Level Platforms adds certification to training mix

Mortar BoardRMM tool provider Level Platforms has introduced its first-ever certification program, introducing an optional LevelTech certification that will rapidly become a major part of its main partner program.

Getting the LevelTech certification requires the completion of a number of online video on-demand training sessions and culminates with a 90-minute online exam. The training curriculum has been built up for some time, but the Ottawa-based vendor felt that it was time to add a sense of validation to the training.

“The evolution to the certification is to help partners, and ourselves, ensure that those clients who are using our products have full comprehension of them, to make sure their expertise if validated,” said Dan Wensley, vice president of marketing at Level Platforms.

Unlike offerings from CompTIA and others, the certification is not intended to be a general MSP-level certification, but focused on validating Level Platforms’ partners’ ability with their technologies.

The certification program was announced in August and was officially rolled out to partners last month.

The certification is offered free of charge, aside from the time taken to take the training (if needed) and the online exam required to reach the certification. Wensley said it’s a good investment for all involved, Level Platforms included.

“The better we do in making sure our partners have the ability to use Managed Workplace, the fewer support calls we will get,” he said. “And support tickets are never a healthy KPI for anybody – either the MSP or us.”

The certification is intended to be an annual certification, and “if all goes well” with rolling out the program this year, it will become a requirement early next year when it’s updated for the launch of Managed Workplace 2012. At that time, partners will be required to have at least one LevelTech certified technical person on their staff.

Another evolution of the program already being eyed are more “role-specific” certifications for partners that have multiple team members monitoring or using multiple parts of the Managed Workplace environment – for example with one generalist watching the dashboard, while other functions like patch management and remote remediation are handled by specialists.

The test for the certification consists of a pool of some 500 questions put together by Level Platforms – of which about 50 are given in a single exam. The partner must achieve an 80 per cent or higher to pass and earn the certification. The free nature of the program and the number of questions in the pool has lead to an interesting phenomenon. Although the certification has been live for just two weeks, Wensley reported that already, partners are passing the exam and going back to bump up their score and/or try their hands at additional questions, despite the fact that exam results are not published anywhere.

“It’s a testament to [partners’] drive to learn and achieve – I’m always appreciative and amazed by them,” he said.