Specialized Cisco Certifications Prepare Business
In today’s rapidly changing business environments, the familiar mantra of management hasn’t really changed all that much: Increase productivity and reduce costs to keep a competitive edge with fewer resources. To meet these challenges, we take advantage of advanced technologies, which require new skills.
Cisco Systems has developed a collection of certified training options to help managers deliver on their mantra, specifically addressing advanced technologies, such as IP telephony, storage and wireless.
CIOs and IT managers worldwide have prioritized the need for training in these solutions to keep their projects moving forward smoothly. In the past year alone, the total number of focused certifications has increased by nearly 60 percent.
Calling All Networking Pros
IP telephony promises to release companies from traditional carriers, while providing cost savings and a variety of services. Corporate VoIP telephone lines will increase from 4 percent to 44 percent by 2008, according to Radicati Group. This expected increase has created an unprecedented demand for specialists, who have benefited from a 22 percent increase in bonus pay over the past two years, according to a report from Foote Partners.
Cisco recently announced the Cisco Unified Communications certification, a new IP telephony specialization. It consists of a new Cisco Unity Design Networking (CUDN) course, the Unified Communications for System Engineer (UCSE) course and a comprehensive exam. The goal is to address solutions built on the Cisco Business Ready systems for voice, video and integrated data, providing a framework for voice and video-over-IP networks. The certification validates proficiency in design, installation and support for a combined voice, video and data communications network solution.
Cisco IP Telephony-focused certifications include:
- Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialist: The Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialist certification was developed for those who design IP telephony multi-service network solutions. Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialists can design a scalable, converged network using quality of service (QoS), Cisco Call Manager clustering, H.323, media gateway control protocol (MGCP) or session initiation protocol (SIP), and can assess the scope of work required to integrate legacy TDM PBXs and voicemail systems into an existing data network.
- Cisco IP Telephony Express Specialist: The Cisco IP Telephony Express Specialist can install and maintain multi-service network solutions, with special emphasis on IP telephony fundamentals and Cisco’s Call Manager Express.
- Cisco IP Telephony Operations Specialist: The Cisco IP Telephony Operations Specialist certification was designed for those employees who operate and maintain IP telephony multi-service network solutions. Cisco IP Telephony Operations Specialists can configure and deploy complex Cisco Call Manager platforms using multiple-call control, call admission control (CAC) and basic call routing and dial plans, and have the skills and knowledge necessary to resolve connectivity issues related to traditional PSTN technology, PBX and voicemail systems.
- Cisco IP Telephony Support Specialist: The Cisco IP Telephony Support Specialist is trained to install and support IP telephony multi-service network solutions. Cisco IP Telephony Support Specialists can configure and troubleshoot complex Cisco Call Manager platforms using multiple-call control, call admission control (CAC) and basic call routing and dial plans. They possess a solid understanding of traditional PSTN technology and can resolve the connectivity issues related to legacy PBX and voice-mail systems.
- Cisco Unified Communications Design Specialist: Building on a strong foundational knowledge of Microsoft Exchange 2000 or 2003, the Cisco Unified Communications Design Specialist can install, configure, operate and maintain a Cisco Unity 4.0 system in both stand-alone voice-mail and unified messaging environments, and can also create a variety of sustainable Cisco Unity design solutions tailored to specific customer requirements.
Put It In Storage
IT managers now view storage as a strategic asset. The amount of data collected and stored as a result of the expansion of e-business worldwide continues to drive the demand for advanced storage networking solutions. According to a recent Yankee Group forecast, the storage networking market will deliver a five-year compound annual growth rate of nearly 10 percent.
To meet market demands, Cisco announced its Storage Networking Specialization. This new specialization focuses on the award-winning Cisco MDS 9000 multilayer switches. The training includes a structured road map to plan, design, implement and support intelligent storage area network (SAN) solutions based on Cisco technology.
For IT professionals, Cisco offers these Cisco Storage Networking Specialist certifications:
- Cisco Storage Networking Design Specialist: This specialization establishes an individual’s knowledge of selecting and integrating Cisco storage products to design a highly scalable, efficient, high-performing storage networking solution based on converged architecture. Cisco Storage Networking Design Specialist professionals understand how to utilize and employ the features and benefits of the Cisco MDS 9000 Series Multilayer Directors and Switches, Cisco MDS 9509 Director Switch, Cisco 9216 Fabric Switch and Cisco MDS 9120 products to create a high-availability storage network design.
- Cisco Storage Networking Support Specialist: This specialization validates an individual’s knowledge of installing, configuring and troubleshooting Cisco storage products to maintain a highly scalable, efficient, high-performing storage networking environment. Cisco Storage Networking Support Specialist professionals understand how to deploy and optimize the features and benefits of the Cisco MDS 9000 Series Multilayer Directors and Switches, Cisco MDS 9509 Director Switch, Cisco 9216 Fabric Switch and Cisco MDS 9120 products to provide fast and accurate resolution to network installation and customer service issues.
Cut the Cords
Wireless technologies are making inroads at businesses whose employees are taking advantage of workforce flexibility in the office, at home or when traveling. Wireless LAN sales will increase by 75 percent in 2004, and more heady days are ahead, according to a recent report published by Dell’Oro Group.
Cisco has noted that its wireless technology certification is experiencing rapid growth—more than an 80 percent increase in certifications issued in the past year. The Cisco Wireless LAN certification provides training for the design, deployment and maintenance of Cisco Wireless LAN solutions.
Cisco offers these wireless LAN certifications:
- Cisco Wireless LAN Design Specialist: As organizations adopt wireless LAN technology, they require qualified professionals who can design, install, support and operate a wireless LAN solution. Cisco Wireless LAN Specialists understand radio technologies associated with WLAN 802.11g standards, WLAN and bridge topologies and applications, can configure WLAN products including access points, bridges, client devices and accessories, can determine the best options and configure the appropriate security method for WLAN environments, understand basic antenna theory, can perform a site survey covering WLAN topology and design, and understand vertical market deployment and challenges, including equipment utility and cable awareness.
- Cisco Wireless LAN Support Specialist: As organizations adopt wireless LAN technology, they require qualified professionals who can design, install, support and operate a wireless LAN solution. Cisco Wireless LAN Specialists unde