More than just a need for traditional vendor certifications in networking, servers and storage, industry participants must garner education in other areas of expertise including:
- Networked visualization (video walls and digital signage)
- Cloud and virtualization
- Soft skills that demonstrate business savvy
Education on the Language and Technology of IT
In order for integrators to stay one step ahead of the technology needs of a variety of sectors like healthcare, business enterprises and retail, they need the latest training as well as the latest solutions. Digital signage and in particular video walls are in demand across sectors, and VARS that have the training and resources to meet the need will benefit the most.
With the different applications such as retail, transport, hospitality, and healthcare among others, VARs must be educated on the advancements in the display technologies such as LED, LCD, and OLED and their benefits. System ArchiTECHS partners like Barco are on the cutting edge of networked visualization and work to provide highly specific training in products and systems for every market segment via Barco University training courses.
Equally important to learning the components and setup through certification training, Barco provides the all-important channel partner training for areas like healthcare. The goal is to provide even more than just ensuring that integrators have the skills to design, install optimize and maintain these networked visualization systems. The larger picture is to enable them to have the language, tools and insights to educate potential clients on their benefits and many uses.
Education on the Cloud and Virtualization
As another example of education increasing VAR sales exponentially is the ability to capitalize on training around cloud orchestration platforms. This can include being educated on specific areas of focus such as with MICROSOFT OEM.
The impending move to new solutions as the support for Windows 2003 occurs is an ideal time to put forth solutions like Microsoft Azure to help clients make the transition to the cloud. Having the knowledge base on the cloud and virtualization are a necessity for integrators that want to remain competitive and win new business. Consequently, network certifications are increasingly needed for increasing VAR sales in the areas of:
- Software-defined data centers
- Software-defined networking
This requires partners to have competency in both virtualization and networking.
As more organizations turn to virtual networks ranging from VM networking for multi-tenant environments to logical networks that mimic the physical infrastructure, VARs must bring the skills to support that transition. With so many clients and potential clients utilizing Microsoft Windows server 2012 R2 and the upcoming availability of Windows Server 2016 later this year, VARS must be up to speed on the technology and the business proposition to educate themselves and their potential clients.
The Hyper V environment of server virtualization demands architecture flexibility and performance that increases exponentially as an enterprise’ data grows. Understanding how Hyper V caching and CSV solutions such as HGST SSDs and FlashMAX PCIe SSD cards can deliver that scalability in Microsoft Hyper V cloud architectures is imperative.
From virtualization and private cloud to software defined networking, integrators need the skills, understanding and certifications to meet the needs of organizations with solutions and education. That means an ability to implement and educate clients on how those solutions can transform their business processes.
For VARs, education is an ongoing challenge that requires solutions that adapt to the changing needs and technology of the IT industry. The challenge for both vendors and partners is keeping pace with training as well as developing the right mix of IT professional partnerships such as with System ArchiTECHS. For those VARS that can successfully meet that challenge of education, the benefits of increasing sale exponentially will surely come.