Westcon Group Wants Partners to Get SIP Schooled
The buzz around SIP has permeated the IT networking space to the point where VARs no longer can ignore it – especially those who are moving into VoIP or other convergence technologies. Westcon Group is hoping its latest educational offering can help.
Westcon, which is Avaya’s largest distributor, has expanded its global partnership with U.K.-based The SIP School to offer a foundational training certification for SIP. Avaya resellers now have access to the fundamentals of SIP – what it is, how it works with different technologies and how it can be used today and in the future – so they can better sell SIP-based offerings, said Bob Reams, senior manager, Partner Enablement at Westcon Group.
“The SIP School teaches the foundation of SIP – not just what it is, but how it works with VoIP, trunking, PSTN and even unified communications,” Reams said. “Partners must have a foundation to effectively sell this technology, and applications for SIP are constantly changing. This certification gives them the education they need so they’re ready to not just talk about SIP but also explain the value and how they can apply it to a customer’s network.”
The SIP School Certified Associate (SSCA) certification is available through a 10-part course presented virtually through Westcon’s website. The courses are available on-demand, and each course takes a little longer than an hour to sit through, Reams said. Partners have the ability to take courses on their own time at their own pace. “The idea is to make our partners the best-trained SIP partners in the nation.
“If we can get them the foundation, our partners will be able to handle anything Avaya comes out with,” he added.
The certification course, which includes three attempts to pass the final exam, is about $500. Westcon is taking a two-pronged approach to the SIP instruction, emphasizing the importance of networking in building a SIP-based infrastructure.
“We have heavy emphasis on data infrastructure as well. Their infrastructure must be built to support these applications,” he said.
The data infrastructure information won’t be included in the online learning courses; instead, Westcon is offering hands-on data sessions at various locations nationwide. A list of locations and dates is located on the Westcon Academy site.
“In those sessions we explain how the network infrastructure and SIP interact; not just the application but the network as well,” Reams said. “It’s not enough to know the technology if you don’t have the network that will support it.”
Reams emphasized the online courses give partners a strong knowledge base for SIP, a technology that is constantly evolving. “The majority of what [the courses] go through is at the mechanics level of the protocol. SIP products are continually updated, but the protocol doesn’t change. This provides partners with a solid foundation of SIP.”