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Looking to expand its reach and capabilities in serving the managed
services market, IT trade association CompTIA announced plans Wednesday
to acquire a counterpart association, MSP Partners.

CompTIA officials characterized the deal, for which financial terms
were not disclosed, as just the latest piece of a broader effort to
engage with other organizations serving the channel. The Illinois-based
nonprofit association has spent the last year actively pursuing
industry partnerships and recruiting new vendor, distributor and
solution provider members, all with the aim of pursuing long-term
growth, according to Todd Thibodeau, CompTIA president and CEO.

“We’re fulfilling this mission by creating a series of robust
vendor-neutral communities for the IT channel,” Thibodeau said. “The
addition of MSP Partners to our managed services community positions us
as the leading voice for managed services.”

Established in 2007, MSP Partners provides education, training, events
and other resources to its now stable of 5,000 MSP members. The
association originally was founded by an alliance of vendor sponsors —
Level Platforms, Cisco, Intel, Ingram and Microsoft – to promote
awareness, enablement and adoption of the managed services business
model in the channel. MSP Partners’ President Jim Hamilton will join
the CompTIA team to drive managed services activities for the entire

Hamilton said that under the CompTIA umbrella, managed services
offerings will only be strengthened. MSP Partners’ events, education
and research will continue to be provided to its membership, along with
the additional resources gained in the CompTIA deal.

“We’ll be able to develop the preeminent community for the managed
services market, featuring valuable business solutions, research,
networking and discussion forums, and continuing education,” he said.

Not all the logistics of the deal, which remains subject to closing
conditions, have been ironed out. For one, how membership transition
will unfold is still being assessed, CompTIA officials told Channel
Insider. Some overlap exists between the two memberships, though the
exact number has not been fully determined yet. The ultimate goal,
CompTIA said, is to transition as many discrete MSP Partners members
over to CompTIA as possible.

To that end, CompTIA plans outreach to every MSP Partners member as
well as the organization’s now-40 vendor sponsors in the coming weeks,
officials said.