Gary Gillam: Pushing Vendors and VARs to Transform

By Michael Vizard  |  Print this article Print


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Gary Gillam, of Xerox and CompTIA, prodded CompTIA to refocus on boosting member companies' fortunes with programs such as an initiative to transform VARs into high-margin, solution-focused companies.

Gary Gillam may be better known for his day job as Xerox's channel chief, but it's his work as chairman of the board of the directors of CompTIA for 2006 that got everybody's attention.

Thanks to Gillam's prodding, CompTIA has evolved from being a steward of vendor-neutral certification standards to an association that has made significant investments in the past year to boost the fortunes of the 25,000 member companies that make up CompTIA worldwide.

"CompTIA is transcending now from being a one-dimensional organization to an association that has a much brighter future," said Gillam. "It's a lot more today than a bunch of certification guys, but that's what put the organization in a position to financially do all the things it did this past year."

Those accomplishments include the launch of CompTIA University to help people study for certification exams, a new Creating Futures program that retrains veterans and people with disabilities for jobs in IT, and the creation of a Reseller Transformation Advisory Council that is working with consultants to help traditional resellers evolve into solution provider companies focused on high-margin services.

In addition, Gillam cites the fact that CompTIA is increasingly aligned with the public policy people within the vendor companies on major issues as another example of how the organization is materially advancing the agenda of solution providers.

All of this work naturally dovetails with Gillam's agenda for transforming the Xerox installed base of partners, but he is not alone in his desire to see real fundamental change in the channel. According to Gillam, Frank Vitagliano from Juniper, John Paget from Synnex, Julie Parrish from Symantec, Dave Roberts from Websense, Brian Wiser from Ingram Micro and Kevin Gilroy, formerly of OnForce and Hewlett-Packard, have been instrumental in helping transform CompTIA.

"What's making CompTIA really work is the fact that we have all these high-powered volunteers willing to commit their time," said Gillam.


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