Cisco Certified Voice Professional: Networked…
According to industry analysts, the worldwide market for IP telephony services will top $2.2 billion in 2007, with an annual growth rate of 45.3 percent. With more than 4 million IP phones shipped worldwide, Cisco has become a leader in the convergence of data, voice and video. As Cisco partners and customers plan, design, implement and operate converged networks, they’ve seen a growing need for professionals who have the skills to optimize the productivity of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems.
To meet the need for skilled professionals, Cisco recently added the Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP) to its portfolio of voice certifications. The new certification builds on the success of several Cisco specialist certifications in IP telephony and the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert – Voice (CCIE-Voice), the highest-level certification in voice technologies.
“The new Cisco Voice certification supports the transition our customers are currently making from single-purpose networks to converged networks, supporting an increasing variety of voice, video and data services, while providing a compelling career path for both voice and data professionals responsible for facilitating the migration to converged networks in their companies,” said Don Proctor, vice president and general manager of the Voice Technology Group at Cisco.
IP telephony is the convergence of conventional telephone-type services originating and transporting across IP data networks. Similar to transporting e-mail, both local and long-distance service can greatly reduce costs. While today’s converged networks provide the same quality that consumers have come to expect, the real power of VoIP is in the new voice applications that take advantage of both computer-processing technology and the data network. For instance, Cisco Unified Communications solutions provide instant access to every message, including voice, e-mail and fax, using a phone or PC to increase organizational and employee productivity, optimize business and streamline communications.
Rapid growth in Cisco’s IP phone business has generated the demand for highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals to design, support and maintain these new converged networks and applications. With more than 17,500 customers adopting IP phone applications, including 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies, the market for skilled professionals will continue to increase.
IP communication networking, or VoIP, is an integral part of any IT strategy. Most market analysts agree that the higher spending on communications network infrastructure forecast for 2005 to 2007 will be based on network upgrades and the convergence of voice and data over the network. The underlying driver—migration of voice traffic over a data network and evolution of IP-capable networks—is an important technology paradigm shift.
Several factors led 2004 to become a breakout year for the VoIP industry, including the launch of consumer services from leading cable and telephone providers. More than 400 new VoIP-based carriers are capitalizing on convergence technologies to route voice calls for end users. These service providers will need qualified IT professionals who can expand their network operations.
For IT professionals who seek to enhance their value in the marketplace, the CCVP capitalizes on existing Cisco Qualified Specialist certifications by leveraging many existing curriculum components and certification exams. Individuals who currently hold selected Cisco certifications will find that they already have achieved many of the CCVP requirements.
Cisco has certified thousands of people in its IP Telephony Specialist programs, and many engineers hold multiple IP telephony certifications. The CCVP creates a logical learning path between Associate-level (Cisco Certified Network Associate, or CCNA), and Expert-level (CCIE-Voice) certifications. Successful CCVP candidates will acquire many of the broad-based voice and application skills that the CCIE-Voice certification requires.
CCVP courses and exams are focused on Cisco CallManager, Quality of Service (QoS), Gateways, Gatekeepers, IP phones, voice applications and utilities on Cisco routers and Catalyst switches. Primarily based on existing Specialist curricula and exams, the CCVP requires five exams:
- #642-642 QOS (Quality of Service)
- #642-432 CVOICE (Cisco VoIP)
- #642-425 IPTT (IP Telephony Troubleshooting)
- #642-444 CIPT (Cisco IP Telephony)
- #642-452 GW/GK (Gateway and Gatekeeper)
CCVP features a new technology topic for Cisco certifications: Gateways and Gatekeepers. Gateways and Gatekeepers are critical elements of an IP telephony network, enabling voice traffic across wide area networks (WANs) and interfacing to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Gateways and Gatekeepers deployment, operation and configuration skills were not covered extensively in the previous Cisco Voice curriculum. The certification will now verify the knowledge and skills required to integrate Gateways and Gatekeepers into an Enterprise CallManager IP network environment and service provider VoIP network environment.
Focused on enterprise deployments, the CCVP is still applicable for service providers. A growing number of large enterprises are converting their traditional analog or dedicated voice networks to be IP-enabled. Service providers have the opportunity to create managed services that support such networks. The more companies and organizations that implement converged IP networks and IP communication solutions, the more service providers will need to be able to offer VoIP-type solutions that are reliable, scalable and can leverage existing networks in the IP WAN and PSTN.
For many companies, voice is the most critical service utilized to run commerce. How a voice solution is designed, implemented, managed and secured is critical to its success. Knowing that you have qualified people to manage and run your network can be as essential as your business remaining profitable.The CCVP offers validation of VoIP skills to provide employers with confidence in their staff’s competence. Like most Cisco exams, those required for CCVP include questions that test operational skills with convergence fundamentals, standards and knowledge.
VoIP and convergence networking is a field with tremendous growth potential. Cisco’s new CCVP is a way individuals can differentiate themselves and show the market that they are certifiably competent IT workers and voice professionals. Analysts and industry leaders have long attributed Cisco’s execution and customer satisfaction to Cisco-certified individuals in the marketplace. CCVP continues Cisco’s commitment to learning and development.
Ray Garra is the senior manager of learning and development for Cisco Systems. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.