Enterprise communications vendor Avaya is expanding its IT certification program to include a SIP Communications Architect certification.

The new certification comes as part of a solutions-based focus that Avaya announced fall 2009 for its Avaya Connect Professional Credentials program, designed to give channel partners greater insight into how products work together.

Avaya is offering a new subscription fee model that reduces training costs and enables more predictable budget forecasting when compared to a la cart training from other vendors, the company said.

“Avaya’s training and credentials model will enable our partners to build a more capable, well-trained workforce at a lower investment cost,” said Jeremy Butt, vice president, Worldwide Channels, Avaya, in a statement.

“Since announcing the overall Avaya Connect program last year we’ve seen other companies adopt a similar approach to training. This helps confirm that we are on the right track in offering new ways partners can benefit with higher margins, streamline sales cycles and provide better customer service. With the acquisition of Nortel NES, we have now integrated this competency model across all partners for greatest impact.”

Avaya said that advancements to the Avaya Professional Credentials Program include the following:

  • Subscription Pricing, which enables partners to access all the training required for certification within a solution track for a single price over a 12 to 18 month period. Cost of training is discounted by up to 75 percent over the ala carte course option.  
  • Avaya Certified Solutions Architect (ACSA) is the first SIP Communications Architect certification in the industry. The training focuses on the knowledge necessary to build a communications network around the Avaya Aura unified communications platform.
  • Avaya Certified Installation Specialist (ACIS) addresses the needs of "installation and integration" technicians who typically install individual products rather than solutions. This product-based curriculum is designed to support simple implementations.

Avaya said that the solutions-based Avaya Connect Professional Credentials program has reduced the total number of certifications to 36 and reduces the total number of hours required to complete courses by 84 percent.

Last fall Avaya topped ABI Research’s vendor matrix for communications vendors, beating out players such as Cisco.

More information about Avaya’s certification program and partner program is available here.