Collaboration and Community: The Keys to Success

Jim HamiltonBy Jim Hamilton

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” That Kenyan proverb clearly illustrates the strength of a group, especially when its members join together to advance industry-shaping projects and initiatives. Individuals can only do so much on their own, regardless of the quantity of skills and knowledge they possess, but when they join forces with others to accomplish a goal, they are more apt to be successful. In addition to the collective capabilities of a group, its members can extend the reach of their message and hold each other accountable for accomplishing their assigned tasks. This strengthens each individual contributor in the same manner sticks have more strength when bound together. 

Collaboration is a key ingredient to group success and its a particularly important activity in an industry as diverse and complex as IT. Even with the vast number of resources available to the largest vendors and distributors, they still seek the opinions and ideas of those outsiders” with the appropriate experience. Whether designing a new partner program or offering a new service, the input of other industry professionals is particularly helpful in the validation process.

These outsiders can offer suggestions to improve a process or program, or offer better alternatives and best practices to improve a specific project or company initiative. To accomplish great things, organizations have to reach beyond the security of their own four walls” and elicit the feedback and wisdom of others with a familiarity of the industry.

Those same collaborative principles apply to the IT industry as a whole. When experts and novices (with a variety of experience and knowledge) work together to accomplish a common goal, they are more likely be successful than attempting the same objective on their own.

Solution providers typically excel in productivity and creativity on their own and when they contribute their talents to a group effort, the results are truly amazing. Thats why CompTIA adopted a community-oriented development model, with a number of technology and practice-specific collaborative groups to foster channel innovation and growth. Gathering solution providers, vendor and distribution executives and other industry professionals in one place or on a conference call isnt always easy. But the input and sharing makes it a worthwhile endeavor for group members as they gather and share best practices, develop industry-shaping initiatives, and work for the greater good of their respective technology sectors.

CompTIA Communities also provide members with a forum where they can network with other professionals with similar business interests and objectives. With 12 collaborative groups to choose from, members can contribute to those that most benefit their organization. Some companies have multiple representatives, dividing responsibilities among different communities that can impact their business.   

IT professionals receive many benefits from being involved in industry-related collaborative groups. For example, CompTIA Community members are able to:

  • Network with peers and other professionals with similar interests
  • Create new business relationships and openly share advice, best practices and ideas
  • Enjoy vendor-neutral education and business training sessions
  • Access templates and tools to build a new vertical or technology practice, or enhance an existing one
  • Utilize a large number of valuable IT channel-specific business resources

Want to see community in action? Register and attend the annual CompTIA Annual Member Meeting, April 10-12, in Chicago. There are many collaborative activities on tap for this event, including live community meetings and the induction ceremony for the IT Hall of Fame. We would love to have you join us for some great education and industry-shaping discussions. 

Jim Hamilton is the vice president of member communities at CompTIA, overseeing the development and management activities of the CompTIA Communities. In his role, he coordinates with each groups chair, members and association representatives to ensure they have the tools and support needed to achieve their goals and uncovers future opportunities. Jim was formerly executive director of MSP Partners, an organization which delivered award-winning managed services education to the IT channel prior to being acquired by CompTIA. Under his leadership, the association grew its membership to more than 5,000 MSPs and more than 40 vendor partners.

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