Cisco Upgrades Professional-Level Voice Cert

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Cisco has unveiled the redesign of its CCVP professional-level voice certification program.

After gathering internal and external feedback, the career certification provider decided the former path to CCVP certification was “too product centric,” said Mary Ng, unified communications and security marketing portfolio manager at Cisco.

“We began reaching out to customers, our learning partners and their instructors, and asking how can we improve the classroom experience, so that when the students leave and move into their operating environments” they are prepared to design and implement these systems, Ng said. “We needed to look at the role of [the voice professional] and develop practical skills, not just theory or product-centric knowledge. So we decided that we needed to model that real-world environment better using hands-on labs.”

The integration of more hands-on labs is the most significant change in the CCVP coursework. Students practice on live networks at Cisco learning partner sites and engage in “lab [activities that] model the challenges of the real world,” Ng said. “As students move through that lab activity, they get more messaging back saying, ‘Your network’s not going to work because A, B or C.’ And they have to figure out whether A, B or C is incorrect. It allows the student to learn in this relatively safe lab environment before returning to the live networks.”

Other enhancements to the CCVP curriculum include the elimination of a course in gateways and gatekeepers. Instead, this information is integrated throughout the program’s courses, which frees up time to add more complex network exercises. Also, the curriculum now covers single-site, centralized and multi-site configurations.

To gain CCVP certification, students must pass five qualifying exams, including three that are new to the program: CVOICE 6.0/624-436 Exam, CIPT1 6.0/642-446 Exam and CIPT2 6.0/642-456 Exam.

CVOICE 6.0 “provides an understanding of converged voice and data networks and the challenges faced by mid-career voice professionals.” CIPT1 6.0 and CIPT2 6.0 are both updates to the previous CIPT courses and cover “configuration to support on-cluster calling in a single-site deployment” and labs that require students to “[apply] a dial plan for a multi-site environment, and [implement] solutions to reduce bandwidth requirements in an IP WAN.”

“The new 6.0 solution has a lot more options for the customers of our students. So when our students go back, they’re able to offer more features to the employees of their company,” Ng said.

However, there are two paths to the CCVP certification: the Cisco Unified CallManager v4.1 and the Cisco Unified Communications Manager v6.0. Cisco decided to keep the CallManager v4.1 track in order to cater to a smaller, older base of clients that was still showing interest in the offering.

“We provide a learning path for people who are not only already well versed in voice over IP technologies and they’re enhancing their career,” Ng said, “[but] the curriculum also allows the legacy telecom person who may have 25-35 years in traditional AT&T-based analog systems to be able to migrate over to voice over IP technology.”

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