Late this month, Certiport will introduce its Microsoft Business Certification program for the 2007 Microsoft Office system and for Vista itself. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft over the past year, the program will feature Web-based pretests, application-specific certification exams and a series of professional certifications that demonstrate expertise in accomplishing essential job tasks across multiple applications.
Certiport’s partnership with Microsoft extends back nine years to when Microsoft first turned to Certiport for assistance in developing programs for Office. David Saedi, Certiport president and CEO, said this collaboration was the first step in opening up the desktop applications world to a wider audience globally.
“The larger population is not quite ready to participate in this digital age with as high of productivity as possible,” Saedi said. “Of the 77 million workers in the United States, 55 percent of them are using computers right now. You can imagine the boost in our economic productivity as a nation and worldwide that will be affected by the introduction of new tools that prepare information workers to use these products more efficiently and [in a way that is] more focused on their job tasks.”
Beta testing on the program has just completed, and now Certiport will distribute the certification exams for the 2007 operating systems in more than 10,000 testing centers worldwide.
The program is intended to be wide-ranging across Vista as a whole, avoiding any tendency to get compartmentalized within single skill sets.
“What’s happened is, in the past, we’ve had experts coming out with Excel expertise, with Word expertise, with Power Point expertise,” Saedi said. “Allowing the worker to manage information across the entire platform in a format that is transferable across borders in a collaborative format is really important, and those are the kinds of things that are being tested going forward.”
Timing was particularly important to the introduction of this program because it needed to be available simultaneous to the launch of Vista.
“We have heard from the market for a long time that people need to be better equipped with understanding of their operating system,” Saedi said. “The launch of Vista gives us the opportunity to go back and help people get more proficient at what Vista could be doing for them. And, obviously, this will help with the migration from one platform to the other.”
The Web-based pretests are an important step in the program because information from them will be mapped into the end-users’ experience with the certification.
“It helps minimize the time for preparation and focuses the preparation on what is actually needed,” Saedi said. “For businesses, obviously, that means time and money saved.”