News Release

Cisco Helps Channel Partners Address Technology Skills Shortfall with New Partner Talent Portal in Middle East and Africa

New Portal Links Middle East and Africa Channel Partners with Local Cisco Networking Academy Graduates
Mar 06, 2008

DUBAI, March 5, 2008 - As part of its continuing effort to help channel partners address the global technology skills gap, Cisco® today unveiled a Partner Talent Portal for the Middle East and Africa (MEA), providing regional channel partners with access to local Cisco Network Academy® graduates and Cisco certified talents. The new Partner Talent Portal features curricula vitae and profiles of local Cisco Network Academy graduates to help facilitate the connection between Cisco channel partners and this proven talent pool.

A study commissioned by Cisco last year and conducted by industry analyst firm, IDC, revealed that the demand for networking skills in the UAE alone was set to exceed supply by an average of 27 per cent in 2009. This translates into a shortage of more than 19,000 skilled people.

Already live and accessible to Cisco partners in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia, the portal provides partners with a fast and effective way to find qualified candidates while allowing for a much-needed inflow of talent into the overall industry.

"The Middle East and Africa as a whole is experiencing tremendous IT growth and people are the heart of this boom. Finding the right talent to support this growth is a critical challenge for both Cisco and our partners," said Guido Romagnoli, director of Channels, Middle East and Africa. "To help our partners successfully address today's skills and talent shortage, we must look beyond the traditional channel strategies that have focused on providing partner training and programs. With the Partner Talent Portal, we are taking an active role in helping partners tackle business critical issues such as recruiting, retaining and developing talent."

The skills gap is even more extreme when certain technology areas are singled out. For example, the shortfall between supply and demand in advanced networking technology skills (IP telephony, security and wireless) will be 35 per cent in 2009. This gap is in contrast to findings from Western and Eastern Europe that showed an average advanced networking skills gap of 15.8 per cent by 2008.

IDC also expects the ongoing economic expansion in the region to have a strong impact on ICT demand, including networking skills. IDC forecasts demand for IT in the Middle East to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16.9 pre cent between 2005 and 2009.

Cisco will continue to work with local universities to create a global list of profiles for all Network Academy graduates. The Middle East and Africa portal has already been accessed by more than 700 Cisco certified partners, and features over 1000 posted curricula vitae, with more being added on a daily basis. This highlights the portal's ability to facilitate the initial recruitment phase by helping partners source the right candidates, at the right time and with the right skill-sets.

First Step Toward Success

The Cisco Networking Academy Program recently marked its 10-year anniversary providing Information Technology skills to students globally to improve their career and economic opportunities. Networking Academies operate in high schools, colleges, universities, technical and military schools, community-based organizations and government bodies. Its curriculum combines the theory and practice of designing, developing and implementing the networks that underpin businesses and other organizations. In addition, its advanced technology curricula in areas such as security, wireless and IP telephony provide exposure to the latest technology skills in those fields. It also has a module teaching basic IT skills.

Cisco's Networking Academy Program helps students achieve networking and IT certification, while the portal sets graduates on the path to successful careers. The new portal will fulfill an important, but often overlooked, role in academia whilst educational institutions continue to be actively involved in providing students with training, as well as career guidance.

For more details about the Cisco Networking Academy visit:

To subscribe to the Cisco Partner Talent Portal please visit:

To register as a candidate on the portal please visit:

Cautionary Statement

Cisco is neither an employment agency nor a recruiting firm, nor has Cisco done any background checks on any prospective employees. Cisco makes no representations regarding the qualifications, abilities, or credentials of any prospective employees who contact Cisco's partners through the links to Partners' websites.