MSP Lists vs. Certifications
Written by: Charles Weaver, co-founder of MSPAlliance
I want to take a moment to clarify a few commonly held beliefs regarding MSP lists and MSP certifications. On the face of it, it may sound simplistic. But, I think there are a lot of MSPs (and even more end-user customers) who may be confused.
Certifications, for this article’s purpose, includes technical certifications, individual and corporate certifications, audits, reviews, etc. A useful certification should consist of some minimal review of the person or MSP, and at least the self-proclamation by the person/MSP of a particular level of achievement would qualify as a useful certification.
Technical certifications have been around a lot longer than any MSP list I am aware of and continue to have an important role to play today.
There are differences between certifications that are important to understand. The type of review, testing, reporting, all impact the quality and utility of the certification. There are different uses for certifications, so make sure you are selecting the best platform for your purposes.
Because MSPAlliance has never published a list or ranking of MSPs, it could be misconstrued that we are opposed to them in general; this is not true. Lists serve an important purpose, mostly for customers, as it provides a helpful tool for identifying, in bulk, a lot of MSPs.
What lists should never be used for is any vetting or evaluation of MSPs. This, I would leave for the certification bucket. The list helps identify the MSP. The certification helps differentiate the MSP. That is how most customers use these tools.
For those customers out there, keep using the lists, just as you would an agent’s listing when looking for a home to buy. But it would serve you well to drive by the house, check out the neighborhood and ask for a home inspection. And that’s precisely what a certified MSP should be able to show you.