Rockwell Automation and Cisco tackle industrial IoT skills

Posted on 10 Jun 2015 by Tim Brown

The expansion of the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and convergence of operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT) systems into The Connected Enterprise raises questions of who within industrial organizations should design and oversee unified network infrastructures.

Rockwell Automation, in collaboration with its Strategic Alliance partner Cisco, is helping address this workforce challenge with the new training and certification offerings.

Last year, the companies jointly rolled out the Managing Industrial Networks with Cisco Networking Technologies (IMINS) training course and Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification. This first-of-its-kind course provided foundational skills needed to manage and administer networked, industrial control systems.

This year, Rockwell Automation and Cisco are unveiling the five-day, hands-on Managing Industrial Networks for Manufacturing with Cisco Technologies (IMINS2) course and CCNA Industrial certification exam. The course offers deeper analysis of EtherNet/IP architectures with industrial protocols, wireless and security technologies implementation, and advanced troubleshooting. The CCNA Industrial certification ensures that OT and IT professionals have the skillset needed to design, manage and operate converged industrial networks.

“Organizations are still determining how to best reshape their workforces to take advantage of new, unified network architectures designed to improve business performance,” said Gary Pearsons, vice president and general manager, Customer Support and Maintenance Business, Rockwell Automation. “Rockwell Automation and Cisco continue to collaborate in addressing this challenge. We are pleased to announce that we have expanded our current portfolio of training courses and certification programs designed to prepare our customers’ employees to make this transition to the new IT/OT convergent environment.”

“The number of smart devices and objects that make up the Internet of Everything will double to about 50 billion in the next five years, according to Cisco studies,” said Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager, Cisco. “Manufacturers who want to be at the forefront of this revolution must empower their employees today with the skillsets they’ll need. Working with Rockwell Automation to expand this education portfolio brings together our organizations’ leading-edge expertise in IT and OT to help industrial companies accomplish this.”

Pathways to IoT Certification

Students who successfully complete the Industrial Networking Specialist and CCNA Industrial certification exams will earn CCNA Industrial certification. Alternatively, IT and OT professionals that already have their CCNA Routing & Switching or Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) certification can enroll directly in IMINS2 and take the CCNA Industrial certification exam to receive CCNA Industrial certification. Once completed, the certification is valid for three years.

Participants in the IMINS and IMINS2 courses will receive exam vouchers for the Industrial Networking Specialist and CCNA Industrial certification exams, respectively, as part of course tuition. This offer is only available through courses offered and delivered by Rockwell Automation. The CCNA Industrial certification exam can be taken at one of any Pearson VUE testing centers located in more than 165 countries.

IMINS courses are offered on an ongoing basis. The enrollment schedule for IMINS2 will be posted in June, with classes beginning in July. As the leader in OT/IT skills development, Rockwell Automation will continue to invest in The Connected Enterprise and IoT training curriculum to address emerging skills requirements.

Additional Learning Opportunities

Industrial IP Advantage, a coalition of companies including Rockwell Automation, Cisco and Panduit, also offers e-learning training to meet the emerging needs of control engineers and IT professionals tasked with deploying a secure, holistic network architecture.

Courses are designed to help IT and OT professionals drive design decisions from the equipment level to the enterprisewide network. Each course uses interactive, scenario-based training on topics, such as logical topologies, protocols, switching and routing, physical cabling and wireless considerations.