MSP Alliance to Roll Out Vendor Accreditation

On the final day of the MSP Alliance Conference in Orlando, Weaver said the program will weigh three criteria in accrediting vendors. The MSP Alliance will look at financial health, channel friendliness and recommendations from MSPs partnering with the vendor applying for accreditation, he said.

Weaver said vendors he's discussed the program with have been "surprisingly enthusiastic."

"The big name vendors have been the most vocal about wanting to sign up. They see it as a great marketing tool to approach MSPs with," he said.

Weaver said MSPs should not view the accreditation program as an excuse not to do their own research into vendors.

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"We want to get the message to the public that they still need to do due diligence with [MSP Alliance]-accredited MSPs. Similarly, MSPs still need to do due diligence with accredited vendors," Weaver said.

Vendors at the conference viewed the new initiative in a generally positive light.

"Lawyers have the bar association. Charles' vision is to have the MSP Alliance serve as a sort of bar association for MSPs," said Autotask CEO Robert Godgart. "I think it's a good direction to go."

Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford hoped the program would have some degree of latitude for assessing vendors that present very different solutions in what he called the "Wild West" of the MSP space.

"To do accreditation right, there have to be very high standards for judging merits, instead of just assuming that one model is better than another at delivering service to the customer," Sandiford said. "Having said that, it is going to be very beneficial to discover what those standards are."

MSP Alliance board member Craig Valentine Brenner, CEO of Waltham, Mass.-based New England Data Services, said vendor accreditation would help both vendors and MSPs.

"It's important for both parties to do their job right. Having vendors meet minimum standards is going to help us, and it's going to help them," Brenner said.

One MSP who asked not to be named took a certain amount of satisfaction at the idea of vendors having to jump through hoops for MSPs.

"This is turning the tables on the vendors for once," said the anonymous source.