DCs´2013 Trend #6 TRAINING

Five years ago I read in AFCOM ppt that in few years all those professionals that have born during 50´s will retire; at this time that prediction is becoming more and more true; those that had taugth how to operate , construct & design the mission critical facilities are less & less in the field.

In the same five years the technolohgy has become an astonishing fall of new concepts, metrics, equipments and have pushed us to forget, learn, forget & RE-learn. Nothing in the human kind culture is moving so fast than the Data/Digital/Telecom world.

But do we have change at the same pace?

how many of us are sitill using a notebook -paper one-  for writing with a pen / pencil?;
how many of us are still using the same PC/Laptop/Notebook instead of a tablet ?
how many of us are still using a cel phne not a Smart Phone?
how many of us are still using a car that only burn petrol to move instead fuel cell or electricity?
how many of us are still using a land line as main business communication contact?
how many of us are using only e-mail instead social networking?
how many of us have not take a course in www.coursera.org?
how many of us still thinks that climate change is a complot from ....whatever? 
and, so, so, so,.........
 Yes, five years have change a lot of our economic, social, educational, political, enviromental perception of  the real world. But how many of us are trying to understand, that data centres are the location where most of the change are taking place in this very moment. have we change the way that we learn as apprentice of this new trends?

Today in the DC´s educational market we can find several offers from several institutions, associations, manufactures, consulting firm like AFCOM, BICSI, CISCO, CNet, Data Center Dynamics, Emerson,  ICOR, IDCP, Scheider Electric, HP, IBM,  INE, UIA, UNAM,  UTI, .........

Note: Of course there are those tranings that are devoted to a certain piece of equipment, to operate, configurate even fix them. But those should been (price / time / material / instructors) offer by the equipment (HVAC, Networkin, cabling, CCTV, supression, etc.) vendors since, they have made an offer to sell you their stuff. 

You can find several types of courses, those focused in OPEration, some in CONstruction and a lot in DESigning; as well exists different schemes that give you paths to enhace your knowledge in each one of those fields, some biased in classification programs, other more in availability / redundancy design, other just in cabling or networking.

Is it difficult to find which vendor give the better education?
Yes, at this moment beacuse each organization set their own course curricula as their experience drove,so  it is quite hard to find the best that fit your needs.

However my advise is:
  1. to set clearly what are you wnat to get from training: knowledge, practice, hands-on, information, then
  2. to revise each training offer at least

  • Knowledge goals (what you should know AFTER you went into the class
  • Teaching methodologies (On-line, lecture, workshop, symposium, panel,.......) hybrid
  • Time (in class, on -line,  on the job,.....) you need to assign to learn.
  • Material (on line, manual, excercises,.....) quality, dimension.
  • Trainers´ experience  (teaching, designing, contructing, operating data centres)
  • Language (english , your mother tongue,....) are you loosing value with a translation?
  • Location  (far, close from home/job) time/cost to invest if the training is in other country, city
  • DC´s industry good credit (ask your pair that have taken the one you are evaluating)
    3. Set enough resorces:
  • Talent  (who will take the training, who will back up her/his activities)
  • Time , training is a time consuming asset. you have to assign enough time for those that will learn something new or RElearn something old.
  • Money; pricing  this is an important issue to evaluate against all the benefits that you must get from the investment. these course can go from 1.5-6 K  USD per course per pupil.

Now training is not a luxury asset in Data Centre industry / market, it is ciompulsory that your staff understand waht is happening in this business, if you want that your hardware / software and facilities investment give the revenue that has been planned, foremost  to have an efficent operation, the people have to know to deal with energy efficency, downtime planning, continuity business management, air flow, UPS, structured cabling, security, safety, cleaning,......and  alot of more and more topics that a mision critical facility involves everyday in the operation.

 But what do you think?

Roberto Sanchez, RCDD


  1. One word of correction. the ICOR program is actually the EPI program. Unfortunately it is branded incorrectly by ICOR.

    1. Anonymous can you explain further, then all the readers will be able to evaluate the ICOR´s offer or go to the original training developer source
      roberto sanchez, RCDD

  2. Can you tell show me what the ICOR's offer is? Are they Offering training direct from ICOR or from EPI? I'm confused?

    1. For ICOR. Training offering pls go to. http://theicor.org/disc/fm.htm

  3. @Robert; Let me jump in on this one if I may.
    EPI is the developer of various data centre curriculum such as CDCP, CDCS, CDCE, CDFOM, CITM, CDRP and others. ICOR is a reseller of the EPI courses and have unfortunately put their name prominent on the brochures with a smaller footnote indicating it is actually developed by EPI. This has led to much confusion in the market unfortunately where people believe that ICOR is the developer. EPI developed and owns the material and all of its trademarks.
    EPI was the first globally accredited data centre training provider and others have naturally followed. We have by far the largest number of students trained in the industry and continue to lead the pack.
    We do also have a direct office now in the USA (www.epi-ap.com for more details).

    Hope this explains the mattter

    Edward van Leent
    Chairman & CEO
    EPI Group of Companies

  4. Yes you are certainly correct that training programs must continually evolve and meet the needs of today.
    Seventeen years ago we started doing Fiber Optic Installer Certification through the Fiber Optic Association (FOA). At the time, if you had light going through the fiber everyone was happy. Connectors looked great through a 30 - 100 power scope. Well, guess what, things changed. Now we want that connector to look good under a 400 power microscope and often we will document each connector. With 4G networks we need a great deal more than "just light".
    Our programs evolve and update immediately as the changes happen. We are fortunate to be able to do this rather than being a community college which requires changes to be approved by a curriculum committee with a delay which have seen take two years. At this point we are teaching history, not new technology.
    Our base course is a four day Fiber Optic Installer ertification program. We have certified over 3,800 installers in North America and some in Europe and the Carribean. We have the following as add on courses:
    1.)Outside Plant Specialist is a two day course dealing with completing outside plant enclosures, interpreting cable and maintenance hole plans and troubleshooting with an OTDR and VFL. This is 80% hands-on.
    2.) Fiber to the home is another two day course which we started in 2006. This teaches the different types of FTTX technologies as well as installation and testing.
    These three courses also give Fiber Optic Association Certification. This course is 75% hands-on with students polishing and testing epoxy APC connectors.
    Grounding and bonding for communications systems is increasingly popular as companies realize the cost of replacing electronics and cabling as a result of power and lightning faults. this is taught to IEEE standards. We do this as a one day course normally but have done it as a two day course for the Canadian and US military dealing with extreme conditions.
    Voice, Data, Video Network Cabling Specialist is another two day course that we do. This deals with the codes and standards required when specifying or installing a communications system.
    For more information and dates, visit our website at:
    www.fiberoptictraining.com or e-mail me at mr.bill.graham@sympatico.ca


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