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Interview: Greg Hills on HP Master Accredited Solutions Expert (MASE) Certification

Greg Hills' new HP Master Accredited Solutions Expert (MASE) Converged Infrastructure Architect certification helped him shift his focus from detail-oriented technical design to a more holistic and open approach.

Greg Hills is a strategic solutions architect for OnX Enterprise Solutions, one of the world’s largest enterprise data center solutions providers. With his company’s encouragement, Hills recently made the investment to earn the HP Master Accredited Solutions Expert (MASE) Converged Infrastructure Architect certification. The credential helped him develop the skills to shift his focus from detail oriented technical design to a more holistic and open approach to addressing his clients’ business needs and problems.

The Master ASE Converged Infrastructure Architect certification is the highest level of certification issued by HP. The credential validates that the certified professional thoroughly understands how to address an organization’s business needs with an adaptable technology architecture that is ready for the next era of computing. According to Foote Partners, there’s a big need for IT professionals who are able to view a business holistically and design a total, seamless computing solution that will meet the business needs now and into the future.

Candidates for the Master ASE Converged Infrastructure Architect program typically have a minimum of 10 years experience in enterprise-level infrastructure design. They also must possess all the foundational knowledge in infrastructure frameworks as well as technologies such as servers, storage, networking, management and software, power and cooling, data centers, virtualization and cloud computing. Most candidates have certifications and/or experience with numerous vendors’ enterprise products, which helps them understand and overcome integration issues with multi-vendor solutions.

GoCertify interviewed Greg Hills to get his perspective of earning this master level certification. In his 25 year IT career, he has earned numerous certifications, and we wanted to know why he thought one more credential would help him be a better solutions architect.

GoCertify: How many years have you been in the IT business? 

Greg Hills: 25 years, total. For 10 years I worked in a corporate IT department, and for the past 15 years I’ve been a technical architect for a value-added reseller.

GoCertify: You already have quite a few IT certifications. What drove you to earn the HP Master ASE Converged Infrastructure Architect certification?

Greg Hills: In part, the desire to test my years of experience and prove my abilities were up to the high standards that had been defined for the certification. Also, my employer was very supportive of this certification because it would help open a new level of communication with our clients.

GoCertify: How do you expect the HP Master ASE Converged Infrastructure Architect certification will help you in your career?

Greg Hills: This certification provides a completely new approach and discussion with customers. Instead of focusing on technical knowledge and skills, the MASE Converged Infrastructure Architect credential gets you to think first about a company’s business needs and then how technology solutions can be applied to enable the business overall.

I believe this certification will begin to open more discussions to the Director and C-level positions and will be viewed more favorably  by my clients for the value of the business discussion. What I learned through this certification has also changed the perception of those C-level people when we are having discussions. No longer am I viewed as a “keyboard jockey” or a “board swapper,” but now there is an understanding that I am participating to help with them with their business. I can demonstrate to them that I have a complete understanding of the needs they have and can “translate” those needs into a business case that executive management can understand.