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Welcome to the 2020 MSP 501 — Apply Now!

It's go time! The 2020 MSP 501/NextGen 101 is officially open for applications.

Allison Francis

March 9, 2020

3 Min Read
MSP 501 Group Shot 2019

The Channel Futures MSP 501 opened for submissions Monday, kicking off the 13th year of the IT channel’s first, largest and most comprehensive survey and ranking of managed service providers (MSPs) worldwide.

Some very interesting things happened with the 501 in 2019 as a result of new market forces driving the managed services industry. We had a 35% year-over-year increase in applications from 2018 to 2019 that reflected a new maturity in the MSP market and an marked uptick in enthusiasm and show of support from vendor communities. 

The nature of the list itself also shifted. Two in five companies on the 2019 list weren’t on the 2018 list, an interesting evolution that surprised us all. Rocking the boat (in a good way) were entries from nontraditional channels or new MSP applicants, which caused the list to look vastly different than in previous years.

Many of our 2019 501ers were and are in the beginning of a strong pivot toward managed services, but one wouldn’t necessarily categorize them as a true MSP. Of the top 10 MSP 501 winners in 2018, seven identified as MSPs, two as VARs and one dubbed itself an IT service provider. Comparing this to last year, four were VARs, only three were pure-play MSPs, one was a telco service provider, one was an IT business consultant and the aforementioned IT service provider.

Be counted among your peers as one of the top managed service providers in the world. Click here for the 2020 MSP 501 application.

This shift in diversity isn’t a fluke. Many of these nontraditional MSPs are sophisticated, large businesses in their own “home” markets that are making a concerted and strategic effort to build out their managed service practices, form relationships in this space, and promote their solutions.

Since these businesses are already fairly mature, their annual revenue is a great deal higher than our average 501ers of old, which also greatly altered the list. Between 2018 and 2019, the average annual revenue for a 501er grew by about one-third, from $28.8 million to $42.3 million. Since the 501 rankings were still solely based on annual revenue, albeit with the weighted methodology, that meant these new, bigger companies pushed a lot of our longtime 501ers off the list.

So what did we do? We knew it was time to re-evaluate our methodology and align it with market trends. Concerning the 2020 application, we have some exciting new judging criteria and a new methodology this year to judge applicants based on market trends and business best practices. 

Additionally, in response to demand from telecom agents, resellers, digital agencies and other non-MSP channel partners that are spinning up managed services practices, we are excited to this year launch the NextGen 101, an MSP 501 list. The NextGen 101 will recognize outstanding partners from outside of the traditional managed services business model that are devoting energy and resources to building out recurring managed services revenue streams and creating the channel partner powerhouses of the future.

Interested in earning a coveted spot on the NextGen 101? Just apply for the 2020 MSP 501 and be automatically submitted for both lists.

Applications close on Sunday, May 31, so get in there, you 501 fiends. Get ready to stand and be counted among the industries best and brightest managed service providers! Still curious about the survey? Check out the Channel Futures MSP 501 landing page, the 2019 report or last year’s rankings of the world’s top MSPs

Click to download a PDF copy of the survey and revenue verification form. For any questions about the survey, rankings or report, direct inquiries to [email protected]

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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