CompTIA adds new free tier to expand membership with open access model

NANCYHAMMERVIK

 

Nancy Hammervik, CompTIA’s SVP Industry Relations

By Mark Cox

IT trade association CompTIA is looking to expand its membership with a new open access model that will create a new tier of registered Users. They will pay no membership fees but will still have access to significant benefits, although not as many as CompTIA’s existing members, who now become premier users. The premier users also receive two new benefits as part of the reorganization.

“This is a major change to our membership strategy, which will bring more value to the IT industry and will give CompTIA greater reach in the industry,” said Nancy Hammervik, CompTIA’s SVP Industry Relations.

The reason for the change is simple. More members will equal more clout.

“We presently have over 2000 (2050, of which 1758 are solution providers) members, but we aren’t having the impact we want to have,” Hammervik said.

“We had more than 5,000 in the beta, and we have set a goal of 10,000 registered users by the end of the year.”

Membership for the new registered users is entirely free, and they get access to all CompTIA’s online material for members around channel education, industry research, and channel enablement tools.

“This includes all the Quick Start guides and all our channel research, although the premier members do get exclusive access to new material for the first three months,” Hammervik said. Registered users are also eligible to join all the CompTIA communities and start to engage there, and are allowed the use of CompTIA Trustmarks.

“We want to have greater penetration to IT channel organizations than we do now, and we are seeing this in the early adopters [from the beta], who are about 60% of those who have enrolled,” Hammervik said. “We are also attracting other individuals though  – lots of ‘born in the cloud’ folks, ISVs and apps developers. All we ask is their contact information and their business model. Once we understand who is coming in we will see, if we are getting a lot of end users for example, if it makes sense to develop specific content for them.”

The original CompTIA members will become premier members, as of April 1, 2014.Hammervik said there is ample value exclusive to this group that justifies their membership costs.

“Registered users can engage with us online, but their membership is kind of one-dimensional,” she said. In addition to early access to the CompTIA materials and research, premier members receive unlimited, complimentary CompTIA event registrations, discounts off Trustmark vouchers and CompTIA certifications, and eligibility for community and council leadership roles. Premier members also receive Association voting rights, permission to promote CompTIA business membership, and inclusion and access to the CompTIA member directory.

Membership pricing remains the same as before — $250 per solution provider organization. Vendor and distributor pricing ranges from $625-$5,000 depending on the size of the company. Associate companies that offer professional services to IT channel firms pay $1,000.

Two new benefits are also being introduced, for premier members only. One is a new legal services benefit, focused on the issue of exposure. It will include a one hour complimentary consulting session and discounted services with an expert focused on IT. It will be available by May.

The other new benefit will be available a little later in the spring. Hammervik said it is a new financial benchmarking tool which will be a little different from anything CompTIA has done before.

Finally,  CompTIA is also rolling out a  re-designed, mobile-friendly website in June 2014.

“The old one had a lot of content but wasn’t that user friendly,” Hammervik said. “This one is a clean, simple site that really leverages search to make it easier to find what you want.” It will be available to both registered and premier users.

More information on the new open access model is available at https://www.comptia.org/members.aspx.

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