CompTIA is the voice of the world's information technology industry. As a non-profit trade association advancing the global interests of IT professionals and companies, CompTIA focuses its programs on four main areas: education, certification, advocacy and philanthropy. This blog shares some of CompTIA's insight and studies relative the IT and the channel. For more information, visit www.comptia.org.
CompTIA's Mobility Executive Certificate Offers Competitive Advantage
By Janet Pinkerton
For managed service providers, incorporating mobility into internal operations and customer solutions is no longer a nice-to-have. “It’s now: ‘If I want to be competitive in this industry, I have to have this,’" said Roger Hale, vice president of cloud services and CISO at cloudswell, the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based cloud solutions company formerly known as Terenine.
To help business leaders define their own mobility strategies and services, the IT trade association CompTIA tapped Hale and other subject matter experts to help develop the CompTIA Executive Certificate in Mobility (Foundations). First offered last July at CompTIA’s Breakaway 2012 (the channel training event now renamed ChannelCon), the Executive Certificate in Mobility is comprised of three courses:
- The Mobility Market: Features CompTIA research, and a discussion of how different organizations use mobility to enhance business productivity and streamline operations.
- Mobile Management Solutions: Covers the tasks, issues and tools for mobile device management.
- Mobile Application Solutions: Not a coding course, but an investigation of mobile app development options.
The training is available free to CompTIA members at CompTIA events and through CompTIA’s vendor, distributor and channel training partners. In addition, the certificate may be completed entirely online, through CompTIA’s new eLearning resources. eLearning training culminates with a live Capstone session that may be taken either virtually via a scheduled webinar or face-to-face via a CompTIA or CompTIA member event.
CompTIA’s ChannelCon 2013, set for July 29 to 31 in Orlando, FL, will feature two Mobility Executive Certificate training events. The entire Executive Certificate for Mobility course will be held during a day-long pre-event workshop set for July 29. For $250, non-members can obtain full access to the mobility training and ChannelCon, plus a 12-month membership to CompTIA. Individuals who have completed the mobility training online can take the final step to earn their certificate by attending the one-hour Online Executive Certificate in Mobility (Foundations) Capstone Session set for July 31, also at ChannelCon.
When Hale taught the Executive Certificate in Mobility at Breakaway 2012, participants included leaders of small managed service providers, IT security professionals, members of the military and two 15-year-old entrepreneurs from New York (escorted by their parents) who had started up their own technology services business. “They were learning the right way to provide mobility options to their SMB business customers," said Hale. “Most SMB businesses don’t know what they don’t know, so they don’t know the right questions to ask."
One participant was Jennifer Shutwell, who only a week before Breakaway 2012 had incorporated a technology consulting business, Walters & Shutwell in Davidson, NC, with her partner, Greg Walters.
A veteran of sales and business development in managed print services, Shutwell attended the Mobility training as part of her research and discovery for the start-up company. “Coming from a different industry, I didn’t have a good grasp on what mobility was," she said. “I wanted to dive in. It seemed like a good place and time to get a broad overview on what a mobility practice should look like."
Participants often come into mobility training looking for a formula for offering mobility services, Hale said. However, he noted, offering mobility is more than just optimizing a website or a network for mobile device access.
The risks and benefits of allowing IT infrastructure to extend to tablets and smartphones — increasingly owned by employees for both personal and business use — have to be carefully analyzed and weighed. “Once information goes to a mobile device, you have to consider that it could go everywhere," said Hale. “What’s the impact on your business, or your client’s business, if that gets breached?"
Mobile solutions — whether used internally or sold to customers — have to be treated in terms of an application life cycle through phases of development, installation, maintenance, upgrades and support, he said, adding that the security of off-the-shelf mobility applications also has to be carefully evaluated.
“One success of the program is that we walk participants through the processes and steps they need to follow; how to ask the right questions and present the risks versus the benefits of going mobile to the customers," said Hale. “They leave with the tools to be able to shape the mobile go-to-market plan for their customers and for themselves."
Shutwell cites the certificate as an early “building block" for a joint venture Walters & Shutwell formed this month. The company entered into a partnership with Hendrix Business Systems Inc., a well-regarded managed print services company, with the intention of expanding managed services to include mobility services. “While maintaining our expertise with managed print services, we will be expanding our portfolio of managed IT services and want mobility to be a part of that," she said.
For more information about CompTIA’s Executive Certificate in Mobility, contact Blythe Girnus, senior manager of CompTIA’s member education programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 630 678 8356.
Janet Pinkerton is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer who has covered technology and business for nearly 20 years. Her current work focuses on IT and the impact of new technologies.