Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cisco unveils talent portal for MEA

Cisco Systems unveils Partner Talent Portal to address technology skills short on the African continent and Middle East also known as MEA.

Marketing Manager, Cisco Nigeria, Ms Owen Nwelih said that this is part of Cisco’s continued effort to help channel partners address the global technology skills gap.

She said that the recently unveiled partnership would focus on Middle East and Africa (MEA), through provision of regional channel partners with access to local Cisco Network Academy graduates and Cisco certified talents.

The portal, she said, comes with features on curricula vitae and profiles of local Cisco Network Academy graduates to help facilitate the connection between Cisco channel partners and this proven talent pool.

Nwelih in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel, at the weekend, quoted the Cisco Networking Academy Manager for West Africa, Mr. Julius Ayuk Tabe as saying, that a study commissioned by Cisco last year and conducted by industry analyst firm, IDC, revealed that the demand for networking skills in the UAE alone was set to exceed supply by an average of 27 per cent in 2009.

“This translates into a shortage of more than 19,000 skilled people,” he said.

Mr. Tabe also said that this portal which is already live and accessible to Cisco partners in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia, provides partners with a fast and effective way to find qualified candidates while allowing for a much-needed inflow of talent into the overall industry.

Director of Channels, Middle East and Africa at Cisco, Mr. Guido Romagnoli, was also quoted as noting that in the Middle East and Africa is experiencing tremendous IT growth and people are the heart of this boom, so finding the right talent to support this growth is a critical challenge for both Cisco and its partners.

“To help our partners successfully address today’s skills and talent shortage, we must look beyond the traditional channel strategies that have focused on providing partner training and programmes,” he said.

According to him, with the Partner Talent Portal, we are taking an active role in helping partners tackle business critical issues such as recruiting, retaining and developing talent.

The skills gap, he said, is even more extreme when certain technology areas are singled out.

For example, the shortfall between supply and demand in advanced networking technology skills such as in Internet Protocol (IP) telephony, security and wireless will be 35 per cent in 2009.

This gap is in contrast to findings from Western and Eastern Europe that showed an average advanced networking skills gap of 15.8 per cent by 2008.

IDC also expects the ongoing economic expansion in the region to have a strong impact on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) demand, including networking skills.

Equally, IDC forecasts demand for IT in the Middle East to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16.9 pre cent between 2005 and 2009.

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