HP ExpertOne Introduces New Methods for IT Education and Certification

Susan Underhill

Susan UnderhillWikibon Analyst and host of The Cube Dave Vellante said that CIOs know that the secret to success is “people, process, and technology.” With major changes affecting technology industries, many CIOs must now transform the way they make certain employees are able to meet new skills challenges. Vellante interviewed Susan Underhill, VP of HP ExpertOne and Patrick Eitenbichler, Director of ExpertOne regarding the company’s new approach to education and certification.

Underhill first elucidated why the company decided to create ExpertOne. In their travels to meet with channel partners, HP executives gradually began to realize that there was a skills gap between those aging workers leaving the workforce and the new student population who had often not sought technology degrees. HP foresaw this on the horizon five or six years ago and began laying the groundwork to remedy the situation 1 to 2 years ago.

The type of work required of employees at IT companies, Eitenbichler explained, has steadily moved away from single areas of expertise to convergence, where people need to be well-versed in multiple areas of IT to work in a hybrid cloud environment. Few people have those skills, yet CIOs need people who can run cloud systems.

Underhill then said that vendor and training programs used to be product oriented. Even HP’s own certified professional program fell into this category, but they have now reevaluated how they teach skills and focus on addressing this new convergence landscape. She also said that one of the goals of ExpertOne is to produce more well-rounded certified professionals who have the tech expertise, business acumen, and hands-on skills to do the job.

With the highest level of certification, which is called “Converged Infrastructure Master Architect”, a person must have 10 years of industry experience and pass a board-level exam. That means they actually have to present a real business problem to the board, something that goes far and beyond what most people who only have technology training would normally be equipped to handle.

Toward the end of the interview, Dave Vellante asked both Underhill and Eitenbichler if it is possible to lower the amount of cost that goes into keeping infrastructure running and increase the amount spent on innovation. They answered those questions and others in the full interview, available right here.