A group of 19 IT and infrastructure service providers Tuesday formed the MSP Association in an attempt to better define business opportunities for management-service providers in a market that Meta Group predicts will grow to $10 billion by 2005.
What separates management-service providers from more traditional network-management services are their use of the Internet to deliver services and report information back to customers. Management-service providers also say they offer a broader variety of network, storage, and systems management, as well as Web-site and systems-performance-monitoring services on a subscription basis, rather than the more traditional time and materials or fixed fee schedule.
Although IT and infrastructure management is far from a new concept, management-service providers offer systems administrators these capabilities as an outsourced service. By using a service provider to manage system performance, companies can avoid having to implement and maintain management tools on their own, says Corey Ferengul, Meta Group's program director for service-management strategies. He says subscription-based fee structures let smaller companies--with revenues of less than $1 billion--take advantage of software and equipment they could not otherwise afford.
While the initial purpose of the MSP Association will be to promote awareness of what management-service providers do, the organization will eventually develop standards and guidelines for its members, which include 2ndWave, Candle, Entuity, HP Openview, InteQ, iSharp, Luminate, Manage.com, ManageIT, McAfee.com, NCMX, Nuclio, SilverBack Technologies, SiteLite, siteRock, Storability, StorageNetworks, TriActive, and UP 7/24.