Nortel Networks Inc. has released the first certification exam to support a series of 18 new voice-over-IP certifications, called the Enterprise VoIP Certification program.
The new exam, VoIP Technology (#920-801), along with additional product exams, will be required elements of two new classes of VoIP certifications from Nortel: the VoIP Specialist, which focuses on small-site LANs, and the VoIP Expert, which focuses on larger sites and WANs.
Each exam has recommended training courses associated with it. Course costs vary depending on the complexity of the material covered, the delivery method and the duration of the training. Exams are available from Prometric. The VoIP certifications require two or three exams, depending on the specific product covered by a given certification. Each exam costs $125.
According to Bill McFarlane, director of certification at Nortel, in Raleigh, N.C., the company plans to roll out the remaining required exams for the VoIP certifications through the first quarter of next year. In general, said McFarlane, three days of technical training and between five and 10 days of product training plus exams will be required for candidates to obtain the VoIP Specialist certification. At least five days of technical training and five days of product training will be required for the VoIP Expert designation. Within the VoIP Specialist category, candidates can choose from 10 product- or technology-specific certifications. Within the VoIP Expert category, candidates can choose from eight product- or technology-specific certifications.
With the new VoIP training and certification programs, said VoIP Training Leader Jim Gazdic, Nortel is attempting to increase the rate of successful enterprise VoIP deployments. According to a recent survey by consulting firm Ashton, Metzler & Associates, in Sanibel, Fla., 39 percent of enterprises found VoIP deployments more difficult than anticipated. And 22 percent of those currently using VoIP blamed lack of staff to plan or deploy the technology as a principal challenge.
At the same time, Nortel said, at years end, it will retire three certifications. They include the Nortel Networks Certified Support Specialist-Voice Solutions, the Nortel Networks Certified Design Expert (3C Design Expert) and the Nortel Networks Certified Support Expert (3C Support Expert). Professionals currently holding those certifications will maintain active certification, the company said. Candidates working toward those certifications will need to complete requirements by Dec. 31, 2002.