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IT Talk: Finding Your IT Imaging Hero

11 Oct, 2011 By: Corey Simpson imageSource

The business world still talks about going paperless, but in reality, printing is a ubiquitous function at nearly any office. Printing occurs daily at 75 percent of offices, according to the latest CompTIA research, and when you extend that time frame to a couple days a week, there is a near universal use of printing facilities at work.

In addition, scanning documents is a regular part of the work routine at four out of five companies, and more than 80 percent of companies outsource large printing jobs at least once a year.

The concept of the paperless office is gaining hold, but nonetheless, according to CompTIA research, most companies expect to maintain or increase their levels of printing and scanning. Companies want to move more of their data from old filing cabinets to online sources, yet the task can be daunting.

A hero to call upon

So how do you do it, and which IT hero can you call upon to lead the process? Since 1995, CompTIA’s CDIA+ certification helps companies find those potential IT heroes. It’s an internationally recognized credential acknowledging competency and professionalism in the document imaging and document management industry. CompTIA CDIA+ candidates possess critical knowledge of all major areas and technologies used to plan, design and specify an imaging system.

The CDIA+ exam covers five domains: gathering the business requirements, analyzing business process, recommending a solution, designing a solution and planning implementation. Project management is an important part of the certification, as well as knowledge of records management, network security, hardware and imaging technology. Skills and knowledge measured by the exam is representative of a document imaging professional with 12-to-18 months, on-the-job experience.

Chuck Romano, production manager, information outsourcing services, OpenText (formerly Global360), is CDIA+ certified and offers that, “The CDIA+ has helped me personally because it covers all aspects of document imaging: sales, requirements gathering, implementation, execution and follow-up/maintenance. There is no
other single certification in the industry that tests to the overall document imaging process.”

Romano goes on to say, “The CDIA+ ensures that the person has a full understanding of the process and can manage a project from start to finish.  Even though I had several years of experience I still gained some new knowledge while preparing for the exam.  In addition, many government RFPs require the winning bidder to have employees who are CDIA+ certified; this makes it crucial to our business.” 

Heroism affects the bottom line

Technology companies in the document imaging industry, including Canon, Ricoh, Konica and Kyocera, – and often their clients as in the case of Romano – recognize CompTIA CDIA+ certification as a consistent, objective way to evaluate imaging industry professionals.

For imaging companies, the CDIA+ certification can make a competitive difference. Ricoh Singapore’s entire Enterprise Business Solutions Group was awarded the CDIA+ credential in the
spring of 2010.

As reported in the CompTIA blog earlier this summer, Lawrence Chua, a senior manager with the Ricoh group, found CDIA+ with its foundation rooted in best practices, a “wakeup call” for any industry professional, including his group which had relied quite a bit on their own understanding of providing services to customers.

“The CompTIA certification program brought us back to proper guidelines of how document management solutions should be planned and deployed,” said Chua.

Pre-sales consultants have acknowledged added structure in their roles and confidence in their customer interactions. Ricoh’s site management was so pleased as to mandate CompTIA CDIA+ certification for all pre-sales staff going forward.

Keeping pace with technology

Next year, CompTIA is a on a quest to update the CDIA+ exam and is looking for subject matter experts (SMEs) to identify new areas of competence required for certification, and to ensure that the examination objectives are relevant to current imaging job roles and activities.

Assistance from SMEs is crucial, according to Greg VanDeWalker, senior vice president of strategic relationships, GreatAmerica, and chair of CompTIA’s Managed Print Services Community.

“Industry participation will ensure that the CompTIA CDIA+ credential remains the standard for validation of imaging IT skills. This is a great opportunity to make a contribution to our industry,” remarked VanDeWalker, as he called on fellow CompTIA members at the recent Breakaway Conference in Washington, D.C.

Accordingly, SMEs must be an active document imaging/document management professional with a minimum of four years of experience. It is preferred that SMEs are CompTIA CDIA+ certified. Trainers, authors or individuals who may profit or materially benefit from knowledge of the certification content are not eligible to participate as SMEs.

SMEs will attend a five-day workshop beginning February 27, 2012, at CompTIA’s headquarters in Downers Grove, Ill. For their participation, the SMEs and their companies will gain recognition on CompTIA’s website, along with a stipend ($300 per day). Of note, throughout the workshop, CompTIA has negotiated a very affordable room rate for SMEs at the Marriott Suites near CompTIA’s headquarters, with shuttle service to and from the hotel.

Potential SMEs can apply at http://certification.comptia.org/getCertified/examdevelopment/smeForm.aspx.


Build a network around the hero

IT solution providers, looking to get into the managed services market, are looking at the CDIA+ certification as a way to make sure they staff up with the knowledgeable professionals needed. Beyond upgrading the CDIA+ certification, CompTIA has built up its Managing Print Services Community over the last two years to help solution providers and vendors network and develop industry-wide initiatives to grow the market.

While the certification is targeted at the individual, the community has developed complementary training for businesses in the channel. The online Quick Start Guide to Managed Print Services leads businesses ready to enter the imaging market on the first steps that they need to take. During industry events, such as Breakaway, IT companies could learn about those steps in a live, interactive session. Those sessions are available at other industry events throughout the year, and CompTIA members can offer them in their partner programs.

Starting with its certification for the individual IT professional to its education for IT businesses overall, CompTIA and its members are working to grow the imaging market for all, especially as the industry transitions to the paperless office. Want to get involved? Contact us for full details.

The business world still talks about going paperless, but in reality, printing is a ubiquitous function at nearly any office. Printing occurs daily at 75 percent of offices, according to the latest CompTIA research, and when you extend that time frame to a couple days a week, there is a near universal use of printing facilities at work.

About the Author: Corey Simpson

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