Microsoft master certification on server technologies for Dimension Data

Dimension Data’s Microsoft Solutions business deepens expertise through exclusive, advanced training and certification on Microsoft server technologies

Multi-billion dollar specialist IT services and solution provider, Dimension Data, is set to enhance its Microsoft Solutions offering by empowering several of its seasoned professionals with coveted Microsoft Master certifications.

“Messaging and collaboration have become business-critical components of any modern organisation.  There is no doubt that Microsoft clearly dominates this market through its Microsoft® Exchange and Microsoft® Office Communications Server offerings,” says Carlos Gouveia, Microsoft Solutions Sales Manager at Dimension Data South Africa. “The communications and collaboration environment is far more intricate than many give it credit for. Simply reading an installation guide does not reveal the complexity or even the potential of the solutions.”

Over the past six years, Dimension Data has crafted an enviable reputation for being among the best when it comes to planning, deploying, and managing projects in the messaging and collaboration space. Numerous successes spanning the corporate and public sectors across southern Africa have served to further sharpen its skills in this arena.

“To reinforce our leadership position, we are investing in premium Microsoft technology certifications in the form of Microsoft’s Masters programme. The Master’s programme provides access to exclusive information and unique tools that are not even available to Microsoft Gold Partners.

“Master’s certifications in the specific areas of Microsoft communications and collaboration tools will put our specialists in a unique position of knowing what the actual developers envisaged as the ideal end state of a product implementation – and then empower them with the expertise to lead the client to that ideal by the shortest route.”

During the remainder of 2010, a number of Dimension Data Microsoft specialists globally will attend the intensive three-week courses. Microsoft Master training is founded on experience-based curricula made up of expert-level classroom training and laboratories. All curricula are presented by experts in their disciplines.  The programme includes three computer-based tests, and one lab-based exam. At a price tag of around R250 000 per delegate, this will be a notable investment into the company’s knowledge base.  :

Casper Pieterse, Microsoft Solutions Principal Consultant at Dimension Data South Africa, recently completed the rigorous three-week training regime required to become one of just three certified Microsoft Exchange Server Masters in South Africa. Intense as it was, Pieterse maintains that this has been some of the most valuable training of his career.

He was most notably impressed by the real-world scenarios that made the skills learnt more applicable. “We gained deep insight into the actual intent behind all the product functionality. We were provided with opportunities to engage with Microsoft Partners who have implemented the products in ways that the developers themselves truly intended. These practical examples provided invaluable support and relevance to the theory.

“This certification will add great value to our business offering and the insight we have gained will further enhance our services.  We are even better equipped to assist clients to understand what they should be asking and expecting of their Microsoft tools from the outset. This understanding will ensure that the resulting implementations are even more tightly targeted on the desired end result.”

Gouveia reiterates how this drive towards outcomes-based planning will become more and more important as clients move towards a unified communications environment in which all an organisation’s systems need to work together optimally. “A superficial understanding of the Microsoft communications and collaboration tools isn’t going to deliver the cohesiveness that unified communications demands,” says Gouveia.

There are five MCM certifications in the programme:
•    Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
•    Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007
•    Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
•    Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft SQL Server 2008
•    Microsoft Certified Master: Windows Server 2008: Directory

By the end of 2010, Dimension Data aims to have multiple Microsoft Masters, spread across the five disciplines.

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Microsoft master certification on server technologies for Dimension Data