New CompTIA CEO comes to Canada

Todd Thibodeaux took over as president and CEO of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) in September, replacing its founder John Venator, and in his first visit to Canada, announced the new PDI Plus program for the printing and imaging market.

According to Thibodeaux, this program is unique because it is vendor neutral and it tries to dispel the myth that printing is dying.

“Everyone loves the takeaway and that is developed on paper. Duplex printing and colour is becoming more affordable. You are seeing more smart document management systems and PDFs in the workflow. All those things are covered in this program and we are working together with companies that are in this space with discounts, training and certifications,” he said.

CompTIA is a recognized trade association dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy, according to its Web site

And, Thibodeaux, in his new role, will put more emphasis on research and driving public policy. The reason behind this new push is that these areas will provide benefits to the membership and will build a sustainable base that will represent the diversity of the industry.

“We have 2,100 corporate members and we try to grow that substantially. And, we have tens of thousands of companies that are actively involved as software providers, resellers, OEMs, and distributors. We want all of them and we want to be an indispensable organization. Everything builds from that,” he said.

Thidodeaux is also a strong believer in free trade. He says that it is crucial to IT across the globe and has made free trade one of his first priorities as president and CEO of the trade association along with SMB, tax credits and education. “We are a free trade organization and we’ll work to develop policy to ensure free trade. There are barriers to technology in countries that are erecting (non-free trade policies) and it will have serious implications with employment,” he said.

He added that one in every 12 employed people in the U.S., for example, calls themselves a tech worker. “That is some significant impact.” Thibodeaux said that for the most part the IT industry has been lucky with low tariffs; but that he would hate to see a reversal of that and in his new position will work to encourage more free trade.

The economy and its current depressed state is going to be a challenge for Thidodeaux going forward.

He has already mandated that CompTIA will put more resources in front of its people to help them during these difficult times. For example, many small businesses have never gone to a bank for a line of credit. “How do they go in there and effectively work through those that?A lot of these companies run lean and they run through operating revenues,” he said.

Thibodeaux added that he wants CompTIA to stay in closer touch with these kinds of companies and drive more peer-to-peer exchange training to help them with R&D tax credits for example.

He also wants to see U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama endorse a green IT tax credit that would provide more energy efficient products.

For more on Todd Thibodeaux look for a full Question and Answer Feature in an upcoming CDN.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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