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The Need for Certification

16 Apr, 2007 By: Eric Stavola, Witt Company imageSource

The Need for Certification

Let’s face it; we work in one of the most competitive
industries in the world. How your dealership distinguishes itself from its
rivals is more important than ever. So, what is your company doing to set itself

> Education & Certification

Dealerships are fast recognizing the value in certifying
its employees. Certifications such as CDIA, A+, or MCSE validate knowledge and
area of expertise to both existing and potential clients prior, during, and
after the sale. A higher level of trust and comfort comes from certifications
that provide clients with an expert in their field. In an effort to guide
companies into certification programs and provide insight on the available
certifications, we’ve come up with a series of articles that will shed some
light on the differences & abundance of certifications & companies that provide
them. This article, part of a series, primarily focuses on certifications
provided by Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) with a brief overview of the Association for Information and Image
Management (AIIM).

> CompTIA Certifications

Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the IT industry world's
largest developer of vendor-neutral IT certification exams. The Association
started the certification program in 1993 and currently has certified over
900,000 individuals worldwide. Areas of certifications include:

A+ (Hardware) – Is looked at as a hardware exam for
service technicians. Recent changes to the exam have enhanced its ability to
provide both OS and hardware fundamentals and establish a baseline of knowledge
for technicians. Industry giants such as Microsoft, HP, and Cisco have made the
A+ exam part of its certification track. Other technology companies have made
CompTIA A+ certification mandatory for their service technicians.

Networking+  – The Network + exam is essential
for the networking professional. By passing the N+ exam, IT professionals
validate their skills and ability to describe the features and functions of
networking components and to install, configure, and troubleshoot basic
networking hardware, protocols, and services.

Security+ – The Security + exam validates knowledge
of communication security, infrastructure security, cryptography, operational
security, and general security concepts.

Server+  (Server Support) – Many companies want to
be sure that individuals are competent to handle and work on their server. The
Server + exam certifies technical knowledge in areas such as RAID, SCSI and
multiple CPUs, as well as capabilities with server issues, including disaster
recovery. Although not a prerequisite, it is recommended to take and pass the
CompTIA A+ or N+ certification prior to taking the Server + exam.

CTT+  (Teaching/Instructor) – The CTT+ exam proves
the mastery of core instructor skills, including preparation, presentation,
communication, facilitation and evaluation in a classroom environment.
CompuCom and Ricoh require their employees to be CompTIA CTT+ certified,
and Novell calls for candidates to have the CompTIA CTT+
credential in order to earn the advanced CNI (Certified Novell Instructor)

PDI+ (Focus on Printing and Document Imaging) –  The
CompTIA Printing and Document Imaging (PDI+) certification will create a
baseline standard of skill requirements  for the technology associated with
printing and document imaging products, including printers, multi-function
devices, scanners, faxes, copiers, connectivity and color theory.  The target
candidate for the CompTIA printing and document imaging certification is
expected to be entry-level service and support technicians with six to twelve
months of experience in the installation, connectivity, maintenance, repair and
support of  these devices. With the introduction of this certification, Comptia
is directly answering dealerships call for support of a standard method of
training engineers specific to our industry.  Targeted availability is
early 2008.

CDIA+ (Imaging Solutions/Document Management) –  
Certified Document Imaging Architect (CDIA+) The exam is designed to test and
ensure an individual’s knowledge and skill to deliver an imaging solution. With
more companies looking to make the jump to a paperless environment, companies
are in desperate need for subject matter experts in imaging. The CDIA+ exam
validates this area of expertise. Several companies that provide document
imaging solutions have made the CompTIA CDIA+ certification a mandatory test.

Project+ (Project Management) –  CompTIA project +
is a globally recognized project management certification that provides
validation of fundamental project management skills. The exam covers the entire
project life cycle from initiation and planning through execution, acceptance,
support & closure.

HTI+ (Installation) – Home Technology Integrator (HTI+) certification
proves technical competency regarding the installation, integration and
troubleshooting of automated home sub-systems such as home theaters and wireless

Linux+ (Software/OS) –  CompTIA Linux+ certification
details fundamental management of Linux systems from the command line, focus on
knowledge of user administration, and an understanding of  file permissions,
software configurations, and management of Linux-based clients, server systems
and security.

RFID+  (Wireless Frequency) –  CompTIA Radio
Frequency Identification (RFID+) certification validates the knowledge and
skills of professionals who work with RFID technology. The exam recognizes a
technician's ability to install, maintain, repair, and troubleshoot the hardware
and software functionality of RFID products. Although not a prerequisite, it’s
recommended that CompTIA RFID+ candidates have a minimum of 6-24 months of RFID
or other auto-id tech experience.

Convergence + (VOIP) – This validates knowledge &
skills in the area of CT - the seamless integration of Information and
Communications Technologies (ICT), where datacomm, telephony/telecommunications,
videos & broadcast multimedia technologies combine onto a single IP-based
delivery system in a way that opens powerful avenues of communication.

> AIIM Certifications

AIIM  is a neutral and unbiased source for helping
individuals and organizations become competent in challenges associated with
managing documents, content, records, and business processes. Certifications:
ECM – Enterprise Content Management is about managing your information and
communication. The program covers the strategies, tools and technologies used to
capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver information in support of business
processes; ERM – Electronic Records Management explores records management in
relation to the business needs of all types of organizations, embracing all
records but with a particular emphasis on electronic records. With over 80
percent of all information being stored digitally, it is critical to have a
certification that validates these areas of competance. While CompTIA is more
widely known as a whole amongst IT professionals, AIIM provides a certification
program directly tying in to our solutions driven industry.

Possible Applications for your Dealership:

•           Sales Staff - CDIA+, Project+, ERM, ECM

•           Subject Matter Expert -  CDIA+, ERM, ECM

•           Technicians - A+, Networking+, PDI+         

•           Pre/Post Sales Engineer - CDIA+, Networking+,

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