How does an MSP go about formalizing Sophos training and certification across their entire organization?
To provide its clients with top-notch service, our MSP partner Technology By Design ensures that its people are fully trained in all the products they sell or support. But being trained on several vendors simultaneously can be a challenge. For Technology By Design, an efficient and effective certification program allows the team to be the most productive – which creates an ideal user experience for the client.
Sophos certification is now required for all current employees and new hires. “We require each of our new engineers to start training during their first week. In addition to providing them with access to the Portal, we have them shadowing field engineers and remote support engineers who are managing Sophos environments every day. Within 90 days, we want each engineer to have, at a minimum, the Sophos engineering certification. Their supervisors work with them and manage that timeframe based on the workload they’re given,” states Larson. This formalized roadmap for certification provides benefits not just for the engineers and the company, but to the clients. “Our engineers definitely appreciate and enjoy the Sophos certification classes. It allows them to become better engineers and we can see how this training has elevated client interactions,” discloses Larson.
In what ways does Sophos certification benefit Technology By Design’s people and its clients?
Sophos certification has equipped Technology By Design’s technical staff to answer questions almost immediately when issues come up for their clients. With in-depth knowledge acquired through completed courses, the technical staff is proficient and professional in how they assist each client. Their clients benefit by gaining a more immediate response and knowing that they can rely on the MSP’s staff to resolve problems quickly and thoroughly.
The emphasis on training and certification has also proven to be advantageous for Technology By Design during the Coronavirus shelter-in-place order. Just a few days after being onboarded, a new engineer was required to work from home. During this time, the team member was able be productive and he quickly completed his Sophos engineering certification remotely. According to Larson, the freshly trained engineer found the course content to be “fantastic—informative and useful—without being difficult to understand. Moreover, the training is tremendously valuable to our entire organization.”
“Our engineers definitely appreciate and enjoy the Sophos certification classes. It allows them to become better engineers and we can see how training has elevated client interactions.”
Certification benefits the individual by affording them credibility within the industry.
“Certification knowledge is a level of expertise that enhances a resumé and we’ve found the Sophos training offerings to be unmatched. Engineers love to tout their certifications and training. This provides proof that they have the next-level wisdom to be able to support Sophos clients and Sophos environments. Plus, it gives them additional validation and is positive commentary regarding their personality. Earning a certification means that a person has taken the time, effort, and energy to do something constructive and expand their knowledge. I think that’s meaningful,” asserts Larson.
He also believes that, when his salespeople go through the Sophos certification process, they gain confidence when engaged in a security strategy conversation with clients: “Sophos certification adds to our sales team’s integrity and sincerity. Our clients can trust our salespeople because they have a deep understanding of security and their recommendations are based on that. Our clients come to understand that this isn’t somebody who just reads blogs. This person actually spent the time to learn about the solutions they’re selling.”
Training helps increase revenue and build integrated, more secure solutions
Larson contends that Sophos certifications enable the sales team to generate more revenue opportunities. For Technology By Design revenue based on IT security was up 54% last year.
Because certified staff gains an understanding of how all Sophos endpoint and network products work together as an integrated platform, salespeople are better equipped to recommend the solutions that are right for the client’s environment. Larson believes that his salespeople emerge as better advisors to their clients.
“Rather than just selling clients products, our salespeople are able to advise them on the tools that they need—on what will benefit them and secure them the best,” he points out.
“With Sophos training and certification, everyone is on the same page. If we’re all on the same page, we’ll do a better job supporting each other and working together. For us, a consistent team allows for secure clients, who can run their businesses effectively and without disruption. Formalizing that process and establishing Sophos as our certification standard on the industry’s best technology places us and, our clients, in a best position to be successful,” summarizes Larson.
And don’t forget: The compliance deadline for required certifications to maintain your partner tier as part of the Sophos Partner Program is fast approaching on March 31, 2021.