110hed_big8_5_cert,gif|Cisco Qualified Specialist Certifications

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Through its Cisco Qualified Specialist certifications, Cisco aims to help its partners focus on specific technologies and hone their skills to differentiate themselves from competitors.

As such, the wide-ranging certification family, which includes technical, design, sales and support badges across 10 technologies, earned a fifth-place ranking among the Big 8. Solution providers ranked the certifications third on return on investment, with an average 33.7 percent ROI. Cisco specialists also received the third highest pay raises of any technical classification, averaging 10.1 percent in 2003.

“For us, they’re very important,” said Dana Zahka, president and CEO of Select, a solution provider in Westwood, Mass. “You need them to have the depth of knowledge, to provide clients with the right skill sets,” she said.

Select also touts its Cisco specialist certifications to assure customers the company is more than capable of providing quality implementations of newer technology, such as IP telephony, she said.

The certifications also help solution providers meet requirements of Cisco’s partner program and qualify for special incentives.


 Published for the Week Of August 30, 2004

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