Guest Column | March 17, 2014

What MSPs Need To Know About The Unified Certification Standard

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Unified Certification Standard

Q&A with Charles Weaver, CEO of the International Association of Cloud & Managed Service Providers (MSPALLIANCE)

Q: How does the UCS (Unified Certification Standard) compare/complement the SSAE 16 audit? (Does one replace the other or does UCS add something to the SSAE 16 audit?)

Response: The UCS is a standard developed nearly a decade ago by MSPs as a way to establish best practices for operating a managed IT services company. The standard has evolved over the years and today can be issued as a standalone UCS report or as a SSAE 16 report. The important thing to realize for MSPs and customers is that SSAE 16 (and SAS 70 before it) is not a standard; it's just a way to deliver an audit. Accountants, who are good at auditing, operate SSAE 16 but not necessarily knowledgeable about cloud or managed services businesses. Our Board of Advisers (all of whom are UCS certified MSPs) is in charge of maintaining the UCS standard. 

Today, we deliver UCS audits on 5 continents to hundreds of MSPs but less than half of those actually receive a SSAE 16 report.

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