Two IT Reseller Groups Forge Partnership

Apparently, consolidation isn't just for channel partners and vendors. Now, two of the channel's four leading trade groups, The ASCII Group and MSP Partners, have struck what amount to a joint membership deal. Essentially, it's a reciprocal membership agreement.

ASCII's 3,000 members get free membership in MSP Partners, while MSP Partners, who also number around 3,000, get a discount to be determined on ASCII membership. (There appears to be little overlap in the channel partner membership ranks of both groups.) Additionally, there is to be more collaboration and business partnerships between members of both groups. The MSP Partner group, which was formed by 20 vendors playing in managed services including Intel, HP, Microsoft and Cisco, announced the move in a press release.

This new alliance falls short of a true merger, although I am not too sure just how short (it certainly seems to be setting the stage for one in the future.) MSP Partners really comes out of the vendor space and attracted reseller members. The ASCII Group came out of the independent reseller space and attracted vendor and distributor sponsorship. The common element here is managed services and the impact that business is having on the channel, which of course is extensive.

Presumably the two groups working together will yield more clout compared to other industry groups like COMPTIA, (which is pretty much the larger grandaddy of channel organizations) and GTDC (an alliance of distributors.) But the action underscores the growing need for collaboration as the economy cools. This has become a mantra, in fact, among some channel vendors. Cisco, for one, has touted "coopetiton" among its large reselller base for some time. Now the channel organization Cisco helped start seems to be doing exactly that.

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