CompTIA plans to continue focusing on its "bread-and-butter" practice of certifying the IT workforce, as well as investing in other areas, its chief executive has claimed.
Todd Thibodeaux (pictured), who has flown in to present a keynote at CRN’s Partner Connect event today, said the organisation – which acquired the TCA last year – was focusing on four main pillars.
Firstly, building its education library, such as adding 10-week guides on areas like cloud computing and UC, quick-start guides, and delivering special training.
“Educating the channel is one of our main pillars,” he said. Secondly, it is certifying the IT workforce, he added, with new certifications due out on cloud, UC and mobility.
Thirdly, the organisation has been lobbying on small business taxation, regulation and cyber security in the US. And, finally, it will focus on its philanthropic activities, where a charity is highlighted by members and supported throughout the year.
“We are giving our members a chance to identify a charity that they want to adopt, and we will then support it throughout the year,” he said.
Matthew Poyiadgi, vice president international at CompTIA, said the organisation has also been developing a roadmap – based on the London Tube map design – which will help any company or individual find the right path to their chosen IT qualification.
“The European Union has expressed an interest in this map as well,” he said. “All vendors are included on this map, and we will be showcasing it throughout May and June. It will help anybody that wants to establish a path to a career in IT.”
CompTIA is also planning to bring other US-launched initiatives to the UK, particularly around educating the younger generation about the merits of an IT career.
“We are trying to be an IT association,” said Poyiadgi. “And get people focused on what it really means to be in IT. It is not just about being techie; it is also about being a sales person and an account manager. We are launching programmes to engage kids at a young age in a cool career path. IT has gone from the basement to the boardroom, and you don’t have to be a technical expert to sell in the IT space.”
Another area in which the organisation is heavily involved is apprentices, and CompTIA works closely with large training companies such as QA to train apprentices and get them placed within IT firms. Thibodeaux said CompTIA had made great strides in the US with its apprentice training.
“We are working with the Department of Labor in the US to encourage unemployed people to enrol in apprenticeships. It is a transfer of knowledge and will be a greater push to ensuring employers to hire more certified people,” he said.
Talking about the TCA takeover, Poyiadgi said the integration of the two groups had gone without a hitch, with the newly established CompTIA Channel Community due to meet tomorrow.
“We have heard nothing really negative that has caused us to change our direction. We have listened to a few things from members – for example, some of our members expressed concern about not being able to pay in local currency,” he said. “It might seem like a small issue to the likes of Toshiba or Dell, but to a one-man band in the UK, it makes all the difference. We have taken time to listen, respond, and put processes in place to address issues like these.”
Thibodeaux said any initial concerns will disappear once CompTIA members see the value of sticking with the organisation.
“When you start to demonstrate value and see examples of the things we are doing, the members are very happy, and they also have a chance to network with peers and share best practice. This is a pretty cool industry to work in,” he said.
CompTIA is holding a special drinks reception after the last keynote at Partner Connect today to mark the launch of the first meeting of its UK Channel Community tomorrow. Members of the EU IT Services and Support Community will also be meeting tomorrow.
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