This is part one of an anticipated two-part post. The news: MSP Partners -- working with CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) and IPED (Institute for Partner Education and and Development) -- is launching an accreditation test for managed service providers. Here's the quick scoop, plus some questions I need to get answered.

The MSP Partners accreditation will be called "MSP Pro ... powered by CompTIA." My immediate reaction: It sounds like MSP Partners is launching a managed services accreditation for the masses -- giving qualified MSPs an easy way to strengthen their brands without necessarily requiring an in-depth on-site audit.

In stark contrast, MSPAlliance already offers an accreditation that involves an on-site audit process. So I think it's safe to say the MSPAlliance's accreditation potentially involves a higher bar for MSPs to clear. (If I'm wrong, I'm all ears.)

To be clear, MSPAlliance is an industry association with more than 8,000 members. MSP Partners is a vendor-launched organization that has attracted more than 4,000 members in the past year or so.

According to an MSP Partners press release:
This new comprehensive exam will cover materials included in the MSP Partners education program as well as overall industry best practices.  MSP Partners, CompTIA, IPED as well as a group of leading MSPs will collaborate on the exam development.  CompTIA and MSP Partners will manage online exam delivery through CompTIA testing partners. The exam is currently scheduled to be available exclusively to MSP Partners’ members in the second quarter of 2009.
I'm running off to Autotask Community Live's Tuesday sessions, but I'll be back late today to offer some additional information about MSP Partners' efforts, and MSPAlliance's reaction. Here's what I'll try to cover:
  • MSP Partners's accreditation effort
  • CompTIA and IPED's role in that effort
  • CompTIA's own future goals for MSP accreditation
  • MSPAlliance's reaction
  • What all this ultimately means for established and aspiring MSPs
Here is an updated link with answers/views related to the bullet points above.

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