Altiris Credential Is No Piece Of Cake

Not so, believes Altiris. The Lindon, Utah-based IT life-cycle management solution vendor this week plans to launch an Authorized Altiris Consultant program that can open the door to increased service revenue for qualified AAC partners. But the program's steep learning curve should temper the possibility of creating a glut of AAC partners vying for the same accounts, said Poul Nielson, vice president of corporate development at Altiris.

Frank Cano, president of Valerent, a Houston-based solution provider that employs 13 Altiris Certified Engineers (ACEs)--seven of which are already AACs--said the parameters of the AAC program are steep.

"[AAC] is not an easy certification," Cano said. "It's a tough regimen. It's a tough credential to get. I think a self-limiting corporate Darwinism will be in effect with the program."

Altiris' high-level app-roach to efficient, business-policy-driven IT life-cycle management is what poses the challenge to VARs interested in adding AACs to their ranks, Nielson said. The vendor's software provides the ability to automatically manage desktops, notebooks, thin clients, handhelds, industry-standard servers and heterogeneous software including Windows, Linux and Unix. Altris is a technology partner of both Hewlett-Packard and IBM, and competes with the likes of BMC, Computer Associates International and LANDesk, Nielson said.

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"We want to take partners to a different level," he said. "Now, customers aren't worried about the mundane stuff. They are working at a higher level that offers more value to the boardroom."

AAC requirements include several months of field experience with Altiris deployments, then a weeklong regimen of reviewing online training content. The whole certification process takes about three months, Nielson said.

AAC certification pays dividends, too, Cano said. "The rate we charge for Altiris consulting has gone up twice in the last year."