MSP Groups Meet to Market

The MSP Alliance and the MSP Association, in an effort to both better promote the adoption of management service providers (MSPs) and clarify the mission of each group, today announced a marketing alliance.

“There has been some confusion between the two groups,” Karissa Michelle Stewart told ASPnews. While some in the industry have viewed the two groups as competing consortiums, they actually offer complementary services, Stewart said. “The MSP Association focuses on best practices and we offer marketing, consulting and business development services for individual clients.”

While the MSP Association is a traditional trade organization charged with serving the MSP industry as a single entity, the MSP Alliance works with CEOs and other executives at MSPs to produce tangible business results. Unlike the not-for-profit association, the MSP Alliance charges for its services.

The alliance of the two groups will have two immediate results, according to Steward. “The MSP Association approached us to help them market their events, so we will be promoting the upcoming event in New Orleans [Members’ Meeting, June 10-12].” Steward said the alliance will also soon have the results of research on the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) market.

While Stewart admits the MSP industry has struggled, she said that the market is becoming clearer. “MSPs are starting to exploit the channel and looking to partner. There are very few pureplay MSPs — they always need help in some area.”

The alliance is helping MSPs establish relationships with telcos and Web hosting providers and is also trying to decipher how MSPs will fit in the evolving world of Web services. “There are a lot of places MSPs can go.”

The MSP Association has 55 members. The MSP Alliance has 60 clients/members.

Most recently, the MSP Association launched the service management quality initiative (SMQI) to promote the adoption of the IT infrastructure library (ITIL) as the best practices framework for managing complex IT environments. (See MSPs Meet Delivery Standards.)

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