CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, is looking for veteran IT professionals who are conversant in convergent technologies for a certification it has in the works. When finished, the Convergence+ program may be comprised of a blend of general skills and, subsequently, more specialized certification paths, said Neill Hopkins, vice president of skills development at CompTIA.
“Our preliminary discussions suggest that this certification may combine baseline knowledge on convergent technologies coupled with multiple specialty tracks for different technologies, such as wireless, voice, data, storage and security,” he said. “Voice and data cross-training will be a key element of the certification. Some of the potential baseline skills will include knowledge of telephony (trunks, stations, hunt group provisioning, key/PBX); internetworking (i.e., LAN/WAN); structured cabling; and voice-over-IP (including security, quality of service, design, network administrations, phones and standards).
“At a higher level, the convergence certification might also address solutions such as unified messaging, Web chat, rules-based call handling and other applications that promote productivity and efficiency. The areas discussed above are based on our preliminary work with organizations that are active in the convergent technologies market—Avaya, Catalyst Telecom, Intel Corp. and others. The subject-matter experts meeting planned for September will bring the scope of the certification into clearer focus.”
CompTIA is seeking SMEs who have three years or more of professional experience in network management or Voice-over IP (VoIP) telephony technologies as well as strong communication and written English skills. The first phase of Convergence+ development will take place at a two-day workshop on Sept. 21-22 at CompTIA headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Once that is completed, CompTIA will launch a survey to validate the findings of the job task analysis. Upon completion of that study, a second meeting of SMEs will be coordinated to do the certification exam item-writing.
As with all CompTIA certifications, the Convergence+ is a response to the demands of the IT market, Hopkins said. “It is clear that Voice-over Internet Protocol telephony and other convergent technologies are entering the mainstream in both the business and consumer markets. Research firm IDC expects the number of U.S. subscribers to residential VOIP services will grow from 3 million in 2005 to 27 million by the end of 2009. (In) our own research into the small and mid-sized business market, conducted this summer with IDC, 40 percent of the organizations said they plan to evaluate the merger of voice and data communications onto one network within the next 18 months; 18 percent are in the process of doing so; and 13 percent have already deployed a converged voice/data network.”
For more information, see http://www.comptia.org.