Initially available for data protection and high availability
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Veritas Software this weekend introduced a certification testing program for its solution provider partners aimed at giving them the same level of certification as the vendor's own direct sales consultants.
The testing, to be administered by Vue, an independent certification company, is still limited in focus, but plans are under way to expand until it eventually covers the majority of Veritas' storage management software products.
Veritas some time ago decided it needed to ensure quality people were available for installing its products, and so it instituted the Top Gun program, a six-week training program for its internal consultants, said Anthony DeCicco, senior vice president of global professional services at Veritas. Now the company is rolling Top Gun to its partners, he said.
There are two initial areas to the new certification program, DeCicco said. The first area includes data protection and focuses mainly on NetBackup backup-and-restore technologies. The second area includes high availability and focuses on Veritas Cluster Server technologies.
Future plans call for certification in other areas such as data replication, disaster recovery, business continuance and storage area networking, DeCicco said.
In addition, solution providers can certify as a level one or a level two expert in these areas. Level one certification is related to technical knowledge, while level two is focused on solutions and design, DeCicco said. The test for level one certification cost about $150 and is expected to start next week.
Partners with years of expertise in Veritas products may be able to test out for certification without taking any classes, DeCicco said. Level two testing will commence at a future date to be determined, he said.
With certification, solution providers become a virtual extension of Veritas, DeCicco said. "Certification gives you the right people, the right approach, so you can guarantee success in the data center," he said.
Veritas will be certifying individuals, not solution provider companies, because people often change jobs, DeCicco said. Veritas will require partners to have a certain number of certified people on their staff in order to reach particular status as a Veritas partner, he said. However, the vendor has yet to determine those numbers.
The certification process will be open to any Veritas partners, and the company is not looking to restrict certification to a limited number of solution providers, said DeCicco. He expects to have about 200 certified solution providers by the end of the year. "We'd like to have everybody certified in Veritas technology if at all possible," he said.
This program is not limited to the enterprise level, but DeCicco said that enterprises are where most of the storage networking complexities lie. Even so, certification, especially at level one, would be beneficial to SMB partners, he said.
The certification allows partners to assess and deploy Veritas' products to its clients, but they can also resell Veritas' professional services, he said.