MSP Consortium Forms as Cloud Changes Everything

By Edward Gately

The rapidly growing “cloud tsunami” is forcing the MSP industry to completely transform itself, embracing consumption economics, and focusing on sales, marketing and training.

The new MSP Consortium aims to bring together the industry to address challenges and ensure members not only survive, but thrive in this rapidly changing environment. Membership is free.

Amy Rutt, consortium board president and CEO of Ciracom, tells Channel Partners the consortium is moving ahead “with an enormous sense of urgency” and is quickly gaining members.

“The cloud has completely changed everything for us,” she said. “I’ve evolved my business to be more of a cloud services brokerage model. This is coming from a place of really wanting my competitor, my MSP brethren, to do really well, to have so much success.”

Consortium members have access to an integrated platform comprised of a remote monitoring and management tool, professional services automation and quota system automation, all built by MSPs. Also, members have a voice and will influence the development of future needs. In addition, members receive tools and resources, marketing enablement and support, savings on licensing costs and access to leads.

The consortium will establish best practices, institute certification standards, and create and share management tools to help members.

The board of directors includes executives from Ciracom, Comodo, Compunite Computers, Presage Solutions, Raven Data Technologies, LazoTEK Computer Solutions and TCG: The Computer Guys. Comodo is a founding sponsor and is offering MSP and security tools.

“The ability to quickly and easily tap into the knowledge of your peers will give members unique insight, tools and resources – all free of charge,” Rutt said. “No one in the entire IT industry is doing anything like this today for MSPs.”

With the advent of cloud, there’s more of an “interdependency than there used to be,” similar to the relationship between auto manufacturers and dealerships, she said. The consortium will provide that collaboration for MSPs, she said.

Steve Ferman, consortium board member and CEO of Compunite Computer, said the platform and tools are designed to save MSPs time and licensing fees.

“This new consortium will help bring down technology costs for both ourselves and other MSPs … while we collaborate with our peers, leveraging their learnings, experiences and methodologies to bring the very best offerings to market,” he said.

The MSPAlliance is probably the best known – and largest – association for cloud computing and managed services pros. Established in 2000, it too brings together MSPs to work collaboratively in an effort to advance the industry.

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