We've been talking about the industry-wide talent crunch for a while on The New IP, because as service providers transition their traditional TDM-based networks to virtualized, software-based New IP networks, they are finding themselves seriously short on the skillsets they need to succeed.
Others in the industry are also facing that same challenge, including suppliers, enterprises and even standards development organizations and open source groups. There just aren't enough people with the right skillsets to go around. In fact, just last week on The New IP's Tune in Tuesday, Heather Kirksey, Director of the Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. , told New IP Editor Alison Diana: "We need more people who can bridge that telecom network speak and open source software divide." (Listen to OPNFV Channels DevOps Power for Brahmaputra.)
The good news is that Light Reading is doing something about it. Today, Light Reading is teaming with
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) to launch Upskill U, a free online university aimed at upskilling and reskilling the communications industry on a variety of New IP topics, including network functions virtualization (NFV), Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, telco data center, software-defined networking (SDN), open source, cyber security, 5G and more -- all topics that more than 1,000 Light Reading readers said they needed training on. (See: IoT, Cloud Hot Topics for Training.)
Upskill U's goal is to educate business decision makers around the industry on the latest technology changes impacting their businesses. But, we are going beyond just acronyms like NFV, SDN, IoT, 5G and more, to offer insight and education on what these things are, what they mean for the industry and how businesses can leverage the changes to increase ROI.
Upskill U courses are offered twice per week around the lunch hour in North America and LATAM so folks there can "lunch and learn," and folks in Europe can catch the courses at the end of their day. Plus, the courses are automatically archived so that they are available 24/7 for the rest of the world. All courses include an accompanying chat board where students can interact with each other and the lecturer -- sharing experiences and knowledge.
Upskill U kicks into high gear with its first module of four courses focused on virtualization:
- "Virtualization 101," Wednesday, April 20, 1:00 p.m. ET: Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading , covers all the important aspects of virtualization, including what it is, why it's important, how it's impacting the industry, the challenges and benefits and more.
- "Virtualization: Webifying the Network," Friday, April 22, 1:00 p.m. ET: Josh Goodell, Vice President of Network on Demand and SVC Integration at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), focuses on the many facets of transformation, including provisioning and deploying services, cultural changes, DevOps and Agile methodology and new developments like IoT.
- "Virtualization: Network Design & Infrastructure," Monday, April 25, 12:45 p.m. ET: Nick Feamster, Acting Director of Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, discusses the different approaches to building a virtualized, all-IP network, key goals and challenges.
- "Virtualization: Automation," Friday, April 29, 1:00 p.m. ET: Carl Moberg, Technology Director at Cisco, covers how service providers can benefit from automation for security, provision, cost savings and what a good automation strategy looks like.
Jason Porter, VP of Security Solutions, AT&T, who was also featured on a Tune in Tuesday radio show, "Cyber Security: What CEOs Need to Know Now
," is also slated to lecture on IoT and cyber security on May 6 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Also in store are courses taught by Cisco; Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); and Jim Kilmer, Vice President of Vertical Sales at
Verizon Enterprise Solutions , who was on Tune in Tuesday last August speaking about Industrial IoT. (Listen to The Manufacturing, M2M & Analytics Tipping Point.)
This is just the beginning. We don't want you to be left in the dark by all the changes happening in the industry, so hop on over to Upskill U and get set for the future. I look forward to seeing you all on the chat boards.
— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, managing editor, The New IP and Upskill U