News Release

Cisco Introduces First Service Provider Operations Certification Track and Refreshes CCNP Certification to Reflect Evolving Network Engineering Job Roles

Expansion of Certification Program Meets Growing Global Demand for Skilled Network Professionals
Jan 25, 2010

BARCELONA, Spain (Cisco Networkers) – Jan. 25, 2010 – In response to growing demand for highly qualified professionals capable of designing, implementing, securing and operating increasingly sophisticated networks and technical infrastructure, Cisco today announced a new Service Provider (SP) Operations certification track as well as a major revision of its popular CCNP® certification.

Key Facts/ Highlights

  • The growing complexity of corporate IT (information technology) networking, coupled with the demands of telecom-IT convergence and relentless pressure to reduce costs within the enterprise, continues to stimulate interest in managed services. Canalys research predicts that the worldwide service provider market will grow by 7.5 percent year-on-year in 2010.*
  • The new Cisco® Service Provider Operations certification track, the first of its kind in the networking industry, verifies that the certificate holder has completed a program to attain the knowledge and skills required for operating an extensible service provider infrastructure to deliver rich managed services.
  • The CCNP revision reflects the evolving job tasks of global network professionals, including a greater emphasis on highly secure, complex routing and switching, support for branch offices and mobile workers, and the delivery of voice and video services.
  • CCNP offers a development path for CCNA® certification holders, the world's single largest group of networking professionals, and a solid foundation for those interested in pursuing expert-level certification. 
  • Sixty-six percent of managers believe IT certifications improve the overall level of service and support offered to end users, and 75 percent say certifications are important to team performance, according to IDC.**

Service Provider Operations Certifications

  • Designed specifically for Cisco service provider customers, partners and Cisco networking engineers, the new Cisco SP Operations track is focused on developing the capabilities to operate complex service provider Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) infrastructures.
  • The Cisco CCIE® SP Operations certification assesses and validates core IP NGN service provider network operations expertise, including the skills required of an expert (Tier III or Tier IV support) operations engineer to troubleshoot and maintain complex service provider IP NGN core (PE-PE and PE-CE) network infrastructures in both Cisco IOS® and Cisco IOS XR operating environments. In addition, it validates broad theoretical knowledge of operations management processes, frameworks and network management systems.
  • The Cisco CCNP SP Operations certification validates the knowledge and skills required of a professional-level (Tier II or Tier III support) network operations engineer to isolate network performance problems and to implement proactive fault-prevention measures using operations management processes, frameworks and network management systems.
  • The Cisco CCNA SP Operations certification targets entry-level students with a foundation of network operations skills in SP IP NGN environments required of associate-level (Tier I support) operations personnel.


  • Cisco has updated its CCNP certification with a significant amount of new content through a comprehensive process involving customers and partners from around the globe. The revision focuses on the competencies that are needed to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot the networks of today and is designed to be more predictive of job readiness.
  • Extensive hands-on labs, e-learning lessons and self-paced demos reinforce maintenance and troubleshooting skills.
  • The CCNP certification is designed for network engineers with at least one year of professional work experience who are ready to advance their skills and work independently on complex network solutions.
  • Three new courses provide the skills required to plan, configure and verify complex routing and switching solutions and utilize an ITIL®-compliant approach to network troubleshooting. The courses are ROUTE v1.0—Implementing Cisco IP Routing, SWITCH v1.0—Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks, and TSHOOT v1.0—Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks.
  • The revised CCNP certification requires three 120-minute exams—ROUTE #642-902, SWITCH #642-813, and TSHOOT #642-832—that validate the key competencies of network engineers.

Supporting Quotes:

  • "The new CCNP certification meets the demands of global organizations for professionals with the skills to support increasingly sophisticated networks," said Bill Stewart, a senior network engineer leader on a major account with CSC, a provider of information technology services and solutions. "With a focus on the competencies that are needed to plan, implement and troubleshoot today's routed and switched networks incorporating converged voice, video and data in wired and wireless environments, this new certification supports job readiness for professionals in a variety of industries, offering greater value to employers and candidates."
  • "As the network administrator for a progressive medical facility, it is important for me to stay current with the latest technologies and industry trends," said Alan Webster, network administrator, CGH Medical Center, a premier provider of health care services. "The new CCNP training provides a relevant and comprehensive background in the competencies that are needed to support the advanced networks of organizations such as CGH Medical Center."
  • "As the role of the network evolves, we need to continually address changing market requirements," said Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, general manager, Learning@Cisco. "The revised CCNP training and certification exams and the new Service Provider Operations track provide the requisite skills for professionals to differentiate themselves in today's job market and enable a competitive advantage for employers."
  • "The service provider market is rapidly expanding and evolving with the growth of complex networks that support increasing amounts of rich media," said Sameer Padhye, vice president, Worldwide Service Provider Line of Business, Cisco. "These new certifications were designed to develop a pipeline of qualified individuals with a deep understanding of the changing job roles and requirements of the service provider industry."


  • The revised CCNP courses and e-learning materials are available now. The exams are scheduled to be available in March/April 2010.
  • The CCNA Operations certification is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2010.
  • The Cisco CCNP SP Operations certification is scheduled to be available in the third quarter of 2010.
  • The CCIE SP Operations written exam is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2010. The practical exam is scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2010.

Cisco Press:

  • Cisco Press, the leader in Cisco certification self-study learning, will be releasing a suite of titles available for CCNP study, including all three Exam Certification Guides.
  • Cisco Press is also introducing a new product line for mid- to late-stage exam preparation, called Cert Kits. Cert Kits will be available for all three CCNP exams, and each provides a value-priced package combining video, print and electronic quick reference sheets, and online flash card preparation tools.
  • A comprehensive suite of Portable Command Guides and Self-Study Guides will also be available in early 2010. A complete listing of titles is available at

Supporting Resources:


Social Media Destinations:

Technorati Tags:

Talent Development, Cisco Certified, Network, Certifications, IT Certifications, Cisco, Cisco Learning Network, Collaboration, Education, CCNP, Routing, LAN Switching, Troubleshoot, CCIE, CCNA, Service Provider, Operations, IP NGN, Learning@Cisco

*Source: Canalys, Enterprise Networking Analysis service, November 2009

**Source: IDC, Impact of Training: Functional Excellence Leads to Operational Productivity, Doc #215762, Dec. 2008.

RSS Feed for Cisco: