Cisco's new Business Architecture Training and Certification portfolio is designed to create the next generation of digital talent and close the skills gap that exists today.

Lynn Haber

September 19, 2017

4 Min Read

Cisco on Tuesday unveiled a new Business Architecture training and certification portfolio to help IT bridge technology solutions to corporate business needs, not only creating what it calls a next generation of digital talent, but also helping to close the skills gap that exists today.

The new Cisco Business Architecture Certifications include: Analyst, Specialist and Practitioner.


Cisco’s Tejas Vashi

“These offerings are really focused on addressing the growing talent needs brought forth by business transformation. As the industry transforms and companies try to evolve their businesses, new talent gaps are forming and this announcement targets the business skills that go hand in hand in conjunction with the technology skills,” Tejas Vashi, senior director, product strategy and marketing with Learning@Cisco told us.

Tuesday’s news is Cisco’s second major announcement in the business transformation area. The Customer Success Management Portfolio, introduced in April, was the first. According to Vashi, the company will continue to expand the Business Transformation portfolio.

The first level of the Cisco Business Architecture Certifications is the analyst certification. This credential gives IT professionals a methodology for starting a digital transformation dialog with a company – i.e. What is it you’re trying to achieve? – while building a bridge with technology to help a customer achieve its goal.

Specialist certification is the next level credential. It takes the skills learned in the analyst certification and provides a deeper dive into the customer company — i.e. how they operate, the structure and the culture, in order to understand their critical pain points. This certification focuses on change management, and the step-by-step mapping of business priorities to outcomes and technology.

It also provides the tools and techniques required to build a 12-month, 18-month, etc., business-transformation road map looking at technologies required to achieve the desired business transformation.

The practitioner certification is a mastering of the skills, tools and methodology to enable digital transformation. Practitioners learn how to map a customer-engagement journey, designed to bring about tangible business outcomes and value.

“What you’re doing here is creating the digital solution over time and making sure it creates a value and outcome, which the organization can measure,” Vashi explains.

Each level of certification has its own recommended training. The recommended training for the analyst certification is “Adopting the Cisco Business Architecture Approach.” This is a self-study, e-learning module that’s available this month. This is designed to reach a broad audience so that they can get the foundational skills.

Both the specialist and practitioner certifications include three-day, instructor-led training. The specialist certification recommended training is “Applying Cisco Business Architecture Techniques,” and is available this month. The recommended training for the Practitioner Certification is “Mastering the Cisco Business Discipline,” scheduled for November availability.

“The reason for the instructor-led training is because you need to have a lot of face-to-face conversations with customers, so there’s a lot of role-playing and a lot of implementation of the methodologies that they teach you,” said Vashi.

The eLearning “Adopting the Cisco Business Architecture Approach,” aligned with …

… the Cisco Business Architecture Analyst certification, will be available from the Cisco Learning Network Store for $280.

The instructor-led trainings, “Applying Cisco Business Architecture Techniques” and “Mastering the Business Architecture Discipline,” supporting the Business Architecture Specialist and Practitioner certifications (respectively), will be priced and sold through Cisco’s Business Learning Partners.

The cost for proctored certification exams delivered by Pearson Vue are as follows: Cisco Business Architecture Analyst, $150; Cisco Business Architecture Specialist, $250; and, Cisco Business Architecture Practitioner, $350, according to the company.

The three new certifications do build on one another – Analyst, Specialist, Practitioner – to form a curriculum.

With the introduction of the Business Architecture certifications, the existing Business Value Specialist certifications – Cisco Business Value Analyst or Cisco Business Value Specialist – will not be issued after Dec. 14. These certifications will be valid until the certification expiration date possessed by the candidate. They will not be available for re-certification, the company said.

The new Business Architecture training and certification portfolio is not a requirement for channel partners today, although it is highly recommended for all partner system engineers.

A previous version of the new analyst certification is the “Selling Business Outcomes” certification that was launched in 2015. That certification was mandated across all channels and will continue to be; however, it will be replaced with the new Business Architecture Analyst certification.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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