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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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April 4, 2023 |

Certs That Help You Acquire Customers and Employees

Professional certifications can serve to not only boost an employee’s knowledge and development, they can be used as a promotional tool to attract and acquire customers as well.

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS can serve to not only boost an employee’s knowledge and development, but they can be also used as a tool to attract clients. So, what certs should MSPs look for in job candidates––or encourage their own employees to pursue?

James Bier, principal at VAR Staffing, an MSP-focused talent acquisition firm, says cloud-based certifications, such as Microsoft Azure and AWS, are among the most popular right now, in part because of the pandemic.

James Bier

“For any client––a midsized law firm, a construction company, etc.––having a hybrid or work-from-home strategy is a must,” he says. For this reason, the MSPs his firm works with are seeking cloud technologists who can help businesses implement the technical infrastructure to support this work model.

Bier notes that vendor-issued certifications from Datto, ConnectWise, and Kaseya are also popular among MSPs. From a recruiting perspective, he says the skills candidates acquire through one specific certification often apply to other solutions. “Most of our [clients] are ConnectWise partners, but if we have a Datto Autotask PSA [client] and we have a really sharp candidate that comes out of a pretty good ConnectWise shop, those two are interchangeable,” he explains.

Certifications aren’t the be-all-end-all solution to attracting customers, however, maintains Anurag Agrawal, CEO of Techaisle, an IT-focused research and advisory firm. While he notes that channel pros require skills in cloud architecture, cost optimization, open source deployment, security, AI and machine learning, and analytics, clients aren’t necessarily swayed by certifications.

“Customers want to interact with partners with experience and specializations rather than certifications, since certifications rely on proctored tests [and] book knowledge, and not project experience,” he argues. Agrawal encourages MSPs to recruit employees who are coachable and to favor expertise over certifications. Then they should encourage their staff to earn certifications from their vendors.

Still, Bier argues that building professional development–including earning certifications––into the overall employment package can serve to attract top talent. This means that MSPs may fund certification tracks, and even grant employees several hours a week to study for them. “Build that into the job description and show [a] candidate that you are actually investing in them as a technologist,” he advises.

For many job candidates and employees, one of the attractive characteristics of working for an MSP is that, by design, their employees must be fluent in the latest and greatest that tech has to offer. “A benefit to working at an MSP versus a bank, or healthcare system, or university system is that MSPs have to evolve with the technology,” Bier says.

Image: iStock/Elena Brovko

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