Who to send for VoIP training?

One of the recurring audience questions that came up from the NW VoIP Technology Tour this year was "who should we send for VoIP training -the data networking guy or the telco guy?"

I thought I'd pose that question to some training companies to see what they had to say. Of course, it was no surprise that they believed that both the technologists should be trained - after all, providing training is their business. But they point out that the two teams will have to interact over this converged technology and having the telco guy and the networking guy able to use and understand the same protocols and terminology would help businesses in the long run.

Mike Walsh, director of product strategy at Global Knowledge believes that the telecoms staffer would probably benefit most from training. "The telephony person in most organizations is the one who is the more customer-facing, and has the best idea of what voice features are the most valuable to the employees," Walsh explains. "He is also the one who generally has the best eye for what new VoIP-enabled value-added features are worth rolling out."

The telephony expert also understands the call patterns, what services are being bought from service providers and where using VoIP can produce the best cost-savings, Walsh says.

However, the telephony professional would be faced with a bigger learning curve as they tackle the IP networking terminology, says David Minutella, vice president of education services at The Training Camp. The telco guys "are on their own island and have to be ramped up to learn the new protocols," says Minutella, adding that The Training Camp provides students who have telephony backgrounds with IP training materials before attending VoIP classes.

The network pro should also receive training because VoIP will be a new and demanding application on their network, adds Walsh.

"Successful VoIP deployments require a good evaluation of the current network, possibly changes to enhance the network and continuous monitoring of the network," he says.

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