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Avaya to boost SDN-Fabric expertise with new certification program

Program to bridge current skills gap in the region between traditional and next-gen, SDN fabric-based networking.

Turgeon says regional organizations are embracing Avaya Fabric Connect
Turgeon says regional organizations are embracing Avaya Fabric Connect

Avaya plans to create a new industry certification program to drive expertise in SDN-Fabric based networking.

The Avaya Certified Expert-Fx program aims to bridge the current skills gap in the Middle East between traditional, hardware-intensive networking technologies and next-generation, software-defined fabric-based networking. 

The announcement has been made at the annual Avaya Technology Forum in Dubai, with more than 500 technology and networking professionals from across India, China, Russia, the Middle East and Africa regions in attendance.

A 2013 report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that emerging networking technology skills in the Middle East, such as those required for cloud computing, mobility, and virtualization, represented 38.4 percent of the total networking skills gap in 2012, growing to 46.3 percent in 2016.

The certification program is designed to enable networking engineers and IT professionals to deliver the networking capabilities provided by the Avaya SDN Fx architecture.

Jean Turgeon, vice president for worldwide networking sales, and chief technologist, Software Defined Architecture (SDA), Avaya noted that Businesses and organizations in the Middle East are already embracing the networking capabilities of Avaya Fabric Connect. "The ACE-Fx certification will equip IT professionals with the expertise, power, and confidence they need to take these businesses and organizations to the next level with the advanced skills needed to design, build and manage the next generation networks," Turgeon added.

Announced last month, Avaya SDN Fx, which is built on the Avaya Fabric Networking technology, provides a complete next-generation networking solution that delivers on the promise of SDN without the hidden complexity that comes with the towering overlays of software and hardware inherent in many other vendor approaches. Avaya SDN Fx provides "connect anything, anywhere" simplicity that can shave off weeks of provisioning time by making it easy to add devices and users at the network edge, the company said in a statement. SDN Fx is the ideal architecture to advance strategies for Smart Cities and the Internet of Things, the report added.

The ACE-Fx certification program is being structured as a 4 ½-day intensive, hands-on workshop and exam held at Avaya Networking Lab facilities and other locations in the Middle East, China, Russia, India, African and Turkey. Designed for individual IT professionals, the ACE-Fx certification can help Avaya channel partners focused on networking reach Platinum Partner status by providing the third certification required for this status. Networking professionals can also be certified by Avaya for Networking Fabric and Mobility. Existing network industry certifications from other entities will also be recognized, allowing networking professionals to directly enter the ACE-Fx class without reinvesting in other Avaya courses.

"Advances in technology combined with disruptive trends such as mobility, social and cloud, have created an extremely challenging environment for the IT industry in the Middle East," said Manish Bakshi, managing director of PACC MDS. "Bridging the skills gap is today our priority in order to continue being relevant to our customers. We applaud Avaya for its thought leadership and for always building programs that brings tremendous value to its partners and customers alike."

The ACE-Fx program is expected to launch in the second half of 2015.