Technical Certifications: Still A Priority for VARs & MSPs?
Technical certifications are important to our industry, but it can be difficult to allocate the time to get them done. How do you make sure your techs are up to date with their Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, and HP certifications (and more)? Here are some real-world thoughts from the halls of our solutions provider business in Tampa, Fla.
Why do I care about certifications? Number one, my techs can get stale… getting new training is a great way to introduce them to the latest technology and to re-ignite their passion about the cool products that are new to the market. And, certs are a big selling point when you’re at the table with a prospect. They’re a must-have for your website; they show that you are a real player in the IT market, and not just another box-pusher. Also, if you play the lifecycle services game and want to collect on warranty repair work, your tech has to be certified.
Our Approach to Certification
Here at my IT company, my staff members are responsible for keeping their certifications up to date, on their own time. It’s a point of pride for a lot of my engineers, and it’s their responsibility to make sure they stay up to date.
I know some shops grant a higher pay scale for each certification to motivate their employees to get them. Here, I will not allow them to study or take courses that will encroach on the their billable time during the day. I do give my techs a bonus when they get a new certification under their belts. I also pay for their certification study guides (and add to the library when they are done for others to use) and pay for the tests that they pass.
Really, it’s a win-win. They get what they want, and I get what I want.
Let me throw this out to you: How are you making sure your staff certifications are up to date?
David Bellini is president of ConnectWise. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsor program.