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MSP Association Launches Buyers' Guide

The Management Service Provider (MSP) Association, an international consortium to define, shape and promote the emerging MSP market, Tuesday (May 8) launched a buyers' guide to help potential customers choose an MSP.

The guide is intended to make it easier for potential customers to identify the services provided by MSP Association member companies in various categories. It also provides member companies the opportunity to better define their services by self-assigning themselves to categories in the guide.

"Our buyers' guide will help potential customers choose the right MSP services for their specific needs," said Linda Shannon-Hills of HP OpenView, MSP Association chairperson. "Our members will benefit as well, as they are able to clearly categorize their offerings in a consistent manner that customers can understand."

The user-friendly guide includes a demonstration so that users know how to use it and what to expect from it. Users search for MSPs based on the types of services they are looking for. The guide includes links to members' Web sites for more information about those companies.

The buyers' guide offers two types of solutions: eBusiness and Enterprise MSP services. The MSP Association defines eBusiness solutions as those offerings that support a company's transaction-intensive, Internet-based business capabilities, including databases, networks, performance management, security, storage and Web servers. The Association describes Enterprise solutions as those services that support a company's internal IT-managed infrastructure, including databases, desktops, networks, security, servers and storage.

Customers who want to manage and utilize various MSP tools using their own staff to resolve IT management issues can choose from a variety of Self-Service solutions. For those who prefer that an MSP provide the IT staff, manage the tools and resolve problems as they are identified, the buyers' guide offers a spectrum of Outsourced solutions.

Users can choose from six categories: database, desktop, network, security, servers and storage. Then users select whether they want these services to be self-service or outsourced.

"We saw a great need for the buyers' guide," said Todd Clayton of TriActive, chair of the Association's Education committee. "Not only is it a tool to help potential customers shop for an MSP, it also helps to position the MSP Association and its members in the industry."

The buyers' guide includes MSP Association members from nine countries, including the United States, Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Founded in June 2000, the MSP Association Inc. is based in Wakefield, Mass. Founding members are 2ndWave Inc.; Candle Corp.; Entuity Inc.; HP OpenView (NYSE: HWP); InteQ Corp.; iSharp; Luminate; manage.com; McAfee.com (Nasdaq: MCAF); NCMX Inc.; Nuclio Corp.; SilverBack Technologies Inc.; SiteLite Inc.; siteROCK Corp.; Storability Inc.; and TriActive Inc.