Sergey Nivens - Fotolia
CompTIA has aired warnings about the ongoing impact of skills shortages and confusion over some managed service definitions that is holding back the ability of the channel to grow.
The board of directors at the trade association were mulling over the current state of the channel and found it was a mixed picture with some positive developments but also some headaches.
The top-level discussion was held against the background on the CompTIA ChannelCon conference with the ancedotes of members ringing in the ears.
On the upside the industry group identified increased customer spending, particularly on unified comms and SDN two main areas, along with strong demand for voice as reasons to be cheerful.
Challenges included increased competition, with customers facing more options to source tech, plus quality of products suffering because they have been rushed to market.
Where the warning lights are flashing red is on the workforce front with staff turnover an issue along with getting the right mix of skills in a channel business.
Another interesting point of discussion shared by CompTIA was around managed services, with the suggestion this is not a one way journey: "Some companies are reverting back to “break-fix” services as a contributor to the financial bottom line. This is true for progressive companies that have identified new service niches; and those challenged by shrinking profit margins in cloud services."
There is also some confusion about what the differences are between an MSSP and an MSP and service providers could benefit from clearer definitions.
The main theme of ChannelCon was around growth and how resellers could improve operational efficiency and safeguard their future. The UK event is being held at County Hall in mid-October and is likely to echo the same topics.