Nortel Exams Support Convergence Technologies

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Nortel Networks has released two new exams: “Technology Standards and Protocols for IP Telephony Solutions” and “Technology Standards and Protocols for Converged Networks,” which replace the “VoIP Technology” and “IP Convergence” exams needed to earn Specialist and Expert certifications in the VoIP and IP Convergence portfolios. As part of a general update process, the new exams feature revised questions based on customer feedback with updated content to cover the latest in convergence technologies.

“We looked at the exams and first made sure that the content was relevant,” said Sandy Williams, portfolio manager, Nortel Networks. “We went through and made sure that the sections had an intuitive flow and were easy to understand and to follow. We also adjusted questions based on customer feedback—if questions were too hard, or they may have been ambiguous. We took all that feedback into consideration, and we evaluated each question and either deleted the question or made adjustments to make sure the questions were fair.”


Another part of the new test-development process was to verify that all items covered in the certification exam were covered in the training. “We also made sure that it was a pure focus technology exam and that there was no product focus at all,” said Williams. “Because this exam is a requirement for several of our certifications, we wanted to make sure that it was a neutral exam that could validate the VoIP knowledge for either a pre-sales or post-sales person.”


“We de-productized the exam, and we made it pure technology,” said Bill McFarlane director of the Nortel Networks Certification Program. “Like all exams, it went through the typical feedback-update-revise cycle. That’s nothing new, but the reason we focused on these two tests, they are both VoIP-technology-focused. I emphasize the word ‘technology’ because we’re finding as all of our products become IP-enabled, and as our customers are moving toward convergence and trying to run voice or video applications on an IP backbone, there’s definitely a need for our channel partners to understand the competency at the technology level. It isn’t that easy to have a smooth real-time application running on a data network unless you take certain things into consideration from a technology perspective, which are tested in these two exams—things like quality of service and the codec information and voice packetization and so on. These two tests do subtend and they’re a prerequisite to a lot of our product-specific certifications because we feel our partners need that VoIP-based competency on the technology to be successful as they use our products in an IP-enabled way.”


McFarlane added that customer feedback is especially critical because there must be a balance between what the customers have to say and where Nortel wants to take the evolution of its products and solutions in convergence. “We did extensive work to ensure that we took all feedback from the partners to re-create this exam. That’s really important to us,” said Williams.


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