The Channel Standards, which are now four in number, differ from the older Trustmarks in being completely free for anyone, as CompTIA’s priority with them is to expose them to the widest possible audience.
HOLLYWOOD, FLA – At its annual ChannelCon event, held this year at thunderstorm-plagued Hollywood, IT trade association CompTIA made a news announcement of its own, indicating the availability of two new industry standards for cybersecurity and managed print services.
The Channel Standards have their root in CompTIA’s older Trustmark program, and are not focused on achievement on technical standards, but on adherence to best practices for their industry segment.
“This gives us a stable of four Channel Standards,” said Miles Jobgen, Director for Education at CompTIA. The IT Solution Provider Standard, which came out in March, was the first, followed by one for Managed Services.
“The idea behind the Channel Standards is not the achievement of technical standards, but knowledge of questions about business they should be asking,” he indicated.
A fundamental difference between the old Trustmarks and the new Channel Standards is that the latter are free, while the former were not. Jobgen said that CompTIA concluded that the application fee required in the Trustmark certifications ultimately undermined their objective.
“We weren’t getting the sales that we wanted from them,” he admitted. “We had great content, but the fee meant that we weren’t getting the takeup that we wanted. The original idea behind the Trustmarks had been more about validation for customers, but we found that educational training and process improvement had significant value. Assessing for best practices had value in itself.”
CompTIA retired three of its Trustmarks when the initial Channel Standard was announced this spring. These three were the CompTIA Security Trustmark+, the AccredITUK Trustmark+, and the Cloud Trustmark+. The Cloud One was terminated only a year after its introduction.
“The Cloud Trustmark+ was retired purely on sales,” Jobgen said. “We missed there on what we were trying to do, because we didn’t have a full enough definition of how a cloud vendor could aggregate. So we made a little box that didn’t cover enough people.”
Even though that Cloud Trustmark+ was retired, the importance of cloud means that CompTIA is working in bringing it back as a Channel Standard.
“We still want to do something with that, and are working with our CompTIA cloud community on it,” Jobgen stated.
Three old Trustmarks remain – the IT Business Trustmark, Managed Services Trustmark, and Managed Print Trustmark.
“These are still available as an ‘upsell’ for those who want additional differentiation,” Jobgen said.
The new Channel Standards are free for all – CompTIA Registered Users and even non-members as well as Premier Members. They both come with an accompanying workbook.
The CompTIA Channel Standard for Managed Print Providers indicates the best business practices for managed print services firms. The standard covers four critical business functions: business generation, delivery and operations, customer relations and business direction.
Jobgen said the cybersecurity standard is a little different, as it is based on the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST]. That standard provides intelligent business practices for the five pillars of cybersecurity: identify, protect, detect, respond and recover.
The Channel Standards are available at https://www.comptia.org/standards.