10 Things You Missed at Communities & Councils Forum 2022

CompTIA Communities and Councils Forum (CCF) 2022 kicked off on Monday, March 14—the first in-person CCF since 2019. From membership announcements, awards, educational panels, and working meetings, here are the top highlights of this year's event.
ccf-recapCompTIA Communities and Councils Forum (CCF) kicked off on Monday, March 14—the first in-person CCF since 2019. Attendees enjoyed the energy of in-person networking, educational panels, and working sessions with CompTIA members. If you weren't able to join onsite or virtually—or you just want to relive the highlights—read on to learn about everything that happened at CCF 2022. 

What’s Next for CompTIA Membership

MJ Shoer, chief community officer, CompTIA, and Nancy Hammervik, CEO, CompTIA Tech Career Academy, welcomed CCF attendees with a discussion about their transfer of leadership and what’s next for CompTIA’s membership organization.

“Our mission is to help you, every person in this room, the entire tech industry, and the world,” Shoer said. “We’re very grateful for this opportunity. We want to build the workforce of the 21st century—to make it easier for all of you to find qualified workers tomorrow and for a few years after tomorrow. We’re growing our global network of relevance and you are a critical part of that strategy.”

Shoer also detailed CompTIA’s new global communities structure and a new member benefit—free CompTIA ISAO membership for all solution provider members.

Read more.

Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community Tackles the “Great Resignation”

The CompTIA Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community welcomed Trisha Daho, CEO and founder, Empowered; Angel Pineiro, vice president of strategic academic relationships, CompTIA; and Lindsay Raduka, vice president of talent and culture, LivingHR, to discuss strategies for retaining your top talent in the session Retention: The Response to the Great Resignation.
Retention is a very real problem, especially for the tech industry. Industry experts believe that creating more equity through an inclusive work culture will help to better retain top talent. However, that's easier said than done. Panelists discussed how technology businesses can create a more inclusive workplace by better understanding the difference between equity and equality, enabling better work-life balance, promoting allyship, sponsorship and reverse mentoring, making reward systems more equitable, enabling a sense of belonging and eliminating microaggression.

CompTIA Honors Award Winners and Member Leaders

Shoer along with Deborah Kestin Schildkraut, vice president, member engagement, CompTIA, celebrated the winners of the North America Spotlight Awards at a special luncheon on Tuesday. Five CompTIA members were honored:

  • Future Leader Award: Kyle Mills, Director, Channel Marketing, ScanSource
  • Advancing Women in Technology Leadership Award: Dr. Georgette Fraser-Moore, CEO and President, Transformation Lead
  • Advancing Diversity in Technology Leadership Award: Kris Blackmon, Chief Channel Officer, JS Group
  • CompTIA Community Leadership Award: Corey Kirkendoll, CEO, 5K Technical Services
  • CompTIA Industry Advisory Council Leadership Award: Juan Fernandez, Co-Founder and CEO, MSP Growth Coalition

Read more about the winners.

Shoer and Schildkraut also recognized award winners from the previous two years who had been honored during virtual events in 2020 and 2021 as well as volunteer leaders who have completed their board commitments.

Tech Opportunity in Government, Space, Trade Is Growing

A session on public sector technology detailed the opportunity for MSPs to grow their revenue in local, state and federal government sectors.

“The business of government is big, alive and well,” said Alan Shark, vice president of public sector initiatives for CompTIA. For example, the Federal government spends $96 billion a year on technology, not including special intelligence agencies which might add another $40 billion, according to Shark. Meanwhile, state and local agencies combine to spend more than $111 billion on tech.

“It’s continuing to grow. State and local are doing quite well with Federal funds, which presents tremendous opportunity for members. As far as verticals, there’s big opportunity around health and human services, education, utilities, public safety, transportation and housing,” Shark said. 

Watch the session now.

Managed Services Community Tackles How to Grow Your Business

Even with ongoing uncertainty, managed service providers (MSPs) are looking for opportunities to grow their businesses in 2022. How to achieve that growth was the topic of the Managed Services Community meeting. The community welcomed Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA, to talk about the 2022 Trends in Managed Services survey, and Juan Fernandez, founder and CEO, MSP Growth Coalition, who shared his story of owning and managing MSPs.

“For the most part, what we are finding is that despite all the tumult of last couple of years, there is optimism among MSPs,” said April during the session, Level Up! Grow Your MSP's Revenue to New Heights.

Read more.

Emerging Tech Within Reach for MSPs

Emerging technology can seem unattainable for some MSPs, but these tools provide an opportunity for solution providers looking to enter a new space. During the Emerging Technology Community meeting, panelists from CompTIA's Industry Advisory Councils discussed emerging technologies, including drones, blockchain and IoT, illustrating that there is in fact a great need and multiple opportunities for MSPs looking to generate profit.

Panelists recommended that MSPs look to the functional aspects of these emerging technologies and identify areas where additional talent is needed, dedicating resources toward those areas. Jill Klein, senior leader of IoT for Sirius, commented on the growing need. “There are a million solutions, with a million use cases that continue to grow everyday.”

Building an Innovative Workforce with CompTIA

Recent global events and persistent advancements in technology have left us with a significant workforce shortage in the tech industry. A special panel at CCF with representatives from around CompTIA talked about how the organization is tackling this shortage and helping technology businesses find and train talent. 

According to the panelists during the session How CompTIA Can Help You Optimize Your Business with the Most Innovative Workforce, putting more resources towards DEI efforts and identifying alternate educational and career pathways could provide the solution for filling a resilient pipeline of talented job candidates. 

Targeted programs for underrepresented groups are being provided at an earlier age to open up the possibilities for recruiting a wider talent base. Panelists urged businesses and educators to help implement initiatives such as work-based learning, apprenticeships, career prep and support, alongside more developed internal DEI programs to help fill the gap.

“This country’s done a little bit of a disservice to our students in making people feel like they have to go to college, and if they don’t, they’re less than,” said Nancy Hammervik, CEO of CompTIA’s Tech and Career Academy. “We need to introduce people to tech and build a program where we create interest and then help support them.”

CompTIA Chairwoman Shares Vision for Global Member Engagement

Kicking off the final day of CCF, Schildkraut sat down with Tracy Pound, chairwoman of the CompTIA Board, and managing director of MaximITy, who shared how she first became involved in the UK Business Technology Community.

“What I saw was a group of members who were coming together to work collaboratively, to enhance the tech industry, drive forward new initiatives, new tools and new ways of helping people in the industry so they can grow their technology businesses,” said Pound.

Now, Pound wants to increase engagement in CompTIA communities around the world. To that end, CompTIA has launched an initiative that will give members a taste of the community membership experience.

“The Around the World initiative will come together in Chicago at ChannelCon in August. We asked ourselves, ‘Could we bring in more people to ChannelCon who wouldn’t necessarily be able to get there. Each of the communities will run community meeting, which will be live streamed, and it is designed to make the world feel a little bit smaller,” said Pound. Stay tuned for more information about joining this exciting event.

Tips for Starting Cybersecurity Conversations with Customers

Talking to your customers about cybersecurity shouldn’t be stressful, it shouldn’t be a single conversation, and it shouldn’t be after a breach or other incident has occurred. Too often however, that’s not the case for managed service providers. Asking the right questions—beforehand—can be a determining factor between preventing or even recovering from a cyber-attack and disaster, according to panelists during a CompTIA Cybersecurity Community meeting at CCF.
Start your cybersecurity conversation around a common pain point, maybe one the customer doesn’t even recognize as a problem—like asset management, according to Chris Johnson, cybersecurity strategist for OnShore Security.

“A simple question like ‘What are your assets?’ is not given enough attention. There’s often an assumption on the client side that MSPs are already managing all the assets. But you can’t protect what you don’t know, and what you don’t know will be the downfall,” Johnson said. 

Read more.

ChannelCon 2022 Registration is Open

ChannelCon, CompTIA’s premier conference for the technology industry, is back LIVE in Chicago, August 2-4, 2022. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to network with peers and partners, attend sessions dedicated to helping you unlock your business’s potential, and get a taste of the latest innovations during the Technology Vendor Fair. Don’t miss out!

Learn more and register for ChannelCon today.

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