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Dell is creating a series of specializations within its partner enterprise architecture certification and will start by launching two โ€“ one for Storage and Server and another for Virtualization.

And over the next year and a half Dell expects to also add specializations covering Power and Cooling/Green IT and Security.

The changes come as Dell looks to better organize and segment its huge enterprise architecture certification.

"As you think about all those technologies that fall into enterprise architecture โ€“ storage, server, virtualization, power and cooling, security โ€“ that’s a huge umbrella," says Bob Skelley who runs Enterprise Architecture for Dell’s channel organization and who used to serve as Equallogic’s channel chief. Skelley joined Dell when it acquired the storage vendor last year.

The certification specialization vision includes plans to eventually create a partner locator resource database so that customers and channel partners both can search for partners that hold a specific certification.  That resource will also enable partner-to-partner networking.  No roll out date has been set for the resource locator database, as Dell is still investigating how long it will take to create it.

But courses for the first specialization of Storage and Server are already in place, and much of the curriculum for the Virtualization specialization is already available too.

"I think of it almost like a college curriculum," Skelley says "The base training for Enterprise Architecture without a specialty is that 100 level of courses. We call that the Dell Enterprise Architecture Foundation today."

Continuing the metaphor, specialization courses for Storage and Server and the other specializations would be 200-level courses. "Then there would be electives where you could take a deeper dive across a series of topics," Skelley says.

Dell is offering the courses free-of-charge, but customers would need to make the time commitment.  Base level courses would take a few hours worth of study.

Dell will offer online training with an exam at the end.  The company also plans a three-day course that will encompass all the training at one time. When one individual at a company passes the exam and is certified, that counts for the company’s certification.