My column last month concerning the way ahead for the indie channel seems to have struck a chord with a great many independents.

All about the training

It seems that both Brigantia members and non-aligned indies are not only looking for a meaningful umbrella self-accreditation badge such as our Brigantia Computer Experts scheme, but for a wider range of meaningful training courses and certifications to give it teeth.

It looks like the NEF University scheme that Brigantia is promoting covering courses such as Cisco CCNA, Microsoft MCSE, CompTIA A+, Net+, Security +, IT Security (CISSP), Web Master and Project Management Professional (PMP) have all been well received, but that the general consensus is that this is only part of the answer.

Lee Collins is known to many of our members as someone who started off as a standard computer solution provider member but then expanded his local laptop repair business to offer support to others.

Collins built up Cambridge Laptop Repair into a thriving business which he recently sold to Brett Matthews from PC Call. Matthews is now expanding the business further. Collins, not resting on his laurels, has started a new business called Parts For My Laptop, which – as the name suggests – is specialising in distributing spare parts for laptops and provides training courses to assist computer solution providers to do basic laptop repairs locally. Brigantia will be working closely with both Collins and Matthews to develop this ever-expanding area of the independent marketplace.

Members are also looking for an alternative to handing their existing customers with VOIP requirements to those offering hosted solutions or local telecoms resellers. Many already successfully resell the comprehensive range of broadband and VOIP products on offer from Entanet. Substantial ongoing revenue streams have been built up by members that are reselling Entanet services.

Members also have the option of working with 123VISP which offers a tremendous brokerage service for broadband, and VOIP services and again provide an excellent ongoing recurrent revenue stream for members.

On the printer repair side Express Group is intending to offer training courses to members that are interested in developing this side of their businesses. Express already provides an excellent spare parts service on the printer side and can often locate obsolete or hard-to-find parts and components.

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