Vox pop: What do you think of vendor certifications?

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This article appeared in the September 2018 issue of CRN magazine.

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Vox pop: What do you think of vendor certifications?

Peter Stein, GM software and cloud, Australia, Datacom

Vendor certifications are always challenging by design. But that is why they are valuable.

They are important to Datacom for three reasons:
Firstly, Customers use them to validate a service provider’s capability and reliability. Datacom works hard to ensure that we have all the relevant certifications, across as many of our vendors as possible.

Customers then know that we are giving them a choice in excellence, rather than being shoehorned into a solution that doesn’t suit their business needs.

Secondly, these certifications are key tools to keep our relationship close with our vendors, get early access to the newest technology, and better leverage their support networks. For example, Datacom was first in region for a number of key certifications, such as AWS MSP and Microsoft Azure Expert MSP. This demonstrates our thought leadership internationally, not just locally.

Damian Zammit, GM transformation services, Thomas Duryea Logicalis

Vendor certification is a required method to segment partners based on the partners level of expertise and talent by tiering.

These tiers offer additional benefits and rebates which a partner can leverage. These rebates and benefits will in most cases offset the investment required by the partner to attain the certification such as training, exam and time costs.

As customers continually request the level and expertise of vendor certifications from partners, it is essential for the partner to be at the highest tier to address any capability and depth concerns.

For a customer, certification provides reassurance and risk mitigation that a partner is competent that the solution can be delivered successfully.
However, the main benefit of vendor certification is the continuous development and learning of employees to keep up with the current pace of innovation.

George Rodgers, national vendor manager, Data#3

Data#3 partners with a number of vendors, and recognise how the right vendor certifications can differentiate us and help to deliver customer success.

We have continued to grow our business with strong certified skills and built practices around our key vendor partners.

Strategic investment into certified skill sets allows Data#3 to help our customers achieve their business outcomes leveraging the best-aligned solutions and services capabilities.
Certifications also bring a resilient vendor sales and technical alliance, as well as associated partner benefits, such as the partner status level, deal registration, MDF investments and strong executive engagement.

With so many potential certifications, the key is maintaining a clear strategy and vision.
Data#3’s vision is to harness the power of people and technology for a better future. Vendor accreditations are the ties that bind the critical alignment and relationships for Data#3 between our people and vendor technologies.

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