The SIP School Offers Excellent Voice and Telephony Certs and Training
The area of convergent technology, which brings together VoIP, computer telephony, unified communications, and more, is one where vendor platforms (like those from Cisco, Avaya, and others) rule. One problem with certifications in this arena is a paucity of vendor-neutral offerings to help IT pros ground themselves in the field's basic concepts, tools, protocols, and technologies, before jumping into the deep end into such specific vendor platforms.
That's why I was delighted when Graham Francis, the CEO of a U.K. organization named The SIP School, reached out to ask me why I hadn't included his program in a recently-updated survey of this certification niche. I honestly had no idea until he told me that The SIP School has already signed up more than 23,000 students for training, with a certified population specifically on SIP in excess of 7,500 individuals.
A SIP from the Cup of Knowledge
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. For those not already in the know, SIP is the foundational protocol on which real-time voice (and related time-sensitive) communications protocols rest, and the basis for well-known services such as Voice over IP (VoIP).
The SIP School's flagship certification is its SSCA (SIP School Certified Associate), for which a detailed curriculum (PDF format) is readily available. That curriculum consists of 12 required and one optional module which together provide a terrific general overview of so-called "convergent technologies" that include VoIP, computer telephony, Unified Communications, and more.
The SIP School baker's dozen of courses cover the following topics:
1) Core SIP
3) SIP and the PSTN
4) SIP, VVoIP and QoS
5) SIP Security and Identity
6) Firewalls, NAT and Session Border Controllers
6) SIP trunking
8) Testing, Troubleshooting and Interoperability
9) ENUM, Peering and Interconnect
10) SIP in the Cloud, LTE, the IMS and VoLTE
11) SIP and Fax over IP
12) SIP with Unified Communications
13) WAN Broadband Assessment for SIP trunking
The SIP School recommends basic networking certs such as Network+, CCENT, CCNA, or CCNP as useful background for data networking fundamentals, but does not impose them as prerequisites, per se. They offer training + exam bundles (U.S. $451.25), as well as training-only (U.S. $375) or exam-only (U.S. $100) pricing.
The aforelinked Curriculum PDF includes a detailed course outline which also serves as a handy-dandy exam blueprint.
In addition, The SIP School also offers other certifications, including the SSVVP (SIP School Voice and Video over IP) and SSSP (SIP School Sales Professional) credentials. If you're looking for background skills and knowledge in the area of voice and video over IP, and a good place to start down this particular certification path, then check out The SIP School.
Thanks to its affordable on-demand training and cert testing offerings, it's a good option in an option-starved IT niche. If you have a strong interest in SIP, but don't want to get locked into vendor-specific technology, then you'll want to check it out!