CompTIA Preps Business Transformation Tools for the Channel

By Michael Vizard  |  Print this article Print


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The IT trade association's Reseller Transformation Advisory Council is preparing 13 tools to guide VARs through self-assessments that will help them in the transformation to bona fide solution providers.

CompTIA's Reseller Transformation Advisory Council is moving ahead with the creation of tools intended to help solution providers run their businesses more effectively.

The council, backed with funding from Microsoft, IBM, Symantec, Ricoh, Canon, Xerox and McAfee, is developing tools that solution providers can use to assess the health of their business.

The tools, currently in beta, identify 13 different points on the path toward transforming from a traditional reseller focused on product and break/fix projects to a services-driven solution provider, said William Vanderbilt, vice president of education and training for CompTIA, the IT trade association based in Oak Brook Terrace, Ill.

Once solution providers assess the state of their business, the tool will generate a series of recommended actions to help them reach the next level, said Vanderbilt. The council is collecting those recommendations by working with a variety of subject matter experts in various solution provider business operations.

The results of those self-assessments will be kept confidential by the solution providers' management teams rather than shared with the vendors sponsoring the program. However, in the long term CompTIA hopes to create the equivalent of a "trustmark" that would become the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping seal of approval, which would identify the most financially stable solution providers, said Brian McCarthy, chief operating officer for CompTIA.

"This is about creating something for the common good that shows shared leadership between CompTIA and vendor organizations that support [the council]," said McCarthy.

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According to Tricia Wurts, head of Wurts & Associates, a channel consulting company in Tampa, Fla., the availability of cost-effective business modeling and migration tools is critical for small IT product resellers who want to grow their businesses.

But while many manufacturers, including IBM, Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft, have made an effort to provide these tools and related training, such efforts are clearly outside the scope of any technology manufacturer's core competency, she said.

And that is why, she said, CompTIA's reseller transformation initiative is a perfect service for an industry association to provide.


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