IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Embracing the Opportunities of Partner Certification

Certification highlights expertise and ensures customers that the partner is committed to excellence. By Alexandra Uhlherr-McGhee

The mission of partner certification is clear: It provides guidance and assurance for customers navigating a large network of partners with an array of diverse offerings. Certification is especially important as customers increasingly demand digital transformation offerings and seek partners with up-to-date cloud certifications.

Prioritizing the different types of certifications available can be complex, but certification has become a critical element for partners in growing their businesses. With proper certification, whether it’s for talent, applications, services, operations, or projects, partners demonstrate their commitment to delivering excellence for customers. They also differentiate themselves from the competition, which makes them poised to compete and expand business through their expert knowledge on best practices and current skills. Additionally, certification provides partners with internal benefits, like higher employee satisfaction and career growth support.

Certify Talent First – Everything Else Second

Certification for talent is fundamental before anything else. Whether the business objective is implementation, consulting services, or application development, the process must always start with the individuals knowing what they’re doing.

Talent certification is also a validation of successful knowledge transfer, and it helps bring peace of mind for customers when they’re looking to do specific implementations or transformations. Often, however, vendors only require a few consultants to be certified, even in massive organizations. While the goal is clear to achieve, having more certified consultants will make for happier customers, ultimately resulting in better business results.

The Cloud Is Coming – Prepare for It

Across industries, “on-premises” is still most often the top learning course on the path to certification. With the increasing demand for digital transformation services, this doesn’t bode well for future growth. Without certified cloud consultants, partners won’t be set up for success when digital innovations emerge down the line.

To properly lead customers through cloud transformation, partners should not only have a well-staffed bench of qualified and certified talent, but they should also be fully up to date with the latest best practices around implementation topics and consider productizing some of their own IP as repeatable applications. Again, certification—this time for implementation expertise as a company, or for one’s applications—can help highlight those accomplishments.

Additionally, there are new security concerns from customers in the cloud. Certification of expertise or app-to-app integration ensures that partners and vendors are aligned on best practices, and it decreases the potential for security breaches.

Many of the largest technology vendors have uncovered the opportunity for their partners in the cloud, from job growth to revenue growth. With talent, expertise, and application certification, partners can accelerate transformation in the cloud and create more opportunities for success.

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