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Intel creates certification program

The program is designed to boost the company's presence in the networking world.

Intel (INTC) today rolled out a certification and education program for computer dealers and integrators that's designed to boost the company's presence in the networking world.

Although a relatively minor player in networking products, Intel has been stepping up its efforts in that particular market. Last week, for instance, the company outlined its strategy for the Ethernet-based networking products market.

The overall goal is two-fold: To make money off of networking products and to speed the development for better bandwidth technologies for servers and desktops. (Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.)

The certification program exists as a way to filter knowledge about Intel products to its various dealers, said Frank Gill, Intel executive vice president and general manager of Intel's Small Business and Networking Group. Most other networking companies have similar, existing programs.

"We're being much more active in the networking marketplace," he said.

The program may have the most impact on small businesses, according to Gill. Typically, smaller companies do not have their own IS departments and rely on third-party dealers and integrators to handle their networks.

Under the program, participating integrators can qualify for two different types of certifications. The Intel Certified Solutions Consultant track is targeted at individuals who design networks and applications. The Intel Certified Integration Specialist, on the other hand, is geared for those who will maintain the system.

To get certified, system engineers have to attend, or grade out of, a series of nine courses as well as pass a series of tests. Courses begin on April 1.