HP Networking Certifying IT Pros for Converged Infrastructure

Are you a Cisco Certified networking professional? If so, you’re already on the road to earning certification from HP Networking.

HP today launched new training and certification programs under the name ExpertONE. As part of the ExpertONE program, HP is adding new certifications for training IT personnel about converged infrastructure. For those with existing Cisco certifications, HP has a fast track program that will recognize prior learning as part of the ExpertONE certification process.

“What we’ve heard from our customers and partners is that today’s IT certification and training programs develop skills for yesterday’s IT environment,” Lyle Speirs, director, sales and marketing, Global Certification and Learning at HP told InternetNews.com.

Speirs noted that the HP ExpertONE programs aims to improve the content, relevancy and delivery model of IT training and certification. At the top level of ExpertONE program is the new Master Accredited Systems Engineer (ASE) Converged Infrastructure Architect Certification.

“The goal of the Converged Infrastructure Architect is to engage across the entire IT landscape and ensure that the change management and governance processes are adapted to meet requirements,” Rebekah Harvey, director, training and enablement at HP Networking told InternetNews.com. “Candidates for Converged Infrastructure Architect must demonstrate that their solution is not only technically sound, but also financially sound. So the fact that they have to cost justify their solutions is critical.”

Harvey said that the target audience for the Converged Infrastructure Architect certification is people who directly advise CIOs.

Cisco Fast Track

As a way to help IT professionals leverage their existing skills and certifications, HP Networking is also providing what they call ‘Fast Track’ options for those with Cisco certifications. Under the Fast Track programs, candidates for HP certification will get credit for their existing Cisco certification to help expedite the training curriculum.

The Fast Track option for Cisco certified professionals may be seen as a competitive attempt to lure people to HP Networking platforms. Competition between HP and Cisco has accelerated this year with HP’s acquisition of 3Com, and Cisco dumping HP as a certified partner.

“Any opportunity you have to bring more people on board and make them knowledgeable about your products, the more opportunity you have to build loyalty and increase sales,” Harvey said. “But I wouldn’t say that is necessary the main goal.”

Speirs added that HP’s approach is about embracing other certifications and allowing professionals to expand their skills by getting an HP certification.

With ExpertONE, HP is also trying to provide IT professionals with training and skills that could extend across multiple vendors. Though HP is pitching the need to be interoperable when it comes to IT training, that’s not exactly the same message it has at the corporate level, where the company uses only its own equipment. HP recently announced that its data centers had gone ‘Cisco-Free’ and were only running HP Networking gear.

“The use of HP’s own technology in our data center demonstrates our capability to use our own products to their maximum potential,” Speirs said. “I don’t know that there was any prior thought about creating irony in the marketplace, I would say that today we provide end-to-end solutions with our converged infrastructure strategy that allow us to use our own products to the best of their ability internally.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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