PARTNERS ’ PERSPECTIVE sector needs is to partner with the education segment in particular , tertiary institutions like colleges and universities and develop programmes at this level that address the skills gaps in industry and especially with emerging technologies and domain areas that are in demand .
While vendor certifications reflect the breadth of the channel partner ’ s skills across certain technologies , I believe that channel partners should be properly trained and certified to gain a competitive advantage . Training and certification initiatives enable partners to solve their customers ’ most pressing business issues and increase their potential reward and profit as they grow through emerging technologies such as the latest innovations around intent-based network , hybrid cloud , virtualisation , AI , automation , sales and management .
In addition to regular training and certification schemes , the focus should be on Digital Transformation and what role solution provider partners are expected to play given that they are the foot soldiers representing the vendor brands and IT distributors they do business with .
The challenge for vendors , distributors and resellers is keeping pace with training as well as developing the right mix of IT professionals .
That said , channel partners cannot afford to not take training and certification programmes seriously . Training and certifications are imperative if they want to stay competitive and have the edge over their peers . With the acceleration of Digital Transformation and rapid acceptance of newer technology trends , partners are now required to add value services and implementation support as a part of their solutions selling . Sometimes the high costs for training and certifications and the challenge of retaining staff could act as barriers for channel partners .
Training staff is not as challenging as retaining them once they have attained the vendor ’ s certifications or qualifications that are in demand . However , with the right HR policies and incentives in place , this problem could be addressed and that ’ s what every partner organisation should be developing for the long-term .
In most cases , I have come to understand that the constraints tend to be financial as training in the latest technologies can be costly and requires a willingness of the part of a channel partner to view skills development as an investment that has a direct link to the bottom line .
Looking ahead , unless the skills gap and development initiatives are aligned , the IT industry in general and the channel in particular , will continue to witness and experience a shortage of skills in the market . However , this gap in skills shortage will narrow as more people get enabled . IT companies that have plans to work closely and collectively with other peers and industry players will be the ones that start to make a difference to this huge challenge that has created hurdles for the channel . Training and skilling channel partners is one way of enabling them with the required skill sets to gear up for the future and the Fourth Industrial Revolution . •
INTELLIGENT TECH CHANNELS Issue 47 25