Cynthia Wisehart | Posted by Jessaca Gutierrez" />

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On the Circuit

Mar 3, 2014 2:31 PM, By Cynthia Wisehart | Posted by Jessaca Gutierrez

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I’ve been noticing that some integrators have been making a bigger investment in unified communications, collaboration, managed services, and cloud conferencing. Some have gone for Cisco certification. Some have acquired or partnered with companies that are not traditionally AV.

This month we talked to Paul Depperschmidt, CTS, who has worked at Cisco for the past five years and has a long history in pro AV before that. He served many years as a subcommittee chair on InfoComm’s Professional Education and Training Committee (PETC). He’s on the PETC steering committee and served on the committee that developed the InfoComm Audiovisual Systems Performance Verification Standard that was ratified by ANSI near the end of January. We also rounded up some course information—Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, and others, as well as information on InfoComm’s three-day networking course planned for the tradeshow in June.

This gives you an idea of what’s available because, for some of you, I thought hands-on technical training might be a way in to this world of AV/IT. Even if you don’t yet know where you’re headed with it, maybe training would bring a little more reality to the whole scene and help you decide how much to be involved.

I also wanted to remind you of audio networking training that’s out there. QSC has newly revised Q-Sys training; it’s online, modular, and video-based. There is a Networking Overview course (one among eight course offerings) that puts a lot of what may seem like IT-driven content into language an audio person can relate to. If, for example, you wanted to learn about the seven layers of network communication or the basics of network protocols, you would be on your way. The other courses are more application-specific—such as the Public Address course; some are more product-specific. But they’re all exceptionally accessible. You can go watch them, regardless of whether your goal is Q-Sys certification. Go to

Audinate also has two free online courses on networking basics that earn you CTS renewal units. The pitch for these courses is that “anyone who doesn’t have an understanding of IT networks and how they work could be losing out on important projects.” In truth, IT networks are more straightforward than you may imagine. Of course, like all courses from manufacturers of proprietary systems, there is a viewpoint. But Audinate’s courses, like the QSC courses, have basic standards-related data that is good to know and easier to digest than a full Cisco certification.

You also might consider Biamp’s online classes, certainly those on VoIP basics. Further, the courses on the Tesira platform, although specific to those products, also contain fundamental networking information. Those courses are attractive because although they are online, they are live so you get the benefit of a person on the other end of your computer.

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