IT trade association CompTIA has launched a web portal collating vendor service and support information, but the move has met with a mixed reaction from resellers.
The portal provides a link to information from 18 vendors, including Microsoft, Cisco and Hewlett-Packard (HP). It allows channel technicians to send email alerts to manufacturers if they encounter a common fault on a machine.
Richard Rysiewicz, vice-president of services at CompTIA, said: “When it comes to a technician’s time, time is money. Even if this saves just 10 minutes a day it’s worth it.”
Scott Fletcher, chief executive at VAR ANS, agreed. “Anything that makes life easier for our technicians is a good thing,” he said. “If it allows users to search for information in one place, you can see how it might be successful.”
Sue Richards, managing director at HP reseller EBM, was more sceptical. “I’d be surprised if there’s an engineer that needs help who doesn’t have the common sense to go on to the vendor’s web site themselves,” she said. “This gives you nothing.”
Mike Gammie, IT services development manager at VAR Misco, said: “The concept is fantastic, but unfortunately the reality is not so great because everything on the portal is US-centric. It would be more handy if it included vendor warranty terms and dead-on-arrival periods, because that information can be hard to find.”
US-based CompTIA claimed it has about 700 UK resellers on its books and 8,700 resellers globally, although the new tool is open to both members and non-members.
Fletcher argued the portal could consequently act as a good way for VARs around the UK to exchange information.
“As a self-help community for resellers this sounds great, but it could get messy if it is opened up to end-users as well,” he cautioned.
However, Rysiewicz said: “This is really aimed at resellers. The idea came from VARs when we had our services forum.”
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