Difference Makers: The 2015 CRN Tech Elite 250

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For solution providers, the technical skills of some of their most valued workers—pre-sales engineers, system designers, developers and customer support personnel—can become obsolete in almost no time. And when they do become obsolete, so can solution providers.

One way that solution providers can hone their employees' IT skills and maintain their technology edge is by taking advantage of the training and certification opportunities offered by the IT vendors they partner with.

CRN's annual Tech Elite 250 list features solution providers who differentiate themselves by investing in certifications in the area of infrastructure, including data center, storage and virtualization. The selection team maps certifications against technology opportunities (as defined by our State of the Market and Midmarket studies) and builds this list based on the certifications within each solution provider organization.

Here we provide snapshots of 25 solution providers as a sample of the Tech Elite 250. The complete list is available for purchase by contacting Laurie Condon on the East Coast (lcondon@thechannelcompany.com) or Nora Uriarte on the West Coast (nuriarte@thechannelcompany.com).

"Having the certifications is a competitive differentiator," said Rich Baldwin, chief strategy officer at San Diego-based Nth Generation, one of the Tech Elite 250. "That's something we've always prided ourselves on."

While the company works with more than 30 vendors and has certifications from almost all of them, Baldwin said in an interview that the real focus is on strategic vendors such as Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and VMware. "Typically, the tier-one vendors are the ones that count," he said.

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