The Channel Institute, a training body dedicated to promoting and developing the channel profession worldwide, announced the launch of its Certificate in Channel Management and Certificate in Channel Marketing courses. The certificate courses are the first business training certificates that have been reviewed and validated by the vendor-independent Industry Advisory Council, which is comprised of many of the technology industry’s leading employers worldwide.
Council members include channel professionals from Oracle, Cisco, HP, Microsoft, SAP, IBM, HubSpot and several other leading technology companies.
Business training in areas such as channel management and channel marketing has traditionally been provided by employers or consulting companies on an ad hoc basis, leaving a major skills and knowledge gap in the channel industry, the Institute said in a press release. This has been particularly true for new entrants to the profession, who often come from end-user sales or marketing. These professionals are often recent graduates who are “thrown in at the deep end” of channel management and partner marketing, or simply put through an employer’s own training academy that rarely focuses on industry-wide best practices.
The aim of the Channel Institute is to bring a more formal, standardized structure to learning for channel business professionals. In particular, the Institute aims to focus on the vastly under-served segment of those that are relatively new to the profession. The Certificate in Channel Marketing is also ideal for those charged with marketing at technology reseller companies, helping them understand vendor-independent global best practices in co-marketing.
The courses strive to provide channel professionals with foundational skills and knowledge even many long-time practitioners lack, Michael Kelly, Director at the Channel Institute told CMR. For example, he described how many channel marketers remain “absolutely shocked and appalled that partners aren’t clamoring to figure out their partner marketing portals, get all of their content and customize it and push it out.”
“What we’re trying to help the vendors understand is you have to look at channel marketing from the partner’s perspective always. They work with multiple vendors. They have multiple portals, and frankly, if you’re not on their radar, if you don’t understand their business model and what they’re focusing on and how you can help them build their business?”
Truly understanding partners is “a foundation skill” that vendors don’t help their staff develop, said Kelly. “Vendors think they’re teaching their people about marketing, but all they’re really teaching them about are their products.”
Input and feedback from a number of channel thought leaders at major technology companies helped the Institute “ensure our certificate courses are truly vendor-agnostic and based on global best practices” said Kelly. “By bringing together so many channel experts I believe our certificate courses provide the solid platform that sales and marketing people new to the channel profession desperately need.”
The Channel Institute is in the process of being certified to ISO29990, an internationally recognized standard for providers of learning services. It recognizes that training providers have formal processes in place to ensure their courses meet the highest standards globally.
The Institute is planning to launch three additional courses later in 2018 offering certificates in:
Free examinations and trials of the current certificate courses are available on the Channel Institute’s website. Advance notification of the launch of the planned certification can be requested too.