Cisco Systems will this week begin putting its huge product knowledge base in the hands of end users and channel partners.
The company will introduce the first of a series of CD-ROMs that will guide IT staff through training on a set of products, removing the need for trips to Cisco training classes or in-house hardware labs, according to Cisco officials.
The first Cisco Interactive Mentor CD-ROM will focus on dial-up access solutions, company officials said. It will simulate the Cisco command-line interface for device configuration and other tasks, with hot links to Web-based online support. Cisco will charge customers for the CD-ROMs, Cisco officials said.
Alternative to classrooms
One network administrator said other vendors have proposed training via CD-ROMs and he welcomes the trend as an alternative to classroom courses.
"If we have to come up with $US3500 to send someone to a training course, we're only going to do that with a few staff members," said Guy Paterson, a network administrator at Saskatoon District Health, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. "We'll train someone on a particular product, and in a busy work day they have very little opportunity to transfer that knowledge."
Later this month, as part of a broad push to build its reseller channels, Cisco will begin leveraging its Cisco Framework knowledge base to enlist network integrators in implementing new technologies, Cisco officials said.
The Cisco-Enabled Network Solutions program is expected to equip the sales channel to set up technologies such as multiservice networks and IP quality of service.