Lotus: Premium Skills for Career Success
As the creator of the collaboration software market, Lotus Software knows what it takes to deliver real competitive advantage to its customers. This unwavering focus helps Lotus customers around the globe retain leadership in a broad range of markets. As a result, IBM Lotus Notes and Domino has enjoyed uninterrupted market leadership since its release in 1989 in integrated collaborative environments. A recent report from IDC (July 2003) confirmed IBM Lotus as the clear leader in this market with a 49 percent market share.
Additionally, 73 percent of companies standardizing on an instant messaging platform have selected Lotus Sametime Instant Messaging, according to Osterman Research. And according to IDC’s report, the market for Web-based conferencing, in which IBM Lotus is the leader, is expected to grow 22 percent next year. Growth means opportunity for skilled,certified professionals in these technologies.
In order to meet the growing need for skills in this market area, Lotus offers a certification program focusing on Collaborative Solutions. This credential is distinct from the Notes and Domino title.
The Collaborative Solutions certification program covers products such as Lotus Sametime Instant Messaging, Lotus Domino.doc Document Manager, Lotus Workflow, Lotus Discovery Server and Lotus Quickplace Team Workplace. These products allow customers to collaborate through Web conferencing, instant messaging, team workplaces and presence awareness to speed business decisions; to search for information and subject-matter experts from multiple locations, increasing knowledge sharing and decreasing time spent looking for needed resources; and to develop, manage and monitor all their business processes and help them eliminate the downfalls of paper-based work.
Certification: A Formula for Success
To support these market-leading products and the skills needed to support them in the marketplace, IBM Software Group developed a new certification program that is standardized across the five software brands, Lotus, WebSphere, Tivoli, DB2 and Rational. All of this is backed by IBM, the leader in e-business on demand.
The new IBM Certified Professional program offers multiple levels and job roles that are easily recognizable in technology professions. This includes the renaming of the Certified Lotus Professional (CLP) program to IBM Certified Professional.
What does that mean for someone with a Lotus certification? Your skills will be at a premium, bringing both interesting jobs and excellent salaries. And the credential is backed by IBM, the leader in e-business on demand.
The proper development of a professional certification program is critical to its success. Lotus works to ensure that the exams developed and the certification titles defined are a meaningful measure of an individual’s ability to perform specific job functions. This is done through industry consensus, which includes thorough job task analysis and continual surveying.
Lotus’ performance-based exams are based on real-world scenarios as defined by subject-matter experts—people who actually perform the tasks. All exams go through a beta-testing period and thorough analysis before release. Lotus globalizes its exams, ensuring that the more than 75,000 candidates certified have fair, valid and reliable exams.
Choose Your Certification Level
Lotus Software offers three levels of professional certification: Certified Associate, designed as an entry-level certification; Certified Professional, recognized as Lotus’ expert certification; and Certified Advanced Professional, which indicates greater technical depth. Lotus also offers two levels of instructor certification: Certified Associate Instructor for those instructors delivering training to end-users and Certified Professional Instructor for those teaching Lotus’ technical courses at Education Centers for IBM Software (ECIS, formerly known as LAECs).
Certified Associates enter the Collaborative Solutions certification program by passing a single performance-based exam. Candidates can choose from any one of the eight Collaborative Solutions exams for either systems administrators or developers. After passing your first Associate-level exam and earning that certification, you immediately begin receiving benefits, such as access to the private Web site, where you can find technical information and special offers and chat with your peers in the Lotus Certification forum.
For those seeking the most rewards of certification, Lotus recommends the Certified Professional (formerly CLP) credential. The Professional credential is designed to acknowledge experts in the fields of systems administration and development. Each Professional title requires the successful completion of three performance-based exams. Exams are delivered by three testing vendors: Prometric, Promissor (formerly CATGlobal) and IBM Test Centers.
Professional System Administrators show proven expertise with installation and configuration, monitoring, maintenance and operations, and controlling communications. The overall competencies measured are infrastructure, planning and design, installation and setup, systems security, applications security and troubleshooting. System Administrators at the Professional level for Collaborative Solutions must pass any three of the following four exams: #531, Administering Quickplace; #533, Domino.doc Systems Administration; #542, Administering Sametime; or #534, Implementing Lotus Discovery Server.
Professional Developers demonstrate broad knowledge and skills of these products and earn recognition for building applications to improve collaboration between departments. Specifically, accomplished individuals have proven expertise in application architecture, application development, application security and application documentation. Application Developers at the Professional level for Collaborative Solutions must pass any three of the following exams: #561, Developing Instant Collaborative Applications With QuickPlace; #572, Developing Web Applications in Sametime; #563, Domino.doc Customization; or #565, Developing Applications Using Lotus Workflow.
Professionals who wish to upgrade their credential to that of Advanced Professional need only pass an additional test in the track, as specified earlier. The details on certification and exam requirements can be found at the Lotus Certification Web site, at www.lotus.com/certification.
The Value of Lotus Certification
Sometimes a single factor can make the difference between a competitive advantage and a me-too proposition. That’s why professionals worldwide turn to certification programs. Lotus’ market leadership and expertise in certification programs provide the opportunity for professional advancement, greater credibility with peers and management, increased compensation and improvement in overall job performance.
The latest validation of IBM Lotus leadership by IDC serves as further proof that candidates can be confident in the continued benefits of partnering with the inventor—and undefeated world champion—of the collaboration software category.
Solidifying its leadership, Lotus has already begun to deliver on the “next generation” vision. Branded as “IBM Lotus Workplace,” this vision pulls together a complete suite of collaboration tools into a single, highly productive user interface. Lotus Workplace combines messaging, scheduling, awareness and instant messaging, Web conferences and team workplaces in a new model of collaboration platform, supporting custom development and mobile devices as well. Watch for upcoming details for certification on this new product.
For further information on Lotus’ Certification Program, visit the Web site at www.lotus.com/certification.