MSP Advocates To Band Together

Set to be announced on Sept. 7, the new organization will comprise nearly 200 members shared between the Global MSP Network (GMN) and the much larger MSPAlliance.

It will retain the MSPAlliance name.

Celia Weaver, vice president of the MSPAlliance, based in Chico, Calif., said that the new group will focus on education, best practices, research and promoting the managed service business model. She added that the MSPAlliance eventually could use its collective buying power with vendors to reap volume discounts and higher rankings up the partner chain.

"We want to become a vocal body of the IT outsourcing industry," Weaver said. "People have a lot of questions about this industry, and we want to make sure we're here as a resource for all of them."

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Weaver's husband, Charlie, who will serve as president of the new MSPAlliance, said members will spend time and money on legislative lobbying.

Late last month, after an exhaustive effort by California-based members of the GMN, California legislators emended language in an antispyware bill to protect the rights of companies that consensually manage and monitor corporate networks.

Oli Thordarson, CEO of Alvaka Networks, Huntington Beach, Calif., who led the charge to change the legislation's wording, will most likely spearhead the new group's legislative watchdog efforts.

"The consolidation of the two organizations helps us better direct the financial and human resources of the two," Thordarson said.

On the other side of the channel model, vendors seemed equally enthusiastic.

"It's great for the MSP industry to have a unified voice," said Mark Scott, CEO of Ottawa-based N-Able, a vendor of software that enables providers to become MSPs. "Now that the MSP model is back in a big way, it's all about building the brand."