Hitachi Data Systems Certified Storage Professional
Founded in 1910 as an electrical repair shop, Hitachi Ltd. has grown over the past 96 years to become a world leader in technology products and solutions. With the turn of the new millennium, Hitachi adopted a philosophy called, “Inspire the Next.” Through this statement, Hitachi hopes to continue to inspire coming generations with the latest products, systems and services for a more vibrant society.
Keeping this philosophy in mind, Hitachi Data Systems, a supplier of storage hardware, software and services, introduced its Certified Storage Professional 2006 Program in January. A wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., Hitachi Data Systems leverages global R&D resources to provide application-optimized-storage solutions that help customers align their IT infrastructure with their business objectives, maximize their return on investment and minimize their risk.
The Hitachi Data Systems Certified Storage Professional 2006 Program is a new program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of Hitachi Data Systems partners, customers and personnel in storage architecture, implementation and administration of the company’s products and technology.
The company is leveraging industry-standard credentials, global-proctored testing, hands-on performance-based testing, Internet-non-proctored testing and Internet-proctored testing. Hitachi Data Systems also uses continuing education as one vehicle for recertification. The Hitachi Data Systems Academy is responsible for developing and implementing this global program.
The Hitachi Data Systems Certified Storage Professional 2006 Program is designed to meet the following goals:
- Provide validation of skills and knowledge to meet the business needs of Hitachi Data Systems.
- Increase customer and partner satisfaction leading to revenue growth.
- Create lifelong company advocates through continuing education, certification and qualification programs.
- Lower support costs by increasing the technical competencies of partners and Hitachi Data Systems personnel.
In order to obtain any technical certification, passing a Storage Foundations exam is required. Passing one of the Foundations exams also gains the participant the Hitachi Data Systems Certified Professional credential. These exams are delivered globally via Thomson-Prometric test centers.
In addition to the Certified Professional credential, the Hitachi Data Systems Academy now offers role-focused certification. This new design strategy was developed in response to customer and partner feedback for a more open program. The main roles in storage, based on industry research, are implementation, management and architecture. Because implementation has several different aspects, a tiered approach in this technical track was designed.
Also, in order to meet the needs of Hitachi Data Systems customers, partners and personnel, the company is leveraging vendor-neutral storage industry credentials offered by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). In doing so, the certification program will be able to focus specifically, and in detail, on Hitachi Data Systems products, technologies, solutions and best practices.
Hitachi Data Systems credentials are now recognized as one of the possible vendor credentials needed to obtain the SNIA Certified Storage Networking Expert designation. This eases the burden on resources to create exams and enables participants to take advantage of credentials that are used in two different but complementary major storage certification programs.
From Installation to Implementation
Prior to this year, the Hitachi Data Systems certification program focused on installation, with the most successful part of the program being the hands-on training experience. As part of the transition process and to leverage that success, the company successfully piloted performance-based testing using the hands-on labs. A companion Internet-based test comes with every performance-based test and is proctored by Hitachi Data Systems personnel. For the performance-based tests and their companion tests, attending classroom training is required.
There is a new Hitachi Data Systems Implementation exam in place today for implementation professionals who should have strong knowledge and skills using and deploying the company’s hardware and software products involved in storage-solutions implementations. As system integrators, they can provide pre- and post-installation support services and have thorough knowledge of problem-determination and incident-resolution tools and techniques.
The architect track is designed for Hitachi Data Systems employees and selected partners that examine data and information requirements from a business perspective and respond with solutions, defined as a hardware and software architecture that meets the requirements.
This track leverages the SNIA Architect exam, which focuses on assessment, planning and design. It also will include testing on Hitachi Data Systems best practices and cover such areas as risk analysis, storage economics, business continuity and storage infrastructure and management.
The storage manager track is designed for Hitachi Data Systems customers, partners and employees that are involved with planning and solution architecture, as well as with the execution of tactical elements in storage networking operations.
This track leverages the SNIA Storage Management exam, which examines areas such as allocating storage, planning connectivity and backup/recovery. It also will include testing on Hitachi Data Systems storage management best practices.
Test Delivery Variety
As part of the role-centric certification, besides proctored tests, Hitachi Data Systems will be using non-proctored Internet-based tests to help meet time-to-market demands. The key objective for the Internet-based non-proctored tests is to create a value-added experience for the participant.
For recertification in 2007, the program is designed to leverage continuing education and non-proctored Internet-based testing.
The variety of test delivery vehicles is designed to match the recognized value of the credential with the business needs of Hitachi Data Systems partners, customers and employees. Certification credentials also will be leveraged within the company’s partner programs.
Certification will provide professionals working with Hitachi Data Systems storage products with technology credentials validating their level of expertise and will establish their companies as leaders in the storage industry.
Benefits for participants include:
- Validated skills and knowledge.
- Peer recognition.
- Increased value to the company.
- Targeted skills as an industry professional.
- More business due to validated expertise.
Sales Qualification Program
In addition to the technical certifications, there is also a Sales Qualification Program designed for Hitachi Data Systems partners and sales professionals. The supporting objectives for this program include:
- Create time-to-market training material and online assessments to meet the needs of the sales professional.
- Create easy-to-consume assessments.
- Develop assessments that include value-add information to make it a worthwhile experience.
Peter Manijak is a director at the Hitachi Data Systems Academy and is responsible for the certification program. Peter can be reached at email@example.com.