Cisco knowledge base to be in the channel's hands

Cisco knowledge base to be in the channel's hands

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.

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