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MSPAlliance Offers New Payment Model, Community for MSP/Cloud Verify Program

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Lynn HaberVendor certifications are plentiful, time-consuming, often come with a price tag of time, money or both, and are usually required for partners to maintain status and authorization in a particular vendor’s partner program. But, how about industry certifications beyond what vendors offer, such as the 12-year old MSP Cloud/Verify Program (MSPCV) offered by the MSPAlliance?

Well, to date, about 900 MSP organizations globally have gone through the MSPCV, and Tuesday, the MSP Alliance announced a new monthly payment model for these partner organizations or other MSPs considering it.

MSPAlliance's Charles WeaverThe industry organization for managed service providers (MSPs) also announced a new Slack community for MSP/Cloud Verify organizations to communicate and collaborate.

While there’s no fixed pricing for organizations (large or small) who go through the MSPCV – it could cost $8,000 or $50,000 or something in between depending on the size and maturity level of a MSP organization, i.e. documentation and quality of policies and procedures – most MSPs will benefit from the familiar monthly payment model.

“We’re around MSPs all the time and all MSP companies offer monthly pricing, so duh, why don’t we do it for them?” Charles Weaver, CEO of the MSPAlliance told us.

He expects that as many as 90 percent of MSP companies will move to the monthly payment model because it’s easier for them to budget, easier for cash flow, and with ongoing expense for annual renewals for the MSPCV, it makes more sense for them.

So what exactly is MSPCV?{ad}

Vendor certifications tell objective third parties that a partner has an understanding of a particular vendor’s products or they have individuals within the partner company that have particular certifications.

“That’s great. Ours [MSPCV] tells the customer whether or not they can trust that MSP. It’s an assurance that goes beyond the technical — which says this person knows how to do the technical stuff but we’re going in and saying, ‘Can you trust this company to do it?'” Weaver explained.

The MSPCV is an examination and an audit that’s good for one year.

There are two main drivers for an MSP to go through the MSPCV: One is compliance-driven and often required for an MSP to close a deal or keep a client; the second is …

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… MSP organizations that are interested in improving how they do things.

MSPs with the MSPCV tend to have customers in the financial services and banking industries, legal or health-care verticals. Also, small MSPs with government contracts or state or local agency customers.

“The certification is compliance or transparency-driven,” said Weaver.

MSP/Cloud Verify is based on the controls from the Unified Certified Standard for Cloud & Managed Service Providers (UCS). UCS was created in 2004 by MSPs as a comprehensive set of criteria by which service providers could be measured. The UCS is maintained by a board of verified MSPs on an annual basis, according to the MSPAlliance.

There are 10 UCS control objectives: MSP Organization, Governance, Planning and Risk Management; MSP Policies and Procedures; Confidentiality and Privacy; Service Program Change Management Objective; Event Management; Logical Security; Data Integrity and Availability; Physical and Environmental Security; Service Level Agreements, Reporting and Billing; and Corporate Health.


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