Among channel players, the nuturing of technical and engineering staff is grabbing more mindshare by the day.
The plump margins surrounding service and support skills form a superb cushion against the double hardware whammy of falling prices and shrinking margins. That's why desktop systems suppliers and resellers are standing in line to boost their solution and support skills.
A good network engineer working on $50 an hour can be contracted out to a client at $200 plus an hour. But attracting and keeping good technical and engineering IT talent has its own set of dos and don'ts. One definite "do" is to recognise the weight technical staff attach to training.
There are traps for employers, however.
Paul McDonald, sales director at network support service company, Western Computer, now asks staff to sign a training agreement where they have to repay the full fee if they leave within nine months of receiving the training.