Up to 50 Vendors Set to Earn MSPAlliance Accreditation

celiaMSPAlliance President Charles Weaver spent some time telling me about the organization’s new accreditation program during a conference last month. Sounds like the program is gaining some traction.

So far, eight vendors have received the accreditation, including Asigra, Dell/SilverBack, Do IT Smarter, Intel, LiveCargo, N-able, Untangle and XRoads Networks, according to Web Host Industry News. Roughly 50 vendors are on track to receive the accreditation by the close of 2007, Weaver told WHIN. So what’s the upside for managed service providers? The accreditation appears to offer four clear benefits to MSPs and their customers. Continue reading

Low-cost Solutions Debut at SMB Nation Event

Okay, I was a little bit off with my dates. Last week, I suggested that a few low-cost managed service provider solutions would debut this week at the MSP Alliance conference in San Jose. I was half-right.

Untangle, an open source network security company, unveiled an MSP program with no up-front costs for solutions providers. But there’s more news coming. I hear that at least one — or two — MSP platform providers will use the SMB Nation event in Redmond, Wash., to unveil extremely targeted solutions for very small businesses. I’ll share more details later this week.

Five Trends At MSP Alliance Conference

I’m in San Jose for the MSP Alliance Fall Managed Services Conference. It’s my first time at an MSP Alliance event. And frankly, I’m not sure what to see. But I do expect to hear about five key trends at the event. Here’s the rundown.

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Managed Services Prices Set to Fall

The week of September 24 could represent a tipping point for MSP platform prices. As you know, many VARs and integrators balk when they hear they have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an MSP platform before they can begin generating recurring monthly revenue.

Apparently, that’s about to change. I hear several companies will discuss new pricing strategies during the MSP Alliance conference in San Jose. And Untangle has already confirmed to me that they will introduce an open source MSP security solution that will require no up-front costs to VARs/customers.

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Open Source Meets Managed Services

Sometimes I just can’t let go of a hunch. For a few weeks now, I’ve been asking MSP platform providers if they would ever open source their software. The open source approach, as you likely know, would allow customers and VARs to add incremental value to MSP software components.

Neat, but most MSP companies told me they haven’t considered such a strategy. That will change next week, when Untangle launches an MSP Partner Program focused on open source network security. Continue reading