Assessing the strength and vitality of a managed service provider (MSP) is no easy feat. But Clarity Channel Advisors has come up with an innovative way to put the market into perspective. In particular, it has devised an index for assessing a company’s potential for growth and efficiency.

Clarity, of course, was MSPmentor’s key partner on the 2016 MSP 501 list and study. The Quincy, Mass., company not only helped with data collection and analysis, it also contributed significant thought leadership to the project.

One of the innovations that Clarity has developed, the Clarity Total Service Provider (TSP) Index, piqued our interest so much that we decided to make it a part of the 2016 MSP 501 study. Every company that participated in this year’s survey, including those that did not qualify to be on the 2016 MSP 501 list, has been given a Clarity TSP Index tier score.

What exactly is that? Good question. A Clarity TSP Index tier score reflects a company’s potential based on services revenue and productivity (measured by sales-per-employee). Clarity divided the scores into four tiers, 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. The tiers were defined as follows:

“As someone who has owned and managed MSP businesses before and who works with MSPs daily, I have come to understand what separates some companies from others,” said Jim Lippie, founder and principal analyst and Clarity Channel Advisors, the developer of the Clarity Intelligence Platform (CIP). “Our goal was to quantify this in some fashion.”

Lippie believes that the TSP Index is especially useful for helping to determine a company’s future worth, which is important to those interested in mergers and acquisitions.

One thing to note: there are strong and capable companies within all TSP Index Tiers. In fact, some of the most innovative MSP 501 companies are Tier 4 organizations. But when it comes to cloud and managed service providers leadership and productivity efficiency, some companies stand above others. Hence our keen interest in the Clarity TSP Index.