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Communications Developer: November 10, 2009 eNewsLetter
November 10, 2009

Cisco Sets Up Telepresence, Voice & UC Technologies Certification, Training Programs

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor

Telepresence (News - Alert) is growing in popularity as it enables enterprises to sharply reduce travel and with this save considerable expenses and emissions and avoid productivity losses incurred by having senior staff out of the office. These tools are not inexpensive, though, and can be complex to set up and maintain.

To ensure that organizations maximize the benefits from telepresence and encourage others to buy these solutions by enabling more effective internal support, Cisco (News - Alert) is extended its education program to ease the adoption of these networking technologies. It has launched two new certifications that validate the skills that professionals need to implement and support Cisco TelePresence deployments. These are the Cisco TelePresence Solutions Specialist and the Cisco TelePresence Installations Specialist.  
·                     The Cisco TelePresence Solutions Specialist certification, which focuses on the job-performance needs of a voice specialist or networking engineer who seeks to specialize in the planning, design, implementation (PDI) and maintenance of Cisco TelePresence deployments. Tasks include assessing network paths for rich media, evaluating call-control design options and configuring interoperability functions. The CCNA certification is a pre-requisite
·                     The Cisco TelePresence Installations Specialist certification, which focuses on the job-performance needs of an installation technician seeking to master the physical deployment and construction of single-screen Cisco TelePresence Systems (the 500, 1000, 1100 and 1300 series). Tasks include assessing room readiness, tuning cameras/microphones and installing high-definition screens. While there is no pre-requisite certification, a working understanding of basic Internet-based device connections is highly recommended. Information about courseware and exams is scheduled to be available in early 2010.
Cisco is also enhancing training for its unified communications (UC) solutions as UC is becoming a vital tool to help enterprises retain and develop customer relationships through enabling collaborative, streamlined, and more productive multichannel communications. To help organizations maximize utilization of voice technologies in Cisco’s UC products the firm has developed The Cisco 360 Learning Program for CCIE Voice. It provides role-based training aimed at network engineers to build expert-level skills and help participants prepare for the rigorous Cisco CCIE Voice Lab Exam. Candidates should have already passed the CCIE Voice Written Exam before beginning this program. 
The 360 Training for CCIE Voice strengthens the students’ command of technical topics and develops the skills necessary to tackle the types of expert-level configuration and troubleshooting challenges that appear in UC networks. This program has proven to be the best path for experts to adopt if they are trying to maximize their hands-on knowledge and troubleshooting skills. The new program is scheduled to be available through Authorized Learning Partners on Dec. 7, 2009.
The new Cisco certification programs are well-timed. Frost & Sullivan predicts the telepresence market may reach $4.7 billion in revenue worldwide by 2014. Analysis from IDC (News - Alert) and Cisco indicates that the compound annual growth rates for intercompany telepresence network services and multipoint telepresence network services are 209 percent and 154 percent, respectively. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2008-2013, Internet video is now approximately one-third of all consumer Internet traffic; by 2013 the sum of all forms of video – IPTV (News - Alert), video on demand, Internet and peer-to-peer – will account for over 91 percent of global consumer traffic.
“The rapid evolution of video and voice collaboration technologies provides a tremendous opportunity to change the way the world communicates and represents a complex addition to the skills and capabilities of network and voice administrators and developers,” Cushing Anderson, program vice president for IDC's IT Education and Certification research, said. “Market-focused education and certification programs for new job roles such as video, voice and telepresence specialists are essential to assure the return on enterprise investments in these new technologies is fully maximized.”
“As network environments become more complex and sophisticated, incorporating the latest collaborative technologies can help businesses expedite decision making, enhance productivity and improve relationships,” Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, general manager, Learning@Cisco, said. “The implementation of these advanced technologies requires highly trained IT professionals to manage escalating end-user needs for real-time collaboration. Cisco authorized training and certifications provide organizations and individuals with the technical knowledge and expertise needed to capitalize on the evolution of networking technology.”

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire


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