CHICAGO, Sept. 13, 2004 — HDI, the world’s largest membership association for IT service and support professionals and the premier soft skill certification body for the industry; CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association; and Microsoft Corp., the leading provider of technical skills certification for the IT Industry, today announced they are collaborating to promote the advantages of combining their respective certifications. Together, CompTIA’s A+
® certification for PC service and support technicians, HDI’s Customer Support Specialist (CSS) or Help Desk Analyst (HDA) certification levels, and the Microsoft®
Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) certification build on one another to provide a perfect certification path for entry-level IT service and support professionals, and will help them enhance their career path. The announcement was made at the HDI University training event held Sept. 13–17 at the Palmer House in Chicago.
In both small and large corporate environments, where PC maintenance and troubleshooting are critical skills, ensuring that front-line help desk employees are trained and certified in both technical and service skills helps deliver both faster resolution times and a higher level of customer satisfaction. This combination of skills results in improved ROI for the organization.
“As the largest developer of vendor-neutral IT certification exams globally, CompTIA recognizes very clearly the need for IT professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through certification,” said Bob Sartor, director, Industry and Customer Programs, DHL Information Systems (Americas) Inc. and chair of the board of directors, CompTIA. “We also recognize the increasing importance to overall business operations of nontechnical skills such as active listening and the capture of knowledge during calls. By working with HDI and Microsoft to promote the benefits of our certifications, we are able to greatly enhance the ability of front-line technical support professionals to do their jobs at the highest levels of efficiency.”
“With a large portion of the world’s companies running Microsoft software, MCDST is absolutely critical because it focuses on supporting key technologies on the corporate desktop–specifically, Windows®
XP and Microsoft Office,” said Al Valvano, manager of the Learning certification program at Microsoft. “But IT managers know that to effectively leverage their help desk’s knowledge and skills across the organization, they need to couple that knowledge of technology with soft skills.”
“In order for the support center to become more strategic to the organization as a whole, it has to provide exemplary service on all levels: from technical troubleshooting to showing empathy to customers. These skill sets are highly complementary, so it made perfect sense for us to join with CompTIA in educating professionals and their employers about the need for both types of certifications,” added Ron Muns, CEO, HDI.
About CompTIA’s A+ Certification
The A+ Certification is a global industry credential that validates the knowledge of computer service and support technicians who have an equivalent of 500 hours of hands-on experience. Major hardware and software vendors, distributors and VARs accept CompTIA A+ as the standard in foundation-level, vendor-neutral certification for service and help desk technicians. The two exams that make up the certification cover a broad range of hardware and software technologies, but are not bound to any vendor-specific products. The skills and knowledge measured by the CompTIA A+ exams were derived from an industrywide and worldwide job task analysis. To date, more than 600,000 individuals have obtained CompTIA A+ certification.
About Microsoft’s MCDST Certification
The Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) credential helps set the competency level of help desk staff on the Microsoft Windows XP operating system and the applications that run on it by focusing on diagnosis and assessment of end-user incident requests. More information about the MCDST can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcdst/ .
About HDI’s CSS and HDA Certifications
The HDI Customer Support Specialist (CSS) Certification is targeted to individuals wishing to qualify to work in a customer support center/help desk environment. HDI-certified Customer Support Specialists have been tested to ensure they meet the required standards for providing unsurpassed customer service. The HDI Help Desk Analyst (HDA) Certification training program provides help desk and support center professionals with the tools, techniques and skills to achieve success as front-line analysts, to leverage career development opportunities, and to understand the difference between support operations that merely function as a business unit and those that make a positive impact on the organization as a whole. With HDI’s HDA Certification training, support professionals are empowered to transform the support operation from a cost center into a productivity center that enhances the organization’s overall effectiveness. More information about these courses and certifications can be found at: http://www.thinkhdi.com/certification/individualCertification/ .
CompTIA is a global trade association representing the business interests of the information technology industry. For more than 22 years CompTIA has provided research, networking and partnering opportunities to its 20,000 members in 89 countries. The association is involved in developing standards and best practices, and influencing the political, economic and educational arenas that impact IT worldwide. More information is at www.comptia.org .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
HDI is the world’s largest membership association for IT service and support professionals and the premier certification body for the industry. Founded in 1989, HDI’s mission is to lead and promote the IT service and support industry by empowering its members through access to timely and valuable industry information, including reports and publications; encouraging member collaboration through events and online forums; and establishing internationally recognized, standards-based industry certification and training programs. In addition to membership, certification, and training, HDI produces the highest-rated industry event, the HDI Annual Conference and Expo, for service and technical support professionals. HDI is member-focused, and remains vendor-neutral in its efforts to facilitate open, independent networking and information sharing within the association network. HDI has more than 7,500 members worldwide, (including 90% of the Fortune 500), and more than 50 active U.S. chapters. For more information, visit http://www.thinkhdi.com .
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