News Feature | April 2, 2014

CompTIA Announces Open Access

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By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

CompTIA Announces Open Access

“Registered users” can now access CompTIA’s channel education, industry research, news and tools designed to help meet business goals

Much of CompTIA’s educational and informational material is now available to everyone. The association announced last night at its annual members meeting held this week in San Diego, CA, that it launched a new open access model — a major change to its 30-year membership strategy. The association, recognizing the value of its resources to its 2,050 core members, worked throughout the past year to develop a plan to share its content with the entire IT channel.

Nancy Hammervik, senior VP of industry relations for CompTIA, says the new model includes a “registered user” level that gives individuals access, at no cost, to channel education, industry research, news, and tools designed to help channel partners achieve their business goals. Registered users will be invited to participate in monthly calls with CompTIA communities — including groups focused on cloud, mobility, managed services, IT security, and advancing women in IT. Although registered users are not CompTIA members, they will be invited to participate at low-cost events with solution providers, vendors, and distributors, and will have access to Trustmarks to them improve their business practices.

President and CEO of CompTIA Todd Thibodeaux says, “The IT industry is changing rapidly, and channel partners, as well as IT professionals, business owners, and consumers, are eager for real-world insights and resources that will help them make more informed decisions and offer guidance on the future of IT. CompTIA is uniquely positioned to be that voice and resource, which is why we’re opening up the vault to registered users and introducing greater exclusivity and value for our members.”

 “Premier membership” is available only to solutions providers, vendors, and distributors, and companies serving the IT channel. Premier members receive exclusive business tools and priority access to all of CompTIA’s research, training, and education resources. Among other rights and privileges, premier members only can vote or hold board positions and have complementary registrations to CompTIA events.  All current CompTIA members automatically receive premier member status. Hammervik says as CompTIA developed the new model, the association wanted to protect the status of its members, and worked closely with the council and membership to best provide open access to some of the association’s resources.

She stresses the new model was not meant to increase numbers or drive revenue. Hammervik says CompTIA, the non-profit association for the IT industry, recognizes that most solutions providers are small businesses and need help with resources and education. “This genuinely was to have a greater impact on the IT industry.”

Over the past few months, CompTIA did a soft launch, making some content on the web available to anyone and asking readers if they would like to continue to receive content. In a short time, more than 5,000 people opted in — and more than 3,000 of them were members of the IT channel. Hammervik says the other 40 percent is comprised of IT professionals, IT enthusiasts, and people exploring the industry, and students, “who might be tomorrow’s members.”

CompTIA also announced a new design for its website. The new, cleaner design focuses on allowing the user to search for topics of interest and easily navigate the site, rather than landing on a homepage packed with content. “We heard our members loud and clear,” says Hammervik. “The website was difficult to sort through.” The new site is also mobile-friendly, built with smartphone and tablet users in mind.  CompTIA members at this week’s meeting had the chance to preview and use the site. Their feedback will help CompTIA make final changes before it goes live in June.

For more details about CompTIA’s new open access model, or to become a CompTIA registered user or premier member, visit https://www.comptia.org/members.aspx.