Benefits of Partnerships/Certifications

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by tr3nton, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. tr3nton

    tr3nton Member

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    Someone had mentioned to me that getting certifications helps with your credibility in attracting customers to the business - do you agree with this or is it more important that you've got some credibility through previous work to draw customers in....

    Also, I noticed some businesses partner other major IT businesses (e.g. cisco, dell, Microsoft) - is this for a benefit of getting products at a reduced rate, or again for the benefit of attracting customers showing that you work with a particular product range?

    For a business just starting up, do you think certifications/partnerships would help you to draw customers in, or better to wait until at least the business is doing well before considering partnering/certifying up.
     
  2. Nyarghnia

    Nyarghnia (Taking a Break)

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    As a manager who works with several vendors to implement solutions, I can only tell you what it means to 'me' as a prospective customer.

    Generally I expect to see certification and require evidence of such when I am getting people on site do to things or install things, if I'm getting someone out to investigate an issue with AD, I expect that person to have Microsoft certification that is current.

    If I'm getting networking gear installed, I expect to see CISCO certification that is current.

    These people are not cheap, but... 95% of the time they get the job done without issues and the gear just 'works'.

    No certification, you don't touch anything that i'm responsible for, end of story.

    As far as partnerships go, I only work with premium partners of major vendors, this is a bit of a chicken vs egg situation, generally you can only become a vendor partner if you can demonstrate a minimum turnover per annum.

    From what i've seen, it's a case of getting certified, getting some credibility and growing some decent turnover then going through the partnership approval process which for major vendors is not a simple excercise.

    A lot of money to be spent.

    The attraction or 'pulling power' of being a partner is that it demonstrates that you've got a solid working relationship with the vendor and that you are also likely to be able to 'push the case' of a customer to gain access to deals that would otherwise not be available.

    It also demonstrates that you can work WITH the vendor to help resolve issues, ie.. if i'm migrating to VMWARE, I want to work with an organisation that is a Microsoft and VMWARE Partner with people carrying appropriate certification, this gives me more confidence in the vendor's ability to understand and resolve any issues that might come up.

    -NyarghNia
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  3. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    While in some cases it might be wise. eg vendor specific or niche technologies where concepts don't translate, eg commvault techs don't know networker and emc SAN engineers don't know isolon.

    In general, you're shooting yourself in the foot. MS is everywhere, you can get experience in it anywhere. People with MS cert's often have them to back up a lack of experience and those that do have them, let them lapse after the next version as they realise how utterly useless they are compared to experience.

    You should really do some investigation into what a certification covers. The best reason for this is; you're trusting the vendor, who's trying to sell you something, to "certify" that people are "experts" in their technology.

    Often those certifications are slanted more towards "Here is a primer in how to sound like you know what you're talking about while continuing to push the customer to upgrade at the first sign of issues" rather than a more useful
    "here his how to fix the technical and in depth issues that will almost certainly happen in our products".
     
  4. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    You're missing out on some very good people then.

    I've got no problem with certifications being recognised as part of the recruitment process. But ignoring good people without certs is short sighted.

    Speaking for myself, I've avoided certs this far through my career, and it's never hindered me. Indeed, any place that requires certs to hire is one I'll happily avoid, as it is rather telling about their culture.
     
  5. Nyarghnia

    Nyarghnia (Taking a Break)

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    Unfortunately I would have to aggree with you, however in the industry I am in (finance, real time transaction processing, millions and millions of dollars etc) if there's a cock-up on a hardware / system implementation and the auditors find out that i've used people without current certifications...

    I'm talking about 10 kinds of unholy hell and grief for everyone involved.

    Heck, I'm having to go and get re-certified on ITIL-3, PRINCEn and will have to go and do a LINUX RedHat course and i'm the manager, plus needing to have minimum of bach degree in computing and now post-grad in business studies.

    Personally I don't really like it either, but boards get grilled over this sort of stuff which means that I get grilled and allowing people without certs within 10ft of my gear is too big a risk to take, it just looks bad on an incident report, very bad.

    This means that yes, there are people who I know are good but I can't use them, I need to find people are ALSO good AND who have current certs, which is not always easy to do an these people are NOT cheap.

    With increasing regulation and litigation and 'legals' I think that more and more I.T shops will be pretty much demanding certification, primarily for legal reasons as much as proof of skills.. and I am fullly aware that CERTS <> SKILLS 100% of the time...

    -NyarghNia
     
  6. Kodaz

    Kodaz Member

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    I'd rather know they have customers who are happy with their work and have had no issues after they have left than they have a piece of paper which says they could, maybe, might know what they are doing.

    Wouldn't it be better then to ring up a number of their customers and discuss how well their performance was and whether they had any issues. A background check of their experience is better than a peice of papaer and is more likely conincide with completion of the job with no issues.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  7. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    How do you feel about double and triple degree immigrants, who have little to zero real-world experience, but are stacked full of certs, coming in ruining your network.

    Or is that ok, because they are certified wreckers of your network? The board will be ok with that.

    Experience means everything, very few certifications are worth the paper they are printed on in terms of capabilities and knowledge they represent.
     
  8. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    That's fine, we live in the age of 'cover your arse'. "I'm sorry sir, he was totally qualified!".

    Think the QLD Government Department of Health used "unqualified" people? ;)
     
  9. Swathe

    Swathe (Banned or Deleted)

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    I think I am pretty good at my job, but locally at least certs do count a lot towards getting a job which is why I am planning to get a few.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    tr3nton

    tr3nton Member

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    I was talking about this with my manager + colleague at last job.. boss reckoned whilst it can be advantageous having the certifications, it in the end comes down to experience and ability to do the job..... my question was, so would having the certificate be a key factor in getting the job or not - whether that be getting an initial interview, or making it through to another round of interview - and he disagreed (of course, this is just his opinion). Colleage was dead against them - reckoning practical experience is far more beneficial + shows you can do things.

    So Nyarghnia, if you were hiring someone would you not give them a look in if they weren't certified in the applied for position? If they had shown the skills, would you not hire them and then get them certified (if they are indeed so important to you)?
     
  11. Kodaz

    Kodaz Member

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    As an IT Manager who's hired a few people in the last year none have had certifications (except our software tester who is ISQB certified, but he doesn't have a degree). All have been hired on experience and enthuiasm.

    If they haven't done the job or at least demonstrate they could successfully through a culmination of experience in previous roles or they don't have the neccessary attitude to continue doing the job and lastly if they don't gel with the team we have I'm not interested.

    All in all they have to have a "can do the job", a "will do the job" and a "fit in" tick to get an offer (and all in that order as generally you can tell the first from the CV and the other two from the first and second interview).

    I also interview with members of my team (me and two others) for the first interview and other senior managers for the second. People, most importnantly, have to fit both the team culture and the buinsess culture to succeed.

    And someone who is marginal on the "can do the job" but fantastic on the other two can (and does) get hired as you can always get training or certs for those that are passionate about learning and their role.
     
  12. Swathe

    Swathe (Banned or Deleted)

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    Thats the attitudeI have used to get into IT Kodaz. I am a carpenter by trade and I am completely self taught but I was determined to break into the field and I did but sadly, some people read the resume first and if they dont see those certs, they bin it. I think certs are ok as long as you can demonstrate the ability as well, it's just getting that shot to impress that can be difficult (In rockhampton at least)
     
  13. ECHO

    ECHO Member

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    To me, certifications aren't proof of being able to do the work but demonstrate that the individual has at least studied the theory enough (or braindumped the theory!) to pass the exam. Don't under estimate theory!

    Experience obviously is a winner, but it's surprising what you'll learn (no matter how seasoned you are) from doing an industry certification.
     
  14. 7nothing

    7nothing Member

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    Generally MCSEs are the sort of people we fire for being incompetent.

    We're too busy fixing that shit to spend time learning the wrong way to do things then answer a multi choice exam to prove it.

    Certification in other areas is probably a bit more beneficial, but people who push it above everything else are generally idiots.
     
  15. chip

    chip Member

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    Why is your org hiring incompetents? It sounds like the problem's not certs, it's broken hiring practices.
     
  16. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    Are you not familiar with HR?
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I'm having flashbacks to the "What the hell happened to professional IT?" thread.

    Dozy HR hiring practices are the bane of my existence.
     
  18. 7nothing

    7nothing Member

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    Practice is sound, anyone who seems OK from the interview process gets a chance. Some of them turn out to be crap.

    Most of the ones with MCSEs turn out to be crap.
     
  19. lavi

    lavi Member

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    from my experience if they require MS certs it took me a while to figure out that i don't want to be there, at one place an MCSE asked me how do you search for locked accounts after i showed him he was like "wow" and i was like "double wow"

    for big projects the architect pretty much does most of the work then the engineer just follows it and has it implemented and it's off to the support team after that ... now where do you need help? architecture? deploying it? supporting it?

    tbh i have lately doing more architecture rather than deploying and i kinda like it more, do need to get certified? not sure really but they seem to trust me 400k projects for now and i haven't stuffed up (yet)
     
  20. OP
    OP
    tr3nton

    tr3nton Member

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    this.

    Not that I was involved in the hiring process, colleague was and thought he sounded quite competent..... not the case..... big pain in the ass!
     

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