The Ever-Increasing Value of Industry Standard Credentials

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01655 US Global Trustmark Banner Ad 220x150By Miles Jobgen, Director of Trustmark Programs for CompTIA

As one of the most recognizable credentials, or “marks,” in North America, the Better

Business Bureau logo gives an organization instant credibility and provides a sense of security to current and prospective customers. Its holders have made a commitment to uphold certain standards relating to their transaction processes, professional relationships and community standing. Most of all, a BBB logo instills trust.

Business credentials can be particularly valuable to those in the IT services area, where a solid reputation is often the biggest differentiator when you’re prospecting new clients or developing key industry relationships. The logo or mark of acknowledgement you receive from a respected association can truly improve your company’s standing. Those who receive business credentials must meet certain standards and industry-specific criteria, so the designation can give instant credibility to a holder’s capabilities.

When considering a business credential, think of the application process as a blueprint for making operational improvements in the organization. The most effective programs include roadmaps or detailed lists of the activities required to receive these designations. Those are valuable resources for business owners who want to work within guidelines that will ensure their success. By setting baseline requirements, it encourages the positive changes many businesses need to compete, to survive and to thrive. A well-established accreditation process incorporates industry best practices, which can encourage managers to address long-delayed issues that may be negatively affecting their productivity or profitability.

An IT firm has to develop its own “personality” and portfolio, but the operations side of best-in-class businesses may not differ significantly. The core services and delivery processes are fairly standardized, so why would solution providers waste their valuable time, energy and resources replicating what others have already perfected? With a few exceptions, they shouldn’t. CompTIA, with the help of its peer community members and other industry leaders, created a number of options that lower the learning curve and reduce the time it takes to build a successful IT services business.

Create Greater Efficiencies with Industry Standards

Like any other organization, solution providers have to utilize their resources effectively. They should build solid business plans, continually evaluate their performance and take advantage of the opportunities that come their way ─ as well as the breaks that result from their own demand generation activities. Successful providers automate everything they can and hire new employees when financially viable (dictated by utilization rates, sales and SLA needs). With a firm handle on their IT services metrics and monetary situation, MSPs and VARs can avoid the difficulties that plague many IT service providers.

The CompTIA Trustmark programs ensure that solution providers have these recommended best practices in place. While individual requirements vary among the credentials, each requires applicants to adhere to a prescribed set of industry standards and document their specific plans. In effect, Trustmarks validate the commitment your organization makes to its clients. Solution providers with these highly-respected endorsements are typically better positioned from both an operational as well as a financial perspective. By aligning their business with industry standards and ensuring that specific controls are in place, the company will be primed for growth—and properly prepared to weather economic or market setbacks. Earning a CompTIA Trustmark does not guarantee success, but it does validate your organization is doing its due diligence required for success, demonstrates your commitment to clients, and provides a set of intelligent business practices to emulate.

Adopting Channel Best Practices

CompTIA offers three of the most recognized business accreditations designed exclusively for the IT channel covering Managed Services, Managed Print and IT Security. Each of these business credentials gives IT professionals the ability to increase their marketability, efficiency and productivity within their markets and disciplines.

The true value of these programs comes from the accreditation process itself, as applicants assess their adherence to industry standards and make the appropriate changes. Before receiving a Trustmark, the IT firm has to meet the control criteria listed for that specific credential. The hardest part for many experienced and knowledgeable solution providers is ensuring that each procedure and plan is properly documented.

CompTIA Trustmarks are given only to those who have demonstrated a commitment to professionalism and quality customer service. Business credentials are that key differentiator that solution providers need in today’s increasingly competitive market. The industry-recognized logos and marketing materials CompTIA provides can help build your brand and the standards they represent will ensure you have what you need to close and retain more clients.

Are you looking for that “badge of honor” to help grow your services business? Learn more about the Trustmark program and our growing list of support and preparation materials today. You’ll surely appreciate what a true IT business credential can do to boost your success.