Guest Blog by Elizabeth Coyne, Managing Editor at Light Reading, who is responsible for driving the curriculum and direction of Upskill U.  small pic

There is no doubt that CSPs are facing a talent crunch as they transition from traditional networks to virtualized, software-based New IP networks. Others in the industry are also facing that same challenge, including suppliers, enterprises and even standards development organizations and open source groups. There just aren’t enough people with the right skillsets to go around.

The good news is that Light Reading and Cisco are doing something about it. Together we are launching Upskill U, a free online university aimed at upskilling and reskilling the communications industry on a variety of key topics essential to success in the virtualized, software-based future, including: network functions virtualization (NFV), the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, telco data center, software-defined networking (SDN), open source, cyber security, 5G and more.

Upskill U’s goal is to educate business decision-makers around the industry on the latest technology changes impacting their businesses. But we are going beyond just acronyms like NFV, SDN, IoT, 5G and more, to offer insight and education on what these things are, what they mean for the industry and how businesses can leverage the changes to increase ROI.

Upskill U kicks into high gear with a module of four courses focused on virtualization. Roz Roseboro, senior analyst, Heavy Reading, will teach “Virtualization 101” on April 20 at 1 p.m. ET. She’ll tee up Josh Goodell, VP of Network on Demand & SVC Integration, AT&T, who is teaching a course on “Webifying the Network” on April 22, at 1 p.m. ET.

Upskill U courses are offered twice per week typically in the middle of the day so that North America and Latin America can “lunch and learn,” and folks in Europe can tune in at the end of their day. Courses are automatically archived so that they are available 24/7 for the rest of the world. All courses include an accompanying chat board where students can interact with each other and the lecturer – sharing experiences and knowledge – because upskilling in the industry today has to be a team effort.

Speaking of teams, Light Reading and Cisco have lined an exciting two weeks of initial courses, so hop on over to Upskill U and register today.

  • “Virtualization 101,” Wednesday, April 20, 1:00 p.m. ET: Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading, covers all the important aspects of virtualization, including what it is, why it’s important, how it’s impacting the industry, the challenges and benefits and more.
  • “Virtualization: Webifying the Network,” Friday, April 22, 1:00 p.m. ET: Josh Goodell, Vice President, Network on Demand & SVC Integration, AT&T, focuses on the many facets of transformation, including provisioning and deploying services, cultural changes, DevOps and Agile methodology and new developments like IoT.
  • “Virtualization: Network Design & Infrastructure,” Monday, April 25, 12:45 p.m. ET: Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University, discusses the different approaches to building a virtualized, all-IP network, key goals and challenges.
  • “Virtualization: Automation,” Friday, April 29, 1:00 p.m. ET: Carl Moberg, Technology Director, Cisco, covers how service providers can benefit from automation for security, provision, cost-savings and more, and what a good automation strategy looks like.

To find out more about why Cisco and Light Reading teamed up for Upskill U and the need for education in the industry, keep your eye on Upskill U for a short video interview with Doug Webster, Vice President, Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Stephen Saunders, Founder and CEO, Light Reading.

For the complete Upskill U schedule, visit our website: www.lightreading.com/upskillu



Greg Smith

Sr. Manager, Marketing

Cisco Solutions Marketing