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FlipServe Cloud Gig Model Seeks to Disrupt Traditional MSPs

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A startup called FlipServe has launched a cloud IT services platform that seeks to disrupt the traditional MSP (managed IT service s provider) market. The goal: Blend one-demand talent and cloud technologies to simplify IT services delivery for end-customers.

Similar in some ways to Uber’s on-demand talent, FlipServe’s business takes a page out of the gig economy playbook by focusing on outcome-based services delivery via on-demand access to a certified global workforce and emphasis on meeting service-level agreements, according to the statement.

Rather than paying for IT services based on output, FlipServe users pay for IT services based on measurable outcomes or business impacts they can objectively assess, the company says.

FlipServe Harnesses On-Demand IT Services Talent

The FlipServe platform will also provide opportunities to gig employees globally, the company said. Information about FlipServe’s IT associates such as their credentials and ratings will be provided to the customer. Once a task is assigned to a FlipServe associate, their progress will be tracked, and all of their activity from start to finish will be recorded for full transparency.

In some ways, the effort sounds similar to WorkMarket, the former OnForce, and other on-demand IT platforms that attempted to align IT talent with end-customer needs.

On FlipServe platform, users can select the service they want to accomplish along with its associated SLA’s and KPI’s, view the associated costs, track the progress of the service, and pay only after the service is completed to satisfaction. All services on the FlipServe platform are non-contractual.

Here’s how FlipServe works:

  1. Select a Service: The customer selects a service with clearly defined SLA’s and KPI’s. Multiple services can be purchased for a single server (e.g. monitoring, patching, and upgrade).
  2. Select Service Options: The customer chooses from three service options: Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The customer also has the option to choose hours of service for each server to minimize cost.
  3. Service Transparency: Cost associated with selected options will be shown. Customers have the ability to adjust service options to control costs. Once the selected service and service options are confirmed, a FlipServe-Certified cloud professional will be engaged, and the customer dashboard will be updated with progress on both desktops and mobile smart devices for complete transparency.
  4. Simplified Payment: Customers only pay based on the condition that the work meets defined SLAs. If work does not meet SLA, FlipServe will credit the customer’s account.

Infrastructure Services as a Service

Instead of focusing heavily on classic PC and server support, FlipServe bills itself as an Infrastructure Services as a Service (iSaaS) company offering managed services for Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud, according to the statement.

FlipServe’s stated mission is to democratize cloud through unparalleled transparency, flexible service offerings, non-contractual agreements and outcome-based work. Available services include cloud subscription management, day-to-day management of cloud operations, performance management, spend management, high availability and disaster recovery.

FlipServe claims to have onboarded roughly 120 customers and 60 terabytes of data so far, according to the company’s website. Still, FlipServe did not disclose whether the company’s underlying platform is home-grown or third-party software. Also, the company did not disclose how it’s funding business development.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.

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Economy

Why faster payments are critical to the gig economy

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More people are joining the gig economy, and a major driver of this trend — particularly for those working multiple gigs — is a need for faster access to cash to meet expenses.

The gig economy has proven flexible during the pandemic. When ride sharing cooled as fewer consumers traveled, food delivery services exploded. As Airbnb vacation rentals dropped, they were replaced by Airbnb home rentals as newly sequestered workers decided remote work could allow them to trade apartments in New York and Chicago for beach and mountain homes in Florida and Colorado.



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European Commission to consult over future of gig economy

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Photo: Shutterstock

The European Commission on Wednesday began its consultation on the rights of gig economy workers whose labour is governed by digital platforms.

The commission’s process is made up of two parts: the first, which will last six weeks, will see businesses, workers and unions consulted on “the need and direction of possible EU action to improve the working conditions in platform work”; the second, to take place later in the spring, will see concrete proposals formulated and legislation introduced if no agreement is reached in the first stage.

Among the key issues to be addressed, in addition to employment status, will be algorithmic management, collective representation and access to social protections with the EU officials aware that, according to jobs commissioner Nicolas Schmit, “there is not white and black or there is not just one-size-fits-all. There is a big variety in the world of platforms.”

First soundings suggest the commission wants to preserve platorm-based gig economy work. Margrethe Vestager, competition commissioner and chair of the Europe Fit for the Digital Age group, said: “The platform economy is here to stay– new technologies, new sources of knowledge, new forms of work will shape the world in the years ahead.”

However: “And for all of our work on the digital economy, these new opportunities must not come with different rights. Online just as offline, all people should be protected and allowed to work safely and with dignity.”

She identified the most crucial issue was “to find a balance between making the most of the opportunities of the platform economy and ensuring that the social rights of people working in it are the same as in the traditional economy” adding there was “also a matter of a fair competition and level playing field between platforms and traditional companies that have higher labour costs because they are subject to traditional labour laws.”

She said she was not looking at creating a new category of worker: “In my experience, discussions become extremely complex when you want to create a new category. We’re not in any process to create a third category. But we think that here in the consultation, it’s important that we get the feedback on exactly this.”

Uber said it welcomed the consultation: “We welcome the steps taken by the European Commission to improve the conditions of platform work,” said a spokesperson. “Any legislative initiative should be grounded in what platform workers value most – flexibility and control over their work, transparent and fair earnings, access to benefits and protections, and meaningful representation.”

Last week’s judgment in the UK Supreme Court, which ruled Uber drivers were workers because, said the judge, the relationship between it and its drivers was one of “subordination and dependency”, could lead to changes in the UK that will inform the commission’s discussion.

However, centre and left-wing political groupings in Europe are campaigning on the basis that platform workers should be employees. Alongside trade unions such as the European Transport Workers’ Federation – a participant in the consultation – they believe the onus should be on the platforms to prove that their “contractors” aren’t employees, rather than the other way round.

“To change the game of the gig economy, in principle all platform workers must be considered as employees,” said Dutch MEP Agnes Jongerius, a European parliament spokesperson for the employment and social affairs committee. Another member of the committee, French MEP Sylvie Brunet, published a draft report on the rights of platform workers this week, which called on the EU to draw up legislation to “counter bogus self-employment”.

Groups representing companies’ interests such as BusinessEurope do not wish to see an EU-wide definition of employee, which they say should be defined on a national level. Unless an agreement is reached at stage one of the European Commission’s consultation, it is likely that digital platform workers on the Continent will be subject to a patchwork of national case law for at least a year to come, because it is thought coming up with legislation will be a long drawn-out process.

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Economy

How the Gig Economy Helps American Workers, Explained

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Sure, you know that being an Uber driver is great for someone who wants to make their own hours. But did you know that many Americans are choosing freelance work because they need flexibility because of family or other responsibilities?

Did you know that small businesses rely on independent contractors? Or that Americans who were once discouraged because they couldn’t make a job work with their lifestyle are now able to work?

But unfortunately, the gig economy is under attack by leftists. In California, a new law has made many such flexible jobs illegal.

In this “Policy Lab” episode, posted above, we have the facts on the gig economy. Check it out—and if you’re interested in watching more “Policy Lab” episodes, you can view them here.



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