Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Vendor certifications are a hassle.

For VARs, it can be a daunting task to manage who’s on their staff, who has what certifications, who needs which certifications and how to get them.

“You’re usually dealing with one-off training course and then testing after that,” said Jerry Cavanaugh, director of the Hewlett-Packard Business Unit at Forsythe Solutions, Chicago.

“That’s time out of pocket and money out of your wallet and theirs. There are scheduling issues and travel issues. Sometimes these classes are held once every six months.”

To ease Cavanaugh’s pain and those in similar straights, Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions, a division of distributor Arrow Electronics, is hosting PowerTrack, a five-day crash course in 21 HP sales and technical certification courses and tests.

VAR staffers may walk away with as many certifications as they can fit in a week—typically one to three for sales personnel, one or two for technical staff.

Click here to read more about distributor Avnet’s HP channel.

“Taking billable hours out of the field can be a struggle,” said Ed Gogol, director of Enterprise Systems at Solarcom, an Atlanta-based reseller.

“Here you can take a course in three days, walk across the hall and get the test taken care of. Then take another class the following day. You can walk out of there with three certifications.”

There were 223 people who attended, including 17 from Forsythe.

Arrow considers the program part of its partner enablement role—aggregating the cost of certain activities across a broader base—now becoming the primary function of distributors, said Ed Burke, director of marketing in Arrow ECS’ HP business unit. Arrow performs this service only for its HP VARs, the company said.

“In order to sell, this is what they need,” Burke said, referring to the HP partner program requirements that stipulate a certain number of personnel at each VAR have specific sales and/or technical certifications to sell or service certain product lines.

“It can be expensive to do this on your own for a small business to take two guys out of the field for a week of training in Detroit and another in Florida. But they need it to sell the product.

Not to mention, Burke added, “better educated VARs are more successful.”