The challenges that IT professionals face have never been more complex: new waves of technology innovation that need to be implemented and maintained, an increasingly mobile workforce, new communication and collaboration technologies, security threats, concerns about energy consumption – the list goes on and on. As Microsoft drives towards the biggest enterprise product launch in its history later this month, it is helping make the transition to using these new products easier by offering a variety of training and certifications for these often unsung heroes.
PressPass spoke with Lutz Ziob, general manager of Microsoft Learning, about the importance of readiness for new technology, and how innovations in training will help IT pros in the future.
PressPass: How does training and certification for Windows Server 2008 benefit IT pros?
Ziob: The short answer is that earning a certification helps IT professionals be recognized for their deep technical knowledge. Every era has its unsung heroes. In the last century, it was the men and women who designed and built the physical infrastructures that fueled much of that era’s social and economic progress. In the information age, our unsung heroes are the millions of IT professionals and developers who work behind the scenes to build and support the information systems that drive our global economy.
PressPass: Beyond recognition, how else is training designed to help IT pros when new products like these come to market?
Ziob: With the launch of Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008, we are delivering powerful new tools that can transform the way IT professionals and developers build and support IT systems. The more knowledge you have of our software, the better equipped you are to exploit its full capabilities. That gives credentialed professionals a real competitive advantage over their peers, and gives their employers an advantage over their competitors.
The 350,000 customers and partners we’ve already trained on Windows Server 2008 have the inside track on how to deploy and implement the technology that will give them a head start when the product is formally released.
PressPass: Isn’t on-the-job experience enough to demonstrate one’s expertise?
Ziob: There’s no question that experience is important. Certification programs are not meant to replace on-the-job experience. But experience in itself doesn't automatically guarantee that someone understands the full breadth of a product’s capability. We insist that all other professionals – doctors, dentists, pilots, architects, etc. – have both experience and a specific credential. Clearly the winning combination is experience plus certification.
PressPass: If an IT pro is certified on Windows Server 2003, do they really need to get recertified on Windows Server 2008?
Ziob: Yes. Windows Server 2008 is significantly more advanced than Windows Server 2003, with many new features, such as virtualization and improved support for managing and hosting next-generation web applications and services. IT professionals who have the know-how to manage and implement the shift to this new technology will help their organizations minimize the time it takes to get the server up and running.
We offer special three-day classes that are designed to help Microsoft Certified Systems Administrators (MCSAs) and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSEs) transition their skills from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008.
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