Today’s blog post is courtesy of Tracie Orisko, President, Managed Sales Pros.  Tracie has been a member of the CompTIA community since 2015, and is currently serving on the Technology Lifecycle Services executive committee.

This year I made the decision to be more involved with the CompTIA community by becoming a member of the Technology Lifecycle Services community and attending a number of CompTIA events.  For those of you not yet familiar with CompTIA, it is a non-profit trade association, issuing professional certifications for the information technology industry. They also have a mandate to advance the IT industry through information technology forums filled with experts from a range of different IT industries that include thought leaders, consultants, as well as representatives from IT vendors and IT service providers.

My early participation in CompTIA made me wonder if I was receiving value from my membership. On June 06, 2019, I spent the afternoon with the CompTIA Canadian Community.  I am happy to say that this most recent event held my attention in a way that other Canadian Community events have failed to. The content was extremely relevant to me, both personally and professionally.

I have always admired the professional leadership of the CompTIA Canadian Community. This year they have worked especially hard to breathe new life into the organization.  One of the best choices for our community was the addition of forward thinking up-and-comer Adam Proulx as Senior Manager, Member Community. Adam hosted his first meeting at CompTIA’s Communities Council Forum in Chicago in March, and he has been aggressively recruiting people to attend Communities meetings. When I voiced my concerns about the investment of time in exchange for value,  Adam promised me that “this one would be a little different than the ones I have attended in the past.”  He was right.

Armughan Ahmad, President & Canadian Managing Partner, Digital and Technology Solutions, KPMG  kicked off the meeting with a presentation on the Future of Work: Why Culture and Customer Experience is Key, and How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Enhance Your Business and Engage Your Employees and Customers.

Other presentations I have seen around AI have left me feeling both overwhelmed with the speed with which technology was changing, and completely disinterested in how we might apply it to our company processes. Armughan’s content was well presented — it was relatable and interesting. Agmughan engaged the audience well, it helped me change my focus and see how AI could complement our call center in ways I had not considered before. We now have a working group reviewing opportunities to build AI into our business.

I am pleased that there continues to be a strong gender diversity focus to all Comptia events!

The make up of panelists for this event was well thought out and included a great mix of both men and women.  Moderated by Luc Villeneuve, we heard from Sheila Cassidy, Paula Hodgins, Charlie Atkinson and Kim Benedict on the challenges around gender diversity and ideas on  how to address them. CompTIA went above and beyond, creating a panel that included small business owners that were female.  Often these events have panels filled with corporate executives rather than small business owners.  While both experience challenges in diversity in the workforce, hearing the experiences of the small business owners again made the conversation much more relevant for me (and many non-vendor CompTIA members!) There was open and honest discussion during the panel on the right to be ambitious as well as deliberate, and this led to some great discussions at the post-session networking event.

The networking hour was the perfect way to round out the event. The Canadian Community team engaged with the membership during this time, asking for feedback and getting to know anyone that they had not previously met. I enjoyed watching the attendees talking animatedly about the day and lingering rather than rushing out the door.

All in all, I’m impressed with the positive changes that CompTIA is making for the member base.

If you’re interested in joining CompTIA, you can learn more about them here:  https://www.comptia.org/about-us/our-story/membership