Improving Partner/Vendor Relations — The Deeper Value of the MSP 501

We collected some insights from a few channel cool cats to outline why the MSP 501 is more than just a number.

Allison Francis

March 27, 2020

7 Min Read
Building value

Applications for the 2020 MSP 501 list are in full swing, with managed service providers (MSPs) around the world throwing their hats into the ring to compete for a spot on the IT channel’s most comprehensive ranking list of global MSPs. 

The 501 companies on the annual list from Channel Futures represent the best and brightest that the channel has to offer. They’re willing to take risks, agile enough to respond to business challenges and laser-focused on customer success.

We could tout the benefits of applying for and being on this prestigious list until we’re blue in the face, and trust us, we have, but why take our word for it?

We decided to have a few cool channel cats do it for us. We beamed out the bat signal to folks that are included in the 2020 MSP 501 survey, past 501ers, and a few analysts and consultants to comment on how ranking on a list such as the 501 is an asset, and can improve partner/vendor relations. 

This list, we believe, goes beyond rankings. We ultimately want the 501 community to contribute to the success of all of our organizations and the industry as a whole. These testimonials speak to the deeper value of being a 501er.

“Landing on the MSP 501 list brings an instant lift to an MSP’s credibility and overall expertise in the eyes of their customers, peers, partners, providers and prospects. It also works to differentiate their brand and shines a spotlight on the company’s thought leadership and specialization.”

Eric Kohl, U.S. vice president of security and data center software, Ingram Micro

“MSPs have always been, and will continue to be, vital to the success of the indirect channel and the technology industry as a whole. A large subset of TBI’s partner community is made up of MSPs who we consider essential to our business; they are key to our partner programs to meet customer demand and fuel future growth. Now more than ever, it is important to differentiate yourself in a constantly evolving and increasingly competitive marketplace, and the MSP 501, being one of the largest, most comprehensive rankings in the industry, gives MSPs from around the globe a way to shine and be recognized for their contribution and growth.”

Bryan Reynolds, director, sales operations, TBI 

“I have the opportunity to talk to thousands of vendors in the technology channel. As we review their routes to market and partner programs, the conversation invariably gets to managed services and MSPs. I am able to recommend the MSP 501 list almost every day as a validated list of those organizations who lead the managed services industry from a revenue, capabilities, capacity,  and customer satisfaction perspective.”

Jay McBain, principal analyst of channels, partnerships, & alliances, Forrester Research

“I have been in business over 25 years in a small community. Reputation is very important, and awards, publishing a book, or speaking at seminars helps establish you as the expert.  Winning the MSP 501 in 2019 gave a huge surge of credibility as we meet with existing clients, new prospects, and talk to vendors. Clients are impressed and reassured that they are …

… using a good MSP, prospects are wowed and want to get on board, and vendors respect our discussions and requests as we discuss products and services.”

Bill Ooms, president, Business System Solutions

“Joining the rankings of the top MSPs in the country has broadened our larger MSP community and given us access to new tools, new insights, and best of all … new community. Thanks to Channel Futures for this opportunity.”

Esther Deutsch, operations manager, RCS Professional Services

“As a former MSP, I remember all the different awards and lists we applied for, and without a doubt, ranking on the MSP 501 was the single greatest testament to our organizational achievement. Being named to the MSP 501 demonstrated to our employees and customers that we were an accomplished company. Now working for an MSP ecosystem software company, I always look forward to seeing how many of the world’s top MSPs are using our software products.”

Jim Lippie, GM & senior vice president of partner development , Kaseya

“The inclusion of your company on the MSP 501 sends a clear message to vendor partners that you are serious about being seen as the best. Those MSPs I’ve worked with who have achieved an MSP 501 listing have leveraged this accolade to strengthen relationships with their prospects, their existing clients, their vendor partners and the wider business community.”

Richard Tubb, The IT Business Growth Expert

“Having this designation gives an MSP a certain amount of credibility, and immediately differentiates you. It indicates that you run a professional business, and gives people a comfort level and knowledge that you can be trusted and know what you’re doing. This applies to new prospects of course, but also vendors. When dealing with a new potential vendor, they know they’re dealing with a legitimate business, and are more willing to spend the time that it takes to explain things and answer questions you may have. They also know that you probably have a decent client base, and by taking that extra time you can, in turn, bring them more clients.”

Jay Parisi, senior engineer and partner, Aegis Technology Partners

“As an MSP, the annual 501 list provides the greatest validation available to your customers, vendors and employees because of the consistent methodology and data-driven approach. Filling out the application, while not difficult, is extremely thorough because this isn’t a popularity contest. Becoming a 501er based on real comparative data across multiple categories is the only true way to accurately understand which MSPs are true leaders.”

Will Ominsky, channel sales manager, Nerdio 

“A ranked list of solution providers gives vendors insight into what the top performers look like, and gives solution providers that extra weight when dealing with a vendor. Giving this kind of perspective helps evaluate the top performers and gives the entire community a goal to shoot for.”

Dave Sobel, host of “The Business of Tech,” MSP Radio

“Being included in the MSP 501 is proof positive you’ve made it. It’s not just that, though — you are given the opportunity to compare yourself with others in the industry, and have a road map for what it then takes to be the best of the best.”

Janet Schijns, CEO, JS Group 

“Having been a Channel Futures 501 award winner has significantly increased our credibility with our clients.”

Jason Kidman, CEO, SOS Support

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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