Cisco Announces Expansion of Cisco Collaborations Credentials

Cal Coolidge

In 1926 President Calvin Coolidge earmarked 3 million dollars to promote the aviation industry and its impact on commerce. He felt strongly that air-travel, as railroads had done, would open a new world of opportunity and communication for business and consumers. As Coolidge put it, "I believe in the transformative power of new technology and ideas."


Cisco also believes in the power of new technologies and ideas to transform the way business happens. Earlier today, Cisco announced the expansion of its portfolio of collaboration certification. Cisco already offers a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Collaboration certification, and now is taking the next step.


The collaborations model will now embrace the associate (CCNA) and professional levels (CCNP) of the Cisco certification pyramid. According to press materials, this development addresses the convergence of voice, video, data and mobile applications for mid-size to large networks utilizing the latest Cisco collaboration solutions.


With the addition of associate and professional level collaboration certifications to Cisco's expert-level collaboration credentials, individuals now have a complete career path to designing, implementing and maintaining Cisco collaboration solutions. 


Like the railways and "aeroplanes" of yesteryear, the IT industry is transforming business and society. Consumer demands and the speed of change in the IT industry are forcing companies to embrace new business models of collaboration in order to meet the neverending challenges of expanding mobility, ease of use, integration, security and cost.


Today's workers are more connected and need to stay abreast of IT changes to be competitive in their jobs and industries. "For many professionals, work is no longer a place where you go, it's where you are, who you are and what you want to accomplish," said Tejas Vashi, director, product strategy and marketing for Learning@Cisco and Cisco Services. "Keeping up with the pace of change, and the rapid, continuous evolution of job roles and skills, is essential to business success."


One aspect of the evolving workforce is the large percentage of workers regularly operating away from their offices. It's estimated that within the next year 40% of the U.S. workforce will be mobile and able to conduct business anytime and anyplace.


Today's consumers expect the seamless ability to accomplish things in real-time, wherever and whenever they may be. The rapid proliferation of collaboration technologies and end points has naturally caused a convergence of voice and video job roles, and resulted in an increased need for collaboration engineers that are highly-skilled and properly trained.


Collaboration is also increasing among employees, vendors and customers like never before. On average, 60 percent of employees collaborate with at least 10 people in their day-to-day work with teams often spread geographically — anywhere from across town to around the world. Last year saw a 57 percent increase in employees who collaborated from off-site locations.


Additionally, the nature of work itself has become more collaborative. In the past, IT platforms were generally relegated to the desk-top — now it's a common sight to see them everywhere, in manufacturing and shipping floors, airports, and across the table at a lunch meeting.  


The new collaboration certifications were carefully developed with the help of industry partners and professionals to test the knowledge and skills expected of today's in-demand collaboration professionals. "Creating an exceptional collaboration experience is key to driving measurable business outcomes, especially as the workforce continues to transform," said Cushing Anderson, program vice president for project-based services research, IDC.


"Following technology innovation in the collaboration space with comprehensive staff education and certifications will ensure organizations are getting the most from every IT staff member, as well as the technical systems they direct," Anderson said.


Cisco has long been on the forefront of collaboration certifications and upgrades. In 2013 they evolved their existing CCIE Voice certification to CCIE Collaboration to reflect advances in network collaboration far beyond simple audio phone calls to include solutions for voice, video, IM presence, and call centers.


CCNA Voice and CCNA Video will be retired in August of this year and CCNP Voice sometime in the fall. Candidates will be able to migrate to the respective CCNA Collaboration certification and CCNP Collaboration certification fairly easy.


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About the Author
Calvin Harper

Calvin Harper is a writer, editor, and publisher who has covered a variety of topics across more than two decades in media. Calvin is a former GoCertify associate editor.