Multinational ICT firm Huawei has confirmed the participation of several channel partners in its multi-tier certification program launched in Johannesburg in July.Staff from Sizwe, Altech, EOH, Elimu, Reflex and Mustek have entered the program to secure certification and will be writing exams during the months of August, September and October.Huawei recently unveiled the program at its Channel Services Conference and introduced the three tiers being Huawei Certified Network Associate (HCNA); Huawei Certified Network Professional (HCNP) and Huawei Certified Internetwork Expert- Enterprise (HCIE).The channel-focused program covers all 11 tech industry fields and 13 directions, and incorporates an incentive scheme whereby every person that completes the HCIE certification, in any field, will earn R60 000 for themselves and R60 000 for their company.Certified HCIE technical experts are qualified to help enterprises plan and construct mid-size and large comprehensive networks, says Huawei.Altech, part of the telecoms, multi-media and IT division of Altron, has two staff members entered into the program, one of whom has passed all three stages.Caroline Beswick, National Sales Director of Altech, says the certification program is key to the company’s vision to be the leading preferred and trusted Huawei partner in South Africa. “Our skilled engineers are core to our business and our ability to design and implement the right solution for our customers. If we want to be the best, we have to be experts in our field by attaining the relevant certifications.”The company is busy certifying its teams in several areas covered by Huawei technology, including IP, IT storage and servers, and UC&C, as well as network energy and data centre certification.Altech engineer Jacques Allison is the first to qualify as a Huawei HCIE engineer in routing and switching.In terms of service delivery in the local channel, Beswick says the certification instils confidence in customers that the company has the expertise, skills and knowledge to deliver on requirements.”Certification should be of a high standard as it then carries credibility as it signifies that the certified engineer has achieved a high level of knowledge and skills that is not easily replicated in the broader market. However, in addition to the certification, it is extremely important that the engineers have the practical hands-on experience as it is this practical, “in the field” knowledge that really then makes them experts. It’s where they learn the exceptions to the rules and how to interoperate with other technologies,” she adds.