11 channel partner bosses reveal which vendors they are skilling up on in 2022

UK reseller and MSP head honchos including CAE’s Justin Harling, Phoenix Software’s Sam Mudd and Ampito’s Angela Whitty reveal where they are focusing their 2022 accreditation and training efforts, as well as their accreditation pet peeves

Doug Woodburn
clock • 22 min read
11 channel partner bosses reveal which vendors they are skilling up on in 2022

Okta and Microsoft seem to be the default options. We want to give users another choice

[image_library_tag 28c96a77-b7ad-4048-8eb6-5927dede7842 450x334 height="334" width="450" alt="Scott Nursten, CEO, ITHQ" ]
Scott Nursten, CEO, ITHQ

Scott Nursten

Role: CEO, ITHQ

Which vendor are you focusing your technical and sales staff accreditation efforts on in 2022, and why?

Number one is AWS for both tech and architecture resources. We're seeing massive growth and adoption in the cloud. Fortinet is second, also because of huge demand, but it is difficult to be competitive without top-tier status.

Read a summary of the CRN Vendor Report findings here

What is your ambition for the partnership?

With all our vendors, our ambition is to be a top-tier partner. We're different from the average UK IT business in that we're not a catalogue company. We only carry specific solution-focused vendors that solve specific problems. We want to excel with these vendors; be known as the go-to experts with these technologies.

Are there any new/emerging vendors where you are ramping up accreditation efforts? If so, why?

JumpCloud and Netskope. JumpCloud doesn't have a large European presence but it's a fantastic platform. Okta and Microsoft seem to be the default options. We want to give users another choice that's a bit more cost-effective. Netskope is a multi-faceted data and IP loss prevention tool. We're seeing a big uptick in requests for this, and we predict strong growth in the future.

What's your biggest bugbear when it comes to vendor accreditation and training?

The system is wide open to abuse. All vendors use the same model and say you must invest time and energy in their product to become an expert.

Big catalogue businesses quickly shortcut the certs by ‘buying' their accreditations using contracted certified professionals. They use their market share to quickly negotiate top tier status, sidestepping the cert process internally, making them ‘experts' in label only. We are all-in with our vendors, but we must play by the same rules as catalogue businesses.

Worst of all, sales teams at big companies are highly incentivised for profits, not to ‘solve for the customer'. Go to any of the well-known players in the UK and you'll find they are top tier status; seen as the best partners. But they will sell you whichever vendor offers them the best deal that week.

If you could give your vendors one piece of advice on how to improve their accreditation/training process, what would it be?

Partners should have to demonstrate how vendor products deliver benefits in a real-world scenario. We hear consistently from our vendors that we're a ‘safe pair of hands'. Our expertise is obvious in how we use the technology in the design, spec and implementation of solutions, and how we take them to market.

Which MSP boss is focusing her accreditation efforts on ConnectWise in 2022? Find out on following page…

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