The Computing Technology Industry Association has added five more printing and document imaging organizations to its growing list of companies that support its newest certification program, CompTIA PDI+.
The program is ultimately designed to provide users of these companies with skilled and capable technicians that are able to solve their printing and document imaging problems whether it is routine or novel.
"Customers in need of a service call have expectations that the technician assigned to their problem is capable and qualified and similarly, the service technicians should feel confident that they can address any customer problem. A professional certification can help to meet both of those expectations," said Neil Hopkins, vice president of skills development at CompTIA, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
Hewlett Packard, Brother International, Data Vault, Parts Now and Ricoh Americas join other printing and document imaging vendors such as Canon U.S.A., Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Lexmark, Pitney Bowes, Specialized Solutions and Xerox as companies that support the new certification program.
CompTIA PDI+, designed for entry- to mid-level technicians, plans to concentrate on skills related to printers, multi-functional products, scanners, faxes, copiers, troubleshooting and color theory. This will enable VARs to have technicians that are certified, which leads to higher-first time fix rates when problems occur, better insight into skills and competencies of their IT staff and can also be used as an evaluation tool when considering new hires.
CompTIA officials said that historical data from previous CompTIA certifications such as A+, Network+ and Security+ has been used to evaluate the on-the-job performance of an IT worker that is certified versus a worker that has no certification.
The data showed that the certified worker is able to perform his or her job at a higher level through repair jobs done correctly the first time, and through the time it takes a service technician to handle a service call, as well as through the amount of network downtime and the ability to identify security threats.
Though there is currently no information to validate that this is true for the CompTIA PDI+ certification, CompTIA officials believe that the new certification will deliver similar results.
"CompTIA certification programs can help build a skilled and dependable work force, leading to greater customer satisfaction and best business practices," Hopkins said.
For OEMs, this certification program leads to lower warranty claim costs as the program enables vendors to address the skills of their IT staff members, validate skills that their IT professionals have as well as evaluate current staff competencies.
"Experience with the CompTIA A+ certification, the industry-accepted credential that validates the knowledge of computer service technicians, has demonstrated significant warranty cost reductions for some PC manufacturers—in some instances, more than 50 percent," Hopkins said.
Hopkins said that in the coming weeks, CompTIA will announce that other companies in the industry are going to support this certification program while also adding that Specialized Solutions will be developing video training, computer-based training, Web-based training, e-books and practice exam simulators geared towards this certification.
The CompTIA PDI+ is scheduled to be available in early 2008.