Thursday, 31 May 2012

Microsoft announces launch of MCSE Desktop Infrastructure certification

Microsoft has today announced the release of MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification.

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Desktop Infrastructure certification proves that you have the skills needed to provide friction free access to business resources across devices operated in the business.

The new MCSE cert covers the following exams:
  • Exam 410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 411: Administering Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
  • Exam 415: Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure
  • Exam 416: Implementing Desktop Application Environments

You need to have a MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification to sit for the MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure course.

MCSE Desktop Infrastructure

Microsoft announces the release of MCSE: Server Infrastructure

Microsoft has today announced the release of MCSE: Server Infrastructure certification.

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Server Infrastructure certification helps professionals adapt to the cloud-enabled infrastructure, which is both agile, and cost effective.

The new MCSE cert covers the following exams:
  • Exam 410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 411: Administering Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
  • Exam 413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure
  • Exam 414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
You need to have a MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification to sit for the MCSE: Server Infrastructure cert.

MCSE Server Infrastructure

Microsoft launches new MCSA: Windows Server 2012 course

Microsoft has today announced the release of MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification.

The MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification proves that you have the Windows Server skills needed in multiple solution areas in a business environment. 

The new MCSA cert covers the following exams:
  • Exam 410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 411: Administering Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services

The MCSA: Windows Server 2012 is a pre-requisite to MCSE: Server Infrastructure or the MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure Certification.

MCSA: Windows Server 2012

Survey: Not enough IT staff

ISACA recently surveyed more than 3,700 IT professionals, titled Governance of Enterprise IT: Issues and Challenges. The survey reveals that 52% of the respondents believe businesses do not have enough IT personnel. 44% said that they are planning to increase their investments in IT in the next 12 months.

The demand for professionals has increased, especially in the governance area – ISACA recently gave out 5,000th Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) certification.

More information about ISACA certifications can be found on their website.

ISACA also has three other certifications: CISA, CISM and CRISC.

Video: Cisco explains its CCDA exam

Cisco's CCDA is a three-day course designed to give you a foundation knowledge of network design using Cisco's SONA (Service Oriented Network Architecture) methodology.

Microsoft introducing colour codes in their exams

Microsoft will be adding colour codes to improve readability of their developer exams for certifications. Beginning with Visual Studio 11 portfolio, Microsoft will be adding default Visual Studio colours in their developer exams.

Microsoft will initially role this change out in beta exams, and then based on feedback will make them live across their certification exams.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

ITIL launches Master and new MALC qualifications

ITIL has released its Master qualification, which is the highest level in the Official Qualification Scheme. The credential is different from other core qualifications – professionals have to hand in a written submission and give an interview for assessment.

The accreditor has also finished reviewing the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MLAC) credential. The new qualification has a higher difficulty level than the intermediate qualifications. The exam length has increased from one and a half to two hours. The number of questions on each exam has increased from eight to ten.

ASL and BiSL exams now available via APMG

APMG has signed a contract with ASL BiSL Foundation and will run the ASL and BiSL qualifications. The ASL and BiSL exams will be processed only through APMG. 

Richard Pharro, CEO, APMG said, “This is an important step in creating international awareness and demand for the ASL and BiSL qualifications. We plan to ensure candidates who currently do not have access to ASL and BiSL will be able to access training in their region. We are experts in translating material and rolling it out globally. This is good news for candidates and for the ASL BiSL Foundation.”

Lucille van der Hagen, Managing Director of the ASL BiSL Foundation said, “From today, our examinations will be processed by APMG. We hope that in the future more candidates who want qualifications in ASL and BiSL will be able to take the exams in their own language because of our partnership. We chose to work with APMG because of its wide international network, its high quality standards and service level and its good relationships with owners of related qualification schemes like PRINCE2® and ITIL.”

A guide to help you get to the Cloud

More and more companies are adapting the Cloud form of computing in their systems. CompTIA has released a guide which provides you with basic knowledge on cloud computing. 

The guide, Build a Successful Solution Provider Business Plan for Cloud Computing, provides actionable steps for IT channel leaders attracted to Cloud and want to implement it in their organisations. 

Video: Microsoft explains trick questions in their exams

Microsoft talks about the trick questions in their exams, in their ACE (Ask certification expert) videos. They say that exams are becoming more challenging and you need experience, along with knowledge to counter it.

Watch here:

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cisco releases videos to aid CCNA Security exam preparation

The Cisco Learning Networks has launched a series of three video lectures on “CCNA Security: IPSec VPNs”.

IPSec is a core section of CCNA Security exam and you need to master it to certify. Brad Graham from Cisco answers frequent questions on IPSec, including operation, configuration and troubleshooting.

The first video of the series is available and new videos are launched till June 6. To watch the videos, visit:

Cisco to retire CCIP certifcation

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP)certification is set to retire on October 29, 2012. Cisco will not be issuing any new CCIP certs after that date.

If you’re interested in a professional level Cisco Service Provider certification, Cisco recommends the new Cisco CCNP Service Provider certification.

With CCIP retiring, professionals will not be able to recertify the CCIP certs after 29 October 2012.

For those who have already certified in CCIP, you may be able to get credit towards the CCNP Service Provider certification.

For more information on which CCIP exams give you  credit for CCNP Service Provider cert, visit:

Cisco announces a new training initiative with EMC and VMware

Cisco has collaborated with EMC and VMware to provide certs to many of the popular technologies. The main topics which the new initiative focuses on are Cloud Architecture, Virtualisation, Storage, Data Networking and Data Science.

Courses are offered in bundles, targeting specific technologies and job roles, like cloud architect, systems administrator, data centre network design, data scientist, backup and recovery. This initiative makes it simpler for IT Managers and practitioners to plan the education development path by recommending training for proficiency in a discipline.

Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager of Learning@Cisco, said: “IT organisations must cultivate new cloud architecture skills, understand how to use big data and maintain deep domain expertise with a renewed understanding of virtualisation and technology convergence. With this offering Cisco and EMC are leading the way in transforming skills for the next generation of IT professionals.”

Monday, 28 May 2012

ISACA releases a new whitepaper on Virtualised Desktop Infrastructure

ISACA has released a new whitepaper, titled Virtualised Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The whitepaper mentions a new phase of virtualisation which enables simpler provision of desktops and applications, and decreases downtime during desktop hardware failure. It covers risk, governance and assurance considerations for VDI.

Video: Cisco explains CCNA 640-802 exam

CCNA is a beginning-level certification that aims to provide a solid foundation in Cisco networking. In this video, Cisco gives an overview of CCNA certification and the CCNA 640-802 exam. It talks about the question types, length, curriculum, how to register, etc. and also provides resources which can help you study for the exam.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Why Microsoft wants you to recertify

Microsoft explains why they've introduced the need for recertification every three years:

Oracle offers Beta Exams

Oracle offers a series of Beta exams, which they use to test and evaluate new exam questions. The exams are offered at discounted prices and contain about 120-200 questions. If you pass the beta version of the exam in an Oracle certification path, you will gain your Oracle certification and will receive it via mail.

To know more about the Beta exams and the availabilities, visit:

CompTIA focusing more on Wireless Security

CompTIA has started focusing more on wireless security principles in a number of their cert exams. It is being tested in the Network+ and Security+ exams and is being added to the new A+ exam as well.

The video below explains the basic user interface settings of wireless:

CompTIA releases Storage+

CompTIA, powered by SNIA, have released a new vendor-neutral Storage+ certification, which validates your competency required of IT storage professional.

The exam covers configuring basic networks, including archive, backup and restoration technologies. You’ll learn the fundamentals of business continuity, application workload, system integration and storage and system administration.

You need at least twelve months of experience to be eligible for the certification. CompTIA recommends A+ Network+ prior to the Storage+ certification.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Microsoft offers 2-for-1 vouchers

Microsoft has released “Two-for-one” exam vouchers, which gives professionals’ free exam voucher for the next version of the chosen technology path for free. Microsoft has launched the vouchers to ease the transition to Cloud technologies. The vouchers are valid for the exams purchased and taken between April 11, 2012 and June 30, 2012. The voucher is emailed when the new exams are released and is valid for 90 days after the new cert becomes available.

To find out more about the 2-for-1 voucher and to apply, visit:

Take It Again Vouchers by IBM

Take It Again is a voucher program by IBM Professional Certification, where you purchase specially priced vouchers so in case you do not pass an exam, you’re eligible to retake the same exam at no additional costs. The vouchers can be acquired from January 1 2012 to November 30, 2012.

Obtain your Take It Again voucher from the Prometric Take It Again Web Site. Take It Again vouchers can be used only at an Authorized Prometric Test Centre.

Certifications for VARs and MSPs to tackle cyber security

According to a report by WebWire, professionals and businesses should aim for CompTIA Security+CISSP and CEH to show that they are serious about data security. All three of these certifications show a comprehensive knowledge of cyber security.

SP Home Run Inc. recommends the following three IT security certs for small VARs and MSPs looking for a very rapid credibility boost:

  • CompTIA Security+ covers network security, cryptography, identity management, and compliance. It is a vendor-neutral certification. Although it has no prerequisites, it recommends two years of prior networking experience.
  • (ISC)2 CISSP -  requires at least five years of security experience. CISSP exam covers the 10 areas in the Common Book of Knowledge (CBK).
  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacking – The CEH cert focuses on web and application protection, preventing the penetration of networks and applications, and finding vulnerabilities in the existing security measures.
"Data security specialists have become pretty important within the past few years" said Joshua Feinberg, Business Development Director of SP Home Run Inc. "Because of the constant security threats that affect small and large businesses, IT security certifications can be a very wise investment for a small VAR or MSP to help them distinguish themselves from the competition"

Microsoft Learning announces new Jump Start: Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Learning is releasing a new two-day Jump Start on Windows Server 2012. Jump start courses are free virtual courses, which are accelerated and advanced. They assume a certain level of knowledge and move quickly from topic to topic. On June 21-22, from 9:00am – 4:00pm PDT, Microsoft personnel talk about the feature sets of Windows Server 2012 and explain how each can improve your day-to-day IT environment.

More information:
To register, click here

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Video: Microsoft explains advantages of moving to cloud model

Microsoft explains advantages of moving from On-Premises Model to Cloud Model:

For Microsoft cloud courses, visit:

Microsoft release Hands-On Lab: Costing and Inventory Valuation in Dynamics® AX 2012

Microsoft releases a new Hands-On Lab – Costing and Inventory Valuation for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. This new lab format includes the steps to finish tasks and requires students to have access to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 with demo data (available on PartnerSource).
This Hands-on Lab is fitting for partners familiar with the financials and supply chain modules of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
Note: This course is only available to download via PartnerSource and CustomerSource.

What is PRINCE2 Professional Qualification?

The PRINCE2 Professional qualification tests, through an Assessment Centre, a professional’s ability to apply the PRINCE2 methodology in managing a non-complex project. The PRINCE2 Professional credential moves outside of the boundaries of PRINCE2, and includes globally recognised project management competencies.

This Assessment Centre is not a course, and no training is provided.

The PRINCE2 Professional qualification proves that you can effectively manage a non-complex PRINCE2 project across its lifecycle. 

Candidates wishing to take the PRINCE2 Professional qualification must also have the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification.

Study: Industries don't grasp IT risks

A study reveals that top corporate executives are unaware of the cyber risks associated to their organisations. The report “How Boards & Senior Executives are Managing Cyber Risks” by Carnegie Mellon, cyber-security researchers, found that although the situation has improved in the last four years, there is still a lack of understanding about the IT risks involved in overall enterprise risk management.

The study also reveals that the financial sector has better privacy and security practices in place, compared to other sectors.

The study is based on responses from 108 executives and board members from Forbes Global 2000 companies. Three quarters of this year’s surveyed are from critical infrastructure companies.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

CompTIA urges veterans to enter into IT

CompTIA is motivating veterans to seize the opportunity of rising demand for skilled IT professionals. Veteran unemployment has rocketed, with 850,000 veterans unable to find work. Joblessness (aged between 18 to 24 years old) is about 30 per cent, twice the average in the US.

CompTIA, some time back, launched its Troops to Tech Careers program, which provides veterans opportunities and resources to build a career in IT field. The website provides information on IT training locations, certifications, companies which have vacancies, etc.

Video: Microsoft certification - Build List, Reorder Questions

Microsoft explains how to build lists and reorder questions:

CompTIA Network+ exam update

CompTIA released an updated exam track for its Network+ certification in December, 2011. The new exam, N10-005, replaces N10-004, which was launched in 2009. CompTIA usually changes its certification exams every three years. 

The new Network+ exam tests your knowledge of a general network technician. The course covers general networking knowledge on networking devices, cables, protocols and networked software. The course includes theory, configuration, implementation, architecture, and troubleshooting.

There are no pre-requisites for the course, but CompTIA recommends having A+ certification and nine months of computer network related experience.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Study predicts 470k+ jobs for cloud by 2015

A study by Sand Hill Group and SAP American Inc has reported that 80,000 jobs were added between January 2010 and January 2011 at 11 companies where cloud plays a significant part of their business. The study predicts the number to go up 472,000 jobs in the next five years, all over the world.

The report understands that one reason for the surge in demand is because popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc. will not survive without the Cloud. Additionally, nearly half a billion people are expected to connect to the cloud from their smartphones and other mobile devices this year.

This demand means that the demand for professionals with cloud-computing skills will also increase now and in the future.


Microsoft introducing short answer code questions

Microsoft has announced that short answer code questions will soon be included in their exams. Short answer code questions test whether you can write a code which would solve the problem asked in the question. 

The code is typed in a free text entry field and the answer is marked by comparing it to the possible correct answers.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

PearsonVUE takes over Certiport

PearsonVUE has acquired Certiport, provider of performance-based certification exams and practice test solutions.

Pearson VUE's acquisition of Certiport increases its product range and geographic reach. Certiport's entry level exams and preparation materials will allow Pearson VUE to build relations with professionals at the beginning stages of their academic and professional careers.

Bob Whelan, CEO, Pearson VUE said, "Certiport is a successful global assessment business which perfectly complements Pearson VUE's own high-stakes assessment model. We are impressed with the company's growth, the high caliber of Certiport's employees, clients, and partners and we look forward to the growth opportunities that will result from this acquisition."

Six figure salaries for certified PMs: Study

A recent survey by PMP, reported that 71% of project managers saw an increase in their total compensation in 2011. PMI Project Management Salary Survey, Seventh Edition included 30,000 project management practitioners in 29 countries.

Average median salary of project managers is reported to be 92,000 USD.

The 10 countries reporting the highest average salaries (in US dollars) are:

  • Switzerland, $160,409
  • Australia, $139,497
  • Germany, $110,347
  • Netherlands, $109,775
  • Belgium, $108,750
  • United States, $105,000
  • Ireland, $101,635
  • Canada, $98,517
  • United Kingdom, $96,384
  • New Zealand, $91,109

The report also reports that Project Management Professional (PMP)® certified professionals earned 16% more than non-certified professionals in 2011.

“There is a very real benefit for those with the experience and training to pursue certification. In today’s volatile economy, organizations are increasingly recognizing project management as a professional competency that provides distinct competitive advantages – and they are willing to pay for top project management talent.” said Mark A. Langley, President and CEO of Project Management Institute.

The PMI Project Management Salary Survey, Seventh Edition is conducted by PMI’s market research team. Full report is available on

Video: Introduction to Windows Azure

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Microsoft Cloud: Pros and Cons of Cloud

A survey conducted by comScore, on behalf of Microsoft reveals that small and medium size business which use cloud services believe that it boosts their security and cuts costs.
The survey was undertaken of 94 small and midsize businesses using cloud services and 93 that did not.

The survey also revealed that businesses not using cloud services fear that cloud is not secure enough and that cost of shifting to cloud is an obstacle.

The upside for security is that cloud services on average cuts 18 hours per week from security management time, because much of it is handled by the provider, says Tim Rains, director of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing. "It doesn't eliminate the need for patch management on-premise, but there's less of it to manage," says Rains.

It saves money and also increases security because providers are likely to patch and upgrade in a timely manner as a competitive edge.

Companies using cloud services enjoyed decreases in security spending that are more than five times the savings by businesses that didn't use cloud services. 

20% of the companies that use cloud say they saved on their security management costs, but the number was just 4% for those that didn't use cloud services.

UN asks ISACA members to take part in study on Cybercrime

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a study on the issue of cybercrime, further to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). The UNODC has asked ISACA members to get involved in the study and complete a cybercrime questionnaire.

The study covers topics related to cybercrime, its challenges and responsibilities of service providers and private sector.

More details on the study can be found at the UNODC data collection portal.

The deadline to submit completed questionnaires is 31 May 2012. You may also send questions concerning the UN cybercrime study to

Job opportunities for professionals certified in Oracle

Oracle has released a new resource for Oracle Certified professionals to find job opportunities in the cloud.

Oracle has partnered with Elance – an online employment platform for freelancers and consultants - to help Oracle Certified professionals find work in the cloud. 
Thousands of projects for Oracle Certified professionals are available on Elance.

Elance is free to join and offers Oracle Certified professionals and Learning Partners the opportunity to find relevant work, which can be performed online and you can also get paid via Elance.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Video: Why the world needs CASP professionals

An interesting video by CompTIA, explaining why we need CASP certified professionals: 

CIOs looking for 'multi-skilled' IT professionals

Computerworld reports that CIOs are finding it harder and harder to find multi-skilled IT workers, versed in ever-changing technologies like wireless networking, cloud computing, mobile security and big data analytics.

IT managers are looking for people who have training in multiple disciplines and are implementing cross-training programs for the workers they have.

According to several top IT managers at SNW, CIOs are working hard to make their staff as broad-skilled as possible, breaking down specialisations.

"We definitely have a skills gap. I need a broader bench. I need people who have two or three areas of expertise," David Richter, vice president of Infrastructure Solutions at Kimberly-Clark said. 

Kimberly-Clark have changed their IT titles, cutting the job descriptions from about 350 to 40.

"Part of our training and individual development plans ... are focused on training people to make them more competent in their current role, and also for their next role," Richter added. 

“The additional training both adds to the workers skill sets and lets CIOs better deal with constrained IT budgets by not having to hire more people with specific skills”, he said.

CompTIA Network+ an entry point to Apple Consultants Network

The CompTIA Network+certification (certified in 2008 or after) is now accepted by Apple as an entry-level credential to join their Apple Consultants Network (ACN). Once you’re part of the ACN program and have completed Apple’s mobility learning path, you’ll have the skills to offer consultancy for iOS deployment and integration.

With the increasing demand for mobility solutions, ACN can help you find a new source of growth for your business.

How to apply:

PRINCE2 examination statistics

Following are the number of PRINCE2 exams taken by region in the month of January, 2012

January 2012
North America
Central America
South America
Europe (West/Central/South)

- (Germany)

- (Netherlands)

Europe (Eastern)

- (Poland)


- (Denmark)


- (South Africa)

Middle East
Asia (Central)
Asia (Eastern)

- (China)


- (Australia)


Source: APMG Marketing Report

Microsoft release three-day 80415A course

Microsoft Learning announced the release of three-day 80415A: Public Sector Procurement and Payables in Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2012.

This course provides you with knowledge on procurement and sourcing features, plus the Accounts Payable features in Microsoft Dynamics AX. It also teaches you the workflow functionality and the Vendor Portal and Procurement Order Site.

Course Syllabus:

Friday, 11 May 2012

LPI certification update

The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) is revising its LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 certification exam objectives and updating its exam questions.

"LPI's certification program is continually monitored for technical currency as it relates to job tasks in the IT industry.  To ensure exam quality and industry relevance this requires that LPI regularly revise and update our exam objectives. Although the revisions being introduced in the coming months are relatively minor they reflect the input of hundreds of Linux professionals around the globe who demand the highest standard of IT professionalism from our certification program.  It is this community feedback which makes LPI's program the world's most sought after and industry-recognized professional Linux certification," said Jim Lacey, president and CEO of the Linux Professional Institute.

New versions of LPI-101 and LPI-102 exams for LPIC-1 will be published on July 2, 2012, while LPI-201 and LPI-202 exams for LPIC-2 will be published on August 1, 2012.
Addenda outlining these objective changes, revised objectives, and links to LPI's exam development process can be found at:

The updated LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 objectives can be found at:

How to be part of exam development?

For a list of Microsoft courses offered by Firebrand, visit:

Microsoft release 80427A: Warehouse Management in Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2012

Microsoft Learning is releasing a two-day 80427A: Warehouse Management in Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2012 course.

The course provides you with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform basic tasks in the warehouse management flow in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Course Syllabus: