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Cisco reports ramp-up in IP telephony certs

Cisco says the number of IP telephony certifications it issued during the first half of 2003 was unprecedented -- during that period, the company issued a number equal to the entirety of what it had issued before. An analyst calls the certification "very marketable."

Cisco Systems Inc. recently announced that the number of IP telephony certifications it issued between Dec. 31, 2002, and July 2003 was equal to the number of all IP telephony certs the company had previously issued.

Cisco offers three IP telephony certifications: design, support and operations. The company did not say how many individuals received certifications, but the growth trend is at a higher rate than overall industry growth for voice over Internet Protocol systems.

Cisco now has 10,000 IP telephony customers worldwide and has delivered more than 2 million IP phones to customers.

The growing demand for Cisco IP telephony certifications is to be expected, said Ed Tittel, president of the Austin, Texas-based IT training and consulting firm LANWrights Inc.

"The majority of large corporate networks and the vast majority of service provider networks are based on Cisco products," he said. As those businesses begin moving to IP telephony, they will look for people with expertise in Cisco networks, he said.

Most large companies are now beginning to plan or implement IP telephony systems, said Irwin Lazar, practice manager for Midvale, Utah-based consulting firm the Burton Group. Given the burst of activity around IP telephony, there is an increased demand for certified employees, and workers are beginning to respond to that opportunity, he said.

"IP telephony is a hot topic. And that makes it a very marketable certification right now," Lazar said.


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