Autotask Live: MSP Trustmark On The Books

One big announcement on the first full day at the Autotask Community Live 2011 event was the launch of the MSP Trustmark accreditation from CompTIA. Spreading the word was Bob Godgart, who is chairing CompTIA this year, along with Jacob Braun, CEO of Waka Digital Media and a member of the CompTIA MSP community’s executive council, and Ted Roller, channel chief for Intronis and chair of the MSP community under CompTIA’s umbrella.

The trustmark addresses the ongoing need in the channel for guidance toward becoming and succeeding as an MSP.

“The development of this began in January when we gathered subject matter experts to define what are and what meets the best practices within managed services,” explains Braun. Part of that rather difficult process was defining what managed IT services entails, including such newer tech as managed print. “We wanted to define more clearly what managed IT means and is, and then determine how to judge competencies around that.”

Key to that process, says Roller, is input from all levels of the channel.

“Important to CompTIA was having a healthy mix of MSPs and managed services vendors and providers within this process,” he says. “We really needed the DNA from all those sources.”

The end result is the only codification in the channel of what managed services is and what it takes to be a successful MSP.

“We really want to create a core framework that MSPs or aspiring MSPs can strive for as they work to adopt this business model,” explains Braun. “This is about the planning,the process, the resources.”

It may not be the perfect blueprint, but it certainly lays out the path to the end.

Why the trustmark is needed is a simple question to answer: folks in the managed services business, including myself, constantly hear concerns from both existing and emerging MSPs about adopting the managed service business model successfully. “This is a codification of the loose network of suppor that exists today,” says Roller.

The next step, says Braun is a level of accreditation tailored for more mature MSPs, which will allow them to showcase their experience in the trenches in a way that become a sales differentiator. That step won’t come until next year, or after CompTIA and the MSP community within that organization tackle education and engagement around the existing credentials.