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The Computing Technology Industry Association announced Feb. 21 that it plans to develop a new certification of IT skills that focuses on the printing and document imaging industry.

The seven companies that plan to support this certification program are Xerox, Specialized Solutions, Canon U.S.A., Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Lexmark International, Pitney Bowes and Sharp Electronics.

“A uniform standard of performance for printing and document imaging technicians results in greater productivity; higher first time fix-rates; and better results for the customer,” said Richard Rysiewicz, vice president of services at CompTIA, in a company release.

The new certification program plans to concentrate on skills related to printers, multifunctional printers, scanners, faxes, copiers, networking, connectivity and color theory, as prime candidates are expected to be entry- to mid-level technicians with six to 12 months of experience in the installation, connectivity, maintenance and repair, and support of devices in the printing and document industry.

Xerox believes that the new program will benefit users because it helps to raise the level of knowledge and experience when it comes to printing devices and solutions.

“The certification means the third-party provider has achieved a basic level of inner knowledge about the technology, and it validates third-party suppliers and ultimately benefits the end user with experienced service for printing devices and solutions,” said Gary Gillam, vice president of North America Channel Operations at Stamford, Conn.-based Xerox.

Specialized Solutions, a provider of training materials and platforms for certification requirements of IT professionals, also decided that it would be beneficial for the company and its users to support CompTIA’s new certification program as it will help its techs understand the technology better.

“They will be able to explain how it works, why it works and how to fix it, which is a special trait, and with the new certification from CompTIA, we understood its importance,” said Carrie Cameron, CEO and president of Clearwater, Fla.-based Specialized Solutions.

Gillam added that CompTIA was well-aware that many vendors were starting to require certifications and as a result, it would “ultimately raise the level of competency across the community of third-party service providers that are important to Xerox and its customers.”

Pitney Bowes, a technology company that holds multiple patents on imaging technologies and offers service and support contracts on many imaging devices, believes that the certification program will only improve a computer professional’s competency and will allow the company to focus on helping customers with the technology instead of having to teach the technology to its staff.

“The certification offers industry consistency in the qualification level of technicians, providing a starting point for corporate education efforts and eliminating the need to teach these fundamentals as part of the corporate training effort,” Matthew Broder, spokesperson for the Stamford, Conn.-based Pitney Bowes, told eWEEK.

Click here to read more about CompTIA’s RFID certifications.

For Specialized Solutions, adaptation is crucial when it comes to supplying its consumers with the right computer professionals; the CompTIA certification program is a way to address the changes that are taking place in the IT industry.

“We understand the many changes that are taking place in the IT industry as we see them every day,” Cameron said. “We can adapt together, we can grow together, and that is the most promising aspect for our company.”

Both Xerox and Specialized Solutions said that the certification will be well worth the cost as the certification will allow their companies to provide their consumers with their best computer professionals.

“Any certification in our opinion is worth the cost,” Cameron said. “Having the best training and being the best tech in your field is the reward; the costs are minor.

“You would think as a consumer, you’d be willing to pay more money to someone to fix your plumbing who is certified than your next-door neighbor,” Gillam said. “In that respect, I think the third-party delivery partner would benefit from this.”

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