Cisco Unveils IPCC Express Specialist Certification

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Cisco Systems has added a credential for its IP Contact Center (IPCC) Express Edition to the Specialist level of its certification program. The IP Contact Center Express Specialist certification, which was launched on March 29, is the seventh IP telephony credential to be offered by Cisco. To attain the IP Contact Center Express Specialist certification, candidates must have an active Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification and pass an additional exam.


“We can’t always have all of the numerous products and technologies covered under a general certification or professional track,” said Ray Garra, development manager for IP telephony at Cisco. “Cisco’s qualified specialist certification programs are those unique and more focused product or technology certifications that usually can be complimentary or be subsets of a professional-level certification. In the IPC curriculum, we have CCVP, which was recently launched. That actually has several pieces of the Cisco Qualified Specialist in IP telephony.”


“This is for anyone who is going to be responsible for the installation and support of the IPCC Express product,” said Charles Smith, program manager for Cisco Contact Center and IPCC product platforms. “In the case of installation, oftentimes it’s the field engineer who’s responsible for that. In the case of ongoing support, it’s quite often system engineers and IT professionals who help manage the call centers from a technical standpoint.”


The product itself combines automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR) services and computer telephony integration (CTI) functions on a single platform, said Duke Bond, product manager for the IP Contact Center Express Edition. “In a traditional call center space, you would maybe buy those three solutions from three different companies,” Bond said. “Then, you get a systems integrator who’s going to come in and work some black magic to tie those three pieces together. We’ve done away with that: We’ve already integrated all that together for the customer. Someone who has the IPCC Express certification is going to know how to do everything on that platform that needs to be done to configure the ACD, the IVR or any of the CTI features.”


Part of the reason the IPCC Express warranted a certification was its complexity and malleability, particularly in determining the appropriate number and size of servers needed for a specific deployment, Bond said. “The IP Contact Center Express solution is fairly flexible. It can scale from five agents up to 200 agents. I can have just a couple of IVR ports or I can have 300 IVR ports. It can run on the same exact server with the Cisco Call Manager software, or it can run on a set of eight to 10 different servers, depending on your deployment scenario. One of the key things that this exam and certification validate is that you understand that design-sizing process.”


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