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According to MSPAlliance's Weaver, the group does audits on five continents, leveraging local auditors in each geography.
"We need greater visibility and greater transparency, if we are going to be an unregulated profession," Weaver said. "I am a staunch advocate of non-licensure of managed service and cloud providers. But that's not to say that we don't need transparency, which is fundamental to people having faith and trust in what the MSPs are doing. I'm not aware of any cloud or managed service provider licensing bill making the rounds in Washington. But it only takes one failure of a noteworthy MSP before all this goes sideways on us."
Most MSPs participating in the audits fall into one of three categories. Some plan to use the certification for marketing purposes. Others are trying to fix problems within their businesses. And the third group, according to Weaver, is trying to satisfy compliance requirements for their customers.
John Burgess, president of Mainstream Technologies Inc., a Little Rock, Ark.-based MSP, already completed the process.
"We've found that it has helped us secure a higher grade of client, including those in highly regulated industries and business," Burgess told CRN. "It's probably added 10 or 15 percent to our bottom line. The Unified Certification Standard is fairly rigorous. We were in pretty good shape already, but it was important to formalize and document what we were doing."