Liongard’s Adam Slutskin and Mark Sokol Share Their Experience Serving on CompTIA Councils
Liongard’s reason for being is to help advance the IT industry as a whole (through automation). So, what better way to walk the walk than to come together with a diverse group of people to share knowledge, collaborate, create valuable programs and resources, and help lead the industry forward? Liongard’s CRO Adam Slutskin and VP of Marketing Mark Sokol both currently serve on CompTIA committees that do just that. The positive experience of volunteering their time and knowledge has provided a number of insights and opportunities that they feel can translate for managed services providers (MSPs) and other IT professionals.
CompTIA Advisory Councils and Communities
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a non-profit, is considered one of the IT industry’s top trade associations. In addition to issuing professional certifications, it also hosts several member-led Advisory Councils and Communities that collaborate on technology and business-building initiatives and contribute ideas to drive the industry forward.
How They Got Involved
To serve on one of these action-oriented think tanks, it takes a nomination from a current Council or Community member. When their nominations were approved and invitations were extended, both Adam and Mark humbly and happily accepted. Here’s a little more about the specific groups they work with:
Channel Development Advisory Council
This Council focuses on issues relating to the indirect technology market and is composed of influential leaders from hardware manufacturers, software publishers, service organizations, distributors, telecom companies and tech solution provider. The group meets frequently and is currently working on a best practices workflow across the IT spectrum.
Whether it’s sharing his two decades of sales experience with MSPs, volunteering to lead a training session for a vendor, serving for 20+ years in the United States Air Force or helping on this CompTIA Council, Adam has service in his blood. “I volunteer because I just enjoy doing it. I like helping,” he says. “It’s that feeling that you’re contributing something—but you’re also learning a lot of things that challenge your own perspectives.”
Adam recalls a moment he realized the power of joining forces with others at the Council: “We may think others have the same knowledge that we do, but really, what each of us brings to the table is unique and valuable.”
Managed Services Community
In this Community, tech business leaders meet once per month, collaborating to create tools that help MSPs succeed. Current projects include educational material for MSPs that help answer the tough questions, “How do I grow my business?” and “How do I increase recurring revenue?”
For Mark, his time in the CompTIA Community has been enlightening. “MSPs generally are all having the same problems,” he says. “By just giving them ONE idea, it’s very impactful. The universal business insights—that’s the most beneficial thing I’ve seen here.”
The Importance of Giving Back to the IT Community
It’s always important to give back in any way you can to the communities you’re a part of—familial, social, professional or otherwise. But speaking from experience, both Mark and Adam agree that the IT industry desperately needs all the help it can get.
“It’s a critically under-staffed industry as a whole,” Adam says. (By CompTIA’s own analysis of federal employment data, there were nearly 1 million unfilled IT jobs in the U.S. alone in Q4 2019.) “The more people that can be successful, and the more people we can get going to school for technology, the better. Part of CompTIA’s mission is getting young people more excited about technology.” IT professionals sharing their knowledge and mentoring others is one step toward making that happen.
Give and You Shall Receive
When you give generously, you’re bound to have good things come back to you. For starters, both you and your company can gain exposure in the IT community, as well as expand your network and grow professionally. But just as importantly, coming together intentionally like members of the CompTIA Council and Community do gives you different perspectives, new ideas and learnings you can take back and act on to better serve your own customers.
“Hearing from others about what they see happening in our industry is just another way to make sure your company’s finger is on the pulse of things,” Mark says, noting that this was especially helpful for Liongard in April and May of 2020, when COVID-19 altered so much inside the industry. Interactions like those happening in the CompTIA groups can mean the difference between staying in-tune with developments and being caught off guard.
For Liongard, contributing to the IT community all comes back to two of our core values: Listen & Learn, and Teach. This cycle of receiving and sharing knowledge, along with the bouncing around of ideas to drive innovation, is a win-win situation for everyone—always.
If you or someone from your team want to give back by serving on a CompTIA Council or Community, the first step is to express interest. Reach out to someone who is already involved, and/or to your contacts, who may be able to make an introduction. As CompTIA says on its website, “There’s a place for everyone.”