SMB Providers Reap Big Benefits from MSP 501 Win

No matter where you fall on the MSP 501 rankings, there are big benefits to making our list.

Kris Blackmon, Head of Channel Communities

April 3, 2019

4 Min Read
MSP 501 Multiyear

The 2019 MSP 501 application period is open, and that means managed service providers from around the globe are filling out the online survey and submitting their company information for a chance at being named one of the top MSPs in the world. Why?

There are several reasons. Some want to become part of the MSP 501 community and lend their voice to our editorial team. Some want closer relationships with their vendors. And all want the free marketing and prestige that comes with being named a 501er.

For one, the MSP 501 winners can make the difference when potential customers are choosing between providers. Having that trophy and designation shows that winners have risen above the competition to be recognized as a world class MSP. HTG 360 landed at No. 500 in the 2018 MSP 501 rankings. CRO Chris Ichelson says it’s important for his organization to be recognized for their hard work and achievements. The MSP 501 gives HTG 360 that opportunity.


HTG 360’s Chris Ichelson

“Being part of the MSP 501 and leveraging the efforts and community of the MSP 501 and Channel Futures has provided us the validation we need when selling to corporations that we can deliver the services and management that we say we can,” says Ichelson. “In almost every conversation with a prospective client we leverage the award and recognition that the MSP 501 brings to the table.”

The honor is especially effective with small and midsize MSPs that may have limited resources to devote to marketing. To place in the 501 rankings, applicants must demonstrate a forward-thinking business model and strategic product and service portfolio. MSP Beyond Computer Solutions came in at No. 497 last year, and CEO Chris Noles says the company’s efficiency and understanding of the managed services market is what propelled it to the top, implementing strategies like using contracted talent to augment staff and building out a managed security practice. Clearly, those moves have paid off not just in marketing but in strengthening vendor relationships and gaining a better understanding of the health of the business..


Beyond Computer Solutions’ Chris Noles

“We have some great vendors who have been willing to help us with our marketing development funds (MDF) for trade shows which converts to net new clients,” says Noles. “Our cybersecurity vendor that we partner with also sends us referrals for managed services and  professional services in our area … I think every partner should do it. The process of applying will make you think about your business and profitability, and even if you don’t rank in the 501 you will still gain important insight into your business financials.”

The MSP 501 also helps businesses see how they stack up to their competitors. No. 352 on the 2018 MSP 501 is WEBIT Services, Inc., which has an open-book business model that lets employees at all levels have full visibility into the company’s financials. On top of that, CEO Eric Rieger says that WEBIT is extremely process-driven. That not only makes it easier when it comes time to gather revenue numbers for the 501 application, but Rieger says it’s also …

… part of why WEBIT keeps climbing in the rankings year over year.

“We’ve been on the 501 list for many years now and I think one of the reasons we are consistently moving up the ladder on the list is due to having the following in place,” says Rieger. “Consistent repeatable process that delivers results and success as defined by the client — and both an internal and external sales engine that is delivering qualified opportunities (internal) and prospects (external) to help us continue to grow the business.”

At the end of the day, there’s really nothing to lose by applying for the 501 — and there’s much to be gained. From free marketing to strengthened vendor relationships and inclusion in the elite 501 community, 501ers reap extensive benefits from their win. Even those MSPs that don’t earn a place in the top 501 gain valuable insight to how their business stacks up against competitors. Rieger sums it up in a nutshell.

“It’s a great measuring stick for your company against the best in the industry. What gets measured, gets improved — so why wouldn’t you want to know where you stand?”

Click here to read a 2019 MSP 501 FAQ that includes important information such as submission deadlines, explanations of functionality and where to go to find the application and copy of the survey. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected]. We can’t wait to see your application come through. Best of luck!

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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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