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CompTIA PDI+ The Window of Opportunity

7 Jan, 2008 By: Carla Nasse imageSource

CompTIA PDI+ The Window of Opportunity

The wonderful “Window of Opportunity” is every sales rep’s and dealership’s
dream. The “Window of Opportunity” is best described as the time between your
manufacturer’s release of a new product or feature upgrade and the time the rest
of the manufacturers catch up.  As a vendor, you have something to offer that no
one else can.  Selling the value of your exclusive feature means better margins
and easier sales—a recipe for success. 

IT and the Copier Industry-A Thin Line Getting Gray

Much has been written about IT certifications and the document imaging
industry.  As the copier industry has evolved into document imaging, the line
between copiers and computers has grayed to the point of being indiscernible.
They are now permanently intertwined.  As a result, CompTIA (The Computing
Technology Industry Association) is developing a new certification for computer
peripherals.  The CompTIA PDI+ (Print & Document Imaging) Certification
validates a document imaging service technician’s skill & knowledge of print and
scan processes and components, general troubleshooting, basic electromechanical
components and tools, color theory,  general professionalism and communication
and safety.

With the disappearance of the gray line, there is a career path that is now
available to technicians in document imaging that wasn’t there before. In
addition, there’s the opportunity for service techs to begin to build their
careers in Information Technology & Networking. 

New IT Certification for Document Imaging Repair Technicians

CompTIA,  the world's largest developer of vendor-neutral IT certification
exams, is in the final phases of developing the CompTIA PDI+ certification,
which is currently set to release in mid-January 2008.  Joyce Keane, CompTIA’s
Product Manager for PDI+ states, “Because of the recent emergence and on-going
developments of more sophisticated networked multi-functional devices, the
service and support of these MFPs requires a higher level of knowledge than ever
before.  CompTIA PDI+ serves as a solid foundation for a career involving the
service & support of printing & document imaging devices.”  The PDI+ exam is the
first vendor-neutral certification targeted specifically for service technicians
working with printers, copiers, fax machines and scanners.  The PDI+
certification is a great way for employers to ensure that their technicians have
a baseline level of skills required to accomplish their tasks.  It is also a
useful training exercise for new service technicians just getting started in the
industry.  CompTIA has been producing IT Certifications for 25+ years and is
well-respected within the IT industry.  Some of CompTIA’s other popular
certifications include the A+ Certification for computer repair and their
Network+ Certification to validate networking knowledge & skills. 

What’s In it for Me? Cost Savings for the Dealerships & Better Service for

What does the PDI+ Certification mean for my dealership and how can it help
me?  In short, improved P & L may come as a direct result.  Differentiating your
company from others is always a goal for any company.  Certified technicians
will help you build value into your solution, which keeps deals from becoming
price wars.  Next, if you are a dual-line dealer,  you may actually save money
on training when your techs are CompTIA PDI+ certified.  Because the PDI+ is a
vendor- neutral certification, some manufacturers have discussed that PDI+ may
satisfy the basic product-knowledge courses required and satisfy the
pre-requisite for training classes on individual product lines.  If you sell
more than one product line, this could mean a tech doesn’t have to take each
manufacturer’s basic course and test, which means cost savings to you. 

When delivering equipment, if your driver has a PDI+ and Network+
certification, he or she has the skills and knowledge to work with the
customer’s IT people, connecting the MFD to the network & eliminating  an
additional trip by a tech.  You save the cost of a second call & the customer is
happy to be up & running.

“In recent months, the Business Technology Association (BTA) has followed
with interest, the development of CompTIA’s new PDI+ certification program,”
said BTA Executive Director, Brent Hoskins. “It appears that this is going to be
a very successful initiative that will ultimately serve to make office
technology dealerships even more successful by ensuring that their service and
support employee posses a certain level of industry and technology knowledge.
Each time one of these employees achieves the new PDI+ certification, that
employee and his or her employer will benefit.” 

PDI+: A Competitive Edge in Sales

PDI+ Certification technicians can help you differentiate your Service
Department from the competition.  Sales people are always looking for a way to
add value.  With margins as tight as they are, just dropping the price is not
the only way to be competitive.  Add PDI+ to your sales track saying, “Each of
our techs in the Service Department is now CompTIA PDI+ certified.”

IT Certifications and the Value for Sales Professionals

Any sales rep that is serious about a career in this industry must now have
a basic knowledge of IT. Imagine being in a place where people come to you and
want to work with you but they speak a different language. As a sales person,
you’ve handled the end-user and have management’s buy-in, but now you have to
talk to the manager in the IT department.  Often the sales cycle stops until
your IT tech or specialist can come in.  Worse, the sales person tries to move
forward without an IT person just using a few learned phrases to bluff through
the meeting. We all know how ineffective this is. Unnecessary time is wasted
(and the sales rep’s credibility) that now gives the competition time to get
this lost opportunity.

Don’t slow the sales cycle.  Keep it moving.  A basic certification like
CompTIA’s Network+ validates the knowledge and is recognized by IT people. 
Right now at the dealer level, very few sales reps have earned a CDIA+
(Certified Document Imaging Architect) or Network+ certification.  Having been
in this industry for 19 years, I can personally attest to the value of earning a
CDIA+ certification.  After earning my CDIA+, I saw many  IT Managers’ shoulders
relax when they saw the designation on my business card.  They knew I had taken
the time to understand their language and environment and    respected the
efforts taken, acknowledging how we could “communicate” more effectively.

By differentiating yourself from the rest of the  competition, most can keep
the sales cycle going strong, and you may be able to avoid some of the
competition with a shorter sales cycle. 

Certification = New Opportunities

The new CompTIA PDI+ exam is scheduled to go live in January,  and joins the
CompTIA CDIA+, A+ and Network+ certifications to form a powerful combination for
the holder of the certifications and the dealership that employs them.  It used
to be that product knowledge for both sales and service was all we needed in the
way of training.  It’s not true in today’s landscape.  With the evolution of the
industry comes increased opportunity.  With knowledge, comes the desire and
ability to get certified. Being certified makes that opportunity well within

Carla Nasse is a former Senior Marketing Manager & Regional Sales Manager in
the document imaging industry & now Director of Corporate Sales for Specialized
Solutions, an IT training company. She is one of the original Cornerstone
Advisory Committee members for CompTIA in developing the PDI+ certification. At
800.942.1660 X 286/

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