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MSPAlliance President Charles Weaver spent some time telling me about the organization’s new accreditation program during a conference last month. Sounds like the program is gaining some traction.
So far, eight vendors have received the accreditation, including Asigra, Dell/SilverBack, Do IT Smarter, Intel, LiveCargo, N-able, Untangle and XRoads Networks, according to Web Host Industry News. Roughly 50 vendors are on track to receive the accreditation by the close of 2007, Weaver told WHIN. So what’s the upside for managed service providers? The accreditation appears to offer four clear benefits to MSPs and their customers.
First, the MSPAlliance is closely focusing on MSP business practices — striving to ensure accredited organizations truly are committed to channel development and partner enablement.
Second, Weaver’s organization also looks a company’s product road map. Of course, technology road maps can vary greatly — anybody else remember Microsoft Windows “Cairo,” Apple “Copland” and other hugely hyped IT products that never saw the light of day? But at least the MSPAlliance is taking the time to look behind the curtains to see if R&D is humming along.
Third, MSPAlliance tries to analyze the financial stability of MSP players. Again, this is a tricky process. If Wall Street’s top financial minds missed the warning signs at Enron and WorldCom, how can we all hope to determine whether privately held MSP platform providers have ample funding for the long haul?
And finally, the vendor must provide at least three MSP specific client references, WHIN notes.
As a whole, I’m impressed with the MSPAlliance. The organization’s recent conference in San Jose had good energy, and Weaver focused on admitting quality attendees — rather than opening the doors to every reseller nomad on the street. He truly seems focused on growing the managed services industry, with a focus on quality rather than raw numbers.