2021 MSP 501 List Revealed: The Dawn of a New Era for MSPs

Introducing the class of 2021! This was a banner year in terms of applicants and overall growth and innovation.

Allison Francis

June 21, 2021

3 Min Read
MSP 501 logo 2021

Systemic change is never easy, as is perfectly evidenced by the events of 2020. It takes courage, community and massive communication to enact real change and see real growth. Companies included on the 2021 MSP 501 list represent truly innovative and influential market leaders providing managed services to today’s most demanding customers around the world. These organizations stood out among an astounding number of applicants (the most applicants submitted since 2017). They are a cut above in terms of their technical talent, growth-oriented business models and strategic partnerships. 

Last year, we wrote extensively about why we felt a change in methodology was needed. In 2020, we really put that change into effect. We wanted to reflect the constantly evolving channel, so we talked to a giant roster of partners, vendors, distributors, analysts, consultants and media experts about what metrics they use to evaluate the health of a partner. In addition, to qualify for the 2021 Channel Futures MSP 501, nominees had to meet a minimum revenue level. We landed on a weighting of company metrics to arrive at an applicant’s score including:

  • Revenue per employee

  • Percentage of total revenue earned from recurring revenue

  • Percentage of total revenue that is profit

  • Total revenue

The NextGen 101 List

We also modified our Channel Futures NextGen 101 list. This year, the NextGen 101 recognizes diversified partners with growing MSP practices whose organizations may not qualify for the Channel Futures MSP 501 but possess high-growth rates, industry influential and high potential. Given the minimum revenue level that companies needed to reach in order to make the MSP 501, the 101 targets companies that are well positioned for rapid growth. We view this as an opportunity for you to rise in the ranks, show the industry what you are really made of and drive the market. 

Key Takeaways from Market Leaders

The metrics and company performance metrics provided by partners gives everyone in the industry an inside look at what makes the MSP industry so special. The data also allows us to compare MSP performance and honor organizations as shops that edged out the competition. This list is used by leading vendors and distributors to understand the channel better. Customers (small, medium, and large) use it to decide which partners can best meet their IT needs. 

A few key nuggets came out of the data we asked partners to provide. Nearly every single company on the list offers managed security. Last year, 96% of the MSP 501 offered managed security. This increase shows just how pervasive information security services are when it comes to the health of the tech channel.

The top revenue-producing solutions of the Channel Futures MSP 501 include help desk/service desk (69%), managed security (58%), BDR (43%) and RMM (32%). These are today’s money makers. In terms of biggest growth areas in 2021 and beyond, unsurprisingly, security was number one at 91%. Most of the subcategories, including endpoint security, network security, enhanced network monitoring, end-user security training, SIEM, etc., also showed significant upticks. Cloud migration came in at 62%. This of course shows that more and more shops are moving away from servers. 

Looking Ahead

The MSP 501 has grown from a competitive ranking list into a full-fledged community, complete with targeted market intelligence reports to help you benchmark your company against your competitors; an ongoing MSP Educational Series with industry experts sharing their knowledge; and our annual MSP 501 Awards Gala held every year at Channel Partners Conference & Expo in the fall. 

Throughout this week are announcing the 501 winners in groups of 100 (broken up in four groups of 25 throughout the day) on channelfutures.com. Check back throughout the week to see where you place. The top 100 will be revealed on Friday, June 25.

Congratulations to everyone who can say they’re a #501er this year!

About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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