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Vendor-created organization MSP Partners has formed a new advisory board and announced its inaugural members are Autotask, ContractPC, Kaseya and Xerox.

Cisco, Ingram Micro, Intel, Level Platforms and Microsoft founded the organization in March 2007 with a mission of providing a comprehensive source of MSP (managed services provider) education.

Now, with the addition of an advisory board, MSP Partners has opened its ranks to vendors that compete with the original members.

“They wanted to expand their partnerships with other vendors,” said Dan Shapero, Kaseya senior vice president of marketing, who will represent his company on the advisory board. Kaseya is a competitor to founding member Level Platforms. “The organization then opened up the opportunity. We spoke to the executive director and came up with the idea of creating this advisory board to the organization.”

Shapero said his company was not given the opportunity to join when the organization launched in March. But he said Kaseya’s participation now is “the right thing to do and the next logical step for the organization and for us. We feel like we’ve already had the opportunity to influence and shape the organization for 2008 and beyond.”

Executive Director Jim Hamilton said he plans for the organization to have more than 20 vendor sponsors. But Shapero said the advisory board size is likely to remain at a manageable six or so members.

MSP Partners has attracted more than 2,000 MSP members.