If you’re an MSP with a track record of executing on great ideas, get ready to stand and be counted among the 501 most capable and innovative companies in the industry.

Kris Blackmon, Head of Channel Communities

February 13, 2018

2 Min Read
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Are you a managed service provider on the leading edge of digital transformation in the channel? If so, get ready to submit your application for the annual MSP 501 rankings and see how you stack up against MSPs around the globe. Now in its 11th year, the MSP 501 is the IT channel’s largest and most comprehensive ranking of leading managed service provider (MSP) organizations worldwide.

This year, the Channel Futures team will join forces with Channel Partners, our sister channel news site owned by our parent company, Informa.

“We are excited to participate in the industry-leading MSP 501 ranking list, which has been held as a standard of benchmarking within the channel industry for more than a decade,” said Lorna Garey, editor-in-chief of Channel Partners Online and Channel Futures. “This year’s 501 will include new awards, deep insights into the channel ecosystem and recognition of the world’s leading managed service providers at our fall Channel Partners Evolution conference, Oct. 9-12, in Philadelphia.”

New awards this year include the Vanguard Award for the company that demonstrates thought leadership in terms of digital transformation; the Lifetime Achievement Award for an executive who has demonstrated commitment, perseverance, creativity and ingenuity over an entire career; the Newcomer Award, bestowed upon a first-time MSP 501er that is shaking things up; and more. Applications for special awards will be in the form of a short, supplementary questionnaire and decided by the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Online editorial team.

“The MSP 501 utilizes unique data analysis that recognizes not all revenue streams are created equally,” said T.C. Doyle, senior content director of Channel Futures. “Revenue from resale carries different profit margins from that of services, for instance. Similarly, cloud-services opportunities present different revenue potential than consulting practices. The study examines the business models, technologies, vertical markets and customer segments that MSP companies engage most.”


The 501 recognizes MSPs with forward-thinking business strategies that anticipate and leverage trends in the fast-moving channel ecosystem. The survey and process are transparent and consistent year after year, so IT service providers can continually measure their progress and benchmark their performance against industry competitors.

This year, Channel Futures will bring the data collection process in-house, as opposed to recent years when we have partnered with Clarity Channel Advisors to aggregate and manage survey responses. Clarity will continue to offer analysis based on the data collected on a pro-bono basis.

As in previous years, applicants will be required to provide 2017 financial results and revenue verification in the form of a statement from a certified financial professional.

The MSP 501 will open for applications later this month.

About the Author(s)

Kris Blackmon

Head of Channel Communities, Zift Solutions

Kris Blackmon is head of channel communities at Zift Solutions. She previously worked as chief channel officer at JS Group, and as senior content director at Informa Tech and project director of the MSP 501er Community. Blackmon is chair of CompTIA's Channel Development Advisory Council and operates KB Consulting. You may follow her on LinkedIn and @zift on X.

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