Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I come from a family of entrepreneurs and have been personally involved in a number of entrepreneurial ventures over the years. The things I have come to know about entrepreneurs is that we wear many hats, we rarely have adequate expertise in all of these areas of responsibility, and we are always short on resources (i.e. money!) to bring in the required expertise.
In envisioning the CompTIA Member Resource Center
, I saw it as an opportunity to create something that went beyond a few random templates, toolkits and articles— things that can be found in many different forms throughout the worldwide web. It had the potential to become the entrepreneur’s partner in business and a go-to, comprehensive source for relevant, easy to digest and specialized expertise to help solution providers sustain and grow their business. In addition, it would allow business owners to keep their expenses for outside experts in check.
Last week we introduced CompTIA Legal Resources
, the first of a planned series of specialized information and resource hubs. This hub goes beyond the ordinary legal sites and tackles issues the way entrepreneurs face them, offering assistance when and where needed. To ensure we could provide a true “law office visit” experience, we hired a team of attorneys to work in-house creating the resources alongside our member advisory councils that helped guide us every step of the way. We think the end result is a spectacular model, and indicative of how all future resource hubs at CompTIA will be created.
The CompTIA Member Resource Center starts with an assessment of where you are in your business, leading you quickly to the most relevant expertise. From there, information and resources are delivered in a variety of useful formats. For example, you can build fully customized agreements with our online interactive contract builder tool. Not only will each contract be personalized to your needs based on how you answer the questions, but —since we host the process here at CompTIA— we can continually update the forms based on industry feedback and changes in the law. That means you are always using the most up-to-date contract for your situation.
The contract builder is only one tool in Legal Resources; there are a variety of self-serve resources in the form of video learning, checklists, infopacks, etc. Since every question or issue cannot be resolved through self-serve resources, we provide a community platform to exchange information, with the ability to ask our lawyers questions directly. At the end of the day, if you are still in need of a lawyer, we are partnering with premiere law firm alliances to provide the best referral network in the channel. It’s a complete and comprehensive hub and the next best thing to having general counsel in-house (of course, they would find these resources useful too).
The launch of each hub is only the beginning. The plan for each hub includes implementing a consistent procedure of updating and growing the center so that the resource always remains relevant and current, while continually gaining strength and breadth in its offerings.
The next two hubs in development and preparing for launch are the HR Resources and the Sales and Marketing Resources. Both are following the same extensive development model as the Legal Resources, which I described previously.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that, like all good things that happen at CompTIA, member involvement is essential in making these resource hubs a reality. We couldn’t do it without the dedication of our membership and the thought leadership many of them provide. If you would like to make an impact on how these resource hubs are created and maintained, or engage with CompTIA on any of its other member initiatives, I’d encourage you to do so. We’d love to have you join us in creating the IT channel programs and tools that are best in class.