Fill 10 Million Open U.S. Jobs? 

ISACA, a global professional association and learning organization, has released new research showing that IT and emerging tech knowledge is increasingly sought after by organizations across the U.S. Conducted through Lightcast, an authority in labor market analytics, the research analyzed billions of data points from sources like online job postings and professional social media profiles. 

The research finds that skills such as data ethics and DevSecOps are forecasted to grow in demand between 100% and 250% over the next five years, while demand for AI is expected to grow up to 450% over that period. In addition, computer science was included in more than 1.6 million online job postings in the latest 12 months of data availability. 

“Our workforce is facing technological change with a speed and scope that is unprecedented,” said Will Markow, vice president of applied research at Lightcast, in a press statement. “Job candidates and organizations that constantly evolve their skills, and pursue credentials aligned with emerging capabilities, are best positioned to adapt in the face of constant change.” 

ISACA offers the IT Certified Associate (ITCA) and Certified in Emerging Technology (CET) credentials. 

Colleen Frye is executive editor of MSP Success. A veteran of the B2B publishing industry, she has been covering the channel for the last 17 years.



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