HP Redirects Training, Certification Towards Converged Infrastructure

Vendor overhauls, rebrands program to pinpoint skills necessary for open networking and data center environments. Offers 16 new certifications, and network planning and migration services.

October 23, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Hewlett-Packard Co. said it has redesigned its training and certification programs to map to its vision of the data center as an open, industry standard-based convergence of multiple technologies and platforms, a position and strategy it first articulated about a year ago.

HP said that the program, rebranded as ExpertOne, has been constructed to offer a repertoire of technology and business skills necessary to convert proprietary data centers into open environments framed on the vendor’s converged infrastructure design.

In outlining its plans at the Interop trade show in New York City, HP said that the program prepares channel partners and IT professionals to enact its blueprint for the data center, which, it contends, redirects technology spending away from maintenance and toward innovation.

“Organizations are transitioning from multiple technology silos that are closed, complex and costly to Converged Infrastructure environments that are open, efficient and easy to manage,” said Susan Underhill, HP vice president, Global Certification and Learning.

“HP ExpertONE supports the network and data center of the future by developing a workforce with comprehensive technology skills combined with business acumen,” Underhill said.

The vendor said that training courses under the ExpertOne program will be delivered online, as self-study, or in person at some 150 authorized learning centers and academic institutions globally.

Vendor details 16 new certifications

Under the ExpertOne program, HP will offer two new certifications for converged infrastructure and 14 for networking, the latter of which are segmented by the categories integration, architect, sales and support.

Of the two converged infrastructure certifications, the higher level, or Master Accredited Systems Engineer (MASE), covers business processes, ROI analysis and technology. Candidates must be sponsored and submit an application for board review. The certification will be available beginning in January, 2011.

Twelve of HP’s new networking certifications will be available in November, 2010, officials said. Two advanced networking integration certifications won’t be ready until January, 2011.

HP said that its networking certifications can be fast-tracked based on a candidate’s existing credentials. For example, partners well-versed in one technology need not cover the same ground again but may move to another technology in seeking additional networking credentials.

Individuals certified under the ExpertOne program will receive a free membership to Connect, an independent, online community of HP business technology professionals.

HP also said that its Technology Services division will deliver consulting services in open standards network planning and migration services to help businesses map out a transition from a proprietary environment to an open network infrastructure.

David Foote, Foote Partners LLC chief executive and chief research officer, rubber stamped HP’s thinking in structuring the ExpertOne program.

“There’s been a void in converged skills training programs--too many certifications programs are still focused on specific servers, storage or networking technologies,” Foote said.

“HP’s ExpertOne program is attempting to fill this void by offering comprehensive cross-domain training that spans every part of the converged enterprise data center, from architecture to maintenance,” he said. “From a skills acquisition perspective, this is where most IT organizations are heading.”

Foote Partners is a Vero Beach, FL-based researcher best known for its IT compensation surveys, in which it reports on the pay, attitudes, and workplace experiences of some100,000 IT workers in 2,000 businesses in North America.

Foote’s quarterly update of its report, IT Skills and Certification Pay Index , indicated that pay for 219 IT certifications, including those of HP, Cisco Systems Inc., IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp., VMware Inc., and others, unexpectedly rose in the second quarter of 2010, the first quarterly increase since the same period in 2006.

TAGS: certification,HP,training,Converged Infrastructure,ExpertOne

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