CompTIA Highlights VAR Service Revenue Opportunities
(Las Vegas) — For many channel companies, both VARs and vendors, the service delivery model has rapidly evolved over the past couple of years and should continue at an even faster rate in the foreseeable future. Managed services, especially hosted versions of those offerings, and outsourcing are causing solutions providers to rethink their businesses and how they interact with each of their customers. In network technologies, this is quickly becoming apparent as customers learn more about the benefits, such as reducing the expense of maintaining their own IT staff while preserving a high level of support.
The channel trend toward managed services was highly evident at this year's CompTIA (the Computing Technology Industry Association) Breakaway conference. Celebrating 25 years of IT training and education, CompTIA continues to evolve and expand its annual channel event (more than 1,200 attendees this year) with additional technology and business education. The organization has thrived, despite the tumultuous environment of the IT industry. Since CompTIA's inception, the channel has witnessed the rise and fall of the COMDEX show, many IT distributors (Merisel is one example), and an extensive list of hardware and software vendors (e.g. Commodore, Compaq). The organization continues to transition its resources to the latest technologies, with managed services being emphasized in the last couple of years.
Managed Services Create Increased Support Discussions
While the event featured a wide range of IT channel topics, managed services continued to dominate many of the sessions with topics ranging from SaaS (software as a service) to hosted offerings. CompTIA has taken steps to develop additional education and training resources, including research and a dedicated services initiative portal for VARs who are hoping to transition to the new model. There is a definite need for additional managed services education resources for solutions providers, so expect to see organizations such as CompTIA and MSP Partners (www.msppartners.com) adding that support.
Since its inception, CompTIA has been active in education and certification for technology providers, though known primarily for its technical role. That function of the organization has been supplemented with additional resources surrounding the business growth of channel partners. "The educational needs of solutions providers are transitioning. As many of them grow and become larger organizations, we've seen a greater demand for business acumen topics, so we have added education programs, research, and tools to meet those needs," said John Venator, president and CEO of CompTIA. Some of those resources, such as a solutions provider road map (offers assistance such as business plan development) and business education courseware are available to members through CompTIA University. Utilizing resources from organizations like CompTIA will help solutions providers grow and reach their own milestones in longevity.
— Brian Sherman,