Continuous training, certification key to the trusted advisor role
As a service provider of enterprise IT, it is vital to understand the service portfolio of your vendor in order to be able to move beyond the traditional concept of ‘dropping boxes’ at the end customer, and instead developing your business into that of a trusted advisor.
This is the view of Johannes Groenewald, GM of Tarsus Distribution, who states that his company, for example, is able to work closely with channel partners to resolve the end customers’ enterprise IT business requirements – from servers through to hybrid cloud.
“We offer both the Dell and HP Enterprise server and storage ranges, and back this up with networking solutions from Aruba and Dell. Moreover, we have the skills to assist channel partners in delivering trusted advice to the end customer around these technologies,” he says.
When it comes to scoping projects, he explains, there are many areas that require targeted expertise, which is why it is so important for channel partners to ensure that their people have the relevant skills and understanding to deliver on the particular requirements of the project.
“From the outset, this means having the experience to specify the correct requirements for the project, and the skills to undertake the appropriate configuration, as well as the installation of the equipment. Beyond this, it is important to have people who have the requisite expertise to undertake after-sales support, maintenance agreements and troubleshooting, not to mention being capable of performing updates and upgrades of existing infrastructure,” notes Groenewald.
“It is here that the importance of training and certification comes into play, particularly if the end goal is to be viewed by customers as a trusted advisor. Remember that the key aim of such a role is to focus on how to assist clients to grow their business first and foremost, as this will deliver long-term customer satisfaction.”
The key to being viewed as an organisation’s trusted advisor, he continues, is to ensure your people have the essential skills and experience. To this end, he claims, it is crucial to ensure your team obtains as many relevant vendor and industry certifications as possible.
“This goes for everyone in the value chain, right through from sales to technical support. The more intimately your people understand the technology, the more easily they will be able to sell it, as well as provide the necessary after-sales technical support.
“With the right certifications, you will be able to ensure that the client receives exactly what they need, without wasting their money. Best of all – since there are numerous vendor programmes that they can subscribe to for free – the only cost from the training is time, while the benefits accrued can be significant.”
He advises the channel that skills will be needed for both on-premise and hybrid solutions, and with the right expertise, a trusted advisor will be able to spec and scope a project that will deliver a viable hybrid cloud solution at the best possible price point.
“When it comes to the modernisation of an end customer’s IT infrastructure, it is no longer enough to be the equipment provider. In today’s world, where the customer is still king but now more informed than ever, where customer experience is key to maintaining long-term relationships, evolving your business – alongside a distributor like Tarsus Distribution – into this trusted advisor role is more critical than ever before,” concludes Groenewald.
For any channel partners or businesses that are interested in engaging with Tarsus Distribution for assistance with your technology needs, you are invited to reach out to us here by visiting the Tarsus Distribution website.