MSP and SAS 70 Certifications Gain Momentum

What's the difference between managed services accreditation and certification? The former is for companies, the latter is for individuals -- and soon the MSPAlliance will offer both options for managed service providers. Meanwhile, numerous data center providers are completing SAS 70 audits as well.

The MSPAlliance plans to launch the Managed Services Professional Certificate during the associations' MSPWorld conference in Orlando on April 30. (The MSPAlliance already offers an accreditation program.)

Early advocates of the new certification effort include Data Device CEO Jim Swoyer and The Utility Company CEO Mark Scott. In a prepared statement, Scott said:

“The Managed Services designation will be available to individuals who wish to demonstrate high levels of professionalism and accountability in their careers. By focusing on the individual certification we now will be able to effectively communicate trust and professionalism to the end-user community.”
Over the long haul, I expect more MSP-type certifications and accreditations to emerge from associations (such as CompTIA) as well as vendors. Juniper, for instance, recently launched a managed services track for the networking company's partner program.

SAS 70 Audits

Meanwhile, numerous MSPs are completing SAS 70 audits in order to provide customers additional peace of mind.

In the past 48 hours I've heard about SAS 70 initiatives from Online Tech First (a managed data center operator in Michigan) and  Consonus Technologies of Utah. According to Consonus:
"Successful completion of the SAS 70 audit confirms the reliability, security, availability, and processing integrity of the IT services Consonus offers through its world-class data centers."
The SAS 70 audit, or Statement on Auditing Standards ("SAS") No. 70, was developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) as a means of auditing and reporting the effectiveness of operations and controls of a service provider, according to Online Tech First.

I'm not in a position to endorse any particular certification, accreditation or audit approach. But there's no denying the need for customers to have an easy way to find trustworthy, reputable MSPs.

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