IT Industry Groups Announce Membership Agreement

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IT Industry Groups Announce Membership Agreement

MSP Partners, an alliance founded by Cisco, Ingram Micro, Intel, Level Platforms and Microsoft, and supported by Autotask Corporation, EMC, HP, Kaseya and Xerox, with the active participation of over 15 other leading IT vendors, and thousands of solution providers offering managed services today announced a cooperative agreement with The ASCII Group, Inc. (ASCII), North America's oldest and most established community of independent computer integrators, solution providers and resellers. The agreement allows members of MSP Partner and ASCII to expanded access to the many benefits offered by these two major IT industry groups.

MSP Partners, with a membership base of over 3000 solution providers, provides independent vendor-supported education for solution providers delivering managed services. Their comprehensive program includes the latest market research and education, valuable insight by means of solution provider success stories, and collaborative vendor solutions, all demonstrating a path to success in managed services.

"This membership agreement brings the longstanding relationship between MSP Partners and The ASCII Group to the next level, offering a wide range of new resources to our combined membership." said Jim Hamilton, Executive Director of MSP Partners.

The agreement offers a discount for MSP Partners' members to join the ASCII Group while new ASCII Group members will receive a complimentary membership to MSP Partners. The reciprocal membership agreement includes full access to the benefits offered within each program. The agreement also outlines special member privileges to mutually sponsored events.

Jerry Koutavas, Vice President of Business Development for The ASCII Group, stated, "The additional resources and benefits both parties will gain through this important alliance will only strengthen each of our efforts in helping resellers proactively move towards a profitable MSP model."

Alan Weinberger, Chairman and CEO of ASCII, stated: "Since 1984, we have helped many thousands of solution providers increase their profitability with new programs and services, leveraging the buying and selling power of the independent computer solution provider. Our new alliance with MSP Partners extends that mission with new synergies developed for the 21st century between our two organizations, for the exclusive benefit of the independent solution provider."

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In similar VAR news, Ingram Micro has created New SMBA Peer Groups to give Solution Providers and Vendors a business advantage. But  Al Siena at ITChannelPlanet thinks, "On paper I guess this sounds like a good idea, but the truth is, in practice VARs aren't too big on sharing, especially if it involves something that distinguishes them from the rest of the channel competition." We'll wait to see how it works out. Best Practices and a Code of Business Ethics is something that VAR's should be able to work on in these Peer Groups, like they do in the TCA.

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