The industry has taken a leap of faith from basic data center co-location services to ubiquitous cloud services. The move to hosted and hybrid solutions has created a tremendous opportunity for service providers on the cloud platform to various services. Subsequently, in the new enterprise technology space, falling behind often leads to business failure. In fact, with constant advancement in cloud computing, it has become so easy to fall back.
Increased complexity without proper management also gives major headaches to IT teams; which can expose infrastructure leading to security threats. For companies, MSPs (Managed Service Provider) handle all these issues and help organizations to implement state-of-the-art technology.
Why do you need to be certified?
To be clear, only cloud vendors (Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, etc.) can certify MSPs and acknowledge them as partners. The certification program provides a win-win situation for cloud vendors and MSPs.
MSPs get technical training and business advantages due to association with cloud vendors. On the other hand, vendors can offer services and solutions to the customers via MSPs. Cloud Vendors also promotes their partnered MSPs to give them visibility and provide exposure to new opportunities and channels with the help of their marketing team and globally recognized brand.
Such certifications are provided to the Consulting Partners with expertise in cloud infrastructure and application migration who can deliver value to customers by offering proactive monitoring, automation, and management of their customer’s environment.
There are numerous benefits that MSPs can get after being certified, but the significant ones are:
- Technical training and Sales support: Vendor will provide technical training of their cloud ecosystem through online courses and in-person sessions. They also give sales supporting documents such as white papers, sales scripts, competitor comparisons, and presentations for their preparation.
- Differentiation: Cloud Vendor provide badges to their partners or MSPs, that MSPs can showcase their badge to the vendor’s customers, and the vendor also prioritize them in their referral system.
- Marketing Assets: Cloud Vendor generally offers a range of marketing materials, tools, and resources that a Certified MSP can use for their marketing or launch new campaigns.
How to become a certified MSP?
Becoming an MSP involves both a pre-audit assessment and an on-site audit. Depending on the partner’s business, the process can take more than 300+ hours of effort, requiring expertise from across the industry. MSPs complete a rigorous audit by an independent third party. Furthermore, to retain the badge, these partners need to continue to meet pre-requisites annually and complete a progress audit every year. As the cloud evolves, so will the expectations of these MSPs. MSP framework is built so that you can trust that the MSPs who’ve earned the badge are continuously working to remain true MSPs.
Checklist for certified MSP
The partner needs to demonstrate their business and financial health, audited by a third party, and evidence of commitment to and focus on delivering cloud managed services to customers should be provided.
Partner Overview – A company overview must be presented along with its relationship with the vendor.
- Financial Health
- Financial Planning
- Succession Planning
Build & Migration
A partner should have established guidelines to build and migrate clients to the cloud also to support customers during the process.
- Validation and Inspection of Services
- Service Transition
- Migration Risk Management
- Application Migration
- Application Migration
Assessment & Design
Partners must be capable of assessing customer needs and designing solutions that integrate both client demands and best practices.
- Design Process
- Security Assessment
- Demonstration of IaaS, PaaS & SaaS
- Topology or Architecture Design
Partner must operate an automated CMP integrated with the Cloud Platform. The specific requirements are defined below
- Service Request Management
- Provisioning, Orchestration, and Automation
- Governance and Policy
- Consumption Monitoring and Metering
- Resource Utilization Optimization
- Access Management
- Service-Level Management & Monitoring
Partner must have a documented Service Management System in place
- Operational Support
- Help Desk Operations
- Service Delivery Process
- Incident Management
- Event Management
- Problem Management
- Asset Management
Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)
Partners should have established SLA (service level agreements) or SLO (service level objectives).
- Fundamental SLAs
- Solution-Specific SLAs
- SLA Optimization
To protect both the internal and client environments, a partner must establish security policies
- Security Management
- Security Event Logging
- Business Continuity
Partner must have the ability to collect customer satisfaction data objectively.
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
- Customer Review
- Cost Optimization
Improvement & Process Optimization
Partners must have a recorded approach for continuous enhancement, and demonstrate that continuous improvement is a consistent goal.
- Continuous Improvement
- Data Compilation
- Capacity Management
- Operations Assessment
This post was originally published at https://www.cloudmanagementinsider.com/certified-msp-managed-service-provider/