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Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Three

In our last article we examined how you can determine if a technician or IT company you are looking to hire is qualified. Part of the process of ensuring that your IT partner does have the qualifications you need includes examining their vendor certifications.
What does it mean to be a vendor authorized IT consultant? Simply that the technician has been trained and tested to meet the vendor’s standards to work with their specific software or hardware. A common example would be a technician’s MCSA or Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certificate for technologies such as Windows Server 2013 or Windows 7.

Hiring a vendor-authorized firm is a good idea for three reasons:

1. Authorized dealers are required to uphold higher standards in service and support than their non-certified counterparts, and they are closely regulated by the vendors. If you have a problem with the technician, you can file a complaint with the vendor that authorized him.

2. Reason number two: Authorized software dealers are tested on their knowledge by the vendors to ensure a level of competence in installing and supporting their software.

3. Reason number three: Authorized dealers have more in-depth knowledge about the products they support because they work with the programs more often than the average consultant. Just keep in mind that a vendor’s seal of approval isn’t a surefire sign that your technician is qualified and competent.

Remember that vendor certifications don’t trump good old-fashioned experience.
There are plenty of excellent computer consultants who are incredibly talented but don’t hold vendor certifications. On the flip side, even more technicians have plenty of book knowledge but no experience to match. The skills it takes to pass an exam are a different skill set than what is needed to properly diagnose a business or network problem and solve it as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Always give more weight to actual hands-on experience over vendor certifications but keep in mind that there is no reason that you can’t have the best of both worlds.

It’s always a good idea to ask for references too, but we’ll talk more about that in our next article “Seven Questions to Ask Your IT Partner’s References”.

Note: This content is taken from “The Search for Hassle-Free IT” book. Request your FREE copy.