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CompTIA Debuts New Tools, Millennial Council at ChannelCon 2014

At the future-themed partnering and training event, CompTIA rolled out a variety of educational and training resources and a new advisory council designed to take the pulse of the changing IT workforce. By Colleen Frye

CompTIA, the IT Industry Association, unveiled a variety of new offerings at ChannelCon 2014 in Phoenix, where more than 1,000 executives and owners from many of the top companies in the IT channel along with leading distributors and vendors were in attendance at the three-day event, which was themed “Connect to a Smarter Future.”

Among the new education and training offerings from CompTIA is a toolkit of more than 30 customizable marketing resources designed specifically for the needs of IT channel companies. The toolkit includes guides on search engine optimization, identifying competitors, developing unique value propositions, strategies for enabling sales team success, and a sample marketing budget.

Also, CompTIA announced The Channel Primer, developed by the CompTIA Vendor Advisory Council. The Channel Primer consists of customizable training materials and other content that CompTIA vendor and distributor members can use to train staff members who work outside of the channel on the fundamentals of the indirect IT sales channel.

“This training regimen will provide staff members with a better appreciation of the contributions that the indirect sales channel makes to overall organizational performance,” said Kelly Ricker, senior vice president, events and education, CompTIA. “With this knowledge, they will be better prepared to provide support to their channel partners.”

The Channel Primer includes a history of the indirect sales channel, different types and characteristics of channel partners, how channel partners add value to technology vendors and distributors, opportunities and challenges presented by partner programs, business planning strategies for working with partners, and how to evaluate and measure partner performance.

Three new channel executive certificate programs also debuted at ChannelCon: Building Financial Strength, Selling Cloud Services, and Profiling Customer Security Risks.

Finally, Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, announced that CompTIA will create a new Millennial Advisory Council, a group tasked with helping the association and the industry stay relevant for the up-and-coming generation. In his state of the industry keynote speech, Thibodeaux talked about the changing demographics in the IT workforce. “These young professionals are already out there making a difference. They’re eventually going to be leading this industry in a very short period of time,” he said.

Many of the new educational and training resources announced at ChannelCon are available at no cost to CompTIA registered users; and all are available to premier members through the association’s Open Access Model.

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