RIM Answers the Call for BlackBerry Certs
With BlackBerry’s 24x7 connectedness and ever-growing popularity, the handheld device has become a kind of cultural phenomenon, particularly in the corporate environment.
Now those who support BlackBerry end users, as well as the servers on which they run, can validate their skills. In May, the maker of the Blackberry, Research in Motion (RIM), unveiled a new BlackBerry Certification Program.
“The certification programs extend a reliable, comprehensive certification testing service to support our platform,” said Peter Broughall, vice president of customer support operations at RIM. “It gives our customers and our partners a means of measuring and validating real-world skills that they’ve gained on working with BlackBerry, either through formal training or through learning on the job.”
The certification program also is widely accessible, with 4,700 testing centers in 135 countries.
Currently, RIM offers one full set of BlackBerry certification exams, which are for the BlackBerry Certified System Administrator. This certification is intended for professionals who install, configure and manage the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES, pronounced “bez”). The BES is the “enterprise software that’s installed behind the firewall in a corporation that allows you to send and a receive mail from your BlackBerry device into your corporate systems,” Broughall explained.
RIM also offers three other certifications, for which only the first exam in each series is currently available (the full sets will be available this fall). These certs move from administrator-type skills into the support role.
The first of the three, the BlackBerry Certified Server Support Specialist, is meant for technical specialists who support the BES in an enterprise-based environment. The second certification, the BlackBerry Certified Support Specialist, is for those who provide support to BlackBerry end users within a corporate enterprise or BlackBerry Internet Server (BIS, pronounced “biz”) environment. This also would include professionals in help desks and call centers.
The last of the three is the BlackBerry Certified Solution Designer. “This is really aimed at technical professionals providing pre- and post-sales technical consulting services in the BlackBerry environment,” Broughall said. This includes individual consultants as well as consultants associated with BlackBerry partners.
In addition to its BlackBerry Certification Program, RIM is reaching out to end users with consumer-oriented training, which offers courses that help those interested in learning more tricks and tips become more comfortable on their devices. Of late, the company has focused attention outside the corporate environment, trying to expand its customer base through products such as the BlackBerry Pearl.
“As we continue to expand to the consumer space, we’re getting more and more interest from our consumer base for end-user training,” Broughall said. “We address the full market from the enterprise organization and the partner-carrier-type organization down to the individual consumer level. It’s an interactive, hands-on experience building comfort with how to use the product.”
Broughall said RIM is pleased to provide customers with the programs they’ve been clamoring for.
“Our customer base has been waiting for [the certification program], so we’re happy to develop it and provide it to them and get that level of certification and expertise out on the market," he said. "It’s an exciting program and very well received by our customers to date.”
- Meagan Polakowski, email@example.com