There are various online managed service provider (MSP) communities. Two of the most prominent and influential are the Reddit online MSP community and the ASCII Group. Both of these renowned groups have great value for managed service providers. Let’s examine the different facets and relationships of these two online communities, as we explore the importance of online communities to MSP’s.
All one has to do is take a brief glance at Reddit’s MSP community, and it becomes quickly obvious what a vast role Reddit plays as far as the majority of MSP’s are concerned. Reddit provides value by serving as an extensive knowledge base and support group for virtually any question that a MSP (in the form of one of their employees) might need the answer to. This continuously updated and maintained forum lends 24 hour, around-the-clock support to all of the different managed service providers. This service (and it is a service) is invaluable, and the best part of the deal for MSP’s is that it doesn’t cost them a dime — directly, at least.
The ASCII Group
This is the “other” community that caters exclusively to independent MSP’s. ASCII offers the benefits of “marketing, networking, knowledge, and advocacy” — at a price. The most glaring, obvious difference that jumps out at anyone is the almost $1,000 annual membership fee ($989, according to the ASCII website). Granted, MSP’s that are members of the ASCII community do have access to a far more coordinated, organized operation. ASCII sponsors numerous events all over the nation on a constant basis, and their expertise and assisting independent MSP’s with their marketing endeavors are tested and proven.
Both Reddit and ASCII provide very beneficial resources for different MSP’s. Depending on the needs of the MSP in question, some smaller operations may find the price tag of belonging to ASCII to be prohibitive. Reddit is free, and consolidates a vast wealth of knowledge and essentially provides a meeting place for MSP’s and a place to find a quick (and often technical) answer.
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