The MSPAlliance has long promoted the notion that service providers should embrace the cloud. In fact, the group’s tagline is “The International Association of Cloud & Managed Service Providers.”
In particular, the group believes MSPs should embrace authentication services. “We’re seeing a lot of MSPs get into things like identity and access management, a service line that would have been really rare 10 to 15 years ago. But today with cloud that’s a very hot growth sector,” Charles Weaver, CEO of the MSPAlliance told Redmond Channel Partner Magazine. “If you have one of these born-in-the-cloud service providers, the majority of their offerings are resold public cloud applications. What’s one of the best ways these companies can provide high-value services? They can manage the rights on customers accessing these public clouds ― password management, user management, access management, and blending in BYOD and device management.”
Now, the MSPAlliance is helping MSPs get a broad and credible foothold in the cloud market through its new MSPAlliance MSP/Cloud Verify Program, which is aimed at developing best practices and offering top flight service delivery.
The new exam was developed in conjunction with Ingram Micro Cloud. The test is based on the Unified Certification Standard and focuses on 10 objectives that define cloud computing best practices. The program is not just a test; it’s also a training exercise. “MSPAlliance will provide MSPs and cloud providers with consulting, remediation assistance to correct identifiable problems in their practice, service delivery documentation templates and an MSP/Cloud Verify report, signed by certified public accountant. Providers who meet all requirements will be certified and able to use the MSP/Cloud Verify certification logo in all marketing materials,” the group said.
Passing the exam should give MSP customers confidence in their provider. “This program will help MSPs improve their service capabilities, while simultaneously providing their customers with transparency and assurance as to the professionalism of their managed service provider,” said Celia Weaver, president of MSPAlliance
MSPAlliance believes passing a cloud exam makes nailing down deals easier. “Certification offers many advantages to providers, including simplifying the RFP process as well as improving internal policies and procedures, service delivery efficiencies, and documentation. In addition to leveraging the MSP/Cloud Verify report to gain a competitive advantage, the program also provides greater transparency and assurance, which is important for providers servicing regulated markets, such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals where compliance is critical,” MSPAlliance said.
CompTIA Also in Cloud Prep Game
CompTIA, a channel advocacy group, also trains and certifies cloud computing professionals. One of the CompTIA exams is aimed at established networking professionals. “CompTIA recommends that candidates have the CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Storage+ certifications; at least 24-36 months of work experience in IT networking, network storage, or data center administration; and familiarity with any major hypervisor technologies for server virtualization,” the group explained. “The CompTIA Cloud+ certification validates the knowledge and best practices required of IT practitioners working in cloud computing environments, who must understand and deliver cloud infrastructure.”
CompTIA has long been bullish on the cloud, SaaS in particular. “The SaaS ecosystem alone is reinventing what it means to be “in the channel,” with a new take on vendor relationships, selling strategies and compensation demands. And consider Amazon’s recent decision to enter the managed services market serving enterprise AWS customers,” a recent CompTIA report found. “From a competitive standpoint, this move could be the catalyst that prompts today’s MSPs to retool their businesses beyond the basics to more advanced services offerings.”
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