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Meeting the demand for Cloud technology skills

What makes the cloud such an attractive option for enterprises? The cloud empowers IT to act as a broker of business critical IT services. It helps the organization become a more proactive player that can aggregate, integrate, and customize the delivery of cloud services to meet specific business needs. Instead of working in a technology vacuum or owning the entire IT value chain, IT can make build or buy decisions in the context of IT services sourcing recommendations. Meet critical business objectives

Businesses in every industry are rapidly embracing the cloud. They want the agility, security, and performance that cloud technology delivers. And they want the flexibility to deploy their choice of workloads securely to the cloud. This growing demand for cloud services is creating new opportunities for cloud providers and driving new job roles and responsibilities.

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How Cisco Certifications Landed Me the Coolest Job in South Florida; Literally

When I started with my first Cisco router back in 1995, I never would have imagined I would someday be the technology lead for an ice arena of an NHL team. I also would never have predicted the impact that having a Cisco certification would have on being recruited to that position.

Most of my career up until now was spent working in the small and medium business space, primarily on ISP and telecom space working with voice and networks with some software and infrastructure design in the middle. Cisco was a large part of everything that I did from routing and switching to voice over frame relay followed by voice over IP, with a large emphasis on small bandwidth efficiency and signalling. I’m even the lead inventor on an issued patent relating to intelligent rerouting of fax traffic on VoIP systems.

I never thought much about certifications. I have a BA in Economics which has served me well as a business owner and largely found all my work via word of mouth. There were not a lot of people who understood VoIP payload and signalling tuning, starting from the MC3810 and up through the as5300/as5800 series. This was primarily in international carrier / wholesale VoIP traffic and engineering.

As VoIP became more of a commodity good and the cost of equipment came down, this market dried up. In hindsight, I should have paid more attention to Cisco exiting that market, which proved to be a good decision. As my clients and partners moved on to other ventures and I was forced to begin prospecting.

Suddenly, here I was with 30 years since I’d written my first program and roughly 20 years of internet and Cisco experience and I was struggling. I had a lot of experience, but didn’t have a portfolio of work that included any big names, mostly small businesses that no one had heard of. I needed a way to give new clients the confidence to call me. I knew that once I started the conversation, I could close the deal. Before that, however, I needed to actually get that call or email. Read More »

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Prove Your Collaboration Expertise with Cisco Certifications

The way we work – and where we work – has changed immensely in the past decade alone. That transformation will continue with the ongoing proliferation of communications devices.

According to Gartner, an estimated 40% of the workforce will be mobile by 2016. In addition, more organizations have employees in different buildings, cities, states, and even countries.

Collaboration is critical to business success and innovation, but the changes in the workplace require new ways to collaborate. No longer can you rely on being able to huddle at the cubicle down the hall.

Fortunately, advancing technologies have empowered people to engage and innovate anywhere, anytime.

To support this transition, today’s IT staff must wear multiple hats. Gone are the days when you’d have a dedicated voice guru, a specialized video expert, and someone else to support collaboration tools. Multiple trends are converging and with them, IT job roles are blending. In many organizations, video and voice specialist roles have converged to become a single specialty.

As a network engineer, how do you convey and prove that you have the skill set to deliver business value using Cisco collaboration solutions? Through Read More »

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Value of Cisco Certifications: Making Money Vs. Study

Imagine that you see a Tweet today inviting you to apply for a part-time networking job, something you can do in addition to your normal job. You appear to be qualified for the job, and the work looks interesting as well. However, it requires enough of your time so that you would have to set aside your current professional development plans, including study for that next Cisco certification. The job lasts one year.

Would you take the job, setting aside your certification plans for a year? How much money would you need to make in that job before it would entice you to abandon your learning and certification plans for a year?

This post works through a couple of ideas (like the above) about how to quantify the value of a certification. Many people expect that more skills and certifications will give them more Read More »

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Why I Certify

I’m a addicted to certifications. I’ve always been good at taking tests, but I didn’t realize how rewarding it could be until relatively recently. I had been in IT for 15 years as a sysadmin and certification had never seemed valuable to me. In 2009, I made the shift from working primarily as a System Engineer to working primarily as a Network Engineer. In 2010, I had the opportunity to attend my first Cisco Live. Attendees of Cisco Live! have the option to take a certification exam for free, so I figured I would take the CCNA composite exam while I was there. I borrowed the Cisco CCNA Official Certification Library from a coworker (all 1500 pages or so) and proceeded to spend the months before the conference reading them. (I took an earlier version of the exam and read an earlier version of the books, but the links are to the current versions).

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